2019 Criminal Cook Audio Lab LLC. All Rights Reserved. 

Digitize your old tapes and lp's!

Our restoration services come in six flavors at the moment: DVD, VHS, CD, Cassette Tape, Micro-cassette and Vinyl (LP's, 45's, 78's). Sorry no 8-track or reel-to-reel. We are currently looking into expanding are services for other media types, however, we find many of these older types of media to be too delicate to transfer or restore. Mostly certain tapes that need to be baked and other types of unpopular media formats introduced to the market for a short period of time. The last decade also made it easier for the average consumer to transfer (DIY) from such media types like Mini DV, etc.. And currently VHS-to-DVD-to-Blu-Ray Disc. We understand technology advancements help typical consumers by giving the option to "do-it-yourself." But what makes us different is the expertise and state-of-the-art gear we use. Our LAB is designed with a low NC-rating to hear every detail in the music. And nothing is lost in translation due to the transparent way we make our transfers. 

 

Another reason we have limited our choices to these types is because of today's popularity surrounding analogue recordings.

We're glad many of today's new collectors still get joy out of listening to lo-fidelity recordings - by today's standards.

Viva la vinyl!

 

How It Works

Our restoration practices reflect our mastering credo of "do no harm!" and every physical media is handled with the utmost care.

 

 

  1. Physical media is first inventoried and then added to our database for safe record keeping. Each physical item is visually inspected to make sure there are no problems that will cause damage to our equipment or cause further damage to the recording. After documenting any physical or problematic defects, we will call to make sure you have verbally communicated a confirmation to proceed, and understand limitations that some damaged recordings might have - it is important that NO fake promises are made.
     

  2. Records are first cleaned by hand and then go through our record cleaning machine. The machine is like a second wash cycle to further remove stubborn residue or grease, then liquid applications neutralize static layers, while a surfactant compound lowers surface tension, preserving life for both record and stylus. This process greatly reduces the pops and clicks associated with old records.
     

  3. Short segments are played and gain staged so that relative levels are obtained. Once set, an analog-to-digital conversion to computer hard drive can begin. Recordings are played only once during that transfer process to ensure life and do no further harm to the recordings. Upon completion the tracks will be adjusted to a desired loudness if needed in the digital domain. Any tonal issues will be corrected with digital equalization, using high quality, "transparent EQ techniques." Once transferred to the digital domain a further analysis and cleaning process to remove noise takes place. We then work with applying noise filters to reduce the surface noise, pops and clicks that may still be present. 
     

  4. Once recordings are transferred to the digital domain, options for storing on physical CD, DVD, or flash "thumb" drive will be up to you. You can supply your own storage medium if you prefer. Our cost to you begins with additional CD's or flash drive space (CD's contain less than 80 minutes and additional CD's are then needed for cassette tapes with longer times). We supply an 8 GB thumb drive for free with additional thumb drive space doubling as needed for an additional cost. A flash drive is the cheaper way to go to quickly have material transferred since 8 gigs can usually hold up to approximately 600 songs; 5 minute/song at 320 kbps.       
     

  5. Then we slow burn the tracks to CD - Red Book Standard. We use a slow burn at 4x speed, so that there is no skipping of tracks that can occur when burned at high speed. We also use Falcon Media CD-R's to help eliminate errors that you find with store bought CD-R's.
     

  6. The resulting CD is then labeled and placed in a CD jacket. 
     

  7. Lastly, your records and new CD's are boxed up, ready to be shipped back to you. Or delivered, if local. That's it!

    Prices are a general estimate. We reserve the right to give our customers fair discounts on an individual basis. We understand that each of our customers require different needs and have different outcome expectations. Please be advised that turnaround times vary due to the limited amount of computers, audio gear, and staff. We ask that you be patient for quality assurance purposes.