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Cassette Tape to Digital Poor Quality Sound (Help.Me)

Discussion in 'Audio' started by cupelix, May 2, 2003.

  1. cupelix

    cupelix Guest

    Thanks in Advance for any help one of you might offer.

    I am far from an Audio Pro, yet have been trying to take some old cassette tapes and restore the sound quality they originally had, and enhance it even. As for this file in particular it seems to have lost its high's and mids. When I run it through a simple EQ plugin I just dont get the clarity I need, it just sounds worse.

    Here is the steps I took in recording this tape.

    #1 - Used a brand new Sony Tape deck , with preamp mixer and got the sound quality as close to 0 DB as I could (as reccomended by many audio recording sites I have read). I recorded at 44.1 hz, 16 bit through my SBLIVE card. I saw no loss in quality from tape to digital.

    #2 - I then loaded Wavlab and watched the spectrum analyser and saw the highs and some mids were very low. I tried to raise this up in value but it just made the sound even more distorted than it already was.

    I have many tapes like this I would like to restore, re-master (or whatever the term is). I have attached this file (in original .wav format) and uploaded it to the alt.binaries.sound.mp3 newsgroup. The topic is called:

    "Sound Pro's can you give tips on how to fix this Audio File? Email - Trick@lvcm.com"

    You can also download the .wav file clip at - http://www.lvcm.com/trick/badwav/badwav.wav

    Any help on cleanup (what software/settings to use), examples , web links on fixing this sorta of stuff is GREATLY appreciated!!!! Heck if someone wants to clean it up themselves and email it back with the steps you used to do it, that would even be better.

    This advice would be Pricessless, thanks again in advance to anyone who can help this audio newbie.

    Email - trick@lvcm.com



    PS - I have read about the CEDAR system, is this hardware based only???

  2. JimPBish

    JimPBish Member

    May 3, 2003
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    I'm surprised the equaliser had any effect on it at all. There's nothing to equalise!

    I used the High Frequency Rebirth feature of Nero Wave Editor (comes with Nero Burning ROM - I think) to recreate the lost frequencies (there didn't appear to be anything significant beyond 6.5KHz) and Cool Edit's FFT filter to boost them to an audible level.

    The result is at http://users.tpg.com.au/jdogg/badwav.mp3 It sounds clearer, but it still sounds pretty bad (particularly the first half). It has some noticable artifacts which some might say makes it sound worse than the original. Still it's amazing how much NWE can pluck out of thin air.

    Anyway if you find the output to be an improvement, post again and I'll go into more detail on how I did it.
  3. cupelix

    cupelix Guest



    Here's what I did with the file.

    1. I used Waves LMB (a multiband compressor/expander) as an expander to tame down the noise. It basically works like a multiband noise gate, but without a gate!

    2. It still wasn't quite clean enough, so I then processed it with Waves X-noise.

    3. I then used Waves LMB again, but this time as a multiband compressor to get the basic balance between the instruments where I wanted to hear them.

    4. I set up an auxillary bus with a VERY short reverb with a 30ms predelay to open up the sound just a bit.

    5. I used the Waves L2 limiter at the end (on the master bus) to get the sound as "in-your-face" as possible.

    Let me know what you think of the results.

    That said, the original transfer isn't that great. I've done some amazing things from cassette masters.


    Here is his return of quality ...


    and since I dont have alot of disk space on this link, I had to encode the original mp3 to
    --alt preset extreme but it still will give you and example how bad it was


    Thanks for the advice people!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2003

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