Digitising Audio and Video Archive Recordings

Image showing mixing and balancing sound sources using our Soundcraft EPM-8 Sound Mixer

Taking care with audio levels as we digitise clients’ precious archive recordings

Since taking up residence at Milton Keynes Business Centre in February 2012, SimplyDV has undertaken volume digitising of professional format video tape content to Microsoft AVI, 10-bit Uncompressed Quicktime, ProRes422 as well as large volume audio-cassette and reel-to-reel tape content for a number of museums, libraries and other organisations.

We’re receiving an increasing number of enquiries from organisations in the public museums and archives sector to corporate archives and also advertising agencies as well as forward-thinking private individuals who are recognising that analogue audio and video recordings really do need to be captured into the digital domain before it’s too late and the media assets themselves become unplayable and worthless.

The first three months of 2014 have seen SimplyDV being kept very busy with bulk digitising and archiving of recordings being undertaken for several organisations. These include the following:

  • Bletchley Park Trust – transfer to digital video file formats (Microsoft AVI and MPEG-4/H.264 access copies) of 50 hours of broadcast-quality videotaped content containing interviews with WW2 veterans. Also several hundred hours of oral history recordings of WW2 codebreaking veterans, made by volunteers since 1991;
  • Stevenage Museum – digitising to 16-bit WAV audio files of 197 hours of 1/4″ reel-to-reel audio tape recordings made from 1986 onwards as part of the Stevenage Oral Heritage Project, in addition to other digitising for the Talking New Towns project;
  • Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford – digitising to 16-bit WAV audio files of over 100 hours of oral history interviews recorded in the 1990s and 2000s for several projects, including over 50 hours of recordings made for the Aniseed Balls & The Missing Cannon project (memories of WW2 by Bedford residents), experiences of the Women’s Land Army in Bedford during WW2, and also Made in Bedford, audio-taped reminiscences of former employees of the former W. H. Allen engineering works in Bedford.
  • Cranfield University School of Management Case Centre – bulk transcoding of the whole of the centre’s 665 management case study DVDs into MPEG-4/H.264 digital master and access files, intended for network server access by staff, academics and MBA students.
A large number of a client's VHS videocassette collection on a desk

Part of a client’s VHS videocassette collection awaits digitising to files for editing in Apple Final Cut Pro X

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