[Dixielandjazz] Restoring old 78 rpm jazz recordings

BudTuba at aol.com BudTuba at aol.com
Sat Mar 12 08:30:02 PST 2005

>>>>>>I have transferred a few old recordings to CDs for my own archives and certainly do not consider myself professional enough to do such a thing as a business venture either for fun or profit. However, it's possible that some of you may have developed an interest in this sort of thing.

If you can clean up old 78 jazz records and convert them to digital .wav files for burning onto CD, and if you do this on any sort of professional (or even amateur) basis for others, would you please contact me and tell me about it.

Those of us jazz nuts who would like to archive our old 78s in a convenient clean form, playable using digital technology would, I'm sure, be interested in techniques for doing it themselves or references to those who do this sort of work.

Are there software programs for such purposes that will clean up cracks, scratches, clicks, and other strange and unwanted noises and then burn such cleaned up tracks onto CDs playable in any CD player?<<<<


I have been converting records to tape and later digital for some time now.  Before the advent of digital recording, I used an SAE Click and Pop Machine for removing such defects and found that if I played the 78 records at 45 rpm, the dynamics of the higher speed would be improved.  So I modified a cassette tape recorder to record at 45/78s regular speed (1 7/8's inches per second).  Then when this cassette was played in a regular speed, it sounded correct.

New digital recording can similarly be corrected by conversions of samples per second.  

I use Cool Edit 2000 for this and that was upgraded by the manufactured  to Cool Edit Pro by Syntrillium Software, before they were bought out by Adobe and now is marteted as Audition at $289 for what was back 5 years ago available at $69!  So if you can locate a copy of Cool Edit 2000 or Cool Edit Pro on Ebay, you will get the essential functioning at much less cost.

These products include click removal, but depending on that alone is not recommended since you can over-filter out information so that the recording sound flat and lifeless.  Remember when you listened to 78's the excitement was actually enhanced somewhat by a a little snap-crackle-pop.  I was introducted to trad jazz by a 78 collector who used to play the records over Voice of The Theatre speakers cranked way up so you could hear these guys open their spit valves!

So by applying modest click filtering and then listening to the resultant and manually removing defects which detracting is advisable.

I have converted many 78's to .wav and mp3 files and would be glad to send samples to you on off-list messages. 

Roy (Bud) Taylor
Smugtown Stompers Jazz Band
Trad Jazz since 1958...we ain't just whistling dixie!

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