When Joe Tessone first opened the Mystery Street Recording Company in Lakeview in 2007, he envisioned a typical studio where bands would record music.
But now, the nondescript building at 2827 N. Lincoln Ave. houses one of the nation’s premiere facilities for audio preservation and restoration, a place recommended by the Library of Congress.
Tessone, 35, an expert audio engineer, splits his time between the studio and teaching audio arts at Columbia College Chicago. He digitizes and preserves audio stored on various media, including phonographs, open reel tapes and analog cassettes, as well as other even more obscure formats, such as Betamax and DAT (digital audio tapes).
Obsolescence, or the inability to find or repair the playback machines that some old audio recordings need to play — not to mention degradation, or the physical breakdown of the media that store recordings such as tapes — are the two biggest issues facing archival audio preservation, according to Mike Casey. He is director of technical operations for the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative at Indiana University. These issues “are giving us a very short time window in which to take action to preserve content,” Casey said.
Direct to Mystery Street Recording Company Website