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Digitizing Rare Vinyl 397

Posted by kdawson
from the quarter-taped-to-the-tone-arm dept.
eldavojohn writes "While the RIAA is busy changing its image to a snake eating its own tail, one man is busy digitizing out-of-print 78s. 'There's a whole world of music that you don't hear anymore, and it's on 78 RPM records,' he stated to Wired. Right now, you can find about 4,000 MP3s on his site, with no digital noise reduction implemented yet."
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Digitizing Rare Vinyl

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  • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:56PM (#24578141) Homepage Journal

    Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

    • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:58PM (#24578165)

      Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

      Is that before or after they yell at him for not storing as .wav or .flac?

      • by prestomation (583502) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:24PM (#24578307)

        He's archiving as wavs, and simply making available the mp3s. I wouldn't want to host those wavs, do you?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Trogre (513942)

          No, but I sure would be grateful if he'd post them in a format not controlled by a patent troll.

          Ogg Vorbis would be fine, and he'd have the benefit of smaller files for the same quality.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            wget http://78records.cdbpdx.com/ -O 78records.html
            wget -i 78records.html -F
            rm *html *mdb
            foreach song (*.mp3)
            ffmpeg -i "$song" "${song}.ogg"
            end

            • by lokedhs (672255) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:37AM (#24579025)
              Great, now you have the worst of both worlds.
            • by Xizer (794030) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @03:25AM (#24579511)
              Transcoding from a lossy format to another lossy format sounds GREAT on the ears!
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by hedwards (940851)

                It's kind of moot considering that one would have to transcode from ogg to something useful if one is to listen to the files on a portable player.

                I know there's probably one or two players on the market that can handle ogg, but most of them can't, and as such MP3 is a far more useful format. Excluding of course any of the lossless codecs.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Hairy Heron (1296923)

                  It's kind of moot considering that one would have to transcode from ogg to something useful if one is to listen to the files on a portable player.

                  Actually a number of portable players support OGG and for things like iPods, etc you just install RockBox. No need to transcode anything.

              • by interstellar_donkey (200782) <pathighgate@hotmail . c om> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @06:56AM (#24580433) Homepage Journal

                The record is not necessarily a lossy format. While pure digital (mp3s encoded at 320+) gives you a lot of good sound, it still can't compete with the warmth and depth of old fashioned vinyl. I realize a lot of people will disagree with this, but most of those people haven't listened to a record on a high quality turntable through a good amplifier playing on really good speakers.

                The difference is highly noticeable.

                Sadly, you'll find more folks listening through the speakers that came with their fancy new Dell claiming the difference can't be heard.

                • by Lisandro (799651) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @08:31AM (#24581079)

                  There's no technical reason for vinyl to sound better than its modern digital counterparts. Outside a (much) higher frequency bandwidth, there is no real technical reason [hydrogenaudio.org] for vinyl to sound better. On the other hand, albums were mastered much better back then - CDs offer a wider dynamic range than vinyl for example, but recordings nowadays end up so compressed that you'd never imagine it.

                  I love listening to my old vinyl albums, but i have well-mastered CDs that sound awfully better than anything vinyl i've tried. The remastered versions of Pink Floyd albums are a good example.

                  • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @09:12AM (#24581565) Journal

                    there is no real technical reason for vinyl to sound better

                    Sorry, but your link is woefully ignorant and has some really bad inaccuracies. For instance, "The vinyl surface is heated to several hundred degrees on playback, and repeat play of the same track should wait at least several hours until the vinyl has cooled". That is just utter bullshit. Not everything in that article is wrong, but there is much wefully inaccurate information in it.

                    The 44k samples per second of the CD limits the upper frequencies to 22kHz. Yes, that's higher than you can hear, but all the high frequency harmonics are gone. Those harmonics color the frequencies you CAN hear. Plus, the closer you get to that 22k, the more aliasing you have.

                    Analog mastering introduces noise, but digital mastering introduces rounding errors and aliasing.

                    If you have an analog medium from a digital master, or a digital medium from an analog master, you have the worst of both worlds, with th edisadvantages of both and the advantages of neither. The LP of Led Zeppelin's Presence will sound better than the CD (provided your turntable is good enough), while the CD of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit will sound better than an LP version no matter how good your turntable is.

                    Digital has a far larger dynamic range than analog, but oddly the only place you see those dynamics is in the movies, and they're done badly there. I've wished for a "dynamics compression" module so I could watch a movie where the music wasn't thundering while the speech is berely audible. CDs, OTOH, almost never use the dynamic range they are capable of. I can NOT for the life of me figure out why the LP version of Boston's first album has so much more dynamics than the CD version; technically, the CD should have more dynamics. It's just a matter of bad remastering.

                    I got a few things wrong in Digital vs. analog- which is better? [kuro5hin.org] (tape speed for one), but whoever wrote that wiki you linked should read it.

                    Also if you want to digitize your own vinyl, read How to rip from vinyl or tape [kuro5hin.org]. I should have more strongly stressed in both articles that with analog, the quality of the playback device is of utmost importance for fidelity. Usually with analog equipment (although not always) the more you pay, the better it will sound, even to untrained old ears.

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      by adolf (21054)

                      Every DVD player I've ever owned, from a fancy and early Apex, to a pyrotechnic Toshiba, a moderately expensive JVC, a so-cheap-its-nearly-funny RCA player from Walmart, and now a PS3, has had such a "dynamics compression" option either buried in the menu, or right out on its own remote button.

                      Go look for it.

                      If you're using a digital feed to a surround receiver, then you'll instead need to find a similar option there. If it doesn't exist, you can always buy 5.1 channels worth of analog stereo compressors,

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      I couldn't have said it better myself.

                      I've wished for a "dynamics compression" module so I could watch a movie where the music wasn't thundering while the speech is berely audible.

                      Many modern receivers have something called "dark mode", which corrects that to a certain extent. It's designed to make it easier to watch movies at night while people are sleeping, so that the thunderous music and special effects sounds are toned down so you can still hear the dialogue, all at acceptable volume levels.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by billcopc (196330)

                    The problem with that particular wiki page comes from its "sources", which are mostly non-expert debates in the forums. Arguing back and forth until both parties admit they're unqualified, does not result in a statement of fact. One such thread featured an EE and a beginning self-taught DSP coder, making random statements, performing fundamentally flawed experiments using known-poor sound editing software (sorry, Audacity!), and finally divining contradictory observations from the absolutely useless resul

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by morcheeba (260908)

                  I've heard this argument before, so I was really excited to mind a copy of my all-time favorite record sitting on the coffee table in the basement listening room of one of the fanciest audiophile stores in D.C.. I know this record; it was recorded with a single microphone and the musicians moved further or closer to it to adjust their relative volume. With lots of excitement, I started playing it... and lots of static. so much static, that I couldn't ignore it -- with the cd you hear all the creaks of the m

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  Just to clear up some confusion, 78 RPM records are not made out of vinyl. They are made from shellac (for the most part) and are far noisier than vinyl because of the roughness of the shellac. In early 78s they would even add abrasives to the shellac so that the record would literally sharpen the steel needle as it was played. The SNR (Signal-to-Noise-Ratio) of the best 78 RPM record is horrible when compared to even the worst vinyl (ie. LP, 45). The work that the person is digitizing from 78s pre-date
          • by spoco2 (322835) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:10AM (#24578875)

            And the inability to play them on 99% of personal music or other players for that matter.

            Jesus, people can be ridiculously over the top in their support of 'open' formats.

            You don't have to pay anything for listening to the MP3s, he doesn't have to pay anything for making them.

            They are playable on the widest number of players possible, stop whinging.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by SuperQ (431) *

              And you don't have to post only one format. If there were a choice of FLAC, mp3, and ogg on the site for different prices based on file size there isn't a problem.

              4000 tracks is not really that much space anyway.

              My entire collection of 12k FLAC files is only 300G of space.

              • by spoco2 (322835) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:45AM (#24579077)

                He's not charging anything, this is a guy with an old turntable, a Dell, the software that came with his SoundBlaster and a copy of MultiMediaJukebox to convert to MP3 and Roxio to burn to DVD.

                It's just a guy working with what he has, and I seriously doubt he has the room or the time to create 4 different formats for every one of the 4000 tracks he has.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Reziac (43301) *

                It's not the space that will kill you. It's the bandwidth bill after someone decides to leech the entire collection.

          • Clearly you're right and he's doing it WRONG.

            Now that we've established that, when will you be converting all seven thousand-plus files from his site, building a front end, populating it, and giving us access to your obviously far superior solution?

            It's early in the week. You'll have it ready by Monday or so, right?

        • by Ziest (143204) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @12:53AM (#24578793) Homepage

          Why doesn't he contact archive.org. Archiving old material is their mission. I know they have the storage space and the bandwidth to handle it. Besides, I want to be able to torrent all the wav files. ; -)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by STrinity (723872)
          Not just MP3s, but 128 kbps MP3s. I know the guy means well, but there are plenty of other audiophiles doing the same thing, but they're ripping at 320 or using FLAC and putting the results on bit torrent.
      • by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:41AM (#24579043)

        Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

        Is that before or after they yell at him for not storing as .wav or .flac?

        50 years from now they'll say, "It's supposed to have compression artifacts. It garbles the hiss to signify the archaic bandwidth and storage capacity."

        Actually they'll just think it, and their Facebook status will automatically update.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jabithew (1340853)

        "But the bits beyond the hearing range of humans are the best bits!"

    • by The Ancients (626689) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @10:59PM (#24578171) Homepage

      Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

      So you're saying they'd throw a hissy fit?

    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:04PM (#24578195)
      Since the main purpose is for historical archiving, I hope they keep the original hissy digitizing even if they also do DSP.

      I was going to make a hissstorical pun but that's pointless.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by NothingMore (943591)
      Purest wouldn't know, they wouldn't listen to it in the first place because its an MP3. There moto is if it isn't FLAC or better, it isn't worth listening to.
    • by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:28PM (#24578333) Journal

      Then the purists should invent a way to digitally record all of the information. All the 3D characteristics of the record.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ozmanjusri (601766)
        Then the purists should invent a way to digitally record all of the information.

        ELP's [elpj.com] Laser Turntable gets part way there.

  • Slashdot (good ol' Slashdot effect), or the RIAA?

    I hope this guy plans on making a torrent with his stuff :-)
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:02PM (#24578189)

    The Library of Congress has an archival project:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1216161 [npr.org]

    This is going the other way - from digital to 78's. Shellac 78's appear to be the best archival format.

  • Victor Borge is one of those performers that just seems timeless, always good.

    I've been debating whether to use digital filtering for noise/scratches when I record my vinyl collection. It's kind of nice to hear it again. I've bookmarked that page! Awesome!

  • poor server (Score:2, Informative)

    by eyeareque (454991) *

    Someone should download the entire site and post it on bit torrent... then email this guy so he can put the bit torrent link on his site.

    I feel bad for his poor server.. its about to get quite a few hits since this is now on slashdot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      Particularly as undead lawyers for the artists will now attack him, like in The Fog.

  • ...and all of Dad's 78's are still safely tucked away...

  • 78's, 16's... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:21PM (#24578297)

    For all you whippersnappers who don't remember records: not only were there 78 RPM records, and of course the 33 1/3 and 45's you are aware of, but they also used to make 16's (technically 16 2/3 RPM). I used to own one record in that format (long since lost to the grue in the attic). It was just speech, not music; I think they didn't typically use that speed for music because of fidelity limitations of 16 RPM.

    I made the mistake of getting rid of my (admittedly modest) vinyl collection in the 80's when CD's were the up and coming thing. Sorta wish I hadn't, now. I'm not one of the people who think vinyl has superior sound, but it did have a certain charm.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Digital Pizza (855175)

      I was talking to a stereo repair guy in San Diego when a woman brought in an old record player, which happened to have the 16RPM speed available on it. He said that those records were pretty much just used for speech due to the low speed, and were mostly religious sermons recorded by preachers and sent out to their "flock" in the 1950's. (Presumably they switched to tape once that became common and affordable.)

    • Re:78's, 16's... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Z00L00K (682162) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:55AM (#24579121) Homepage

      And another part too...

      The 78 RPM records weren't on Vinyl - it's Shellac, which is a lot more sensitive than Vinyl.

  • Digitizing vinyl (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Announcer (816755) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:22PM (#24578301) Homepage

    In my many years in Radio, I've digitized a considerable amount of music from LP's and 45's. In most cases, I could get moderately scratchy cuts to sound almost new. The transformation is pretty impressive, to say the least! However, I wouldn't even THINK of compressing it to MP3 until AFTER I had run it through an audio clean-up utility, like Cool Edit or Audacity.

    I wonder how badly the MP3 compression affects the music with all of that hiss and crackle taking-up so much bandwidth? Also, how much would the compression artifacts affect the ability of the clean-up utility to do its job?

    I think it is a laudable thing to preserve some of this priceless music! Kudos!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Is there any good documentation on how to remove noise using Audacity?

  • sovmusic.ru (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:30PM (#24578343)

    A Russian has been up to this since the mid-90s, digitizing old Soviet LPs (1930s on up) and putting them on his site (http://www.sovmusic.ru/english/ [sovmusic.ru]) for free.

    It's a very extensive collection, and is worth a look, regardless of what you think about Russia's past or current behavior.

  • What an unlikely place to find cover of a video game theme [cdbpdx.com]...

  • by shoppa (464619) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:33PM (#24578371)

    Most 78's (there are exceptions, including the very famous and historically important V-discs) are not vinyl.

    They are shellac, or rather a mixture of shellac, wax, slate, and a cotton or paper filler.

    I personally believe that the decline of the music industry is directly related to the replacement of shellac with vinyl, and that the RIAA must remedy this decline immediately.

    • by NixieBunny (859050) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:50PM (#24578475) Homepage

      The paper filler was useful in some cases - it kept the record from falling apart, so it would still play (albeit extra-noisily) if cracked.

      There was a spectrum of record pressing quality back then, too. I have some Billy Holiday records on Columbia that are nearly unplayable due to surface noise, yet many other records sound very clean.

      Some later 78s were pressed with vinyl, such as Elvis stuff. It sounds very good.

  • Wax not vinyl (Score:3, Informative)

    by uncoveror (570620) <<moc.rorevocnu> <ta> <retsambew>> on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:33PM (#24578375) Homepage
    78s were not made of vinyl. The substance was much closer to wax, FYI.
  • check out the Cylinder Preservation Project: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/ [ucsb.edu]

    i got a bunch of stuff from there quite a while back. it's not exactly hi fi...but it's extremely interesting (if you're into the history of music sort of thing). probably even more than these 78s, though, you have to be aware that turn of the 20th century popular entertainment was often quite racist and bigoted. it's not all like that, but it's a definite presence in the collection.

  • by franois-do (547649) on Tuesday August 12, 2008 @11:56PM (#24578509) Homepage
    I would like to warn all people wanting to digitize 78rpm records : the sound you get using a magnetic cell, especially stereo or mono ones posterior to the invention of "universal engraving" (around 1965 ?), you will get a hissing and unpleasant sound, and poor restitution.

    Surprisingly, if you use a piezo, heavy cell (not suitable to read stereo records), you will get a much better sound, and almost no hiss. I got very good results at a time from a Dual 1010 turnable, unfortunately out of order now :-( I also have some Jack Hylton songs that do not seem to be present on his Internet tribute site (Bogey wail, Sarita...), for whoever is interested. I guess they are legally in the public domain now, as all of them date from before WW2.

    • by Barny (103770)

      I use an old Garrard Model RC 121 Mark II turntable, most likely from the early 1950's

      So, uh, he did it right then :)

      Yeah, I know, I RTFA, so sue me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is not the cartridge itself that matters. The shape of the needle changed from the 78 size to a smaller one for the microgroove recordings. (33 + 1/3 and 45 ) The smaller radius on the end of the later needles means that it will be riding on the bottom of the groove instead of on the two sides ( at 45 degrees). Back in the day (fifties and sixties)the cartridge often had both types and could be turned over to select the correct one.

      Of course for best fidelity the single use steel needle is preferred....:

      • by franois-do (547649) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @03:37AM (#24579601) Homepage

        It is not the cartridge itself that matters. The shape of the needle changed from the 78 size to a smaller one for the microgroove recordings. (33 + 1/3 and 45 )

        Yes. These cells commonly used a commutable needle : one for 78 rpm and another for the microgroove, and a level allowed to switch from one to the other. Needless to say, I supposed the right needle was used.

        That being said, piezo cartridges and magnetic ones accepted at a time these dual needles, so using the right needle is necessary, but here not sufficient :-)

        Of course for best fidelity the single use steel needle is preferred....:)

        That might be. When I was very young we used to have a "Peter Pan" portable mechanical 78rpm player and we had a box of needles, which had to be changed rather frequently. I had the surprise, when reading its user's manual to see that the manufacturer recommendend changing the needle after each record, which seems unbelievable. I always wondered if that really applied to steel needles, or just to former bamboo needles, which I never had a chance to see.

        I still have a wind up gramophone of maybe twenties or thirties vintage that uses these. No amplification, no electricity.

        What makes me sade evert time there is a technology change is the know-how that it lost with it forever - except perhaps a for a few passionates which allow it some survival. In french brocantes, it is common to find objects for sale, the function of which is ununderstandable, even for its preceding owners :-/

    • by molo (94384) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @08:41AM (#24581171) Journal

      FYI, in the US, it is only material published before 1923 that is guaranteed to be public domain.

      -molo

  • in the thread on the tragedy of the anticommons, but it seems even more relevant to this topic

    on the subject of intellectual property and the rare souls reviving old media through blood sweat and tears [aintitcool.com], the filmmaker vincent gallo [imdb.com] said this four years ago:

    Capone: The songs selections here are inspired at times. I really liked the Gordon Lightfoot song "Beautiful."

    V.G.: Thank you. The amount of time I spent choosing the music of the film would be unbelievable to you. The funny thing is, when it's not right, you spend all your time playing songs for people saying, "What do you think of this one? How about this one? How about this one?" You're dying, when you're on that level. When you hit it, it's so obvious and you immediately get a desperate feeling that says, "How am I going to get the rights? Are they going to fuck me on the rights to this song?" And guess who are the worst people in the movie business. The licensing people. They are most miserable, mean, selfish, insensitive, regressive, unproductive on the planet earth. You don't know what it's like to feel so strong about something and not have a budget to make that go away. It's not like I was looking to get some Paul McCartney song for my movie; I'm talking about esoteric music. Some of the music in the film didn't even exist, I had to rebuild the original master tapes that had decomposed. I had to re-bake the tape stock, the emulsion on the tape had peeling off. I'm the only person in the world who would salvage this particular recording because I had an original three-track machine and I knew how to bake that type of Ampex tape. The tape would have disappeared in two more years, and it's highly spliced. Then to be ballbusted for a year and a half on the licensing on that music. We talk about how long it took for me to get the film out after Cannes was because the film wasn't ready due to negative problems. I wanted to use this technique to blow up the negative in a new way. That's why I waited so long to finish the film. But it turns out that I would have had to wait seven, eight months anyway was the releases for the music. If you were dealing with the musician directly, you wouldn't have these problems. It's the people representing these artists that kill the process. I realize if you want to use the Beatles song "Revolution" to sell eyeglasses, I understand the exploitation of that. I understand that I'm using culturally significant relics to manipulate people into attaching those to my product. But if I'm using a rare piece of music by and unknown artist, not to brag, but the people whose music I use in my films sell way more records than they were selling before they were in my film. Proof of it is, the Italian artist who did this one jazz piece in my movie had sold 600 copies worldwide before my movie. Before my film was released just on the announcement that they were included people tracked down the music, and they sold something like 6,000 more copies. Why you're treated like you're exploiting this music makes no sense. If they're going to make a tough deal for you, just be up front about it. But this sort of, "We don't have time for you. What do you want?" stringing along is nonsense. And I'm the producer on THE BROWN BUNNY. I didn't have a music supervisor. I did the licensing for BUFFALO 66 and THE BROWN BUNNY. And of all my memories of making the film, that's my most painful memories.

    bottom line: revive old media, bring renewed attention AND SALES to a long forgotten artist and piece of music, and expect the corporate intellectual property assholes to punish you for effort

    thats the state of intellectual property today

    • by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @02:00AM (#24579145) Homepage Journal

      Thanks for that. When the Universal studio went up in smoke this year, it did not destroy films but it DID destroy the only known copies of any of their music from the 50s and earlier. How much money do you think they'll make from the ash? "Not a whole lot" is my guess. They also lost a lot of remastered early movies, where the originals are too artsy to be worth remastering again, going by $ value alone. Again, how much do you think they'll get from the smouldering remnants?

      Now, if those works had been generally available under public domain, those artists would be better known and maybe, if any works are still under honest copyright, have greater market value. But, no, they wanted their hard cash up-front and in big quantities, even if that meant risking losing everything. They don't care about what society has lost, they only care about what they can take for themselves.

      It might be better if there was staggered copyright whereby rights automatically revert from whoever owns the rights to the creator of the work after 40 years, and they (and their estate) get to hold the rights for a further 10 or 20 years. It wouldn't stop the corporate abuses, but it would restrict them, and it would lessen the need any actual artist might have for a longer copyright, because they'd be earning five to ten times as much per sale towards the end of the copyright lifetime.

  • by schwit1 (797399) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @12:25AM (#24578659)
    He's doin' Yosemite Sam!!
  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @12:34AM (#24578719) Homepage Journal

    As a suggestion, how about digitizing the songs several times and then using the redundant data to recreate the originals with no hiss or pop.

    As I understand it, pop is sometimes caused by buildup and sudden release of static electricity. This means that the pops will be in different places for different digitizations and can therefore be recognized and accounted for. Scratches, on the other hand...

    Hiss is stochastic noise and would average out over several recordings.

    It should be straightforward to use a correlation coefficient correction to bring all the recordings into "phase", then use a processing algorithm to remove most of the artifacts.

    The artifacts that remain can be removed using techniques more suited to single-images; ie - filtering to remove hiss and pop.

    • by XNormal (8617) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @03:47AM (#24579651) Homepage

      If static is indeed a significant source of noise it should be possible to reduce it by processing multiple playbacks of the recording. But I'm afraid that much of the noise in a typical record is already part of the medium in the form of tiny scratches and will not average out. You would need two or more imprints of the same master to fix that.

      Bringing the recordings into phase is not as straightforward as you describe. You need to track the variations in rotation rate and continuously stretch and compress the signal based on cross-correlation. But I'm sure there's a plugin that already does it.

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @12:56AM (#24578803) Homepage Journal

    some of the song lyrics are racist and at least one of them is x-rated and people have to request it.

    The early 20th century had a lot of raw, dry, dark, and offensive humor in their songs. People who didn't grow up during those days will find it horribly offensive, esp during the WWII anti-Japanese years or during when segregation was still a law and songs mocked African-Americans.

    Just a warning for people who are easily offended, some of these songs might offend them. So do us all a big favor if you are one of them and don't listen to those songs. Monty Python had a similar warning on their show for the same reasons.

  • by 6350' (936630) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:12AM (#24578889)
    This is quite an impressive bit of work, and kudos to dude for posting the mp3 version of his archived .wavs. Seeing the whole page of awesome music (and the sub pages of Japanese, Arabic, and Greek stuff as well) really makes me want to see this all packaged up as a torrent - and sooner than later. Spidey sense says many of these will be drawing unwanted interest.
  • by zakezuke (229119) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:17AM (#24578923)

    Silly question, regarding digitizing 78s. If one can get the right stylus, can't one take a 33 1/3 TT and sample at a 2.34:1 ratio so the net result is like 44.1/48/96 what have you. 78s are likely pre RIAA filters and as such base response shouldn't be that much of an issue.

  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @01:33AM (#24579003)

    If that were my project and I was putting that much work into the data creation I would want a lot more reliable hardware and backups. I'd also work to do more automation.

    But, awesome work, and thanks for sharing (:

  • The QUAD underground (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clokwise (844691) on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @02:06AM (#24579179) Homepage
    There are also an amazing number of people who are transferring old Quad albums and tapes from the 70s. They digitize them and then re-release them on Bittorrent as DTS encoded .wav files which can playback with any CD player and any standard 5.1 surround sound system. I personally possess nearly a terabyte of such albums, and I've hardly scratched the surface of what's out there. It's amazing to listen these old quad albums because most of them were professionally mixed and they enable the listener to appreciate the music more than any stereo recording can, often you get entirely different takes than the stereo release. Check out http://groups.google.com/group/SurroundSound/ [google.com] or Demonoid torrent site.
  • by Anthony (4077) * <adavid@adavid.com.au> on Wednesday August 13, 2008 @03:17AM (#24579481) Homepage Journal

    Dad had crates of them and he picked up cheap players at fetes that you could wind up.

    Sadly us young boys wrecked a number of the records and I ruined one of the players with my half-arsed engineering skills. I tried to slow the player down enough to play at 45rpms. The styluses were brass? or silver and would destroy the newer vinyl anyway. We grew up playing the Andrews Sisters, Glen Miller Band and Mario Lanza.

    When I was twelve, I visited a friend who played his "Fireball" Album and I left the 78s behind.

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