8. Unmodified transfer to a new target format

It is mandatory that transfers made from old to new archive formats be carried out without subjective alterations or "improvements" such as de-noising, etc. It is essential that the full dynamic range and frequency response of the original is transferred.

It is important to understand that the intended signal is only part of a given sound document. The unintended and undesirable artefacts (noise, distortions) are also part of the sound document, either caused by limited historical recording technology, or subsequently added to the original signal by mishandling (eg clicks) or by poor storage. Both have to be preserved with utmost accuracy, which has consequences for the choice of digital resolution (cf paragraph 10).

It must be noted, however, that some inaccuracies of original recordings, such as those caused by misaligned recording heads in analogue and digital magnetic tape recordings, can only be corrected successfully in the replay process of the original tape. "Azimuth Error" is common in analogue magnetic tape recordings, particularly if recording equipment was not regularly maintained by professional technicians. Minute inaccuracies in the tape path adjustment of original recordings, eg R-DAT tapes, may cause a considerable and avoidable rise in errors.

Print-through, a storage related artefact with analogue magnetic tape, can also only be reduced on the original tape before the transfer.

The careful documentation of all parameters and procedures employed in the transfer process is essential.