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MMD > Archives > January 2003 > 2003.01.18 > 04Prev  Next

Sound Restoration Software For Macintosh
By John Ward

Christian Greinacher and Hal Estry suggested "Amadeus" as a good
Macintosh program.  I'd never heard of it, so decided to try it out.
I downloaded the demo tonight and fed some scratchy 78's through,
to see what it could do for them.

I found "Amadeus" to be a friendly, easy program to work with, and
I will keep it for recording and playing MP3 and other files.  At
US$25.00, it's a real good deal.  For working with 78 rpm discs,
however, it's next to useless.

The problem with 78s is that the noise isn't a constant hiss,
a la magnetic tape; it's a random bunch of transients, or clicks.
Even on a badly worn record, where the noise has become a steady roar,
it is just intensified "crackle".

The only thing that will attack the "crackle" without affecting the
original audio is a "de-clicker", being some kind of algorithm that
can detect the transients and deal with them on an individual basis.
It's also essential to have a few "handles" on the algorithm, so that
its threshold and suppression characteristics can be tailored to the
task, as no two records are alike.

"Amadeus" has a "de-noiser", which works much like the one in DC-ART,
but it lacks the necessary handles.  Its effects are devastating, or
weird, or both, depending on the settings.  I'm sure it works well for
tape hiss, but not for the random racket on a worn 78 record.

So far, the only cheap de-clicking program I've seen that actually
works is DC-ART, which was originally written for restoring Edison
Diamond Discs.  I've been using it for 5 years, and have processed
100 or more 78s with it.

As I said in my last post, it's compatible with Virtual PC, so can be
run on a Mac.  It's as easy, or easier, to use than "Amadeus", and has
additional features, such as a parametric equalizer.  It does eat up
[hard drive] disk space, as it works only with 16-bit WAV files.

John Ward

(Message sent Sun 19 Jan 2003, 01:48:54 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Macintosh, Restoration, Software, Sound

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