I'm no archivist, but I see no reason to use any old analog format at
this point. Issues of maintenance and stock alone are enough!
But it was not clear how these interviews are going to get into your
archive. Are you expecting to store the actual recording media, or do
you intend to transfer all the field recordings to something else for
If the former, then you'll want a format that is cheap and reliable
enough to save on the shelf. Plain old analog tape does fit the bill,
but maybe CD-R as well? I can't see using Flash memory in this
scenario. But if you are going to transfer all the field recordings
anyway, then Flash might be fine.
This is not unlike the issue with Panasonic's P2 memory card video
cameras. It's a marvelous thing in the field, but when you get back to
base you don't have a permanent, storable piece of media! It MUST be
ingested into an edit system and someone has to make a backup if you
intend to keep the raw footage.
-- Eric Wenocur
Lab Tech Systems
Nancy Marrelli wrote:
> Someone who is creating audio tapes of interviews that will eventually
> be deposited into our Archives has asked for our recommendations on what
> recording equipment to use.
> It seems unrealistic to ask someone to invest in a reel to reel tape
> recorder at this point, so an audio technician has suggested to us the
> recommendations below. I would appreciate the feedback of list members
> who may have comments on these suggestions or may have other
> recommendations. (Prices are in Canadian dollars.)
> Nancy Marrelli
> Concordia University Archives, Montreal
> Suggestions for Audio Recording Equipment for Voice Interviews
> Compact Flash Marantz PMD-660 Portable Digital Recorder .00 (Compact
> This is a relatively new format that has been available for the last two
> years. Reports indicate few problems with this format. The media is low
> cost, stable, reusable and transfers to an audio workstation easily.
> (Most new computers have a drive built in to receive the media.). This
> machine has no moving parts (transport of data is digital) and is
> reliable. One big advantage is the capability of rapid transfer to a
> computer. The disadvantage is that the data should be transferred as
> quickly as possible onto a more stable medium.
> Cassette Tape Marantz PMD-201 Portable Professional Cassette Recorder
> for $580.00
> A favorite choice, when used with quality tape can produce good audio
> quality for interviews, although it would not be recommended for music.
> Tapes can be transferred to CD or computer for access or preservation;
> transfer to a computer or CD is only in real time. Cassette is a stable
> format and the recordings may last for a good many years. Good quality
> blank cassettes can be purchased anywhere, but use a premium quality
> brand-name blank.
> For microphones be sure to use a
> separate directional microphone for each of the speakers in the
> interview, including the interviewer. Do not stint on quality as it has
> a direct effect on the quality of the recording.