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Cleaning Up Old Audio File

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Bobbert
Posts: 4183
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 pm

Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by Bobbert » Sat Oct 29, 2022 11:04 am

I'm trying to make an old radio tape more listenable. It's a Ron Cameron radio show from 1997 that I originally recorded on a cassette tape through the AM/FM/cassette player. I transferred it to an mp3 file with the Audacity open source audio editing tool (https://www.audacityteam.org/).

I tried different ways to raise the output volume and reduce noise, but didn't have much luck. Does anyone have any advice on how I can enhance the audio using Audacity? Here's the mp3 file:

https://www.detroitmoviepalaces.com/ima ... 970218.mp3

Thanks.



bugzapper
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Hopkins, MI

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by bugzapper » Mon Oct 31, 2022 6:33 pm

Sent you a PM

bmw
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:02 am

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by bmw » Tue Nov 01, 2022 11:26 pm

Ooh...that source material is pretty rough. But I like a good challenge so I took a stab at this as I'm quite proficient at audio editing using a program called Goldwave. If you're curious what I did to it (in this order) :

1 - Delete the right channel entirely as it was basically garbage - moved left channel into a mono file
2 - Low pass filter to 3 khz to remove tape hiss
3 - Pop/click filter to significantly clean up the nasty popping and clicking and other consistent beat-noise that existed throughout the file. Quite aggressive settings, especially for the music later in the file
4 - Maximize volume
5 - Equalization filter to not only level out the volume, but to further bury what remained of the popping and clicking.

It isn't great by any means but it is vastly improved from what you uploaded here. I think you'll be amazed at what I was able to pull out of this mess - I know I was.

https://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/cleaned-audio.mp3

km1125
Posts: 3719
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:09 pm

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by km1125 » Wed Nov 02, 2022 9:23 am

bmw wrote:
Tue Nov 01, 2022 11:26 pm
Ooh...that source material is pretty rough. But I like a good challenge so I took a stab at this as I'm quite proficient at audio editing using a program called Goldwave. If you're curious what I did to it (in this order) :

1 - Delete the right channel entirely as it was basically garbage - moved left channel into a mono file
2 - Low pass filter to 3 khz to remove tape hiss
3 - Pop/click filter to significantly clean up the nasty popping and clicking and other consistent beat-noise that existed throughout the file. Quite aggressive settings, especially for the music later in the file
4 - Maximize volume
5 - Equalization filter to not only level out the volume, but to further bury what remained of the popping and clicking.

It isn't great by any means but it is vastly improved from what you uploaded here. I think you'll be amazed at what I was able to pull out of this mess - I know I was.

https://breakingnewsfeeds.com/media/cleaned-audio.mp3
Thanks for posting those suggestions. I have some old audio 1/4" tapes of family gatherings that I might try to clean up as well!!

bmw
Posts: 7163
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 1:02 am

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by bmw » Wed Nov 02, 2022 9:41 am

km1125 wrote:
Wed Nov 02, 2022 9:23 am
Thanks for posting those suggestions. I have some old audio 1/4" tapes of family gatherings that I might try to clean up as well!!
And depending on the quality of the source material, you may be able to set the low pass to 5 or 6 khz for better fidelity, and the pop/click filtering may not even be necessary. For volume equalization, I use the "Amplify lite" curve after maximizing the volume to about 0.95.

bugzapper
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Hopkins, MI

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by bugzapper » Wed Nov 02, 2022 2:39 pm

Bobbert wrote:
Sat Oct 29, 2022 11:04 am
I'm trying to make an old radio tape more listenable. It's a Ron Cameron radio show from 1997 that I originally recorded on a cassette tape through the AM/FM/cassette player. I transferred it to an mp3 file with the Audacity open source audio editing tool (https://www.audacityteam.org/).

I tried different ways to raise the output volume and reduce noise, but didn't have much luck. Does anyone have any advice on how I can enhance the audio using Audacity? Here's the mp3 file:

https://www.detroitmoviepalaces.com/ima ... 970218.mp3

Thanks.
BMW's restoration is much better than mine. I was happy to give it a try, though.

Bobbert
Posts: 4183
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: Cleaning Up Old Audio File

Post by Bobbert » Wed Nov 02, 2022 3:44 pm

Thanks for the file cleanups. They made the file much more listenable, and without headphones.

Interestingly, I found another tape from that same broadcast. Your technical suggestions will help me convert that.

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