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BLUEBAR

Old Recording Media
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.

genericdiscs generictapes
Discs                      Tapes

genericwires gnericbelts
Wires                      Belts


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.


smolians@erols.com         Phone:301-694-5134

This site 2001 Steve Smolian. rev 1