Adam’s basic sound restoration tutorial

I asked Adam for some pointers on restoring old records, and he spent a whole night creating a tutorial podcast on basic sound restoration, which tells me everything I need to restore my mother’s old Vienna Boys Choir recordings*). “Basic” here includes a lot of things I had already figured out but it also includes the next few steps to create the right balance between noise removal and preserving the freshness of the original sound.

Adam takes a leisurely approach, playing back the unedited recording in full at the start of his podcast, which makes this good for casual listening over breakfast and coffee. We discussed his click removal approach a little in private while I was listening to the podcast. His argument is that people won’t hear the disappearance of a few thousandth of a second, but if you’re really finicky about preserving the tempo, you can do what I’ve been doing, which is take a piece of music from just before a click that is the same length of a click, and paste it over the click. If the recording is repetitive enough, you can even drop in a bit from another repeating part. Another comment I have is on his comment that Audacity’s built-in click removal effect is good enough for modern recordings. I told him that the day before the podcast, but actually, it’s really only 75% good enough; I’ve had to do manual removal a few times even on my own 45s from the 1980s.

*) It was my mother’s request for help that got me interested in transferring my own records and wanting to learn more about sound restoration. It’s been a lot of fun and got me reconnected with records I haven’t listened to in almost 20 years.