Freehold, NJ (May 18, 2006)–The A2DX Lab at Sonicraft, a facility dedicated to “ultimate multichannel analog-to-digital transfers,” has reportedly wrapped up its strongest year yet. The conclusion of Spring ’06 sees increased demand for its painstaking approach to obtaining “the best possible A/D transfers.”
The short but productive history of the Sonicraft A2DX Lab includes projects transferring the music of Louis Armstrong, David Byrne, John Cage, Harry Chapin, The Chi-Lites, Lionel Hampton, Brian Eno, Mort Subotnick, Melissa Manchester, Bernard Purdie, Eric Carmen, Frank Foster and many more from tape into the digital domain.
“Sonicraft has seen a steady increase in demand for the services of the A2DX lab since its launch in Fall of 2003,” said Steve Puntolillo, president of Sonicraft, Inc. “The archiving of classic material can be carried out here to standards that are unparalleled, making Sonicraft an important resource for labels safeguarding their catalogs. Independent engineers, producers and recording studio owners are finding that Sonicraft can provide analog-to-digital transfers of truly exceptional quality, enabling them to do superior work or even to capture business they might otherwise be forced to turn down. Beyond that, we are encountering a surprisingly wide variety of applications and scenarios that require the extreme musical clarity and detail that we believe only an A2DX transfer can achieve.”
To create the A2DX Lab, Sonicraft restored, modified and enhanced a selection of vintage analog multitrack machines with precision parts, audiophile-grade analog components, and breakthrough tape head technology. Virtually every multitrack tape format is available at the New Jersey facility, from the ubiquitous 2″ 24-track through to obscure formats like 1″ 12-track, with most machines featuring head assemblies custom-designed to provide breakthrough performance. The full complement of noise reduction systems, including Dolby A, Dolby SR, dbx Type II and Telcom C4, have been restored and permanently installed.
These elements combined with 24-tracks of virtually transparent high-resolution analog-to-digital converters allow Sonicraft to make analog-to-digital transfers of such exceptional quality that they reveal detail in the original recordings that may have never before been heard.
“The A2DX Lab has been essential to realizing the full potential of several important recordings, for a multitude of reasons,” Puntolillo pointed out. “For instance, we made archival transfers of Lionel Hampton’s entire library of 2″ analog masters. For the country/garage rock band The Clarks, we were contacted by a recording studio to take a wide variety of tape formats – everything from 2″ 24-track to 1/4″ two-tracks and even ADATs – and transfer them cleanly to digital media for remixing and remastering. And, for avante guard classical label Mode Records, we transferred multitrack master tapes from the collection of Mort Subotnick which we mixed and mastered for surround DVD release.”
The Sonicraft AD2X Lab was founded on the premise that, since the beginning of analog tape recording, the components and circuitry for recording has been inherently more accurate than for playback: There is consistently greater clarity and detail in the signal recorded onto the tape than what the original analog tape reproduction systems that made them could play back. One of the keys to the ultimate quality of A2DX Lab’s transfers was finding the limitations in the reproduction system and reducing or eliminating them.
The result of thousands of hours of research, restoration labor and listening are such one-of-a-kind machines as the A2DX Ampex MM1200 8/16/24-track recorder, Scully Model 284 1″ 12-track recorder and 1/2″ 3-track and 1″ 4-track vacuum tube recorders built on the legendary Ampex MR70 platform. For pictures and details, see: www.sonicraft.com/a2dx/a2dx_tech.html.
“It’s very satisfying to see the excitement that an A2DX transfer gets from our clients, whether it’s a label, independent engineer or producer, recording studio, mastering facility, or the artist themselves,” Puntolillo concluded. “I believe it’s because we are digitally capturing something extremely close to the original audio that came off the console and onto the tape machine. That’s the goal: If the sound went onto the tape, the Sonicraft A2DX Lab can deliver that sound in its entirety safely to digital.”