Tanzanian Heritage Through a Prism

Prism Sound's Lyra Audio Interface has been central to the efforts of the Tanzanian Heritage Project (THP) to digitize the country’s tape-based music archive.
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Cambridge, UK (June 5, 2015)—Prism Sound's Lyra Audio Interface has been central to the efforts of the Tanzanian Heritage Project (THP) to digitize the country’s tape-based music archive.

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Rebecca Corey, co-founder and executive director of the THP hatched the idea for the digitization project in 2010 with her Tanzanian friend and THP co-founder, Benson Rukantabula. As well as a Studer A67 tape machine, donated by the British Library, and a Tandberg TD 20A, Corey has been using Prism Sound's Lyra Audio Interface and Ableton Live software.

"We bought the Lyra after speaking to several professional archivists and they all recommended the unit as being the best for A/D conversion on the market. We found it to be affordable for our limited budget and a great centerpiece to our DAW," she says.

The studio setup is "relatively simple,” she continues. “The key is achieving the highest quality conversion possible from the analog signal from the reel-to-reel machine, to the digital version on the computer. We're confident that the Lyra is capturing and converting the signal and making the most faithful copy possible."

The project relies on enthusiasts. "No one on our team is a professional audio engineer or archivist," says Corey. "We took on this project because we were music lovers who believed that this music needed to be preserved before it was too late, and because no-one else had stepped in to do it. So the fact that the Lyra is easy to use and produces incredible quality sound has made us very satisfied with its performance so far."

Once the digitization project is completed, Corey plans to make the music as widely accessible as possible to Tanzanians, she says. “Any proceeds from these potential releases would then go to musicians who have never received royalties from their work, and to the musicians' health insurance scheme, jointly administered by the National Social Security Fund and the Tanzania Musicians' Network."

Prism Sound
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