[Dixielandjazz] RE: Analog not just "warm" scratches

Paul Reid whadayesay@webtv.net
Tue, 20 Aug 2002 19:58:38 -0700 (PDT)

Nancy wrote: 
Till then, I don't mind the scratches. (A little higher and to the
Any "feedback" from sound engineers?

     Being a multi hat'd professionaly semi retired recording engineer
and musician, I have always been interested in preserving older
recordings including 78's going back to the early acoustical 1900's. I
agree with what Kash said about digital editing. It's the only way to
go. I do record in analog format and do my editing digitally, omitting
unnecessary pops scratches etc. I do replace the edited window's with
replacement samplings of frames surrounding the exact edited frames.
Most of the time it isn't noticeable at all. But in acoustical
restoration especially, it is important to have the cleanest source
available to work with. When they aren't real clean, then the fun
begins. The volume level on an item like this is not always the hottest.
So omitting as much surface noise as possible to begin with, without
destroying the original sound, allows one to increase the level of the
music source. Also, a good noise suppressor helps eliminate much foreign
substance. For what I'm doing, I am not using a computer, per se. I
could, but I am being much more meticulous. I am using digital
recorders. I'm not referring to Dat. That may be used later, but could
be used as an initial master referance source. Takes longer but the
results are worth it.
       There is a lot of sound in those early recordings that never made
it to the normal human ear. For the plain old (Speaking for my own 'bod'
) audiophile, there's a lot of whistles and horns to play around with
out there. One very important one is an equalizer. This helps coax the
sound in those early recordings, out more than they've ever been heard
      Right again, Kash. Most re-worked records and masters are not like
they originally were recorded. The Same goes for early 78's. It's also a
joy to enhance early electrical recording's. I don't want any of these
discs to sound the way that they did. I want to bring out what has been
in those grooves that has never been detected. It's a whole new ball
       Imitations of the sound of early recordings always has been
cleche'd as a filtered and tinny sound. But the designers of those
megaphone-like horns that Caruso and others played and sang into were
constantly trying to be improved on for better sounding recordings. Many
acoustic recordings had different and varied quality.

       Even the ODJB sound can still be improved on.

      An analog recording can never be a true digital recording. Analog
is analog. But it can be enhanced, as an analog recording into a digital
format with great results. What is nice about all this, is the discovery
of unknown old recordings of musicians, that are cleaned up via a
program like sonic solutions. Not only is it a new source of material by
a very well known jazz musician, It is also technically better to listen
to, then when it was first recorded. 

      I will say that there are some restorations that should have gone
back to the drawing board for a better job. An example is the Bear
Family package of Red Ingle side's recorded for Capitol. ("Tim-Tayshun")
Some of the Capitol cut's have what sounds like AC hum. How they let
something like that get by is not quality control for me. Sorry Don, but
they did a disservice to your dad  I have many of the originals which
have better quality. But for those of you who really appreciate Red, I
definitely would recommend getting it, regardless. 
"Uncle" Paul (for what it's worth + tax) Reid