In addition to mixing new releases for both major established artists and emerging acts, Bob Clearmountain is also called upon to go back to archive analog multitrack masters and do remix projects for today’s high-resolution digital formats. In a recent case, tapes from nearly two decades ago were put on his multitrack deck and discovered to be unplayable. The tapes were taken to Cups ‘N Strings Studios for digital restoration.
“It takes some care when you are working with nine 2in 24-track reels from a major artist’s earlier work,” explains Bruce Maddocks. “There is only one analog master. The tapes were suffering from bad sticky-shed and the binder was falling apart. We had to first bake them delicately in our lab grade convection oven and then quickly put them on the Studer and digitize them out to 96K 24-bit broadcast WAV files. Brandon brought over Bob’s Avastor hard drives so that we could FedEx to the studios he was working at in London and New York City, as well as his L.A. studio.”
“We treat hard drives here like we used to handle multitrack masters in the past,” Brandon Duncan explained about the Avastor hard drives. “The material lives on the hard drive. But the data is going back and forth, copied here and there, and it can be complicated to locate the original source and documentation. We treat the master drives like master tapes, and keep them secure in their LockBoxes for storage and safe shipment.”