I only obtained the later Radiola releases in the past few years (I had the
early one's from my early days of otr collecting) and the "warbles" took me
by surprise. I wasn't expecting odd artifacts like that on these discs
since my earliest memories of digital processing were some of the Columbia
Legacy reissues of 78s that were done in the late 80s and early 90s.
I like Ellis's suggestion of "impulse noise reduction processing" to
describe it. In my notes on the discs, I'm including observations on flaws
in the source material or transfer that are common - such as heavy
scratches or groove wear, hum, or network line noise - and couldn't think
of a good way to describe what's happening on these Radiola releases. It's
the only otr lps I've found with this issue.
I've found some really great sounding transfers on these lps and some that
are astonishingly bad - there's one set I have that sounds like it was
recorded by literally holding up a microphone to a radio and several from
one company that have an extremely loud 60 cycle hum through the whole show.
I've got some lps that use network master tapes of "Gunsmoke", "Dragnet",
and the Gielgud "Sherlock Holmes" series that are some of the best otr I've
heard on vinyl - on the Sherlock Holmes set, you can hear one section very
clearly where the oxide has flaked off the tape.
On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
> Hello, Randy,
> This is a very interesting sample, especially based on Tom Fine's
> comments--thanks, Tom, for reminding me of the "nip and tuck" tape method.
> An aside--I obtained several Studer A807s from someone who _SAID_ they
> came from the Church of Scientology. There were two odd things about them
> that relate to this: (1) Each had a nicely machined aluminum splicing block
> (albeit with just a rectangular groove, not dovetail groove) that included
> a modified version of commonly available "Pinking Shears" that are used to
> cut fabric so it will not unravel (supposedly). (2) There were lots of
> little "chevrons" scattered about inside the machine, about 3/16 of an inch
> long and looked something like >>. Now, the cool thing was that the pitch
> of the saw teeth on the pinking shears was just about 1/4 inch
> peak-to-peak. There was a set screw so the phase of the pinking shear's
> sawteeth could be adjusted so that one valley was centered on the width of
> the tape. I recall manually doing these "chevron" or "dovetail" or
> "swallowtail" splices, hand-drawing the "<" with the razor blade. I still
> have the Editall block with lines cut into its bottom--this was from the
> 1970s when I was editing classical music.
> Well, I mention this because it looks to me that (a) the tape transfers
> were done full-track mono and the nip-and-tuck was done in that domain. (b)
> The playback for the CD was done using a two-track stereo machine and the
> two CD channels are separate! (c) the above-described "Scientology" or my
> manual "swallowtail" approach to editing was NOT used -- it appears the
> edits were done on the tape using a standard Editall splicing block on a
> The warble at 0:35:450 (minutes:seconds:milliseconds) into the provided
> clip is most informative. I originally found it by ear, hearing the warble
> come out of the right speaker more than the left.
> Please look at
> The highlighted section shows the point where the two channels are
> substantially different. The negative going spike at about 0:35:453 is the
> warble which sounds more like a thump to me. This is a case where something
> was cut poorly.
> Now, notice that the highlighting is about 16 ms long. Interestingly, 16
> ms represents 0.24 inches at 15 in/s. That's pretty close to what a
> 45-degree cut would take on a 1/4-inch tape! (I did the calc AFTER I
> highlighted the area looking at the obvious differences--I love it when the
> math works out this close!)
> So, clearly, the "Scientology" or "swallowtail" editing approach was not
> used. I was pretty impressed when I saw these editing blocks because it was
> a shorter, but more repeatable version of my "swallowtail" manual approach.
> There must have been a pretty good machinist/audio engineer there who put
> pinking shears and scratch removal together.
> Using two-track playback of a full-track tape is also something that
> frustrates me...I receive very favourable comments from clients when I use
> a full-track head (especially on an A80) for such transfers. I would like
> to thank Don Ososke for pushing me in that direction more than a decade
> ago. It really works. More people should do this!
> Yes, the warbles/thumps are annoying in this segment. I do not know if
> they were exacerbated by digital processing, but I think that 1984 would be
> early for the type of digital processing that we're talking about,
> certainly the PC-based options we have now. I do not recall when Cedar
> started selling their stand-alone boxes, or perhaps it is an analog device
> (there are several, LIKE the Packburn, that I have no real knowledge of
> what they do).
> For this particular warble/thump, using the left channel only might be
> On 2014-06-03 6:26 AM, Randy A. Riddle wrote:
>> Here's a sample that includes some "warbles". It's a 14 mb .wav file that
>> was ripped directly from the cd "Pop Singers on the Air!".
>> The cd was issued in 1984, so this would have been some kind of technology
>> available during that time. My guess is that it was some kind of hardware
>> box that did click removal that was adjustable - in the sample, you hear
>> the "warble" in addition to some broader surface noise on the original
>> transcription. Again, you can hear the same "warbles" on both the lp and
>> cd versions of some of the Radiola releases, so it's in the master tape
>> not an artifact of the media.
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.