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19 Post subject: There's a way to keep the liveliness of vinyl on CD  PostPosted: Jul 30, 2011 - 03:22 AM
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Global_Dog_Productions wrote:
I guess I'm just too old but I don't have a problem with the pops, clicks, etc. I do have a problem with CDs of LPs that tried to "clean up" the sound and in the process stripped out the ambiance and instead made it sound clean and lifeless . . .

( ( ( ( ( ((((((( Cool
    I would agree with this in general, if I haven't made different experiences with vinyl records that I've digitized myself. The issue you described caught me with my first attempts as well. I've used the tools to reduce crackling and hiss too extensive, and this caused this nasty effect! But since I practiced for some time with different applications and their settings, I've managed to cut down interference to a certain degree, and it doesn't sterilize the liveliness and sound any longer. In case of doubt I try different settings and chose the best result out of my different attempts. That doesn't mean, that I choose the version that has the least disturbing noises. I take the version that keeps the best of both, clean sound, and also strong dynamic reproduction too.

    To reduce crackling and hiss I use a little free application "Rillenputz" [Groove - clean], developed at German 'Jena' university. I've received the best result with this tool. Unfortunately the manual exists in German only! Major crackles and clicks I eliminate with Ahead's 'Wave Editor', a part of the Nero Suite.

    Until today I received lots of recognition for the results of my efforts. To be honest, I don't digitize many vinyl records. I concentrate on records that are badly warped, in cases where I have to fear regular play will cause serious damage to my cartridge.

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Post subject: RE: There  PostPosted: Aug 07, 2011 - 05:01 AM
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I've tried a lot of "clean up" software for LP's. Audacity has turned up usefull for my needs in certain cases, works well. So many features I have not tried.......yet. I did use the 21 day trial of "click repair". This was fun to try out, but I did notice distortion on some vocals in an album after I used the default setings. The one program I have used that works well and has -MANY- other usefull perks built in is Acoustica Spin It Again. Best of the best I have seen yet. Not only can you take your wav file and declick it in real time adjusting parameters before exporting the cleaned file......let's say your family is there for Christmas and they want to hear Sgt. Pepper. And it's an MP3 you did a piss poor job of de-clicking. You can play the MP3 using SIA and apply damn near anything you want, EQ, Compression, reverb, more de-noise....it's an endless well of usefull stuff. The best program I ever bought. Just use it as a player(I SHOULD DO THIS!). Play my LP's and save as raw wav files. Then use SIA as a player and enjoy the cleaned product. I should just ammend my playing algorithm to: Play LP into PC-Record as .wav-playback using SIA when I want to hear it. I will always endorse this product as it works pristinely. Jim

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GraemeOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 07, 2011 - 06:00 AM
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Global_Dog_Productions wrote:
I do have a problem with CDs of LPs that tried to "clean up" the sound and in the process stripped out the ambiance and instead made it sound clean and lifeless.


I would be the first person to agree with you. Such 'restoration' work entirely destroys the musicality of the piece.

However, that's because most of what you have heard has not been done by someone who actually understood what they were doing. A good, professional, restoration will provide vast improvement, at the same time preserving all that should be there.

I have to declare here that I have heard some truly horrendous work done by so-called 'professionals' - just because someone knows how to mic a drum kit and drive a mixing desk does not necessarily qualify them to do this type of highly exacting work. The business, like any other, has its 'cowboys' and they should be avoided at all costs, in order to prevent the sort of listening experience you have had.

Unfortunately, professional work comes at a cost, so a great deal of 'restoration' work is carried out by amateurs using software that is, shall we say, not of the best for this sort of thing. Software, such as Audacity, might well include a few features for cleaning up recordings, but these are not functional to the degree that is really needed to do a proper job. As others have pointed out, just stuffing a file through a software using the default settings rarely, if ever, produces a good result.

People who do this for a living (and I am one of that group) fully understand the whole process and use softwares specifically designed for such work. They are not cheap and there are not that many to choose from, but they are designed to do the job properly and in experienced hands are capable of producing truly amazing results.

Global_Dog_Productions wrote:
The filtering you are talking about distorts the actual recording, the computer is focusing on what you are highlighting and will chop out some of the actual recording if it is in that area


Very rarely would a professional actually 'chop out' anything. He might well modify the waveform in one way or another, but actual removal of material is very much a last resort and only undertaken (not lightly) when all other approaches have failed.

Global_Dog_Productions wrote:
I guess that is why I'm happy with all the pops and clicks because I know I'm listening to the real thing not a homogenized "cleaned up" version.


If you can listen to material like that, then you are very fortunate. These days we have a couple of generations who have grown up with exceptionally clean digital recording and playback systems and they find it virtually impossible to listen in that way.

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scatterplotOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2011 - 04:08 AM
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I'm still stuck on Spin It Again. I lost a lot of records over the years, but still heard portions of them when the mood hit me(on the net). Case in point today: 1973's Elton John-Goodbye Yellow Brick Road double LP. His signature album and the only one I want from him. Got a NM copy recently, but still wanted to wash it -just- thru a minor "vinyl light cleaning" which I tweek to 80% click reduction and only 15% noise reduction. Results:superb. No change from the raw signal except cleaner. Wish I had the copy I bought at 14, but hey.....this is prob. better! RE: discussion above about remastered CD's......I'm in this "hobby" because I believe the original product(Vinyl) the artist produced at the time was the -BEST- version. To a certain point. From say, 1970 forward, recording techniques had progressed enough. Prior to that most things needed a little "help" from the future, IE now. A little tweeking in that case does not hurt at all......

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JohnH.
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2011 - 05:41 AM
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I use a program called Sound Forge. I have also tried the noise reduction tools in it and cam out with less desirable results. To combat this without compromising the sound quality, is that I would draw out the pops with the pencil tool. With the waveform, I would expand it out to about a 2:1 scale then simply draw out the pop on the 0db line. This creates a little dropout that is unnoticeable when played back. It is very long and tedious work. Of course the cleaner the pressing the least amount of work is involved. I don't mind the little tic's. But the large pops are easily taken care of. If you have the time and patients, this is a better way of keeping it true to the original sound.

I spent over 3 months on White Noise 3 - Reentry and it sounds amazing when I had transferred it to CD. But it was also a good pressing to start with.
 
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GraemeOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2011 - 10:27 AM
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JohnH. wrote:
I use a program called Sound Forge. I have also tried the noise reduction tools in it and cam out with less desirable results.


Soundforge is an admirable bit of software, but not designed for the job you wish to do.

Until recently, my main recommendation for something even remotely affordable would have been Adobe Audition (or its predecessor, Cool Edit Pro - v2 onwards). These days, I finding that Adobe have rather lost the plot and are pushing this software to another market entirely and I am rapidly changing my allegiance to Isotope RX. This software is also available as a plug-in so there are many host programs out there (including Sonar) it will run in.

JohnH. wrote:
I spent over 3 months on White Noise 3 - Reentry and it sounds amazing when I had transferred it to CD. But it was also a good pressing to start with.


Taking three months to sort out a single album would be commercial suicide Smile . The tools are out there, but you have to choose the right ones and be prepared for a steepish learning curve.

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JohnH.
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2011 - 10:36 AM
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The three months was well worth it. It was for me. It was a personal project. I do this mostly for myself. But I am always open to new software that would make the tedious task much easier. Thank you for the info.
 
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GraemeOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 08, 2011 - 05:36 PM
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Another dedicated software worth having a look at is Algorithmix's Sound Laundry. Waves also do a rather good restoration suite.

The main problem for those of us trying to earn a living out of this game is that none of these tools is truly universal, different problems are handled better by some tools than others. Even the same, basic, problem (say crackle) might be more easily eliminated on one recording with one tool and on another recording with a different tool. It's for this reason I own a whole computer full of these things - but in total they weren't cheap!!

Of the all-round tools, then I would say that RX is currently leading the pack, but it is a bit of a moving target.

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 09, 2011 - 03:04 AM
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OK, forget Spin it Again. I can love the software for all of us. But I did another repeat of the Audacity algorithm I outlined above. I had an LP that needed no de-click except 3 loud ticks in the dead space between 2 songs. Zoomed in, zapped the three offensive little pricks.....and converted the file to MP3, never to worry about again(it was a boring LP anyway). Y'all need to stop spendin' money on software. I think, after already eliminating one costly program that left latent damage......."Click Repair", ........Audacity -IS- it. I intend to use/explore this program in more detail!! Then I moved on to Madonna's ST 1st LP. It had one skip within the 1st minute. I found that little white peckerwood that would not come off with vintage Discwashers, carbon fiber brush and scraped it off with a Jim Dunlop(I finally got a magnifying glass and looked at it) .46mm nylon guitar pick. The lightest guage they make, great for acoustic strumming. So close to the density of LP vinyl. I would urge those of you who do records for a hobby or living, the next time you're near a guitar shop, to buy a cupla these. Works great. The Madonna came out perfect. Have fun, Jim

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Aug 09, 2011 - 10:56 AM
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I've had very good results with "Click Repair." Like any other program of this nature the key is using a light touch, just enough to improve the file without degrading sound quality.

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