Over more than 30 years, the Homegrown Music series has
probably presented over 1000 individual musicians, and there
have been many memorable performances. Naturally, many of those people who have
helped to make the series what it is are interested in getting new CD copies of
their performances from decades ago. In fact rarely does a week go by when I
don't get at least one or two new such e-mailed requests from long-ago
veterans of the series.|
While I would like to be able to honor those requests, most of the master recordings done on reel-to-reel tapes done during the 1970s and 1980s have deteriorated and have become unplayable. This is a common problem -- many of the master tapes from classic albums from that period have suffered a similar fate.
It is possible to temporarily restore the tapes using an 8-hour-long heat-treating process. At the end of the eight hours, the tapes can then be quickly transferred to digital before they begin to deteriorate again. We have done this with a number of tapes, and the process works well, but it's very time consuming -- perhaps 10 hours for a tape by the time it's all done. At WVIA-FM, where we are a 24/7 radio station with a tiny staff, we just don't have the staff time to devote to the many dozens of requests we have gotten for dubs of these old reel-to-reel tapes.
So my advice is to take good care of your cassette dubs, don't lend them to anyone, and transfer them to CD.
If staff time becomes available and you are very interested in having a dub of the recording, we could put you on a months-long waiting list for the restoration service at the following rates:
Archive search: determine if the tape exists and evaluate its condition. $10.
Thermal restoration: $50 for up to 3 tapes at one time.
Transfer to CD: at dub rates of $30/hour, including setup time.
The availablility of this service is dependent on current on-air broadcasting requirements and projects.