Some 30+ odd years ago I did this sort of thing with tape at
30ips using spot erase on a multitrack. You'd mark off the offending
noise with a china marker by rocking the reels, then hitting record in
the center of the marked area with the reeling motors switched off, rock
the tape to the ends of the marked area, then as you continued to move
the tape between the marks you'd switch off record. The ramping down of
the erase signal by the recorder and the fact you kept the tape in
motion meant there wouldn't be any pops put back on the tape. I did a
few scary 'window edits' in wide format tape as well, but scary was
certainly the word for it. Only worked well if you used a mag developer
on the tape so you could visualize where to notch the tape with a blade.
It worked well if you were very careful, and the tape path of the
machine was very good as well. Always ended up being done on masters,
not copies, so there was only one chance to make it work.....
I guess we all worked with what we had at the time....
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rod Stephens
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 10:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] De-clicking
This discussion is taking me back to the '60s when I worked in Hollywood
as an assistant film editor.
Tom Fine wrote:
> Hi Doug:
> Thanks for the further info. I had never heard of this oxide-scraping
> technique until today.
The oxide-scraping technique was also used in 35mm film editing when
mag-stripe sound tracks replaced optical sound. We, of course, edited
our separate sound track with the 35mm work print picture. There were
times when a mag head reader or a butt splicer could become magnetized
and create pops at splices. You could order reprints of the mag
soundtrack, but if there were a lot of pops, the assistant or apprentice
would have to try to fix them, and the easiest way was to either scrap
the splice or use acetone to wipe off enough of the oxide to get rid of
the offending modulation. Also, I saw music editors physically wipe
(acetone) the beginning or end of a music cue to make a smoother
transition to a music edit. You could even make a pretty smooth fade
in or fade out the technique. Needless to say, working with sound
tracks came with its own bag of tricks which you added to as you worked
around the pros.
The wonderful thing about digital today is the ease and the use of trial
and error with multiple levels of undo. I have used CoolEdit Pro for a
number of years, and when I did remastering from 16" transcription disks
to digital, I had to fix a lot of clicks and pops. In fixing pops, I
found that Pro had an excellent pop eliminator capability:
> The Click/Pop Eliminator works by searching for anomalies in the audio
> data that could be construed as clicks or pops (Detection), and then
> replacing or repairing the damaged location (Correction). Using the
> Click/Pop Eliminator is more accurate than just cutting out the click,
> or replacing the data with a straight line.
It would seem to analyze the surround modulation and replace the spike
with modulation that closely matched the surrounding peaks or valleys.
Sometimes, the pop was so strong that it had a lot of low frequency in
it, and would have to use a low frequency FFT filter at the pop site.
It usually smoothed it out, but I wasn't above in replacing the area
with other nearby modulation (copy) that closely matched the doctored
section. If it was in a quiet section, you could easily grab some
"fill" elsewhere. It was much the same technique as in film when sound
effects editors had libraries of 35mm reels of different kinds of
backgrounds which they called "fill" to fix every occasion. The "old
timers" all had their tricks to make the sound tracks work and to hide
any bad artifact that might show up on the dubbing stages with those big
"Voice of the Theater" sound systems running at high decibels.
I would think that the audio engineers who did the three track mastering
on 35mm probably used similar techniques.