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Cleaning Recordings From Vinyl


hickory
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I have recorded several hundred tracks from 45 and 78 records. Some are fairly clean but in many others there is considerable clicks, crackles and noise. Sound Editor has done a good job of cleaning the tracks. However, there seems to be a condiderable reduction in volume after cleaning, saving and re-opening the track. Is that normal or what?

 

Is there a way to clean a track and to maintain the volume. I have tried "Maximize volume" as well as dragging the graph below the wave form, but this is not very successful. Does the sequence of adjusting volume and cleaning make a difference or does it matter if I clean, save, re-open and adjust volume? (I understand that if volume is increased, noise is also increased.) In other words, is it better to volume adjust, then clean or the other way around?

 

Also, I notice that Sound Editor seems to change the property for Genre. My original recording had a Genre of, say "xyx", but after saving, the Genre is "Meditative" or something else. Is there a way to stop this? Finally, Sound Editor also overrides the file name with all lower case so that "Now And For Always" becomes "now and for always". Is there any way to stop this?

 

All of these music files are .mp3 at 192kBps and 44kHz.

 

Many thanks for your suggestions. This is usually a very good forum.

 

 

 

 

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I have recorded several hundred tracks from 45 and 78 records. Some are fairly clean but in many others there is considerable clicks, crackles and noise. Sound Editor has done a good job of cleaning the tracks. However, there seems to be a condiderable reduction in volume after cleaning, saving and re-opening the track. Is that normal or what?

 

Is there a way to clean a track and to maintain the volume. I have tried "Maximize volume" as well as dragging the graph below the wave form, but this is not very successful. Does the sequence of adjusting volume and cleaning make a difference or does it matter if I clean, save, re-open and adjust volume? (I understand that if volume is increased, noise is also increased.) In other words, is it better to volume adjust, then clean or the other way around?

 

Also, I notice that Sound Editor seems to change the property for Genre. My original recording had a Genre of, say "xyx", but after saving, the Genre is "Meditative" or something else. Is there a way to stop this? Finally, Sound Editor also overrides the file name with all lower case so that "Now And For Always" becomes "now and for always". Is there any way to stop this?

 

All of these music files are .mp3 at 192kBps and 44kHz.

 

Many thanks for your suggestions. This is usually a very good forum.

I can't say that I've ever noticed any volume reduction from Sound Editor when using it to clean up tracks. One question, are you bringing multiple tracks into Sound Editor at one time when you do this? And if so, are you putting them on different internal tracks (such that you could overlap them)? If you're doing this, then indeed, Sound editor will decrease the volume of each track to ensure no clipping is created if you overlap the tracks. (It'll cut the volume in half if you use two internal tracks, or to one-third if you use three internal tracks, etc.)

 

Also, I always do all my initial capture from vinyl and subsequent cleaning up, using uncompressed .WAV files. Yes, it takes up more space, but it's faster than having to decompress and re-encode, it's also more accurate since you don't go through the lossy compression of .MP3, particularly if you're eventually going to put the songs onto an Audio CD.

 

Additionally, while Sound Editor does a decent job with it's cleaning functions, there are other programs that can do even more that you might want to consider, DCART, DART XP Pro, and the very useful GoldWave editor.

 

Something else that you may consider (though I realize you've already captured the songs), playing the vinyl "wet" can make a HUGE improvement in the initial capture. Yes, actually spraying the disc with some distilled water, and play it wet. Only do this if you're not planning to play the vinyl again, otherwise, you'll probably always want to play it wet as it does disturb the dirt and "set" it in the grooves. Try it on a real noisy disc and see what you think.

 

As for the "genre" tag, that doesn't exist in a .WAV file, so I can't help you there.

 

Hope that helps!

Edited by d_deweywright
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I can't say that I've ever noticed any volume reduction from Sound Editor when using it to clean up tracks. One question, are you bringing multiple tracks into Sound Editor at one time when you do this? And if so, are you putting them on different internal tracks (such that you could overlap them)? If you're doing this, then indeed, Sound editor will decrease the volume of each track to ensure no clipping is created if you overlap the tracks. (It'll cut the volume in half if you use two internal tracks, or to one-third if you use three internal tracks, etc.)

 

Also, I always do all my initial capture from vinyl and subsequent cleaning up, using uncompressed .WAV files. Yes, it takes up more space, but it's faster than having to decompress and re-encode, it's also more accurate since you don't go through the lossy compression of .MP3, particularly if you're eventually going to put the songs onto an Audio CD.

 

Additionally, while Sound Editor does a decent job with it's cleaning functions, there are other programs that can do even more that you might want to consider, DCART, DART XP Pro, and the very useful GoldWave editor.

 

Something else that you may consider (though I realize you've already captured the songs), playing the vinyl "wet" can make a HUGE improvement in the initial capture. Yes, actually spraying the disc with some distilled water, and play it wet. Only do this if you're not planning to play the vinyl again, otherwise, you'll probably always want to play it wet as it does disturb the dirt and "set" it in the grooves. Try it on a real noisy disc and see what you think.

 

As for the "genre" tag, that doesn't exist in a .WAV file, so I can't help you there.

 

Hope that helps!

 

 

Thank you for your answers. No, I am working with only one clip at a time. The other thing I noticed is that, if I play the song in Windows Media Player, the volume seems higher. However, that might be because Media Player is set to "normalize". I don't know. But I have made a copy of a clip and edited that clip with Sound Editor. Then, when I play both the original and the copy, there is a difference in volume.

 

Any other thoughts would be helpful.

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Note that Dave has said .wav is the best way, and you have said you've recorded in .mp3, which is a lossy format. (Definition of lossy)

 

The problem with "lossy" format - the reason .mp3 is so much smaller than .wav - is in part because there is less information there, and every time you re-save it, more information is lost.

 

If you simply re-save the file each time, instead of doing a "save-as" to create a new file, then all the original work is reduced in quality with each save.

 

Which is to say, for best results you are probably going to have to re-do the work :(

 

Lynn

Edited by lynn98109
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Note that Dave has said .wav is the best way, and you have said you've recorded in .mp3, which is a lossy format. (Definition of lossy)

 

The problem with "lossy" format - the reason .mp3 is so much smaller than .wav - is in part because there is less information there, and every time you re-save it, more information is lost.

 

If you simply re-save the file each time, instead of doing a "save-as" to create a new file, then all the original work is reduced in quality with each save.

 

Which is to say, for best results you are probably going to have to re-do the work :(

 

Lynn

 

I really appreciate your recommendations. They are all really helpful. I take it that this is very similar to editing a bitmap image versus a jpeg.

 

Would you see a problem if I originally recorded the clip as a WAV file, completed my edits and, when final, converted it to an mp3 file? I do have to do some edits -- mainly removing the first few seconds where the stylus initially hits the record, and of course, reducing the clicks, crackles and other noise.

 

Also, I have already recorded a few hundred clips. It would take many days to do it over again. Since these are old vinyls, the quality isn't that great to begin with. So, what happens if I just increase the volume.

 

Finally, I have NCH Switch software that converts an audio file to any other format. I understand that converting an mp3 to wav isn't going to help, but would it be OK to convert a wav to an mp3 after all editing, knowing there will be some loss?

 

Many thanks. I am really learning some important stuff from you all.

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I really appreciate your recommendations. They are all really helpful. I take it that this is very similar to editing a bitmap image versus a jpeg.

 

Would you see a problem if I originally recorded the clip as a WAV file, completed my edits and, when final, converted it to an mp3 file? I do have to do some edits -- mainly removing the first few seconds where the stylus initially hits the record, and of course, reducing the clicks, crackles and other noise.

 

Also, I have already recorded a few hundred clips. It would take many days to do it over again. Since these are old vinyls, the quality isn't that great to begin with. So, what happens if I just increase the volume.

 

Finally, I have NCH Switch software that converts an audio file to any other format. I understand that converting an mp3 to wav isn't going to help, but would it be OK to convert a wav to an mp3 after all editing, knowing there will be some loss?

 

Many thanks. I am really learning some important stuff from you all.

 

If you are going to burn the edited files, to a CD, then keep them as .wav files.

 

Your comment on old vinyl, and quality, is not quite accurate. The fidelity, in those old vinyl records, far surpasses any commercial CD, or CD that you make.

Edited by grandpabruce
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I really appreciate your recommendations. They are all really helpful. I take it that this is very similar to editing a bitmap image versus a jpeg.

 

Would you see a problem if I originally recorded the clip as a WAV file, completed my edits and, when final, converted it to an mp3 file? I do have to do some edits -- mainly removing the first few seconds where the stylus initially hits the record, and of course, reducing the clicks, crackles and other noise.

 

Also, I have already recorded a few hundred clips. It would take many days to do it over again. Since these are old vinyls, the quality isn't that great to begin with. So, what happens if I just increase the volume.

 

Finally, I have NCH Switch software that converts an audio file to any other format. I understand that converting an mp3 to wav isn't going to help, but would it be OK to convert a wav to an mp3 after all editing, knowing there will be some loss?

 

Many thanks. I am really learning some important stuff from you all.

Your analogy of the JPG vs. Bitmap is quite apt. The .MP3 sounds very similar to the original .WAV, but it is indeed missing something. In some cases you have to listen hard to hear the difference, in other cases, not so hard.

 

You haven't told us what you're ultimate "end" is for these tracks. If you're going to go to Audio CD, then the absolute best thing you could do would be to re-capture them as .WAV files, and it may not be worth the time to you to do that. The next best thing, in my opinion, would be to convert what you have now to .WAV files, prior to any more processing. Do all your post-processing (cleaning/noise reduction, volume increases (yes, that's okay)) keeping everything as .WAV files up through putting them onto CD. At that point, you probably also want the files as .MP3s, so then re-encode them and do with them as you will.

 

Converting them to .MP3 now, will not lose any more music than is already lost from the original encoding. The next conversion to .MP3 will lose some more music, so you want to keep the number of encoding passes to a minimum.

 

Hope that helps!

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