How to clean an old recording.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by nazmac21, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. nazmac21 macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #1
    I have a song that was published in 1902. It has a lot of old hissing noise and sounds like it's coming from a radio. Any tips on how to modernize this song?
    I want to make it sound like it was made today.
     
  2. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #2
    Soundtrack Pro would be pretty good for this. I'm not that good with audio but I know Soundtrack Pro can analyze the audio and clean it up.
     
  3. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #3
    Any other solutions, like in GarageBand? I really like this song but it shows its age.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #4
    Sigh, another fantasy. :(

    You are never going to get it to sound like it was recorded recently. The recording, besides having hiss and scratches and pops, simply does not have the dynamic range or the frequency bandwidth.

    You can't put back in what is not in the original in the first place.

    You can, using some software like Bias Peak, or SoundSoap, or various shareware utilities (check versiontracker.com) reduce some of the popping and artifacts, and partially remove some broadband background noise (hiss) and use some EQ and expansion to artificially boost the sound up.

    But it's like saying: "I took a photo of a house, in the winter, with gray skies and snow falling. I want a program that will make that photo look like a summer day, with blue skies, grass and leaves on the trees" You can't restore what is not present in the original information !!
     
  5. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #5
    Can't you mess with some EQ in GarageBand to make it sound a little bit better?
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #6
    Yeah, or make is sound worse, could go either way.

    But what I am saying is, it doesn't matter how much you boost the bass on the EQ if there isn't bass information there in the first place. Same thing with the treble. That 1902 recording will have a usable bandwith of about 200 Hz to 4000 Hz, that's it. No amount of EQ will put in the missing frequencies.

    It's like saying: the well is dry -- but I'll just get a bigger bucket so I can get more water out of it. No - there;s nothing there.
     
  7. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #7
    I am going to give this song a Vocal Presence, Increase Bass Pluck and Add Sharpness Equalizer sets and a Large Stage reverb. I am going to see if this helps.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #8
    If people keep pestering you, will you keep coming up with new analogies? :D ;)

    I had an audiophile co-worker play with an old opera record I had from the 30's...he got it to sound a lot better after fiddling with it on the computer, but obviously there is no way you'd mistake it for a "modern" recording.
     
  9. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #9
    After I set those EQ presets in GarageBand, the song sounds better and is little bit louder(the original version was quiet). Still sounds like from a radio when I listen through speakers. Anything else in GarageBand I could do to improve the song?
     
  10. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #10
    if by "improve" you mean "make it more modern-sounding", then i say you should lay down a backbeat.

    when do we get to hear the before and after?
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #11
    Yes, re-record the instruments yourself...

    The reason it sounds like bad AM radio is that the original material is bandwidth limited. The bass and treble are missing because the recording equipment of the day couldn't record the lows and highs. They. Ain't. There. To. Boost.

    It's apparent you don't read anything I say anyways, so, bye bye naz.
     
  12. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #12
    I can't upload the MP3s because it said invalid file (on the attachment). How to do I post those before and after versions of the songs?
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    upload them to a webserver and give us the URLs.
     
  14. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #14
    I don't know how to upload to the webserver. Sorry:p
     
  15. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

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    #15
    Well you could always try some sort of subharmonic plug-in to make it sound like there is more bass... but there is a 99.99% certainty that it will sound rubbish. But it's worth a go if you are desperate.
     
  16. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #16
    Any free subharmonic plug-ins for GarageBand? Also, how do I upload those MP3 to webserver? I really want people to hear this and help.
     
  17. Cybix macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

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    #17
    I really like this idea (re-recording). Only you have to wonder how your going to get a 1902 sound, today. (instruments?) I'd love to hear the track...

    sounds like a fun project. If you dont get anywhere throw it at someone who has experience in remastering, see what they can do on the big-boy equipment...

    music restoration :)

    speaking of. My father has truck loads of great vinyl... I was over there the other day, looking at some of the records, when I turned to him and said "wouldn't it suck if your house burnt down and your vinyl was gone". He went silent, and turned white :)

    I said "we could get all this on a computer or on CD". his response was "so when the house burns down, takes the vinyl, the computer, and the CD's, I'll still have my music?" hahaha nice one dad.
     
  18. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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    #18
    I still don't know how to upload to the webserver. Please help.
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #19
    if *you* own a domain, then you can upload whatever files you want to it. that's what i meant.
     
  20. nazmac21 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nazmac21

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  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    what we're talking about is remedial intarweb stuff. i'm sorry if you don't understand what i'm on about, but my initial interest was really pretty small to begin with. at this point, i'm just sleepy.
     

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