So my ~100 4-track tapes are not all perfectly documented; I have a little notebook with info on what's on each tape for the first 25 or so that I made; then I stopped updating it. At some point, I went through about 20 tapes and labeled them all with what was on them. Anyway, I have finished transferring all of the ones that were labeled as having stuff on them that I wanted for this particular project; the remainder I will transfer slowly over time.
However, I was unable to find all of the master tapes for these tracks; I'm trying to remix a ten-track "album" I put together in 1989 and a 12-track "album" I put together in 1992, and I couldn't find the masters to five of those 22 tracks. They're probably in there somewhere, just not labeled, so I'll eventually find them once I process them all. So those five tracks are particularly low quality because I'm transferring them from a master mixdown tape that adds an extra generation.
Anyway, I've not only finished transferring them all from 4-track to the digital multitrack, but I've also finished mixing them down to pristine digital mixes living in WAV files in the computer. From there I'll mp3 them, collect a few more oddities, and burn the CD, plus now I can use the WAV files themselves to burn pure audio CDs of the two "albums" for my own collection.
Wow are my 4-track songs sloppy. They have a similar level of screw-ups as the best of my audio sketchbook entries, although I put more work into them--it was just very hard to punch-in and fix mistakes, so I usually recorded lots of things in one take, and if there were a couple flubs in it, I had to weigh the possibility that a new take, overwriting the old one, might actually come out worse. Also, the drums sound like crap.
Ah, the advantages of $10K in equipment.