Cambridge, UK (March 7, 2013)—The British Library in London is using Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel audio converters to digitize its collection of multitrack audio tapes.
To tackle this project, the British Library has acquired two more ADA-8XR converters, bringing the total number of units in its sound facilities to seven. It has also acquired a Prism Sound Orpheus interface.
Nigel Bewley, the British Library’s operations manager sound & vision, says, “We have a relatively small collection of 200 multitrack tapes and we think it will take about 20 weeks to complete this project, including the preparation of the resultant files, metadata compilation, etc. We will also be using a third Prism Sound ADA-8XR converter, which we already own, to digitize 24-track tapes and to ingest all tracks simultaneously.”
Bewley adds that it is most cost effective for the British Library to undertake this project in-house. Also, by carrying out the work in-house, the British Library’s curators and content specialists can readily advise on the project.
“We use multiple ingest techniques with other analogue carriers such as tape and cassette,” Bewley explains. “The Prism Sound ADA-8XR units allow us to input four stereo channels or eight mono channels, or any permutation, simultaneously. We use Prism Sound ADA-8XR converters because of their high audio quality. Furthermore they are 8-channel so support our multiple ingest workflows.
“Another important reason is that the Prism Sound ADA-8XR supports a wide range of sample rates, including 32 kHz. Once this project is completed, the new units will be used on other projects throughout our sound facilities.”
The history of the sound archive at the British Library can be traced back to 1905. Situated near London’s Kings Cross, The British Library has 10 transfer studios plus one recording studio that is designed for speech recording. All of the transfer studios are equipped with DAWs running SADiE or Wavelab and most also have Prism Sound ADA-8XR converters.