Tape and Media Transfers, Los Angeles and Worldwide | Deep Signal Studios

Tape and Media Transfers, Los Angeles and Worldwide

Magnetic tape has an estimated lifespan of between 20-40 years. No matter the brand, every tape will eventually deteriorate. Even if a tape is beginning to deteriorate (feeling sticky) there is a good chance we can save it. Let Deep Signal Studios preserve your audio media in the digital domain and give it an infinite lifespan. AMPEX brand open reel audio tapes (i.e. Ampex 456) require immediate attention due to the sub-standard adhesive used in the manufacturing process. These tapes are at particular risk of completely deteriorating to the point of no return. Don't wait on digitizing these reel to-reel tapes!

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Now is the time to convert your ADAT, Tascam DTRS, DAT, Reel-to-Reel, Vinyl Acetates/Dubplates and cassette tapes to CD, DVD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, OGG or MP3. We can convert and archive any of the following formats:

Source Output Format
DAT (Digital Audio Tape) WAV, AIFF, MP3
Alesis ADAT, 16 or 20 bit, S-VHS Tape, multi track digital audio tape (ADAT XT 20 or LX 20) Individual WAV or AIFF files
Tascam DTRS, Hi-8, 8mm Tape, 16 or 24 bit multi track digital audio tape (DA-88, DA-38, DA-98, DA-78HR, DA-98HR) Individual WAV or AIFF files
Cassette WAV, AIFF, MP3
Microcassette WAV, AIFF, MP3
Vinyl record/LP/45 WAV, AIFF, MP3
1/4 inch reel (stereo, 2-Track) WAV, AIFF, MP3
1/4 inch reel (TEAC A-3340 Simul-Sync, 4-Track) Individual WAV or AIFF files
1/2 inch reel (8 Track, with DBX decoder) Individual WAV or AIFF files
1/2 inch reel (16 Track) Individual WAV or AIFF files
2 inch reel (16 Track) Individual WAV or AIFF files
2 inch reel (24 Track) Individual WAV or AIFF files
360 Systems Digicart II Plus (iOmega Zip 100 or SCSI HDD) "Cues" as WAV files

And many more by request! Tape baking also available.

Not sure what kind of audio tapes you have?

Most "unidentified" tape inquiries we receive are usually related to these formats: DAT, ADAT and DTRS. Here are some tips on how to identify these tapes:

DAT | Digital Audio Tape

Media type: DAT Cassette

DAT tapeDAT is a 2-channel (stereo) digital audio format introduced by Sony in 1987. The tape itself is 4mm in width, and the shell size is actually smaller than a standard cassette tape. DAT recorders were a staple in professional recording studios through most of the 90's, most often used for mixdowns from multitrack recording sessions from multitrack decks like 2" 24 track, 1/2" 16 track Reel-to-Reel decks, and ADAT or Tascam digital tape machines. They were less cumbersome than reel-to-reel analog, better quality than analog cassette, and they could be recorded in the same digital format (16bit, 44.1 KHz) that would ultimately get mastered to a final CD format. The thinking was that if you wanted a "CD quality" recording you needed to record to DAT. Some DAT machines were made for the consumer market as well.

The vast majority of tapes recorded on DATs were at 16 bit, 44.1 KHz (CD quality) or 48 KHz. However, the DAT standard officially supports four sampling modes: 32 kHz at 12 bits, and 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz at 16 bits. Some of the most popular DAT cassette tapes include: Quantegy DAT-R034, Quantegy - DAT-R048, Sony - PDP-15C, Sony - PDP-35C, Sony PDP-125C, Sony DT120R, TDK DA-R120, TDK DA-R60, Maxell R-20DA, Maxell R-34DA, Maxell R-65DA, Maxell R-125DA, HHB DAT65, HHB DAT35, HHB DAT15, Fujifilm R-15, Ampex 467 R-120 and Apogee AD 124. Most often on these tapes you will see some sort of note on the label like "Stereo Mixdown", "1:1 Safety Copy", "Session Tape" or something of that nature. We can convert any DAT cassette, at any bitrate, and sample rate your tape was recorded at - all within the digital domain! Contact us today for a quote.

ALESIS ADAT | 8 Track Digital Recording Format

ADAT tape

Media type: S-VHS Cassette

ADAT machinesThe Alesis ADAT was the first affordable 8-track digital audio recorder. It recorded on the same type of tape that VCRs did for video except they were a higher grade of VHS tapes called S-VHS. Some notable records were recorded on ADAT in the early 90s including Alanis Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill, Primus's Pork Soda, and Queensryche's, Promised Land. Each machine could record up to 8 tracks, and multiple machines could be synched together, with the typical system consisting of 3 machines for 24 tracks. We can convert ADAT tapes into individual .WAV files for mixing in a modern DAW.

Some common tapes used with ALESIS ADAT multi-track machines include:
Quantegy DM 42, HHB ADAT45, HHB ADAT60, BASF DA 40, QUANTEGY ADAT 42C and ADAT 60C.
You will always see the ADAT logo on tapes designed specifically for ADAT machines.
Other S-VHS tapes could be formatted and used, so if you see any hand written notes on the label like "Master 16 bit / 48 KHz" or "Master 1 of 3" etc., you are likely looking at a tape recorded with an ADAT machine. The original ADAT "blackface" and ADAT XT were capable of recording at 16-bit. Recordings made using an ADAT XT20 or LX20 are capable of recording at 20-bit. We can convert tapes made using any of these machines! Contact us today for a quote.

DTRS | Digital Tape Recording System | 8 Track Digital Recording Format

DA88 tape

Media type: HI-8 Cassette

Tascam DA-88DTRS tapes were most commonly used with the Sony PCM-800 and TASCAM DA88 machines. Some of the most popular DTRS tape brands include: HHB DA60, HHB DA113, Quantegy DA8, (DA8 is one of the most common tapes we see) Sony DARS-30MP and Sony DARS-113MP.
When the DA88 was originally released, TASCAM officially recommended the following brands:

Hi-8 MP (Metal Particle) SONY, TDK, FUJI, BASF, 3M, DENON and KONIKA.
Hi-8 ME (Metal Evaporated) SONY, TDK, MAXELL, and BASF.

TASCAM did not recommend any specific tape models from these manufacturers, and a wide variety of HI-8 tapes were used over the years. Just like with many other digital formats, any HI8 tape could be formatted and used with the TASCAM or Sony machines, so if you find a HI-8 tape in your studio with hand written notes on the label like "Master 16bit / 44.1 KHz" or "Master 1 of 3" etc., you are likely looking at a tape recorded with a DTRS machine. You will always see the DTRS logo on tapes designed specifically for DTRS compatible machines.

It's not uncommon to have projects recorded with a single 8 track deck or 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 machines synced (meaning 1-6 or more tapes from a recording session to transfer). We can convert songs recorded with ADAT XT / XT 20 / LX 20, Sony PCM-800 or DA-88, DA-38, DA-98, DA-78HR or DA-98HR (DTRS) machines, with a total of 8, 16, 24, 32, 40 or 48 tracks or more! There is no limit to the number of tracks we can transfer all with sample-accurate sync. We have well maintained machines standing by and ready for your transfers. Unlike some other services, we accomplish perfect synchronization with a precise master clock distributed to all machines for a perfect synchronized transfer. We also support bit rates of 16 to 24 bit from ADAT and DTRS machines.

Deep Signal Studios can convert these formats and many more, all within the digital domain for the highest quality possible. All ADAT, DAT and DTRS transfers are perfect 1:1 copies with sample- accurate sync. No additional D/A to A/D process is involved, maintaining a pure digital transfer.

If you're still not sure what kind of tape you have, please don't hesitate to contact us. We'll be happy to help!

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We can also convert any of the preceding formats to a DAW session file (Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton Live, Cakewalk, Digital Performer, FL Studio, Garage Band, Logic, Reason, Reaper or Studio One). Our service is available to anyone, worldwide! Contact us today for a quote.

ADAT, DAT, Cassette, and Reel-to-Reel transfers (transfer reel to reel tape to digital) can normally be accomplished within 24-48 hours, which includes converting: ADAT to WAV, DAT to WAV, Tascam DTRS to WAV (DA-38, DA-88, DA-98, DA-78HR, DA-98HR), Reel-To-Reel to WAV and Audio Cassette or Record / LP to WAV. Multi-track files can be sent to you electronically via the Internet anywhere in the world. Expedited service is also available.

Warning: we will not attempt to play or recover moldy tapes.

International shipments: Customs does not require a Video-Film Declaration for negatives, still photographs, CD-ROMs, or audio tapes. It is normally a very easy process to send us your tapes. We recommended packing your tapes in a box or secure padded envelope if they are in cases. Signature service is OK, as we always have a staff member available to accept your shipment. More information and instructions will be provided for shipment at the time of your order.