Mass Productions Digitizes Film and Video Media For Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

In 2021 Mass Productions was chosen by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to digitize film and video to over 400 digital preservation files. This project was paid for by a CLIR recordings at Risk Grant,and is just a small fraction of the large media archive at WHOI. We started at the beginning with early 8mm and 16mm films of the Alvin deep submersible vehicle. Some of the films were color faded and needed restoration. Many of the 16mm films were spliced together on the film reels with masking tape or gaffer tape,  which created a unique challenge for us. Then we moved onto half inch black and white EIAJ video reels, which required cleaning and baking.  Some tape brands such as Karex and AMPEX were very difficult to recover. Finally we digitized some Umatic and VHS media.    We will be continuing where we left off in the fall of 2023 with deteriorating Umatic videotapes before they fail, including unseen footage of the Titanic! Click the link below to check out this recent detailed article about the project published by WHOI.   It goes into great detail,  and they mention how much they liked working with us!

Read “Data on Deck” Article by Karen Ubrec-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Mass Productions Recovers Audio Reels of First Humpback Whale recordings

Mass Productions recovered over 300 audio reels of the first known recordings of humpback whales in 2020.

These recordings were made by Frank Watlington and Dr. Robert Payne of Ocean Alliance in Gloucester Massachusetts.

A CLIR recordings at Risk grant paid to have these historical recordings recovered for research.

The 60 year old tapes required cleaning to remove decades of mold and dust.

Mass Productions carefully cleaned the tapes with a proprietary tape cleaning system and put the cleaned tapes onto new reels and tape boxes.

Then Mass productions digitized the audio reels to high resolution 96Khz/24 bit wave files for preservation.

Mass Productions is now preserving another 900 more audio reels to add to the online Whale Acoustic Library.

The audio library is available online.

Mass Productions is recovering 300 DAT tapes for the Boston Symphony Orchestra!

We are very proud to announce that The Boston Symphony Orchestra chose Mass Productions to recover over 300 DAT recordings of Tanglewood concerts starting in 1992. These wonderful live performances are in danger of being lost forever due to being recorded in an obsolete format. Mass Productions has come up with a unique process to solve tracking issues with the tapes to ensure error-free playback. The DAT tapes are being converted to archival wave files, CDs, and MP3 access files. The recordings will be available on the Boston Symphony Orchestra archives website.


Mass Productions digitizes over 500 videotapes for MIT

Mass Productions is currently busy digitizing over 500 videotapes for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The archive contains Umatic, Betacam, VHS, and Mini DV videotapes. The 3/4 umatic videotapes go back as far as 1977 and require baking and cleaning before transfer.

The videotapes contain a lot of historic footage of MIT. We restored a 1971 inauguration concert for Jerome Wiesner featuring a live performance by the late Pete Seeger! We are preserving the decaying videotapes to digital video files for archival storage.

Mass Productions Digitizes videotape archives for Emerson College

Mass Productions recently recovered and digitized very old Umatic and EIAJ videotape reels from the 1970’s for the archives of Emerson College.

The videotapes were in very fragile condition.  Many of the tapes required advanced cleaning and restoration to make them playable for transfer to digital.

Mass Productions also digitized Betacam master videotapes of interviews of Milton Berle, Mikey Rooney, Red Buttons, and Steve Allen.


Mass Productions 321 audio cassette digitization of Leccos Lemma

Mass Productions recently completed a three year project of restoring and digitizing 321 audio cassette tapes of the Leccos Lemma Boston Hip Hop radio program from the 1980’s.

The Leccos Lemma Radio program was the very first Rap and Hip Hop show on the air.    Several Boston Residents because popular recording artists thanks to this popular Radio Show.

Many of the audio cassette tapes were local Boston rap artists submitting recordings to the program.     The audio cassette tapes were often low quality and in delicate condition.

Mass Productions was able to repair and digitize all of the recordings using the finest audio cassette decks ever made.     Besides digitizing the audio cassettes, Mass Productions photographed the tapes, inserts, and cases.

The archive is held by Umass Boston and will be available online soon!


Mass Productions Digitizes audio reels and cassettes of Venceremos Brigade

Mass Productions recently digitized audio reels and cassettes from the late 1960’s of the Venceremos Brigade.

The Venceremos Brigade is a politically motivated international organization founded in 1969 by members of the Students for a Democratic Society and officials of the Republic of Cuba.

These recordings featured interviews and demonstrations recorded during Sugar Harvests in Cuba.     The collection also contains recordings of Fidel Castro.

Mass Productions replaced splices on many of the audio reels,   and repaired the delicate audio cassettes before transfer.



Mass Productions Digitizes Audio Tape Reels for University Of California

The University Of California has chosen Mass Productions to digitize 530 audio tape reels.     The recordings are Jazz Ensemble performances at the Arts media Center.

The sticky audio tape reels will require many hours of incubation before they are safe to playback.      Then the tapes will be carefully converted to audio files to create a digital archive.

Details about the tapes and performances will be gathered as metadata to be imported into the University’s archive database system.

audio tape reel

Mass Productions completes film preservation for Bentley University

Mass Productions has completed digitizing and restoring over 4,000 feet of films for Bentley University.   Some of the films had sprocket damage and color fading, but they were successfully recovered.  The archived films will be used for the college’s 100 year anniversary.  Mass Productions offers High Definition film Preservation of 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8mm film.   We can accommodate optical and magnetic sound, and our services include color correction.


Mass Productions preserves Umatic video archive for Dharma Seed

Mass Productions has completed recovering and digitizing a large video archive for Dharma Seed. 40 VHS tapes, and 93 moldy Umatic 3/4 videotapes were cleaned and preserved to a digital archive. The videos will soon be available online. Moldy videotapes are becoming more prevalent every year. Mass Productions is the only video preservation and digitizing service in Boston that can salvage tapes in this condition.

Umatic 3/4" videotapeMoldy Umatic Videotape