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Cleaning up 78 transfers
tinpanalley
post Feb 24 2012, 01:05
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Hi all,
I'm taking a 78 recording (and several others that I'm transferring) and trying to clean it up. I'm capturing the audio with Audacity at 32-bit IEEE float, as a stereo recording from a 78 stylus on my turntable at 45 then changing the speed, finishing it off with inverting the RIAA curve.
My question is about cleaning up from this point forward understanding of course that one method simply won't work in every case.

I have Audacity, Sound Forge, DeNoise and ClickRepair. I've tried following this to a certain degree but I have no way of knowing if there's something I'm missing, if it's out of date, if there's a better way, etc. Mastering, I'm ok with. It's just the cleaning part I want to know with the aim of archiving these transfers.

Any thoughts?
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botface
post Mar 5 2012, 10:15
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I'm sure your instinct is to try to recover the original sound of these records as accurately as possible but, as you're finding, that isn't straightforward - especially as different eq curves were used by different companies over the years. Ultimately your ears are the best judge.

In many ways the RIAA eq is doing you some favours. It reduces "treble" and hence noise and gives you a bass lift. If you don't like the result. You have a few of options. Reverse the RIAA eq as you're trying to do and re-eq it to your own taste. Record it flat in the first place - maybe use a mic preamp that won't have RIAA eq built in - then eq to your own requirements. Or just play around with whatever you've captured to try to improve it.

I'm reluctant to give you any specific advice because almost all of my experience was with one label's records from the mid 1920's so it may not be relevant to the ones you're working with. And as I said in an earlier post, the condition of the records has a very big influence on the tools you use and the final result. One thing I found helpful though was to high pass at around 110hZ or so (the actual frequency is best chosen by ear) as anything below that is likely to be noise and in any case it makes the sound a bit less "muddy". Also when eq'ing remember that you can lower some frequencies. You don't always have to be boosting levels. You might also find it helpful to listen to some professionally restored 78's - there's lots of stuff around on CD that are very cheap - and try to produce a similar sound. Or have a look at the frequency distribution in your audio editor and try to reproduce it.
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tinpanalley
post Mar 5 2012, 19:47
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QUOTE (botface @ Mar 5 2012, 04:15) *
Ultimately your ears are the best judge.

That's exactly what I'm finding.
Guide my thinking here.... In understanding the RIAA inverting, is it true that every device that I can use today to capture vinyl will have RIAA equalization built into it and therefore will have to have those values inverted? Or is it that the devices are the same as before but the old recordings were mastered with a certain EQ (specifically 78s)?

And finally, what is being lost by not inverting the RIAA curve? I don't seem to understand that. The 78s I capture sound better without it inverted. Unless my ear is wrong which is totally possible.

This post has been edited by tinpanalley: Mar 5 2012, 19:53
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Posts in this topic
- tinpanalley   Cleaning up 78 transfers   Feb 24 2012, 01:05
- - DVDdoug   Fortunately, I've never tried cleaning-up a 78...   Feb 24 2012, 03:18
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Feb 24 2012, 02:18) cliv...   Feb 24 2012, 09:27
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 24 2012, 00:05) ...   Feb 24 2012, 11:33
- - tinpanalley   Thanks guys, cliveb, very cool to hear from you di...   Feb 24 2012, 22:32
- - tinpanalley   Hey guys, I've got my wires straightened now. ...   Feb 27 2012, 23:46
|- - cliveb   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 27 2012, 22:46) ...   Feb 28 2012, 09:58
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 27 2012, 22:46) ...   Feb 28 2012, 11:19
- - tinpanalley   I sometimes feel like I should have been a sound t...   Feb 28 2012, 19:31
- - botface   I cleaned up several hundred 78's a few years ...   Feb 28 2012, 20:27
- - tinpanalley   What's the general thinking with clean-up of s...   Feb 28 2012, 21:45
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 28 2012, 12:45) ...   Feb 29 2012, 05:02
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 28 2012, 20:45) ...   Feb 29 2012, 10:13
- - tinpanalley   That could get tricky with copyrights. Wouldn...   Feb 29 2012, 09:33
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Feb 29 2012, 08:33) ...   Feb 29 2012, 10:14
- - 2Bdecided   I've attached a typical early 1930s UK 78. Po...   Feb 29 2012, 17:33
|- - bandpass   Used to listen to this 78 (and the B-side) lots wh...   Feb 29 2012, 18:04
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (bandpass @ Feb 29 2012, 17:04) Use...   Feb 29 2012, 18:17
- - tinpanalley   Ugh... I transferred a bunch of 78s the other nigh...   Mar 2 2012, 22:32
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 2 2012, 21:32) t...   Mar 3 2012, 19:52
- - markanini   Definitely not subtle. Check this out though: http...   Mar 3 2012, 21:10
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (markanini @ Mar 3 2012, 15:10) Che...   Mar 6 2012, 08:08
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 6 2012, 08:08) Q...   Mar 6 2012, 20:57
|- - tinpanalley   Wow... gets pretty intense. Ultimately, these are ...   Mar 6 2012, 21:34
- - tinpanalley   Am I crazy to think that when I invert the RIAA cu...   Mar 5 2012, 01:42
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 5 2012, 01:42) A...   Mar 5 2012, 02:57
- - tinpanalley   I'm not understanding how to create my own cur...   Mar 5 2012, 03:24
- - botface   I'm sure your instinct is to try to recover th...   Mar 5 2012, 10:15
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (botface @ Mar 5 2012, 04:15) Ultim...   Mar 5 2012, 19:47
|- - botface   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 5 2012, 18:47) Q...   Mar 5 2012, 21:11
- - Porcus   Except the oldest, the 78's had some EQ applie...   Mar 5 2012, 20:43
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 5 2012, 19:43) Except...   Mar 7 2012, 11:22
- - AndyH-ha   Just so you know, there are more than a few phono ...   Mar 6 2012, 10:44
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Mar 6 2012, 04:44)...   Mar 6 2012, 18:09
- - 2Bdecided   You didn't follow the links posted earlier... ...   Mar 7 2012, 11:26
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 7 2012, 05:26) You...   Mar 7 2012, 21:08
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 7 2012, 20:08) Q...   Mar 8 2012, 11:23
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 8 2012, 05:23) ...   Mar 8 2012, 20:10
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 8 2012, 19:10) Q...   Mar 8 2012, 23:39
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 8 2012, 17:39) Why...   Mar 9 2012, 04:28
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 9 2012, 03:28) I...   Mar 9 2012, 12:44
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 9 2012, 06:44) So,...   Mar 9 2012, 19:49
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE I'm doing some Capitol 78s from the 40...   Mar 7 2012, 23:44
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Mar 7 2012, 17:44) So, I...   Mar 8 2012, 00:02
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 7 2012, 23:02) a...   Mar 8 2012, 11:30
- - Porcus   Now remember that the OP did the recording at 45rp...   Mar 7 2012, 23:57
- - Porcus   You should of course keep the original file (both ...   Mar 8 2012, 00:23
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 7 2012, 18:23) You sh...   Mar 8 2012, 03:17
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 8 2012, 01:23) You sh...   Mar 8 2012, 11:32
- - DVDdoug   QUOTE It's a bit to me like when a classic fil...   Mar 8 2012, 21:47
|- - tinpanalley   That, at least, is adding to the atmosphere of a c...   Mar 8 2012, 22:24
- - Porcus   (Mal)apropos: is there is any reason for applying ...   Mar 9 2012, 13:21
- - 2Bdecided   On this page... http://www.rfwilmut.clara.net/repr...   Mar 9 2012, 23:08
|- - tinpanalley   I just heard that whole post in the voice of Bened...   Mar 10 2012, 08:38
- - Porcus   Yes, but: - 30's and 40's recordings were...   Mar 10 2012, 14:03
- - tinpanalley   Ok, so with 2bdecided's help I'll be doing...   Mar 12 2012, 20:54
- - 2Bdecided   Answering your previous point... I don't know...   Mar 12 2012, 21:13
- - pdq   Doing click repair after step 1 also means that yo...   Mar 12 2012, 21:14
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (pdq @ Mar 12 2012, 15:14) Doing cl...   Mar 12 2012, 22:18
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 12 2012, 21:18) ...   Mar 13 2012, 11:02
- - 2Bdecided   I'd fix the speed first, then run it through e...   Mar 12 2012, 21:17
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 12 2012, 15:17) I...   Mar 12 2012, 21:31
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 12 2012, 21:31) ...   Mar 12 2012, 22:03
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 12 2012, 21:03) QUOTE...   Mar 13 2012, 10:56
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 13 2012, 10:56) Eq...   Mar 13 2012, 11:12
- - pdq   The music and clicks would both be moved to higher...   Mar 13 2012, 00:49
- - tinpanalley   Ok so FINALLY cleaned everything up but unfortunat...   Mar 13 2012, 04:19
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 12 2012, 19:19) ...   Mar 13 2012, 04:57
- - 2Bdecided   Equaliser claims to get the phase right too, thoug...   Mar 13 2012, 12:45
- - tinpanalley   Ok, I'll increase levels on my own without cli...   Mar 13 2012, 20:06
- - 2Bdecided   Yes, I usually find the "correct" curve ...   Mar 14 2012, 11:49
- - Porcus   (I am still a bit surprised that I don't find ...   Mar 14 2012, 11:57
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 14 2012, 05:57) (I am...   Mar 14 2012, 18:20
- - botface   FWIW when I was doing my major "78 project...   Mar 14 2012, 19:52
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (botface @ Mar 14 2012, 18:52) FWIW...   Mar 14 2012, 20:38
|- - botface   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 14 2012, 19:38) QU...   Mar 15 2012, 19:36
|- - tinpanalley   I'm gonna get in touch with someone I know in ...   Mar 15 2012, 20:40
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (botface @ Mar 15 2012, 18:36) I do...   Mar 19 2012, 15:45
|- - botface   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 19 2012, 14:45) QU...   Mar 20 2012, 10:24
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (botface @ Mar 20 2012, 04:24) ...   Mar 20 2012, 15:44
- - tinpanalley   Just double checking.... it's RIAA inverting A...   Mar 15 2012, 21:10
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 15 2012, 21:10) ...   Mar 16 2012, 02:07
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 15 2012, 20:07) QUOTE...   Mar 16 2012, 02:34
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 02:34) ...   Mar 16 2012, 13:18
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 16 2012, 07:18) (Had ...   Mar 16 2012, 15:57
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 15:57) ...   Mar 16 2012, 16:33
- - tinpanalley   Can't thank all you guys enough for your help....   Mar 16 2012, 21:08
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 21:08) ...   Mar 16 2012, 21:21
- - tinpanalley   Better before inverting the RIAA curve. Trust me, ...   Mar 16 2012, 21:31
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 21:31) ...   Mar 16 2012, 21:49
|- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 16 2012, 15:49) ... t...   Mar 16 2012, 22:03
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 17:03) ...   Mar 19 2012, 13:07
||- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Mar 19 2012, 07...   Mar 19 2012, 16:10
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 19 2012, 16:10) ...   Mar 19 2012, 19:14
||- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (Porcus @ Mar 19 2012, 13:14) Now s...   Mar 19 2012, 19:34
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Mar 16 2012, 21:03) ...   Mar 19 2012, 15:33
- - 2Bdecided   Go on, post a raw capture (45rpm with RIAA intact,...   Mar 19 2012, 19:05
- - tinpanalley   Am I perhaps doing something wrong with Equalizer?...   Mar 20 2012, 22:40
- - 2Bdecided   It doesn't change the speed. It can apply the ...   Mar 21 2012, 10:11
- - tinpanalley   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 21 2012, 04:11) It...   Mar 21 2012, 17:39
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