audio restoration

The Art of Restoring Older Music

by Wes on February 17, 2011 · 0 comments

There many great artists of the past we all know and love, like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Richard, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. The trick to restoring old music is all about how good the mastering artist is. What I’m talking about mastering, I’m not talking about how good recording technician is, I’m talking about mastering a record.

There is a special niche in recording music of people that specialize in restoring old music. The quality of the recordings and tools we use for sound recording back in the day were not quite as advanced as they are now. Now we do everything digitally and have full control of all the little ranges and frequencies. Before we do not have those luxuries, so how do you get those luxuries of old music?

Well, the answer is modern tools and plug-ins with digital recording equipment and capturing the original tracks from the original tapes. Restoring older music takes lots of patience is not for everybody. First you have to get hands on the master disc and you have to copy over every track in the digital format. From that point you will have your work cut out for you you have to get rid of all the background noises, the analog junk, problems and background noises from the original recording and much much more. There’s some great tools out there that can really help you restore old music. One of those would be the Algorithmix Scratch Free Pro plugin, or the Sequoia Spectra cleaning tool. These can help eliminate unnecessary noises and filter out the negative background noise that is so common in older recordings.

After you get rid of all the unnecessary junk, it will be time to bring out the quality of the song through use of compression, filtering and frequency balance. This can be done like any normal mixing technique and requires very sensitive ears and lots of patience.

One of the biggest challenges the restoration artists face is keeping the original feel of the song, but bringing out the better tonality that might’ve been captured in the original recording. Restoration artists always want to keep the integrity and intent of the original recording while enhancing it for modern ears. The trick is really a eliminating the background noise and bringing to life the tonality range that exist on the original recording.

For more information on restoring music and mastering please visit:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug05/articles/ptrestoration.htm

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