Thanks for your comments. Would it be possible or worth linking a short
audio sample of the worst section of the wow for comments from those on the
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Schroth" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2018 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio Cassette WOW repair
> Hi Tim:
> I got that feeling that spoken word was not an option while looking
> through the literature for Capstan. Was hoping someone on the list had
> experience enough to know and I'm glad for your response before I spent
> more time playing around with that program.
> I'll have to listen/review closely but it seemed to me there was no
> "constant" tone in the background or some type of hum that the Plagent
> Process could "key" into when I viewed it on a spectrum analyzer.
> My guess is that the recorder had an older belt or motor that seemed to
> "warm up" over time and helped drive the tape more steadily as time went
> on into the recording. The cassette itself does not appear to have any
> binding issues that would have originally caused this. I've tried three
> different decks and also rehoused the cassette, to insure it wasn't
> anything on my end. Two cassettes had this issue, the other cassettes from
> the same collection were fine.
> I'd have to play back the digital version again to closely examine the
> timing of the wow, but I think it's pretty consistent. I might be able to
> build a custom pitch curve in Wavelab for this but I didn't want to go
> through the effort if there was something out there that was easy to work
> with and would have sufficed. Not on a high-end mastering level but on a
> listenable level that was intelligible.
> Hi Richard:
> I just mentioned the $250 as that was what I was willing to spend on some
> type of software plugin that might make things sound a bit better on the
> two tapes that have the issue. I was going to do that out of my own pocket
> as a courtesy to the client as the content was important to them and
> they're already over budget. It is a collection from a small college in
> the Northwest US, and the content is interviews with Japanese Americans
> that were interned during WWII. If you listen really closely, you can
> still make out what people are saying most of the time on these two
> troubled tapes but it's not something you cannot casually listen to, you
> have to concentrate hard.
> If anyone else has a solution, I'd love to hear it.
> Kind Regards,
> John Schroth
> Media Transfer Service, LLC
> On 8/26/2018 8:09 PM, Tim Gillett wrote:
>> Hi John,
>> Unfortunately it appears Capstan only works on "polyphonic" musical
>> sources, not on speech. We had a discussion about this same issue on the
>> Sound on Sound forum and the company's product manager came on, saying he
>> had tried but been been unable to successfully reduce wow on speech. All
>> the company's references to successful removal of wow seem to apply to
>> music only.
>> Jamie Howarth's "Plagent Process" uses the recorded bias tone as a speed
>> reference. That normally only applies to professional open reel
>> recordings but if there are other tones on the recording such as a
>> whistle etc it may be possible to use that as a speed reference to at
>> least partially fix the wow.
>> Unusual to have wow at the beginning of a tape side. Usually it will be
>> worse at the end of a tape side.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Schroth"
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2018 11:43 PM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Audio Cassette WOW repair
>>> Hello ARSC members. I'm hoping to get some advice.
>>> I'm digitizing a collection of aural history interviews recorded on
>>> cassette tape. The deck that was used for recording was a standard low
>>> cost portable deck with the built-in mic. Several of the tapes have some
>>> serious wow at the beginning of the tape. It gets better 5 minutes in
>>> although it's still there as the recording goes on.
>>> I'm hoping to repair the wow with at least an acceptable listenable
>>> result through software. I read a bit about Melodyne Capstan, but it
>>> appears to me that this program keys in on musical notes to fix wow in
>>> content that's musical in nature. Since this content is not musical,
>>> would Capstan still work? The price for the software is beyond the
>>> client's budget, so I'm happy to work with someone who has the software,
>>> if the software would work and that person would be interested in a
>>> small one-off job.
>>> Are there other programs that can automatically fix wow in recorded
>>> content that is spoken word? There's too much content time to try and
>>> fix this manually and still stay within the client's budget parameters
>>> so it has to be an automatic software based program that is affordable
>>> ($250 or less). I can't seem to find other offerings that fit within the
>>> client's budget parameters.
>>> Thanks in advance for any input.
>>> Kind Regards,
>>> John Schroth
>>> Media Transfer Service, LLC
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