Sirensound is a high-end Audio Mastering and Archival Facility
specialising in recording, archiving and mastering. I have specialised equipment sourced from the world's leading manufacturers, including ATC (World class monitoring), Millennia music and media systems (HV3D) Preamplifiers, (LPE-2) Library of Congress Legacy Archival Playback Environment for vinyl, shellac and acetate discs and wax cylinders, (TD-1) DI, CEDAR De-Clicker hardware, Sony mixers, recorders and playback machines, Sonnox software, equalisation, limiting and audio restoration suites, Pyramix recording software bundles, with Panasonic, Junger, Audio Design and Audio Developments recording and clocking products. Sony APR 5003 quarter inch recorders with stereo, mono, 1/4 track headblocks and half inch headblock, Otari MX 7800 one inch 8 track open reel, MCI JH 24 Analogue open reel recorder for 24 track recording and more importantly for playback.
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My clients past and present encompass major higher learning instutitions throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland such as The British Library, The University of Edinburgh, Cardinal Tomas O'Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive, Gloucester Archives, The University of Gloucester, The Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Voyager Press, The Planned Environment Therapy Trust, The Royal Dragoon Guards, CBS New York and the Wellcome Trust.We will work to collate and organise your oral history projects, your transfers from analogue to digital originating on quarter inch tape, cassette or PCM F1, vinyl, shellac and acetate discs, and perform your mastering requirements and recording projects using established skills providing meticulous attention to detail, in areas that others may overlook. With the British Library Sound Archive announcing that in their opinion we only have approximately 12 years to transfer the older formats to a more robust digital storage state I can only suggest that now is the time to act, as decaying materials in most formulations make accurate transfer more risky. 10 years ago I noticed the HF carrier signal in VHS tapes dying at an exponential rate, this includes Betamax, U-Matic, DAT (Digital Audio Tape) etc. Some of these recordings were put to media only meant for editing as a primary function, not long term storage.
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Sirensound Digital remains a preferred contractor to the British Library Sound Archive having recorded thousands of obsolete recordings to a more robust digital format, and I try to keep the older machines in service by using them as often as possible so they're ready when required.
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I archive according to the AES and IASA standards utilising 96 kHz 24 bit converters with the capacity to transfer from one channel to 24 channels at this high sample frequency. Briefly, by recording to this frequency according to Nyquest theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist_frequency) we get a true representation of approx. half that sample rate (48 khz) with 24 bit resolution providing a dynamic range for accurate playback as an uncompressed audio file with a wrapper of your choosing, usually .wav or wave. I'll produce a 48 kHz 24 bit .mp3 file from the master .wav file at a rate of 256 kb/sec for comfidence monitoring of the audio on another platform.
A fresh power supply to the studio was installed so all audio (and video) work would be on a seperate clean single phase. The rooms are acoustically treated to aid a flat frequency response for the listener and an additional ATC listening point is provided in a comfortable and relaxed environment to make critical decisions on mixing and mastering.
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I have an acoustically designed room for (you guessed it) acoustic recordings; for drums, brass, woodwind, vocals and voiceover.
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All digital audio is referenced to a single clock via AES or word.
When asking for an estimate for work done please provide as much information as you can extract from the master recordings. For analogue open reel quarter inch there are several variations to be aware of. We cannot provide a quote.
1. It may be mono or stereo
2. Is it full track mono? Two track mono? Quarter track mono or Quarter track stereo?
What's the difference you say?
Many domestic recordings have been done as 1/4 track, using tracks 1 + 3 in a single direction and tape turned over and recorded the same on side 2, again as tracks 1 + 3. Once both directions are recorded all four tracks are occupied, 1,2,3,4. Playing in the opposite direction tracks (2 + 4) are
(1 + 3) thereby preserving stereo in both directions. Half track mono equates to mono recording on only one track of half tape width in each direction.
The speed of the reels.
The common speeds run in multiples of 4.75 cm/sec. Check the speed on the box and the length of the tape. 19 cm/sec is 7 1/2 inches per second, and 9.5 cm/sec is the old standard of 3 3/4 ips. You can deduce that 4.75 cm/sec (1 7/8 ips) is very slow and an 18 cm (7 inch reel) will take a few hours to complete one pass. If the four tracks are occupied as mono recordings you can be in for a long wait to reach the end.
For professional recording speeds 30 ips is common in both recording to 24 track and recording to half inch for mixing output.
These are common speeds in all audio archives. They matter because our clients invariably worry about the cost of their archives, trusting that the job will done to the highest standards, and that the cheapest quote will not always represent the best overall value. We try to achieve the best price/performance for our clients and an estimate will reflect this.
As a client you will benefit from our professional relationships with the world's leading suppliers, and our knowledge and experience in this kind of work.
Sirensound can also source high-end NAS (Network Attached) storage systems for long term file storage. As storage technology evolves, and drive capacity increases.
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Whatever your requirements may be, at Sirensound Digital your projects will be treated with the respect they deserve and managed sympathetically to the highest technical and artistic standards.
Quarter Inch Tape A workhorse of the audio industry for nearly half a century, 1/4 inch (6mm) tape has declined rapidly in recent years with the production of tape decks and blank tapes coming to an end.
Because 1/4 inch tape was so successful for so long, audio archives across the world are filled with this format. Around 90% of ‘one-of-a-kind’ material in audio collections and over 50% of total audio archives including commercial recordings are estimated to be on 1/4 inch tape. Some of this material is on notoriously unstable acetate and other recordings may have been archived for more than forty years – ten years more than its life expectancy but still able to be transferred successfully. Furthermore, with the decline in 1/4 inch tape usage, playback equipment has become obsolete and numerous hours of material are now unplayable. Preserving and protecting these precious audio assets has become a major challenge for organisations all over the world and remain a challenge in the United Kingdom where our methodologies are endorsed by major organisations like the British Library Sound Archive.