View Full Version : Still have 500 Grateful Dead cassettes, need to preserve

2007-06-07, 04:30 PM
Is it worth it to go through the effort to convert my old audio tape collection to lossless digital formats?

As a teenager I was a tape trading fanatic and hooked up with an old deadhead who shared with me many Grateful Dead soundboards from 1966-1974. I still have about 500 of these tapes (cassettes) and they haven't been accessible to me for a long time since I don't have a cassette deck. Many of them are really crisp....should I make a big project out of this?

Also, what is the best way to digitize this data, preserving as much audio quality? What do you guys use?!? :)

2007-06-07, 04:42 PM
many are circulating, including direct transfers from the vaults...probly best to organize em and make a list...numerous dead collectors who could then break it all down for you and tell ya which would be worth it and which wouldn't...but for those that would:

3 head cassette deck [nakamichi, or other pro deck] > gold plated cables > decent audio card or digi audio i/o > computer @<hidden> 24-bit/96kHz

2007-06-07, 04:55 PM
I should mention that I collected most of these between 1984-1987.
Back then I had a Nakamichi, wish I still did.

2007-06-07, 05:01 PM


2007-06-07, 08:59 PM
You can check http://db.etree.org/shnlist.php?artist=2&year=Recent to get a good idea of what is already circulating.

Please stop by http://www.motb.org/ for some help with the transfers. We'd be glad to help.


2007-06-07, 09:06 PM
If you got them from the original taper they may be worthwhile. I have 1800 cassettes in my garage. Only master auds or copies masters would be of any use in my opinion.

2007-06-10, 01:43 AM
"Is it worth it to go through the effort to convert my old audio tape collection to lossless digital formats?"

Absolutely not. This has already been done for almost every Dead show. Especially the soundboards, they were all digitized from the masters and liberated from the vault. Check out archive.org for the list of shows already available for streaming or downloads.

Digitizing tapes highlights all of the old analog flaws. It is a little tricky to properly de-hiss, remove artifacts, and re-track shows.

There is a tiny chance that you have a show that is otherwise not in circulation. Obviously this would be worthwhile. (we want McGoo's Pizza Parlour Mother McGee's Uptown Jug Champion / Dead shows from mid-1965!!)

When I have to digitize analog audio, I use whatever source > maudio 24/96 card > cooledit (now adobe audition). Cooledit pro is great for tracking shows and removing flaws, down at the sample level. I A>D at 16/44 and just keep it there for burning to cd.

2007-06-11, 08:43 AM
You don't happen to have Athens, OH 11/23/68 in that bunch, do you? I've been searching for it for about 20 years. I even talked to the sound guy at the venue to see if he taped it. Nope.