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Convert 1/4 inch tape to CD (up to 10 inch reels):


1/4 inch open-reel tapes come in many formats but generally fall into two categories: "domestic tape" and "studio" tape. Both types can have a variety of playing speeds and tape lengths, giving a range of playing times. 

Domestic tapes: Typical spool diameters are 3.25 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch, 6 inch and 7 inch. Usually the recording speeds are either 1 7/8 ips (inches per second), 3 3/4 ips or 7 1/2 ips and they are often quarter-track (4 track) mono or stereo.

Studio reels: Typical spool diameters are 7 inch and 10 inch, and they are usually half-track (2 track) stereo recordings running at 7 1/2 ips or 15 ips.

1/4 inch tape to CD transfer is performed using one of a pair of Revox B77 professional decks, catering for all speeds in both quarter- and half- track format.


Tapes recorded at the slower speed of 1 7/8 ips are transcribed using a Sony TC-377 deck, and those rarities running at 15/32 ips or 15/16 ips are speed-adjusted using software designed for the purpose.


Sony TC-377


The quarter inch tape to CD transfer service includes attachment of leader / ender tape as necessary, as well as any simple splicing and editing which may be required prior to digital restoration and transfer to CD. More extensive repairs to broken or damaged tape, and also treatment of "Sticky Shed Syndrome" (see below) can also be carried out at extra cost; in such cases the customer would be advised on the cost and viability of restoration and transfer on an individual basis.



1/4 inch 8-track tape to CD transfer (7 inch reels):


With 8-track tapes, each individual element (e.g. lead guitar, bass, drums, vocals, backing vocals etc.) is allocated a separate track. 1/4 inch 8-track studio recordings are usually received on 7 inch reels, and all 8 tracks are lifted simultaneously using a Fostex R8 8-track open-reel tape deck running at 15 ips, to a Behringer Eurorack Pro RX1602 16 channel line mixer. The 8 tracks are mixed down to stereo before being transferred to CD or memory stick.  


Fostex R8

 The Behringer line mixer gives full mix-down control of each track in terms of volume and balance across the stereo soundstage. Clients are welcome to perform their own mix-down in the studio - by prior arrangement.





Sticky Shed Syndrome

As with cassette tapes, reel to reel tapes can also suffer from 'Sticky Shed Syndrome' (SSS) which causes serious wow and flutter, and can in extreme cases, make the tape unplayable. As the name implies, the tape 'sheds' its magnetic particles in a sticky mess onto anything it comes into contact with along the tape transit path, namely the record and playback heads, tape guides and pinch-rollers. SSS can be temporarily but effectively reversed by a carefully controlled baking process at 50 degrees C for 24 hours in our dedicated on-site laboratory oven. This process allows the recorded information to be retrieved and transferred to CD before the tape reverts back to its original condition. To prolong this reversed condition, your tape reels will be returned to you in a sealed polythene bag.

If you suspect SSS is afflicting your reel to reel tapes, do not attempt to play them. Send them to us for free assessment, and we can advise on the next move.

Broadband hiss and noise levels are reduced or removed during the transfer process.

As standard service, track separations are provided, CD text and on-CD printing are included for convenience, and your disc is returned to you in a clear, flexible vinyl wallet. Alternative file formats (WMA, .mp3) can also be accommodated if preferred.


See Prices page for details and Contact Us to discuss your requirements fully.