Saving The Music: A fantastic technique made easy—or really easy
An archive is a collection of material in a tangible form that can readily be preserved—which, today, means a digital format that can and will be refreshed on a regular basis to guard against media failure and obsolescence. Furthermore, an archive must be documented—dates, places, players, instruments, song titles, composers—so it can be searched for specific content. Finally, an archive should have some historical significance... a tough call if it’s only significant to you and your ex-bandmates.
There are reportedly over 537 million audio recordings held by US organizations alone that are candidates for preservation: see www. avpreserve.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/QuantifyingTheNeed. pdf. Add foreign and private collections and the number approaches a billion. There are many recorded sound archives in existence today, though most are within institutions that have little interest in recordings of your high school band. If you want to preserve your own music, it’s up to you to create your own archive.
In June 2018, the Audio Engineering Society (AES) sponsored its second Conference on Audio Archiving, Preservation, and Restoration. Over 150 engineers, producers, archivists, librarians, conservators, recordists, recorded sound collectors, and more than 60 presenters and panelists from all over the US and 20 foreign countries gathered at the US Library of Congress National Audiovisual Conservation Center (NACC) in Culpepper, VA, for a weekend of technical presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and demonstrations related to the preservation of recorded sound. As a recording engineer with a science/engineering background, I was excited to attend and found it both educational and inspiring.