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Portable Open Reel and Cassette Digitization Systems. Gerry Lawson - Coordinator, Oral history and Language Lab ICT Summit 2012. Museum of Anthropology. Renewal Project. Oral History and Language Lab. OHLL Research Suite. Recording. Digitization and Media Workflow.

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Portable open reel and cassette digitization systems

Portable Open Reel and Cassette Digitization Systems

Gerry Lawson - Coordinator, Oral history and Language Lab

ICT Summit 2012








Open reel and cassette digitization systems
Open Reel and Cassette Digitization Systems

  • How did we become involved?


Informal request for hardware advice
Informal request for hardware advice

  • Audio Cassette Digitization System Hardware Checklist.

  • Laptop, Dell Precision - M6600

  • Speakers (2), M-Audio - BX5a Deluxe

  • Headphones, Beyer Dynamic – DT990PRO

  • Rugged Case - contains:

  • This List


Cassette system hard choices
Cassette System - Hard Choices

  • No real boundaries on hardware choices.

    • Budget undefined

    • New or Used Cassette Player?

    • OS undefined

      • Windows or Mac?

    • Form factor undefined

      • Desktop or Laptop?

    • Digitization hardware dependent on above answers

  • No piece of hardware that choices could cascade from.


Guiding principles
Guiding Principles

  • Equipment must be of sufficient quality to digitize accurately and consistently.

  • Cheapest hardware comes with hidden costs

    • Maintenance

  • Most expensive hardware might not be maintainable over the long run

    • Not only more expensive to buy – more expensive to repair

  • Used equipment equals higher likelihood of breaking and more complexity in servicing.


Cassette player
Cassette player

  • Used is out

    • As system must travel maintenance must be simplified

  • Tascam 202-MKV

    • Designed for durability

    • Best available specifications new


Platform and operating system
Platform and Operating System

  • Laptop over desktop

    • Ease of transport (fewer components)

  • Which laptop? Depends upon

    • Screen size

    • OS

    • Specifications (processing speed)

    • Input/Output Ports

    • Compatibility with analog to digital converter

  • Dell Precision - M6600


Analog to digital audio converter
Analog to Digital Audio Converter

  • Support at least 24bit 96kHz recording

  • Input GAIN control

  • Durable

  • Intuitive

  • Controls on front

  • Connectors in back

  • AVID - MBOX 3


Other components
Other Components

  • Quality Speakers

  • Quality Headphones

  • Power Conditioner

  • Rugged Case


Open reel system
Open Reel System

  • Formal Partnership between FNTC, MOA Archives and MOA OHLL

  • National Archives Development Program Grant funded project

    • FNTC purchased digitization equipment

    • MOA Archives provides cash requirement for digitization intern

  • Deliverables

    • Approximately 80 reels from the MOA Archives to be digitized

    • Equipment specific digitization manual to be developed for use in communities.


Moa project participants
MOA Project Participants

  • Ann Stevenson, MOA Information manager

    • Primary Author of Collections Assessment, metadata portions of manual.

  • Katie Marshall, Information Dept. Work Study (SLAIS)

    • Procedure testing, Author, Research, Illustrations

  • X̱elsílem (Dustin) Rivers

    • Digitization Intern – Open Reel project

  • Gerry Lawson, Coordinator MOA OHLL

    • Stuff

  • Krisztina Laszlo – MOA Archivist

    • NADP Open Reel project administrator


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