Think Outside the Box
Reasons to Choose Curtis Media Transfer
19+ years experience.
Free samples of your reel-to-reel tapes with no obligation to buy.
Pay after transfers are complete.
Your satisfaction is always guaranteed.
Quality work by experienced and motivated people.
Outstanding customer support.
Real sales that you don’t have to give your email and phone number to get.
Actual due dates you can depend on.
Most orders are completed in about 3 weeks.
Output option included in price.
Easy digital download.
Digital files can be delivered on flash drive or external hard drive.
Flash drive & external hard drives can be supplied by you.
CD output available.
All media is carefully converted by hand.
All transfers are done here in the U.S.
You receive all of your original reel-to-reel tapes back unharmed.
Digital files can be downloaded and shared on social media.
If your reel-to-reel tapes needs repaired we will repair them at no extra cost.
No charge for blank reel-to-reel tapes.
Happy to work with special deadlines.
Track separation included.
19 + years of digitizing experience.
Over 30,000 Served
The Reel-to-Reel Process
Read about the 18 step process your reel-to-reel tapes will go through to become digitized.
Technician reads order form for understanding of customers goals and expectations. Reviews customers special instructions, if any, on order form. Determines if special breathing or hand protection is necessary because of mold or dust. Technicians will clean tapes if mold or dust is present. Inspects the condition of all tapes making note of any special conditions that might stand out. Inspects for Sticky Shed, Dry Tape or Vinegar Syndrome. Experience will alert technician of any special problems a tape might have. Check for numbers on tapes provided by the customer. If the customer did not number tapes, the technician will do so at this point. Determine what reel-to-reel deck is appropriate for first tape. Technician will load tape onto the deck and prepare for play on the first side. Technicians will inspect tape to ensure tape is not twisted and the oxide side of tape will pass over heads properly. A preliminary play will be started to adjust the computer input signal. V.U. meters will be used to determine the output signal to the computer is acceptable. Technicians will then prepare computer equipment for capture of sound. Technician will rewind back to the beginning and start tape again for the analog to digital transfer process. Technicians will observe tape during play and make sure tape does not twist or break during playback. Will also observe for tape shedding or playback sluggishness and inconsistencies. Technicians will also observe graphical waveforms created by computer for sudden changes in volume or other problems. Samples are taken 44,100 times per second, each with 16-bit sample depth. When side one is complete technician will prepare tape for side two playback. Side two playback will be started and steps 7-10 will be repeated. After completion, technician will save the computer file for review and editing. Editing decisions will be made based on the resulting graphical waveform. Corrections such as noise reduction, hiss hum reduction, volume enhancements and other issues will be performed digitally to waveform. Customers' order form will be reviewed a second time for desired content for Preview Samples if customers requested them. An experienced technician can tell by looking at the waveform what is silence, conversations, music etc. Technicians will create a final waveform that is the best possible quality using all modern digital techniques. Technicians will then track and burn the final CD or prepare an MP3 or WAV file for download or storage according to customers request on order form. Technician will then continue to the next tape and repeat steps 1-18.
Here are some questions we hear frequently from our customers.
Question: How long does it take to transfer my reel-to- reel tapes? Answer: 2-3 weeks depending on the size and complexity of your order. Question: When do I pay? Answer: Your credit card information will be asked for on the order form but you will not be charged until the completion of your project. Question: Do you only transfer quarter inch tape? Answer: Yes Question: Can you transfer my tapes to MP3? Answer: Yes, MP3 or WAV. Question: How do you deliver digital files such as MP3 & WAV? Answer: Digital files can be downloaded or put on a flash drive or external hard drive. You can provide the flash drive with your order or we sell them for $9.99 each. You would have to supply an external hard drive. These choices will be available for you to make on the order form. Question: When choosing a digital file as an output option, will each tape be its own file? Answer: Yes. Question: What is the difference between MP3 & WAV files? . Answer: MP3 files are smaller compressed files while WAV files are larger uncompressed files. If you are just getting your reel-to-reel tapes transferred to listen to then MP3 files are great. If you believe you might want to do some audio editing then WAV is a better choice. Keep in mind that a WAV can be made into an MP3 but an MP3 cannot be made into a WAV. Question: Will it cost extra if my reel-to-reel tapes have many hours of content? Answer: No. We charge by the reel size not by the content of your reel-to-reel tape. Even if you choose CD as your output option and your reel-to-reel tape is longer than 80 minutes (all that a CD will hold) and it requires several CDs, you still will be charged according to the reel size. Question: My reel-to-reel tapes are very old. Do you think you can still transfer them? Answer: Yes. We have transferred tapes from as far back as the 1950's with no problems. Tapes that are beginning to decay smell like vinegar. If your reel-to-reel tape smells like this you should make it a priority to have them transferred. Question: What is “tape baking”? Answer: Tape baking is a process used to fix tapes that have “sticky shed syndrome”, the breakdown of the binding. Also referred to as binder hydrolysis.Tapes with sticky shed syndrome are usually high quality tapes recorded in the late seventies through the eighties. They are very common (but not exclusive) with reel-to-reel tapes made by the company Ampex. Do not play tapes that could have sticky shed. It can ruin your tape and muck-up your tape deck. These tapes have to be properly baked before they can be played. For more information on sticky shed syndrome search for it on Wikipedia. Curtis Media Transfer does not charge for tape baking, it is a free service. Question: Will I still be charged if my reel-to-reel tape is blank? Answer: Absolutely not. Question: How do I tell if I have reel-to-reel tape or 8mm movie film? Answer: 8mm movie film had holes along the edge and reel-to-reel tape does not. Also, movie film is a thicker plastic and reel-to-reel tape is very thin. Question: How many reel-to-reel tapes will fit onto 1 CD? Answer: A CD will hold 80 minutes of audio. Reel-to-reel tapes can be as long as 6 hours depending on how they were recorded. Reel-to-reel tapes could have been recorded using different speeds, tape thickness, head configuration and more. Because we charge by the reel size, long tapes will not affect your cost. Question: What tape speeds (IPS) can you transfer? Answer: 1 ⅞, 3 ¼ , 7 ½ , and 15 IPS. Question: Can you transfer tape recorded 4 track mono? Answer: Yes. We can handle any head configuration, including tapes with mixed configurations. (for example reel-to-reel tapes recorded stereo on one side and 2 track mono on the other.
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Monday - Thursday 10am to 6pm
Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm