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Archiving

 With a 60 year history of uncompromised audio excellence and innovation, expert archiving is a key element of our heritage. We are committed to preserving past masters for the ages in our purpose-built archiving facility housed right here at United. With a vintage treasure trove of modern recording machine formats we have the capability and expertise to archive virtually any format to digital files, ensuring your masters live on.

Archiving Credits 

United Archiving 

United’s new archiving suite is perhaps the most complete, purpose-built archival studio in existence today; a secure, climate-controlled suite that features such attention to detail as:  

  • Specially built anti-static flooring to prevent any electrical disturbances
  • Climate control for optimal tape storage
  • Dedicated, clean tech power 
  • Separate baking room for tape baking
  • High level security 

All machines are maintained by a dedicated technical staff who keep everything running correctly at all times.

 

Dan Johnson, Head of Archiving  Head of Archiving - Dan Johnson

United’s new head of archiving, Dan Johnson, spent the past five years as a dedicated audio preservation engineer working with priceless masters by such high-profile legacy artists as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Eagles, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Ramones, Van Halen, Rod Stewart and Otis Redding. In his time as an archival engineer he has transferred over 600 albums and 3000 tapes ranging from mono acetate to 48 track digital and some of the world's best-selling albums. Prior to that, Johnson was a recording engineer at Capitol Studios and Ocean Way (now United).

 

The Archiving Process

  • Tape condition is checked precisely and processed accordingly. Tape preparation includes baking when necessary, as well as replacing damaged splices and bad leader tape.
  • Formats are correctly determined and documentation checked regarding speed, noise reduction, etc. 
  • All tape boxes, notes, and track sheets scanned at 300dpi. 
  • The machines are aligned, tape head azimuth is adjusted and applicable noise reduction is calibrated.  If the reel is striped with SMPTE timecode, then synchronization is setup between the machine and Pro Tools.
  • The tape is transferred into Pro Tools as hi-res Broadcast Wav files (192kHz/24 Bit for analog. Digital transfers are done at the same sample rate/ bit depth as the master). 
  • Archiving notes are taken and are included with the box label/track sheet/etc. scans.
  • All documentation and audio are then placed into the client specified media (i.e.. external hard drives, DVD-R, Blu-Ray, etc.) for delivery.

Benefits of Archiving

Your masters are irreplaceable. Preserving them is incredibly important. The archiving process offers the following benefits:

  • Rescues audio from deteriorating tapes, and keeps assets viable after the tape becomes unplayable 
  • Sending digital copies for mastering/mixing means no damage/mishaps to fragile tapes
  • Digital files can be electronically delivered 
  • Lowers insurance/storage costs by having digital back-ups 
  • Assets are always safe and available
Equipment 

Analog Machines

1 x Studer a827 (w/ 2” 24 track, 2” 16 track & 1” 8 track heads)
1 x Otari MX-5050 Bii 2 (half & quarter track reel to reel)
1 x Tascam 122 mkiii (Cassette deck)
1 x Ampex ATR 104 (1/4" full track mono & 2 track; 1/2" 2 track & 4 track)

Digital Machines

1 x Sony 3348HR
1 x Mitsubishi X-850 (1” 32 track digital reel to reel)
1 x Sony 3402 (2 track digital reel to reel)
1 x Mitsubishi X-80 (2 track digital reel to reel)
1 x Mitsubishi X-86HS (2 track digital reel to reel)
1 x Tascam DA-45HR (hi res DAT player)
3 x Tascam DA-78HR (w/ remote, meter bridge & AES interfaces)
3 x Alesis ADAT XT-20 (w/ BRC remote)
3 x Alesis M20 ADAT (16 & 20bit)
2 x Alesis ADAT LX-20 

DAW

Avid Pro Tools HD 9 

 

 

Noise Reduction

3 x DBX 900 series racks w/ 411 cards (Type 1 Noise Reduction)
4 x DBX 424 (Type 2 noise reduction cards)
1 x DBX FS900 w/ 911 cards (Type 1 Noise Reduction)
1 x Dolby MT-24 (24 channel SR/A rack)
2 x Dolby 363 (stereo SR/A noise reduction units)
1 x Telefunken/Telcom C4 rack (24 channel noise reduction)

Converters/Clocks

1 x Antelope OCX clock
1 x Universal Audio 2192 (stereo A/D D/A converter)
5 x Digidesign 192 (8 channel analog I/O, 8 channel digital I/O converters)
1 x Digideisgn Sync I/O

Misc. Equipment

2 x Otari UFC-24 (24 channel universal format converters)
1 x Brainstorm Distripalyzer (SMPTE timecode distributor, analyzer, reshaper)
2 x Timeline Lynx 2 (tape machine synchronizers)
1 x APA PSA-28 Precision Stereo Attenuator
2 x JBL LSR 6328 monitors
2 x Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones
1 × Little Labs Monotor headphone amp 

 

Other Studios

Studio A
Studio B
Studio C
Studio D
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