May 24th, 2011
DAT, which stands for Digital Audio Tape, was used by consumers and professionals for many years to preserve high-quality audio. But like many other audio formats, it was replaced with something more conventient.
Today DAT audio tapes are all but obsolete.
Many people and organizations still have DAT tapes filled with important audio. The question is, how can these DAT tapes be converted to something useful?
We added our DAT to MP3, .wav or CD service as a way to help people preserve and archive the audio on their DAT tapes. Our service is unique because we capture the digital audio data directly. Instead of sending the audio through an audio cable into an audio interface, we send the digital audio data straight into the computer! This ensures the you get a bit by bit transfer of your DAT audio without losing any audio quality.
If your DAT tapes are important to you, let us help you archive them to MP3, .wav or CD.
To learn more about our service, visit http://www.thickandmystic.com/dat-to-digital.php
May 4th, 2011
Did you know that when you are watching video tapes on your television you aren’t seeing everything?
Ever since the first televisions were manufactured, there has been an area of the screen called the “overscan” area. To put it simply, there is a portion of the video that you never see! The outer edges of the video are literally sent outside the visible area of your screen. The basic idea is that the video is larger than the television monitor you are watching it on.
This overscan area has been particularly significant when watching analog video tape. Analog video tape has imperfections that are normally only visible on the outer edges of the screen. Although it is common to see distortion on all the edges, the imperfections are generally most obvious on bottom edge of the screen,
Traditionally, this distortion was automatically masked out by your television. As a result most people never even knew it was there. For the average consumer this distortion was on ALL video tape until the advent of digital video (miniDV, Digital8).
When you “capture” old analog video tape to a hard drive through modern capture equipment, the entire screen is captured. The computer lets you see EVERYTHING, it does not mask out the distortion and imperfections on the edges of the analog tape.
These bits of distortion and imperfection were always there, but you were never able to see them.
Learn more about our Video to Digital Services here – http://www.thickandmystic.com/vhs-to-digital.php
April 18th, 2011
Many people who send their cassette tapes to us have already tried doing it themselves using an automated cassette to CD converter. When they find out how much time it takes and how difficult it is to get good results, they give us a call.
People are surprised that we do NOT use automated machines like that in our studio. Personally, I would never use an automated machine on my projects, so we don’t use those types of machines in our studio.
We actually go through the trouble to capture the entire cassette onto a hard drive first. Why go through the trouble? Because we can:
- listen to the file and clean up the audio where needed.
- remove the silent spots at the beginning and ending of the tape.
- apply a hiss filter and customize other noise filters for each project.
- normalize the audio and remove extreme sounds.
- place track markers where they belong.
I personally love automation! But we won’t compromise quality just to save time. That probably makes us a little different, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Learn more about our cassette to CD service at http://thickandmystic.com/cassette-to-digital.php
April 7th, 2011
This week we completed and delivered a big project for Colorado University. The project involved digitizing 1020 VHS tapes to digital. The woman we have been working with said she would be happy to recommend us if potential clients wanted to call her.
We are so happy to be receiving these large projects from high-profile organizations. Over the last few years we have really established ourselves as a national leader in audio and video analog-to-digital conversion. Whether it’s VHS, Hi8, Umatic, VHSc, Betamax, BetaCamSP or MiniDV we can convert it to a digital video file on hard drive or DVD.
In this particular project we delivered the digital video files on hard drives rather than DVDs. Hard drives are much more convenient than DVDs. When you put your videos on a hard drive you:
- can have instant access to all of the videos – no DVDs to hassle with.
- ensure the highest possible quality video. (DVD video is compressed and therefore lower quality)
- have the ability to edit the videos on your own computer.
- can make perfect digital backups of the videos.
For anyone sending in videos, we highly recommend this service. Please contact us if you have any questions. http://thickandmystic.com/contact.php
April 6th, 2011
We received an order this week with 4 cassettes that were broken. That’s pretty unusual, we usually don’t see many broken cassettes.
We receive broken cassette tapes periodically. It's no problem to get these working again.
Most of the time cassette breaks are the result of the adhesive between the leader tape and the tape itself comes undone. It’s a pretty easy fix for us as long as we can get to the two ends of the tape.
In this case there was an additional problem – the cassette housing was held together by glue and not screws. This complicates things becuase we literally have to break the seal to get to the tape to fix it.
In these cases we normally just remove the entire tape, repair it and place it in a new housing. Once we do that, it works perfectly! We fixed these 4 cassettes and they are good as new.
Normally we charge anywhere from $5 to $10 to do these repairs.
Visit our home page www.thickandmystic.com
April 5th, 2011
Today we converted some cassettes to CD for someone in East Peoria, Illinois. Although we don’t spend much time listening to the cassettes that come through the door, we heard enough of the cassettes to realize it was someones old rock band tapes.
Having played in a band when I was in my teens and 20′s I find this very interesting and nostalgic. I personally have hundreds of similar cassettes. I really enjoy hearing them periodically. Hearing voices of old friends, hearing songs I wrote as a teenager than I had completely forgotten about.
Interestingly, it was my old band cassettes that really started this business many years ago. We had a cassette deck and a professional analog to digital converter in the studio and I started digitizing my old cassettes. One day we said, “I wonder if there are other people out there that need this type of service?” Little did we know.
Now, hundreds of thousands of cassettes later we have expanded many times and are still going strong. We have the distinction of having many years of experience in the audio business. I believe that’s why we get such great results and have such a loyal customer base. Very few people or companies in this business have any real-world experience in the world of professional audio. We do and it shows.
Visit us at www.thickandmystic.com
March 31st, 2011
Today we finished converting a cassette to CD for someone in Millis, Massachusetts. I have never heard of Millis, MA, so I started thinking about the many orders we have received from cities I have never heard of. Then I thought “I wonder if we have converted a cassette to CD for someone in every State in the nation?”
So I jumped into our ordering database to see. I was happy to find out that we had reached that point several years ago. Pretty cool to think that we have been receiving cassette to CD orders from every single state for many years.
Visit our home page www.thickandmystic.com