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Old 11-17-2001, 10:30 AM
c-post c-post is offline
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Default how to enhance a crusty, old soundtrack?

A client of mine is reviving a couple of his old films with a distributor. He has the 35 print for transfer, however he doesn't have
the sound, except on VHS. What a joke! It is my job to recover/remaster this hissy, lightly fluttery, funky audio for layback to a new tape. This guy doesn't have a lot of money. (what a shock!)
Step number one for me is just to roll of the high end above 8000-10000hz. That cleans up the hiss. There doesn't seem to be all that much up there anyway -- the sound is probably from an optical track in the first place. The quality of the optical track is the real culprit. A denoise rendering pass over 90 minutes of soundtrack is not practical and probably would not gain that much benefit.
Can anyone recommend a device or plug in to restore brightness and clarity? I already have an Aphex type C Aural Exciter, but I've been thinking of calling a local rental house to get one of the higher end enhancement boxes. Any other recommendations for bringing soundtracks back to life -- quickly?

-John
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Old 11-17-2001, 12:17 PM
CO2 CO2 is offline
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Default Re: how to enhance a crusty, old soundtrack?

Hey John:

I LOVE clients like this. No budget, no tracks, no time.

You are probably safe to roll off as low as 6K, since most optical tracks in those days didn't respond much above that. Although having said that, there might be something useful a bit beyond 6K.

I think what you may be looking for would be a single ended (sometimes referred to as "after the fact") noise reduction. Both Dolby and Behringer made these units and rental companies should still carry them. That will help to eliminate a lot of the noise, hiss, snap, crackle and pop.

If memory serves me correctly, the Dolby unit used a remote with 5 or 6 sliders on it which worked a bit like a graphic eq with pre selected center frequencies that seemed most effective for this type of application. I only wish I could remember the model numbers of these units. (sorry)

With regard to brightening the tracks, a Aural Exciter is not a bad choice. Others would be BBE Sonic Maximizer, the old Brooks Siren unit (whose model number I also forget...) and almost any TC Electronics processor.

Good luck!

Best Regards
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Old 11-17-2001, 07:55 PM
Noiz2 Noiz2 is offline
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Default Re: how to enhance a crusty, old soundtrack?

The Behringer unit is SNR 202. I have worked minor miricles with it. Its great at removing hiss and has even worked on mic hum. I would loan you mine but alas I'm up here and your down there... I'm sure you can find one there, I think it's still made and there might be an upgraded version. You might be better off starting with a fresh transfer from the 35mm....ofcourse he probably doesn't have the money for that either.
Good Luck
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