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Audio Transfer

Happy Ireland Productions take great care with all audio formats, from dictaphone tapes to reel to reels, as they are easily damaged and hard to repair. We inspect and clean the audio using anti-static materials or special audio cassette cleaners, and capture the audio using professional standard players and sound cards.

Then on specialised computers, we use professional sound editing software to clean, enhance and master the audio files while removing any blank sections. In the case of reel to reels, there may be several hours of unnecessary dead time between recorded sections plus crackling, hissing, popping, scratching and tape hum.

We also correct tone inconsistencies, speed, balance audio levels and boost vocal recordings. We quality check the final edited audio files, chapter point where appropriate then burn them to in-house professionally printed CDs. Finally, a test is performed on the finished CD, before we package it with a detailed quality report.

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8 Track to CD

8-track was a sound recording technology using magnetic tape housed in a plastic case, with eight parallel soundtracks corresponding to four stereo programs. It became popular mainly in America in the 1960s and 1970s until compact cassettes took over. 8-track, also known as stereo 8 or eight-track cartridge/tape, was developed between Lear Jet, the Ampex Magnetic Tape Company, and RCA Records. Ford Motors championed them and offered 8-track players in their 1966 model cars. Originally only car accessories, the home players were introduced a year later.

We will carefully extract the audio from your 8-track cassettes and convert them to CD so that you can rediscover your old music or voice recordings.

Audio Cassette to CD

Compact Cassettes, also known as audio cassettes or simply ‘cassettes’, consist of two miniature spools, between which a magnetically coated plastic tape is passed and wound. By the mid-1970s the 8-track had lost its popularity when the audio quality of cassette tapes increased thanks to Dolby noise reduction technology and improved types of tape. Originally designed for dictation machines, the audio from vinyl records or the radio could also be recorded onto the tapes. Its status reached its peak when the Sony Walkman was invented in the 1980s allowing music to be fully portable.

We transfer your tape by placing it in a studio quality Hi-Fi cassette deck, connected to a high-end amplifier and graphic equaliser. This is then fed into a top-of-the-line computer sound card, and we enhance the audio using professional sound editing software. We improve the quality of the recording by removing background noise and interference and then we balance, enhance and master the sound, before burning the audio to CD.

DAT (Digital Audio Tape) to CD

DAT is music stored digitally on 4mm magnetic tape and was previously considered as the best medium for live taping and studio backup. The technology of DAT was created by Sony and is closely based on that of video recorders, using a rotating head and helical scan to record data. DAT was great for music recording because you could make a perfect 16-bit, 48Khz digital copy of your final mix, capturing all the distinctions of an analog system.  The small portable recorders such as the Sony D8 and Tascam DA-P1 made this a perfect choice for ‘tapers’.

DAT equipment is no longer made by manufacturers, with Sony stopping production of their last model in 2005, so the system is now largely obsolete. If you have any DAT recordings, we can transfer them to CD so you can continue to enjoy them.

Micro Cassette to CD

Microcassettes have the same tape size as an audio cassette tape but with a smaller casing. They were mainly used for voice recordings and their size and sensitivity to the frequency band of the human voice meant they were ideal for use in dictation and answering machines. This format is still available to buy; however, most dictation machines are now digital, and many smartphones have inbuilt voice recorders. The size of the microcassette meant that recording time was limited.

Like with most tape formats, the more you replay them the more the tape is susceptible to damage. Convert your old microcassette recordings to CD so that you have many tapes on one disc, and can listen to them time and again.

Mini Disc to CD

Although this technology was first showcased in 1983 it took almost ten years before the idea was commercialised. Sony’s MiniDisc introduced in 1992 was targeted as a replacement for the Philips analog cassette audio tape system. Philips themselves introduced a competing system the digital compact cassette (DCC). The MiniDisc offered the quality of a CD with the recordable functionality of a cassette and was heralded as the ‘next big thing’ with many people purchasing minidisc players, recorders and portable walkman-style devices. However, its popularity was short-lived when it was abruptly overtaken by the arrival of mp3.

If you were one of the many people that welcomed the arrival of the MiniDisc but now find yourself with no means to play them, contact us and we can convert your files to CD instead.

Reel To Reel Domestic to CD

Initially, this format did not have a name as all magnetic tape recorders used it, but as other types came on the market it was named reel to reel due to it not being housed in a container.  Early uses were in the pioneering German-British Blattnerphone machines in the late 1920s, and the 1930s German Magnetophon machines. Reel-to-reel tape was also used for data storage in computers, video tape recorder machines, and analog audio recorders. Studer, Stellavox and Denon still produced reel to reel tape recorders in the 1990s, but currently, only Nagra, Otari, and Mechlabor still manufacture reel-to-reel recorders.

We take special care when dealing with this, the oldest and most delicate audio format there is. We learned there is no quick fix or easy way to get the best results from reel to reel; perhaps why so few of our competitors offer the service. If we need to layer and match channels to match up your recordings then we will, because your memories are precious. Reel-to-reels have four tracks with two channels. We have found these often get mixed up and need to be reversed, re-ordered and layered. We take the time and care to provide you with the highest quality result.

Reel To Reel Studio to CD

If you have a professionally recorded Ampex reel-to-reel we can transfer the sound to CD. Ampex were the leaders in audio tape technology as they developed many of the analog recording formats for both music and movies which remained in use into the 1990s. The company set studio standards for many years after developing video tape recorders from the 1950s and later made home video players possible with the helical scan concept. They also introduced advances such as multi-track recording, slow-motion and instant playback television.

We can transfer all types of taped audio recordings to CD and will remove any gaps or unwanted noise interference from the recording where possible.

Vinyl Record to CD

If you have a professionally recorded Ampex reel-to-reel we can transfer the sound to CD. Ampex were the leaders in audio tape technology as they developed many of the analog recording formats for both music and movies which remained in use into the 1990s. The company set studio standards for many years after developing video tape recorders from the 1950s and later made home video players possible with the helical scan concept. They also introduced advances such as multi-track recording, slow-motion and instant playback television.

We can transfer all types of taped audio recordings to CD and will remove any gaps or unwanted noise interference from the recording where possible.