| This service restores and copies old home, private and business
recordings from obsolete sound media formats including audio tape,
dictation belts, phonograph records and wire recordings. Clicks, hiss,
hums and buzzes are reduced or removed. Getting back bare intelligibility
can be relatively inexpensive but making the listening experience
more comfortable often requires prolonged engineering time.
Most older media are made up of layered materials. Each slice expands
and contracts at its own rate during slow, normal temperature and
humidity cycles introducing continual, if gentle, stress. When environmental
storage conditions change abruptly and frequently, quick expansion
and contraction causes surface fissures and crazing and allows water
to be absorbed from the atmosphere. Old recordings may stick to
their protective sleeves, lift off in flakes, become gummy, etc.
And, of course, they are subject to damage from careless handling
and overplaying. Restoration of the original is thus an essential
part of what I do here and contributes to the amount of studio time
required to get a modern, more listenable copy.
Electrical noises- hums, buzzes and static- may have been introduced
by poor wiring. Other difficulties were added when the original
recording was made when folks on either side of the microphone only
partially understood the process. Some of these undesirable results
can be changed and some mitigated but others are a permanent part
of the signal. Certain media were only designed to be intelligible,
usually those used for office dictation or telephone monitoring.
New technologies cannot restore what never was there. Yet surprisingly
clear if limited results can sometimes be brought back from these
old treasures when carefully processed.
site ©2001 Steve Smolian. rev 1