Audio Digitisation...

Audio Digitisation

Audio Digitisation

Transferring analogue sound recordings to digital copies has two major benefits: first, it provides greater accessibility to the content; second it ensures the digital preservation of the original recording.

We understand that a digital copy of the original is not necessarily synonymous with high quality, a distinction that others do not always make. A high quality version captures as much information from the original as possible, even if it is badly degraded. Once a master/raw copy has been made, we use a variety of techniques to improve the sound quality.

We provide a full range of audio digitisation services for all types of formats including:

  • Standard compact cassettes tapes: C30, C60, C90, C120 etc
  • Mini and Microcassettes tapes
  • ¼” reel to reel audio tape
  • Records: Vinyl LPs & Singles; Shellac Discs; Acetate Discs
  • CDs

Output Formats

For the majority of our archive clients we provide two output formats, one for preservation purposes and the other for access and easier dissemination. These are typically:

  • Preservation specification & format: Wav uncompressed
  • Access specification & format: MP3 format

We are always happy to go through these options and help you select the best fit for your requirements.

Project Management

Project management services include:

  • Initial conservation review, proposal and the undertaking of any remedial work e.g. mould removal, repair and cleaning
  • Sound enhancement where required including hiss and click removal and other enhancements to improve the output quality
  • Access to a secure online compressed version of the recording for your review and assessment prior to delivery
  • To enhance the digitised recording we are sometimes asked to produce a searchable transcription. This improves the discoverability of the content, providing direct access to words or phrases within the digitised content, either to read the transcribed text or to listen to the recording at the point where the words or phrases appear
  • The original audio material is of course fully insured both while at our premises and in transit.


Collections for whom we have digitised audio recordings include:

  • Energy Charter Secretariat
  • National Theatre
  • King's College London
  • National Army Museum
  • Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
  • IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology)
  • Scout Association
  • Scottish Fisheries Museum
  • Westminster Abbey
  • RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

Samples and Next Steps

Please do contact us to discuss your audio collection. We would be delighted to digitise samples from your collection (without charge) so that you can see the benefits of opening up access to your audio collection by digitisation.

If you'd like to get in touch to find out more about our services please use the buttons below or call us on 020 8309 5445


I have worked with Max Communications and the team for some years. In recent work with their Archivematica iteration in the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit, and other digital work required by varying cohorts in Imperial, Max Communications have been responsive, innovative and demonstrated great problem-solving abilities. The Max Communications team, from the top down, is approachable, friendly and keen to help.

An example is in their engagement for some major confidential scanning projects. The projects were discussed, scoped and agreed to a high standard of hand scanning. Benchmarking was agreed to our satisfaction when the project started, with a fast progress time for the work. They provided rapid access to files, including digitising out of sequence, e.g. one such turn around for hand scanning, editing and proofing a large file was within 3 hours. The digital delivery was by secure online transfer, and the hard disks and hard copy delivered securely by courier.

On a lighter note, digitisation of 1960s academic cine film was carried out promptly and to a high standard, such that it can be reshown at a major conference

--Anne Barrett | College Archivist & Corporate Records Manager | Imperial College London
Audio Digitisation