With regards to your reply
<"I would do the initial transfer as "flat" as possible; that way you will
have a reservation copy. You can always subsequently send the audio out of
the computer to any outboard gear you want to try, if you so choose.
Besides, you can make as many attempts at *tweaking* that way as you want,
the original more than once.>
you are ignoring the electrical facts of bit losses that I cited.
Let's assume that the recording has an atrociously high level of AMBIENT and
electronic noise. You'd be setting the maximum digitization (recording)
level for the loudest ambient noise (coughing, knocking, clock chiming, dog
barking, or the loudest uttered phoneme). In poorly made original tapes
(any analog format), the conversations (or their most useful frequencies)
might be 20 or more db below that. Assuming that you'd be starting @ 16 /
44.1, after processing, you'd be working with a bit depth of just a few
bits. Even if the A/D were initialized at 24 / 96, then significant losses
would still occur but be less sonically costly. When subsequently
readjusting the panoply of characteristics for maximum intelligibility,
DIGITAL NOISE AND DISTORTION would be imposed upon the results.
Unless a tape is self evidently, mortally deteriorating, it is often
desirable to replay it more than once. Otherwise, if it does not contain
unambiguous level documentation, (what % of tapes have tones & annotated db
= nWb/m?) how will you achieve best S/N & least distortion?
IF the source tape is monaural, then it's SIMPLE to achieve "preservation"
and "preprocessed" digitizations:
split the output: run one into "left" & the other into "right" of the A/D.
IF the source tape is stereo, bin-naural, whatever, then it's equally SIMPLE
to achieve "preservation" and "preprocessed" digitizations: split the two
pairs. Run one pair 'straight' and the other pair "preprocessed" into 4
This discussion spotlights the significant contextual differences between
preservation and engineering, in this case, of audio (and I'm sure, many
other fields). Their goals are not necessarily the same.
Remember, this cited case is NOT an auiophilic case. Sonic 'purity' IS NOT
the goal. UNDERSTANDING THE CONTENTS is what's necessary.
From: "Alyssa Ryvers" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2003 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] poor speech intelligibility
> I would do the initial transfer as "flat" as possible; that way you
> will have a preservation copy.
> You can always subsequently send the audio out of the computer to any
> outboard gear you want to try, if you so choose. Besides, you can make
> as many attempts at *tweaking* that way as you want, without playing
> the original more than once.
> Alyssa Ryvers
> On Sunday, October 12, 2003, at 10:07 AM, Art Shifrin wrote:
> > In this case "cleaning up sound" is not the goal. It's making it as
> > undeststandible as possible. As such, my adivce is not to be
> > concerned
> > with whatever noise or listening fatigue are brought out in whatever
> > proccesses are applied. I've found that compression and very narrow
> > band
> > peaking enable such decipherings. The band peaking's in the 3 - 5K
> > range in
> > which it's the overtones, rather than fundamentals that come through
> > When digitizing the originals, if at all possible do the compression
> > BEFORE
> > the A/D. Otherwise the very low level voices, when brought up will
> > suffer
> > from very low bit resolution that'll cause unnecessary noise.
> > If you have access to any good old analog outboard noise reduction gear
> > (i.e. Dolby or dbx), then their recording outputs will be compressed
> > with
> > pre-emphasized highs.
> > That's a good way to pretreat the signal BEFORE digitizing it. An
> > adjustable compressor (UREI, Orban, Manley would be better suited, but
> > you
> > can work wonders with the noise reduction encoders.
> > Best,
> > Shiffy