Hello! I'm a newcomer to the forum and to the world of digitizing analog tape.
Recently I brought in a stack of family VHS/Hi8 tapes to a local digital transfer business here in town. While most of the tapes that were transferred came out fine (I wasn't interested in any advanced picture restoration and wasn't certain if they performed those services anyway), I discovered that only one VHS tape (of course, the one that was a personal favorite of mine) was hampered by near-constant buzzing/crackling noise in the audio. Sometimes it fades to a hum but mostly it's annoyingly loud throughout the 2 hours and 32 minutes of tape. Thinking that the digital transfer place may have missed something, I played the tape in my VCR (a Sharp VC-H810U) and got the same result. Ditto playing it on my spare VCR. So I'm pretty sure the problem is with the VHS cassette itself.
Is there a solution? I'd like to start my own project re-transferring this tape (plus a couple of others I recently found). They were mostly in storage but the problem tape was probably watched/rewound/fast forwarded the most of all of them. They also spent about 15 years in a smoking environment, although that didn't seem to affect the other tapes. And while I haven't opened up the VHS tape yet, looking inside I can't seem to see any excess mold (not to say there isn't any there, however). Any help would be much, much appreciated, as this is the only copy I have of these home videos.
Attached is a video sample of the buzzing. Thank you in advance!