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Sonicraft A2DX Lab Reports Increased Demand

The A2DX™ Lab at Sonicraft, a facility dedicated to multichannel analog-to-digital transfers, has wrapped up its strongest year yet. The conclusion of spring ’06 sees increased demand for its approach to obtaining the best-possible A/D transfers.

The lab has worked on 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,” says Steve Puntolillo, president of Sonicraft. “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 fully optimized 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-inch 24-track through to obscure formats like 1-inch 12-track, with most machines featuring custom-designed head assemblies. The full complement of noise-reduction systems, including Dolby A, Dolby SR, dbx Type II and Telcom C4, have been restored and permanently installed.

“The A2DX Lab has been essential to realizing the full potential of several important recordings for a multitude of reasons,” Puntolillo points out. “For instance, we made archival transfers of Lionel Hampton’s entire library of 2-inch 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-inch 24-track to ¼-inch 2-tracks and even ADATs—and transfer them cleanly to digital media for remixing and remastering. And for avante garde classical label Mode Records, we transferred multitrack master tapes from the collection of Mort Subotnick, which we mixed and mastered for surround DVD release.

“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 concludes. “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.”

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