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Author Topic: 78's
Charles Greenlee
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 801
From: Savannah, Ga, U.S.
Registered: Jun 2006


 - posted 10-10-2006 01:08 AM      Profile for Charles Greenlee   Author's Homepage   Email Charles Greenlee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a small collection of 78's, some of them recordings of my granmother's singing back when she could really sing well. My parents are gonig to get one of those all in one, vintage looking, systems which plays 78's. I'm looking to use that to rip the 78's to my computer, and "re-master" them. I'm thinking about using Cakewalk, or some other similar sofware to adjust the speed (since most 78's vary between 74 and 82 I think) and reduce the noise via filters. I also want to copy the track over to 2-channel, and simulate stero by equalising the channels so different sounds come out stronger on one channel or the other. Lastly, I beleive Cakewalk has a built in sofware compander. I may be able to tweak the dynamic range to a more acceptable level.

I'd simply bit the bullet and just buy CDs of these, but most of them haven't been reissued on a modern format, and thus the 78 is the only source, at least for that particular performance. So am I on the right track? What sould I do that I'm forgetting? What should I not do, that I've mentioned? Even if it takes time sitting and tweaking, I want to squeeze every bit of quality I can out of them. Especially my G-ma's recordings. She's not coming back to life to re-record them for us.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12108
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-10-2006 11:54 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is also software that will allow you to play your '78s' on a regular 33-rpm turntable and will convert it to the correct speed. You will need a special stylus though, because the 78 groove is much larger than the 33 or 45 groove.

Of course if you have a decent way of hooking up a 78 turntable into your sound system or sound card, all is well. I'd say you're on the right track.

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1494
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 10-10-2006 12:44 PM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Simulated stereo is the DEVIL!

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Brad Miller
Administrator

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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 10-10-2006 06:01 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree. Preserve the records in their original form...good solid mono. If you can find software that will help remove some of the noise, I would do that though.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-10-2006 06:17 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Find someone who collects 78s who can help you transfer them properly to a newer format. These predate the RIAA curve and you need a preamp which can use any of several EQ curves that were in use before the RIAA curve was standardized. In addition to a fancy preamp, you will also need a range of styli, as 78 grooves come in different widths. DO NOT attempt to play a 78 with an LP stylus--if you do, you will destroy the disk (and maybe the stylus).

Even though we think of 78s as being a primitive technology, I've heard some that sound amazing when played back on a good turntable with a high-end preamp. They are noisy, but the quality of the sound is much better than I would have expected, given the time in which the recordings were made (many predate tape recorders and were made directly to disk).

Your local used record store could probably help you find a 78 collector in your area. You might have to rent a DAT machine or something like that if you want to transfer the recordings on someone else's system.

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Phil Hill
I love my cootie bug

Posts: 7595
From: Hollywood, CA USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 10-10-2006 07:05 PM      Profile for Phil Hill   Email Phil Hill       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
Preserve the records in their original form...good solid mono.
[thumbsup]

quote: Scott Norwood
Your local used record store could probably help you find a 78 collector in your area.
Google for the collector sites and info.

Many 78 RPM turntables can be found on eBay...some are even "professional" like the Gates Radio series.

While I have no 78s, I have transferred more than 5,000 45s and selected tunes from 33-1/3 LPs in my vinyl collection using a Technics SL1210MK2BLK turntable w/Shure V15V MR cartridge...and an outboard RIAA mag preamp.

(I sold-off my 78s years ago when I no longer had any Jukeboxes for them) [Smile]

Keep in mind the 33s and 45s are micro-groove recordings and require a 0.7 mil (or MicroRidge or "oval") stylus while the 78s are "standard" groove and require a 0.3 mil stylus.

For recording I use "LP Recorder". For editing, I use the Creative WaveStudio sound editing program that came with my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Gold Pro sound card. It is excellent and has a really great pop & click remover.

I used the *.wav format and then converted most to 192k mp3 for my laptop. (AND, to email to KVXL so Ms. Martha can request them... AND bug the "DJ" ...Red Dick!)

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Wayne Keyser
Master Film Handler

Posts: 272
From: Arlington, Virginia, USA
Registered: May 2004


 - posted 10-10-2006 08:16 PM      Profile for Wayne Keyser   Author's Homepage   Email Wayne Keyser       Edit/Delete Post 
Besides the right size stylus, you might want to think about this: when the 78 was in vogue, styli were fairly soft steel. You bought them by the dozen, in a little box or can. Some of them were even bamboo splinters.

Soft lacquer + diamond stylus = destroyed 78's.

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Charles Greenlee
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 801
From: Savannah, Ga, U.S.
Registered: Jun 2006


 - posted 10-11-2006 12:39 AM      Profile for Charles Greenlee   Author's Homepage   Email Charles Greenlee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Phil Hill
For editing, I use the Creative WaveStudio sound editing program that came with my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Gold Pro sound card.
A version came with my old SB-16, isa card. But it's long sind been obsolete, and my SB-live 5.1 doesn't have the software.

So, no trying to simulate stereo.
The player they're getting comes with 2 stylii, one for Microgroove, and one for 78s. I'd assume if you set it to 78, it'll also use the appropriate EQ setting, if any. These I don't think have any curve applied to them. I will use uncrompressed WAV, and convert to a lossless format like, mp4?

I've done this once, using one of those old suitcase players that have at the schools, that plays 16,33,45,and 78s. With the double sided stylus you flip over for 78s. Patched the headphone out to the input of my graphic EQ to clean up the sound and simulate stereo, and recorded to CrO2 tape. Oddly enough, it souded pretty good, considering the crudity of the player, and the attempt to simulate stereo went well too. Some instruments coume out more on one channe, some on the other, but it's not distracting, and added a bit of depth to the sound.

Now, I want to go back to the "masters", and get a fresh, faithful, sound from them. Clean it up, and copy it to CD, which is a non-degrading format, plus it's digital so it can be copied faithfully, and it's mostly current. It'll be short work to upgrade them to SACD or DVD-a or whatever the next format will be.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 10-11-2006 05:36 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CDs are _not_ non-degrading, especially if they are CD-Rs. Plan for the shelf life to be 1-5 years, depending on the quality of the media (I recommend Taiyo Yuden 72-minute blanks; others like the Mitsuis; don't use the less-expensive and more common 80-minute blanks, as they require tighter tolerances in manufacturing and playback equiment).

If you are really serious about preserving the recordings, you should make a copy on analog tape media (probably 1/4" mono or 2-track stereo, 7.5 or 15ips) and definitely save the original disks. Both of these formats will outlast CD-Rs and do not require constant maintenance (re-copying) every couple of years.

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Charles Greenlee
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 801
From: Savannah, Ga, U.S.
Registered: Jun 2006


 - posted 10-11-2006 09:46 AM      Profile for Charles Greenlee   Author's Homepage   Email Charles Greenlee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I forget the dye eventualle dies :hehe: after a while. But point was, CD's dont really wear out, and lose quality as they do, as with magnetic media.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 847
From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 10-11-2006 06:04 PM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There is big confusion about the life of CD-Rs. You have between 5 and 10 years to RECORD on a CD-R. After that time the recordable layer becomes intrinsic, and will no longer RECORD. Once recorded a CD-R should last between 50 and 200 years, and may even out last a pressed CD. Do not put them in direct sunlight for any length of time, and DO NOT put stick-on labels on CD-Rs. The recording on a CD is on the back side of the disc. The glue used on some of the stick-on labels can react with the recorded layer, and damage it. The label will, over time, shrink, putting stress on the recorded layer, and damaging it. If you have any CD-Rs with stick-on labels, copy them ASAP if they will still play. DO NOT try to pull the label off the disc, this will DESTROY the recording. Also, do not scratch the back side of the disc, or write on it with anything but a soft felt tip pen. Any damage to the back side of a CD will destroy the recording.

I have CD-Rs that I recorded 8 years ago, and they still play just fine.

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Charles Greenlee
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 801
From: Savannah, Ga, U.S.
Registered: Jun 2006


 - posted 10-12-2006 11:07 AM      Profile for Charles Greenlee   Author's Homepage   Email Charles Greenlee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Same here, and their cheapies. Though I do remember something about them having a finite life, not just for recording. But it's been a while, and may have been talking about the older dyes, since the newer ones listed in the article had much longer lives.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6632
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-17-2006 03:19 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The key to success in transferring 78s, IMHO, is to put most of the time and effort into playing them back right rather than having to correct avoidable audio defects using software. Unless (and in some cases, even if) you have a really high-end software product such as Cedar (around $20k per licence), they will always be less effective at removing noise without removing some of the signal along with it.

I've done quite a bit of 78 transferring, and put a sample of results on my website. All of these were transferred using a Goldring Lenco GL78 turntable, with a Goldring G800 cartridge, a 2.7mm conical diamond stylus and 3.6 grams of tracking force. To minimise surface noise and hiss, it's a good idea to thoroughly clean the record first. For shellac (pressed) 78s, many hardcore collectors recommend simply washing it by immersing it in water and wiping laterally using a dishcloth. Absolutely DO NOT do that with an acetate-on-steel or an acetate-on-glass disc, though, due to the risk of the water permeating the substrate and washing the binder layer away. These records almost always need to be cleaned professionally using a vacuum-type machine before transfer.

I don't have a sound card with a balanced phono input, and so I tried two approaches for the capture: (i) using the mic input of my middle of the range Creative audio card and then applying a little bit of surface noise reduction using Adobe Audition, and (ii) using the phono input of my hi-fi amp to provide the boost, and then trying to strip the RIAA curve out of the resulting signal using an EQ filter (basic instructions for how to do this can be found here).

Neither was perfect - the mic input doesn't amplify the signal enough and picks up a bit of a hum which then has to be stripped out using a frequency filter, while I haven't totally been able to get the treble response using a 'de-RIAA' approach that I'd expect to be hearing when comparing my 78 transfers with good professional ones. I'd love to be able to find a PC sound card with a balanced phono input on which the RIAA curve is optional (i.e. you can disable it during capture if you want to), but have not been able to. For the capture, editing and output I've been using Adobe Audition 1.5 at the software end. I find that its noise reduction and surface click/pop/hiss elimination can go so far and no further without seriously affecting the signal - it's a very reasonable package for the price but nowhere near in the same league as, say, Cedar or NoNoise.

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Stephen Furley
Film God

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From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 10-17-2006 10:16 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bruce Hansen
There is big confusion about the life of CD-Rs. You have between 5 and 10 years to RECORD on a CD-R. After that time the recordable layer becomes intrinsic, and will no longer RECORD.
You can't record on them, but that does not mean that the dye is stable. Leaving a disc in bright sunlight for a while can make it unreadable.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6632
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 10-17-2006 01:00 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Stability Study of Recordable Optical Discs

Concludes that storage in dark conditions is probably the most important controllable environmental factor, as others above have noted.

Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs (guide for librarians and archivists).

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