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Sound, video and motion picture film recordings

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Considerations for digitising sound, video and motion picture film recordings, presented at Digital collecting 27 May 2019

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Sound, video and motion picture film recordings

  1. 1. Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings Damien Cassidy Digital Media Technical Analyst 27 May 2019
  2. 2. This session will introduce you to some fundamentals of digitising legacy audio-visual media. Cummings and Wilson projector : PXE 789 (v.56) Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales Session Overview Introduction to Audio-Visual Carriers Identification and Assessment Care and Handling Reformatting a/k/a Digitisation Post Digitisation (QC) The End
  3. 3. www.nedcc.org/preservation-training/fundamentals-of-av-preservation
  4. 4. Introduction to Audio-Visual Carriers Sound Recordings Video Recordings Motion Picture Film Radio Publication Job From the collection of the State Library of NSW
  5. 5. Sound Recording Carriers
  6. 6. Recordable Magnetic Tape Cassette Tapes • Compact Cassettes • Mostly one format (can be 4-track or ½ speed) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient • Micro Cassettes • Usually one type of machine is sufficient • Mini Cassettes • Different size, different machine though one type of machine is sufficient
  7. 7. Recordable Magnetic Tape Open Reel • Many formats in one type of tape due to • track configuration and playback speed. • A few other variables such as EQ. • Requires a variety of playback machines. • If not labelled, pretty much impossible to tell from looking
  8. 8. Recordable Magnetic Tape DAT • Standard format with variable Sample Rate. • Only Some machines/tapes support low sample rate • Usually one type of machine is sufficient
  9. 9. Video Recording Carriers
  10. 10. Recordable Magnetic Tape VHS • Consumer • Mostly one format (can be PAL/NTSC/½ speed – Hi-Fi) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient Betamax • Consumer • Mostly one format (can be PAL/NTSC/– Hi-Fi) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient
  11. 11. Recordable Magnetic Tape U-Matic • Professional • Mostly one format (can PAL/NTSC/– HI-FI) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient Betacam (SP) • Professional format • Mostly one format (can PAL/NTSC) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient Digital Betacam (SP) a/k/a DigiBeta • Professional format • Mostly one format (can PAL/NTSC) • Usually one type of machine is sufficient Many DigiBeta machines can playback standard Betacam
  12. 12. Motion Picture Film Carriers
  13. 13. Motion Picture Film Many production components created in the production of a film. Prints are usually • 35mm • 16mm • 8mm Can be positive or negative Can run at a variety of speeds (frames per second a/k/a fps) During production the soundtrack is on separate magnetic media
  14. 14. Format Obsolescence
  15. 15. • AV formats require machines to play them back • Generally, each format requires a specific machine • The machines are no longer manufactured or supported • The people who maintain them are no longer manufactured or supported • Digitisation is imperative to the sustainability of the content held on AV formats
  16. 16. Identification and Assessment Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings
  17. 17. Identification and Assessment Primary Sources Associated Paperwork Labels on the Carrier Carrier Format Identification Guides Auditioning or Viewing
  18. 18. Online Format Identification Guides • obsoletemedia.org • psap.library.illinois.edu/collection-id-guide
  19. 19. Identification and Assessment NEED TO KNOW - Broad format category - Compact Cassette - ¼” Open Reel - VHS etc… NICE TO KNOW - Playback Speed/FPS - Track arrangements - Colour/B&W - EQ - NTSC/PAL/SECAM - etc… Some of these may inhibit the ability to playback but generally are variations of configuration of equipment. Broad categories will define the ability to playback a carrier with the correct equipment.
  20. 20. Identification and Assessment NEED TO KNOW… PHYSICAL CONDITION - Digitisation Impacts - Ability - Quality - Timeframes - Cost
  21. 21. Severely Warped Film
  22. 22. Care and Handling Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings
  23. 23. Storage Avoid • Heat • Humidity • Liquids • Dirt, dust, and particulates • Light • Mould and fungus • Pollutants and contaminants
  24. 24. Handling Avoid • Handling portions of the media where the signal is recorded without appropriate gloves • Putting weight on the media • Leaving media unhoused • Using machine transports that are not functioning properly • Using machine transports that have not been properly calibrated and aligned
  25. 25. Shipping • Packed to minimise vibration, shifting and shock • Fluctuations in Temperature and Humidity can cause significant damage. • Insulation is required
  26. 26. Reformatting a/k/a Digitisation Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings
  27. 27. Reformatting a/k/a Digitisation PLAYBACK MACHINE SIGNAL PROCESSING ANALOGUE TO DIGITAL CONVERTER ENCODER PRESERVATION MASTER ACCESS COPY WORKING COPY TRANSCODER
  28. 28. Metadata • Unique Identifier • Equipment used • Settings applied
  29. 29. Post-Digitisation Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings
  30. 30. Quality Control • Watch and listen to a sample set • Where issues are found try and isolate: • vendor • operator • equipment • Is the content what you expect?
  31. 31. Sound, Video and Motion Picture Film Recordings Damien Cassidy 27 May 2019 Photography by Joy Lai & Gene Ramirez

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