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Converting Audio to Digital off of Cassette from Dissolve Unit (1 Viewer)

Doc Marty S

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Hope I can make this clear. I have a series of slide shows that my dad created using two 35mm slide projectors, and a Wollensak (3M) 2866 Multi-image Recorder/Dissolver. the Dissolve unit was used to alternate the two slide projectors and has a cassette tape which had same kind of a signal in the recording that triggered the fade-in/fade-out of each projector timed to the narration on the slides.

I want to convert the slide shows to digital format to preserve them. I have the ability to scan in the slides to my computer but I do not know how to convert the audio file to a digital format and preserve the timing of the show. I don't know what the "trigger" on the tape was to make the slides change and if that can be embedded in a file that I copy to digital. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated or if there is a better forum to post this, please let me know.
 

JohnRice

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I used that type of equipment back when I was doing presentations and photo classes. Typically the signals were recorded on the reverse side of the cassette. In other words, on the "B" side, and the player could access them as it played back side "A". Simpler ones used only the "A" side, with mono audio on one channel and the cues on the other channel. Have you ever put the cassette into a regular cassette deck and played it back to see what you heard? I seriously doubt there is any way to automatically reconstruct the show with the cues. What you'll have to do is assemble the images in some kind of presentation software, digitally capture (or recreate) the soundtrack, then add the cues manually to recreate the presentation in a digital form. Ultimately, you might want to turn it into a movie.

I actually have a fair amount of experience with this type of equipment, including some rather sophisticated (for the time) digital dissolve units later in my career doing that stuff.
 

Doc Marty S

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I used that type of equipment back when I was doing presentations and photo classes. Typically the signals were recorded on the reverse side of the cassette. In other words, on the "B" side, and the player could access them as it played back side "A". Simpler ones used only the "A" side, with mono audio on one channel and the cues on the other channel. Have you ever put the cassette into a regular cassette deck and played it back to see what you heard? I seriously doubt there is any way to automatically reconstruct the show with the cues. What you'll have to do is assemble the images in some kind of presentation software, digitally capture (or recreate) the soundtrack, then add the cues manually to recreate the presentation in a digital form. Ultimately, you might want to turn it into a movie.

I actually have a fair amount of experience with this type of equipment, including some rather sophisticated (for the time) digital dissolve units later in my career doing that stuff.


I sent the question to 3M also and the response from one of their retired scientists was that 3M never figured out a way to make this easy! I have decided to simply scan in the slides one by one and then using Keynote or Powerpoint set the timing manually. The tape does play normally in a basic cassette recorder but of course I cannot hear the signals that the dissolve units used to trigger the projectors.

Thanks for the advice.
 

JohnRice

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The tape does play normally in a basic cassette recorder but of course I cannot hear the signals that the dissolve units used to trigger the projectors.

Thanks for the advice.
OK, then it's a four track system, with the signals on the tracks that are usually Side B. So, there's no practical way to hear the signals, unless you somehow find a four track cassette deck. Good luck with that!

We seem to be in agreement. You just have to do it manually.
 

Sam Posten

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You might have better luck using FinalCut / Premiere instead of using presentation software. Again this requires some knowledge of using an non linear editor, NLE, so ymmv.
 

DaveF

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If you know the timing, and once the photos and audio are digitized, you can do this in iMovie on a mac easily.
 

JohnRice

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I actually meant to suggest using video software, instead of presentation software, but it didn't come out that way. That's why I suggested turning it into a movie. As Dave said, iMovie can do it easily.
 

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