Thursday, May 26, 2005


Spent a couple of days with my folks, transferring some of their reel tapes. They had a company that produced corporate communications events for large corporations. These shows were big multi-media extravaganzas featuring original music, sometimes with a live orchestra, a live cast of actors and sometimes dancers, slide and film projection and of course the requisite corporate talking heads. Their productions won many industry awards and they were a leader in the "industrial shows" industry for decades. It was a wonderful walk down memory lane for us, and we "digitized" a good overview of the best of the company's original songs.

I had not worked with analog tape in quite some time, but I guess it's like riding a bicycle... I was quick to repair the broken splices, and was still adept at cleaning the heads and transport mechanisms, which needed to be done frequently as some of the tapes were so old that they were shedding their oxide. Alas, a few tapes were so badly deteriorated that they couldn't be played, and one which was stored as a "pancake" (sans the reel flanges) had fallen off the hub and was a jumble inside the box. In the end we were able to transfer almost everything that my parents were hoping to save, thanks to well-logged and documented reels and proper climate controlled storage for all these years. Now that we have the music in ProTools I will process and tweak the audio, and burn CDs. As an interesting side note, a local college radio station recently spun a track from one of their productions, which had been pressed to vinyl. The show was for Coca-Cola and the song was called "That Big Bottling Plant Up In The Sky". Look for it in the WFMU archives at this link: