Archiving is an essential element in the process of preserving records and documents. When older formats of recording and logging information reach the limit of their shelf life, digital technology has allowed these priceless artifacts to be stored for many more generations with no risk of further degradation when the preservation of the digital data is correctly managed. Once the recording is in the digital domain, it can be duplicated and backed up with bit for bit accuracy with no further generation loss.
Digital technology also means that non-linear editing and DSP processing can be performed which allows audio recordings to be restored and improved for a more enjoyable listening experience. Clicks and noise can be attenuated, and the recording compensated for the characteristics of the original recording devices. Understandably some very old audio specimens will lack clarity. The delicate nature of the original media means that repeated playback is out of the question. However, once in the digital domain it is possible to effortlessly apply audio equalization, de-hissing and other processing without even referring back to the original format or worrying about degrading the master. There may also be an advantage here in having a multi-channel device when digitizing old masters, even mono media, as different channels can be set up with different input configurations (different pickups, using different gain levels or using different microphones with non-electronic playback devices etc.) so that the master only needs to be played once and the maximum information is available for post processing.
Faithfully maintaining the original material for posterity is of the utmost importance during the transfer from analogue to digital formats. Traditional sound recording may allow some colouration during the conversion process, however audio archiving demands that the digital recording is as faithful to the original as possible.
Acetate disks, 100 year old wax cylinders, and even more contemporary media such as cassettes and vinyl LPs have their own sonic characteristics that are as important to reproduce as the information that is contained on them. Audio archivists look for the highest quality in audio converters which will give the most transparency and the least colouration to the sound. This means the frequency response must be flat, dynamic range must be large, and the clock must be super stable.
For the British Library's Sound Archive team, the Prism Sound ADA-8XR met the strict performance requirements set by the international archiving community.
Because it is modular the ADA-8XR interface can be configured in a multitude of ways and will integrate with nearly any recording system resulting in a unique converter built perfectly to suit your specifications. Its ability to house several kinds of digital cards can prove to be a cost effective solution; a firewire card turns the ADA-8XR into a powerful soundcard dismissing the need for an extra PCI or PCIE soundcard that would normally need to be purchased and fitted in a computer to run alongside an audio interface.
Unique dual path architecture gives the ADA-8XR more flexibility than any other interface available. Whereas traditional interfaces have an input route and an output route defined as standard, the ADA-8XR is not restricted by such a uniform design - both 'paths' can be configured completely independently of each other accepting an input or providing an output for 8 channels each. This combined with a modular design results in a very versatile unit; time can be saved by transferring up to 8 stereo or 16 mono channels of audio at once from all kinds of sources or formats to 1 or 2 separate digital audio storage devices simultaneously.
At Prism Sound we are always happy to discuss your applications so feel free to contact us for further information on any of our products or arrange a free demo to experience the full potential of our hardware for yourself. Contact us using our quick enquiry form, email us at email@example.com or phone us on +44 1353 648888.