Elements of the Remastering Process

A tape transferred in BAVC's remastering center undergoes three related processes.

  • Preparation - whatever is done to the original tape after it is received by the facility and before it is transferred by the playback machine.

  • Transfer - the act of copying the electronic signals from the original tape to a new tape.

  • Documentation - the written recording of the preparation and transfer processes, as well as any important details about the original tape and tape copy. Documentation is ongoing during the above steps.


Each of these processes has evolved independently of the others. In the years since BAVC has offered the remastering facility, we've modified each of these processes as needs and conditions specific to each process were identified. Tape preparation using a tape cleaning machine has changed very little in the seven years BAVC has been doing transfers. The transfer process has only changed as new challenges arose with a particular tape. The area of documentation has seen the greatest change.. Our first group of transfers was not documented. As BAVC has had more contact with conservators and archivists, we have refined the process of documentation to address the concerns and needs of tape caretakers.