I was thinking about this concept. Do you think you'd get a well-defined enough negative of the
groove to play it back? It seems to me that you're so many generations removed from the original
groove that what you end up with will be too physically different and distorted to sound any good. I
thought one of the problems with shellac is that it ends up with a non "sharp" reproduction of the
groove. Plus, wouldn't you be "baking in" surface noise from the non-smooth shellac surface? I was
thinking using optical scanning and "photoshopping" the resulting image, you could sharpen up the
groove's pitch and path and also "erase" the roughness of the walls and bottom.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Pomeroy" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, November 23, 2012 10:53 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Stuff of which dreams are made
Indeed, a machine cannot create out of thin air something it "thinks" is "missing", but
the technique of interpolation (now more than twenty years old) can often provide a
convincing fill-in. I believe Sonic Solutions' NoNoise was the first, followed by processors
from CEDAR and many others using versions of the basic idea: analysis of the music
before and after an audio disruption, be it a "click" or scrape or whatever, can give the
computer enough information to synthesize something like the missing music. This
doesn't always work, of course, especially if the texture of the music is rapidly changing,
or if the duration of the disruption is very long.
The device (IRENE) which Carl Haber developed is a unique tool, originally developed
for playing vertical recordings, but the audio quality has, so far, been less than ideal.
One idea which might prove fruitful, would be to make a new negative impression from
a worn 78, and plate it and play the plated metal part with the bi-point styli designed for
playing negatives. The idea here is that the ridge on the negative represents the very
bottom of the original groove, and since most groove wear is on the sides and not at
the very bottom, this might allow a cleaner transfer of the music.
> Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2012 11:53:22 -0500
> From: Steve Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Stuff of which dreams are made
> Seems to me this is a two-parter.
> The first is to rebuild one wall from the attributes of the other.
> The deeper problems occur when both walls are so damaged that the synthesis
> issue enters. In many cases, looking for an identical iteration of a note
> or phrase from an un- or lesser damaged segment elsewhere, particularly in
> the "A" of songs in "AABA" form, would be the next step. After that,
> synthesis has to take over. Of course, an second copy, no matter how badly
> damaged, could enter the picture. If done with the electron microscope, it
> needn't even be trackable.
> As the late Mr. Saul said, "The Future Lies Ahead."
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Fine
> Sent: Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:43 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Stuff of which dreams are made
> The only comment I have on this line of thinking is, it's very hard for a
> machine to create out of
> thin air something it "thinks" is "missing." When you get into something
> involving human senses and
> brain together -- music, art, photography, moving pictures -- it's not just
> an "artificial
> intelligence" thing but also an "artificial aesthetic" thing.
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