Greetings ARSCList:

I'm new to the list and I'm writing for advice on our collection of
recorded sound.  We have a collection of 1600 7" open reel tapes.  418 of
the reels, we now know, contain about 1000 hours of jazz music and spoken
word dialogues made in a NYC loft building 1957 to 1964.  We have
outsourced our transfer work to make preservation and access copies (reels
and CD-R), and we are very pleased with the quality of the work so far.
Per preservation guidelines, everything is being transferred flat, without
any added filtering or e.q.  Eventually, we will clean up all the sound,
especially the valuable music.  But the spoken word dialogues need
cleaning up now so we can better make out voices and transcribe what's
being said, which helps us identify content.

We have a modest budget for software to help clean up the sound.  It's
been recommended that we buy WaveLab to do this, but I'm not sure we need
something that sophisticated in the short run.  None of us are engineers
or technicians and we won't be doing any real restoration work until all
content is identified.  Hearing spoken words more clearly would be very
helpful.  We need something that is user-friendly and relatively
affordable and that does not require a steep learning curve.  I'd like
your thoughts and opinions for which software programs you might recommend
for this purpose.  Is a Mac any better or easier to use for digital audio
work than a PC?

Many thanks in advance.

Sam Stephenson
Center for Documentary Studies
Duke University
1317 W. Pettigrew St.
Durham, N.C. 27705
(919) 660-3608
(919) 681-7600 fax
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