What's the best software to clean up old phongraph records?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by 8thMan, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2006
    I'd like to finally transfer my collection of jazz and blues 78s to digital format. I've used Toast but I really need a more sophisticated scratch/hiss filter. I've found some good software but it's all for Windows; what's out there for the Mac?

    Thanks for any leads.
  2. macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    Depends on how much money you want to spend.

    You can get SoundSoap2 which might help out for around $80. I have used the original Soundsoap in the past and it works quite well.

    The main thing is getting the highest quality digital version from your records, and then cleaning up the files from there.

    And it is going to be fairly time consuming depending on your computer and how many records you are converting.

    Good luck and let us know if you have more questions.

    Also, can the mods please move this thread to the Digital Audio forum?
  3. macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006

    I have digitized a few casette tapes that never made into CDs using Audacity, an opensource (and free) program which works on Macs, Windows or Linux. It has a built-in noise removal function, that might be good enough for you. "audacity.sourceforge.net" have links to some nice tutorials that you can check out as well.

    Audacity noise removal has two steps. First, you highlight a section of your recording that is supposed to contain no music, just the background hiss, and have the noise remover to sample it. Afterwards you highlight all of the music that needs to be cleaned up and have the noise remover to do its magic. It worked very weel for me, but I am no audiophile. Still, I reduced the amount of noise removal quite a bit (it has a total of 8-10 settings.) Otherwise the music and vocals started sounding quite metallic. It has a nice "undo" capability, so you can try a few different settings without fear of messing up your original recording.

    Sampling a five second noise section and removing the noise on a half hour recording takes a few minutes to complete on an old Windows XP laptop. If you sample longer noise sections, the processing time goes up, but I'd assume the quality of noise removal might improve as well although I haven't experimented with it too much to find an optimum length. Afterwards you export your project into WAV, AIFF or mp3.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    good point with audacity. i tried the noise removal in there once and was not too pleased (and thus it passed from my memory), but it might do well for the OP.
  5. macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    I use Spin Doctor (which comes with Toast) but gave up on using the filters because they always seemed to take away too much.

    And in the end, i decided i actually quite liked the "noise", even the pops and clicks. Fond reminiscences of dropping the needle on records turned up ridiculously loud, the thrilling anticipation of more to come created by the introductory roar of dust noise..

    I seen other posts recommend Amadeus II.

    Some people (myself included) find Audacity too confusing :eek:
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    A really effective (and time consuming) way to get rid of clicks and pops (but not hiss) in record recordings is to use any software that allows you to zoom in on wave data (I believe all the major programs allow this), then precisely find each sound one by one, then isolate which spike of wave data is generating the sound, then removing the spike. Yes, it takes forever, but the quality of the end product is fantastic.

    This page I just found seems to answer all your questions and helped me as well:


    In the end, try the app he suggests, ClickRepair. I know I am going to. I also have used the mentioned Sound Studio and found it to be an excellent audio program. I also noted on the page mention of a free audio recording app called Audio Recorder. I am eager to try this as well.

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