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Preserving older Orchestra recordings in Doby

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William McQueen
Preserving older Orchestra recordings in Doby
on Aug 7, 2005 at 2:03:08 pm

I'm a member of a community orchestra (Counterpoint Community Orchestra) here in Toronto and up until about 1998 (in which year we had enough money to hire a professional to record in DAT) I recorded a number of our concerts on a German DUAL C939 casette recorder (circa 1978), using DOLBY NR.

I would like to transfer some of these earlier recordings to WAV and thence to CD for our archives (we've survived for 22 years without any form of public funding). The DUAL C939 still exists and seems to play DOLBY B tapes adequately. (No apparent wow.) But before the machine bites the dust....

I can connect the DUAL C939 to my computer, but don't know whether to play/transfer the renditions of the Orchestra's concerts I recorded without DOLBY encoding to a wav file, or to play them out encoded.

I have a current copy of Nero Wave Editor available.

Perhaps there are other questions or considerations of which I'm unaware.

Cheers and thanks for your collective wisdom.

Bill in Toronto

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David Jones
Re: Preserving older Orchestra recordings in Doby
on Aug 7, 2005 at 8:42:22 pm

If they were encoded with Dolby during recording
then I would also use the Dolby for playback.

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Re: Preserving older Orchestra recordings in Doby
on Aug 8, 2005 at 11:53:15 am

I agree with David Jones who said leave the Dolby engaged for the transfer.
This will cut the abominable HISS of the cassette tape.

OTOH, I know that the high frequencies on cassette sound much brighter with the Dolby OFF.
And since audio cassettes are woefully inadequate at recording/reproducing high frequencies in the first place, you might want to make TWO complete transfers, one with Dolby and one without.

Mark them clearly and save them EACH to CDs or DVDs (again, clearly marked).

There may be better digital methods (available to you now, or in the future) to help limit the increased hiss on the "Dolby-OFF" version and still retain the improved (though some would say artificial) high-end "presence."

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