I worked at ABC-TV on West 66th Street in Manhattan in the 1970s. At one point, ABC's insurance company paid (as I understood it) the City of New York to replace the water main on W66th street. Much of ABC's equipment was in the basement. A few months ago, the stage lighting in an otherwise "dark" studio all came on due to a glitch in the lighting board. The HVAC system was not on and the studio got hot enough for a sprinkler head to open, making the basement much damper than normal...it was a bit of a mess, actually, and they couldn't turn off the sprinkler until the Fire Department said it was OK.
Anyway, I'm not sure Jim was clear enough about getting the archive out of the basement. Was he?
I do have a small concern about the vibrations possibly impacting the quality of optical media written during a vibration session and less concerned about the mechanical stability of the tape playback.
I am further concerned about the magnetic fields from the train. These fields will probably not be strong enough to damage the archive, but may introduce perturbations in the audio during the transfer process, especially if the heads are oriented just right and the hum shields aren't closing just right.
All in all, it's a minor headache, but full analysis is very expensive as it involves vibration specialists as well as soils specialists. I had some analysis undertaken for the KPBS facility in San Diego as there was a potential for a light rail system to be built adjacent to the building that was built about 15 years ago. Charles Salter Associates (David Schwind) was the acoustics consultant and they did some analysis of the vibration issues and the result has totally escaped me as to what was done. Of course, that situation would be very different from your situation.
I think a professional analysis of the problem should be undertaken if you wish real answers, but there are many unknowns.
-----Original Message----- From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:ARSCLIST@xxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mohn, Sylvia Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 10:54 AM To: ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [ARSCLIST] Effect of vibrations on audio tape
Has anyone had the experience of having an audio collection, and studio & equipment, next to a rail line (train, subway, etc)? What problems did you have? What, if anything, were you able to do to minimize them?
There's a proposal for a light-rail line to come down the street in front of our building. We have our audio tapes stored in a basement vault area, and our digitization rooms are on a floor about 10 feet below street level.
Sylvia Mohn Minnesota Public Radio
Richard L. Hess email: richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.