On 23/05/07, Tom Fine wrote:
> One thing to consider about CEDAR. You might want to buy some of the
> CBS/Sony reissues of their 78 catalog from the earlier era of CD's,
> for instance any of the 2CD Duke Ellington sets. These were heavily
> CEDAR'd. I believe metal parts were used where available. One could
> also check out teh 3CD Billie Holiday set from CBS/Sony Legacy label.
> If you have original 78s (which would of course be vastly inferior to
> metal parts), you might want to listen and compare and decide for
> yourself. As I've said, I'm not as opposed to various NR schemes for
> stuff that my ears tell me is low-fi anyway, ie anything from the 78
> era. The CEDAR, as used in those examples, seems to remove a lot of
> physical-contact noise (whoosh, ticks and pops) but does seem to
> remove "air" and "space" around the music, assuming that was ever
> captured in the low-fi medium.
It was captured very well on jazz recordings made in the late 1920s with
single microphones, and it is preserved in the transfers made by John RT
Davies, but not IMO in those made by other engineers.
I don't know what noise reduction JRTD used.
> For my ears, there might be a slight
> edge to careful tick and pop removal through editing and some EQ to
> reduce noise.
I don't think EQ helps much to reduce either clicks, crackle or hiss, as
all of these cover the full range of frequencies. What EQ does is to
make the noise more like the music, so that it is harder for the brain
to separate them.
A good digital system like CEDAR is essentially automated editing.
> This method was tried and true until CEDAR came along
> and you can hear excellent examples from Frank Abbey at I think CBS on
> most of the Time-Life Legends of Jazz series of LPs. But the things
> that I don't like that I hear on the CD's might also be lousy A-D
> chain or a variety of non-CEDAR artifacts. So, again, just to state
> clearly -- I am not a Luddite and do agree that there are some
> examples where digital tools perform miraculous changes on older
> low-fi media to vastly improve audibility. One could take just about
> any of the Bluebird/BMG recent reissues done by Doug Pomeroy to hear
> what I'm talking about. I think Doug is on-list and will correct me if
> I'm wrong but I believe his method is use well-cleaned metal parts
> whenever possible, play back very precisely and use digital tools
> judiciously in the computer after A-D conversion. Finally, I'm sure
> this is stating the obvious but even if you are successful in removing
> much of the background noise, a 78 still has very limited frequency
> response and will this never approach "fidelity" by the dictionary
> definition of being true to the source.
They can offer higher fidelity than most modern recordings in respect of
depth and perspective. Close mic techniques killed these.
If you compare a 1929 Victor with a 1959 Blue Note, the timbre of the
instruments is perhaps better on the later recording, the
signal-to-noise ratio is much better, but the sensation of being in the
studio (or in any real space) with the musicians has completely gone.
I bought Doug's Centennial series and they are indeed successful.
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