Wire Recordings

Wire recordings can be the most vexing of mediums to work with - but they are also the most fascinating. The technology, as Mr. Spock would say, was "hardly more advanced than stone knives and bearskins." But a well-recorded wire is a wonderful testament to early technology, and can present the event with uncanny immediacy and realism. Each wire job is a mission of archaeology, uncovering voices and records of events long past and bringing them to life once again.

Wire recordings transferred by Deep Sky are given the same attention and care that we lavish upon other media. Merely placing a microphone in front of an old wire recorder and turning it on will simply not do. Our solid-state playback system yields a much cleaner sound than is possible with any vintage tube-powered wire recorder. Our wire transfers sound better from the start.

After transfer, the audio from the wire will be edited, and the various hums, pops, distortions, whistles and other anomalies peculiar to the medium will be reduced or removed. The very nature of wire requires a great deal of time to prepare for CD, hence the somewhat higher cost than for other mediums.You may elect to just have the "raw" unprocessed audio from the wire put onto CD at lower cost, but the benefit of editing and noise reduction are much more listenable and enjoyable memories.

A word on snarls. No doubt, having a half-mile long silver hair turn suddenly into a hopeless tangle of stainless-steel cotton candy gave rise to a whole new generation of cuss words. Even if a spool looks fine on the outside, it may harbor a rat's nest buried deep within. Be advised that even though our machine is as tweaked as it can possibly be, and even though we keep an eagle-eye on the wire every second as it transfers, we cannot guarantee against snarls. Nobody can. It happens only rarely, but it does happen, usually because a splice made 50 years ago has broken during the rewind. If the worst should happen, we will do our utmost to rescue as much of the spool as we possibly can.

When sending wires, please be certain that the end is secured to the spool with tape, so that it cannot unravel during transport. When sending many spools, it's best to stack them, and then roll them into a "log" of sorts, and then wrap the log in heavy aluminum foil or bubble wrap, and then secure it with shipping tape. We will take every care possible to ensure the safe transfer and return of your recordings.

CAUTION - You may have a spool that has been improperly rewound. The wire should be packed evenly and tightly on the spool. If the windings on the spool are loose and sloppy, it means there was no tension on the takeup reel of the machine on which it was rewound. If you have a wire machine, DO NOT TRY TO PLAY such a spool. This would be an invitation to disaster. The only way to try to recover such a spool is to very slowly, and very carefully, wind the wire onto the takeup spool of the machine by hand, and then rewind it properly. This takes a lot of time. Even doing this, the spool may tangle, and if it does, it's history. There is no way to recover an improperly rewound spool that has tangled.

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