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View Full Version : Help w/ 78 restoration using GoldWave



atari2600a
May 27th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Prepare yourself, for this will be long:

'm trying to restore some recordings of my dead great-grandfather that are on about 25 cardboard & tin/wax records from the '20's/'30's.

Now I can't bring the turntable to the computer, so I transferred the recordings to a CD-quality blank cassette. I don't have one of those headphone-jack-to-headphone-jack-thing cables, but I do have a headphone-jack-to-RCA cables, but It turns out that the only tape deck I have that has an RCA output is an old late-'70's/early-'80's stereo (the signal goes through a built-in amp).

I hooked it up to the line-in port on my computer, made sure the line-in volume was all the way up, made sure GoldWave was set to record whatever the Line-In port recieves. I could hear the audio through my PC's speakers flawlessly, but once I listened to what GoldWave recorded, all I could hear was a white-noise/hiss. The audio kinda there, but it was almost unexistant; was so quiet that it was over powered by the quiet hiss!

Does anyone here know what my problem is? Could this have something to do with the signal going through an amp? (the volume on the stereo was about at 25-30%)

80sFreak
May 27th, 2006, 05:06 PM
It sounds like you need a pre-amp module. This takes the turntable's output and makes it line-level. Radio Shack sells one here (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103385&cp). Unfortunately this is not stocked in stores so you would have to order it online or go to a store and order it (plus if you do that you would get free shipping).

Cheers,

80sFreak

P.S. I know about this as I used to work at RS...

atari2600a
May 27th, 2006, 05:22 PM
ex-RS/Tandy employees seem to be common here...

I'm still confused though. If I could here it just fine through my PC's output, wouldn't that mean that It went through being digitized & undigitized by my PC's audio chipset? I still don't get why GW didn't pick it up...

(By the way, should I max out the sampling rate? Would that make the filters I'd be using later work better?)

DimensionDude
May 27th, 2006, 05:24 PM
80sFreak is correct, you need a pre-amp between the turntable and the tape deck.

Suggestions:
Buy a turntable pre-amp. May not be readily available as 80sFreak has pointed out.

Connect the turntable to a receiver that has a phono input and connect your tape deck to the tape out jacks.

Use the mic inputs on your tape deck (if it has them). May not get good sound quality though.

For maximum quality, dynamic range, etc; use a HiFi vcr. Really! I use a Sony HiFi stereo vcr quite often for audio only. Sounds much better than even my high-end (Denon) cassette deck. Of course, you'll still need that pre-amp.

Kent
not an audio expert, nor do I play one on tv. :)

atari2600a
May 27th, 2006, 05:31 PM
80sFreak is correct, you need a pre-amp between the turntable and the tape deck.

Suggestions:
Buy a turntable pre-amp. May not be readily available as 80sFreak has pointed out.

Connect the turntable to a receiver that has a phono input and connect your tape deck to the tape out jacks.

Use the mic inputs on your tape deck (if it has them). May not get good sound quality though.

For maximum quality, dynamic range, etc; use a HiFi vcr. Really! I use a Sony HiFi stereo vcr quite often for audio only. Sounds much better than even my high-end (Denon) cassette deck. Of course, you'll still need that pre-amp.

Kent
not an audio expert, nor do I play one on tv. :)


well there's no turntable involved at this point. (by the way the records are 78 RPM) & it's not all about the tape deck your using, it's also about the blank media. I'm using a $5 CD-quality cassette, not one of those crappy ones that gets major audio deterioration after 3 years.

DimensionDude
May 27th, 2006, 08:35 PM
Oops, re-read your post and I see that you could hear the sound from your pc speakers but Goldwave didn't record it clearly. Hmm...have you tried playing the tape on your stereo to be sure that the sound is loud and clear?

I've never used Goldwave so I'm no help there :)

The only options that I can think of offhand would be like going around the block to get next door so I'll keep 'em to myself for now :wink:

Kent

atari2600a
May 27th, 2006, 08:57 PM
Yeah, sounds just fine on a stereo.

alexkerhead
May 27th, 2006, 09:24 PM
Atari, why not go pay $2 for the right cables/connectors?

Also, the best tapes are reel to reel, all my 30+ yo reels sound like CDs, not audio deteriation at all.
And yes, the tape deck means just as much as the media. But for Making copies of eighty year old records, anything is good. Not like the old records sound like CDs...lol

atari2600a
May 28th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Yeah, I probobly will just buy that cable, but I still don't get why my last attempt didn't work.

Also, the quality of the media will infact matter. I recorded these tapes about 6 months ago. For those crappy blank tapes, after such amount of time, they lose their sharpness & treble. Plus, a higher quality tape will mean the filters will work better.

Terry Yager
May 28th, 2006, 01:16 PM
Just out of curiousity, what kind of recordings are they? Was your G-Grandad a musician?

--T

atari2600a
May 28th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Mostly musical recordings, but I did find about 10-15 seconds of a news broadcast during the cold war. (& that's just half of the records, I haven't listened to the other half)

By the way, I plan to finish this before my great grandmother dies. I think she's 90 now, & she's not in the best of health.

carlsson
May 28th, 2006, 02:38 PM
From what I understand, you connected the turntable to a phono input on the tape recorder, so the pre-amp (RIAA) is already taken care of once you have it on tape. Your sound card has settings for recording as well as playback (line in can be present in both), and it is quite likely that GoldWave alters the volume according to the recording settings once you start recording. I'm using WavePad, and I noticed a few days ago it resets volumes to something (I haven't quite figured out what) once it starts record, but it also has a meter inside the program to change the value. You may keep the expanded volume control open once you start the recording and see if the meters go down, then bring them up again.

atari2600a
May 28th, 2006, 02:46 PM
Just look at this:

http://mtac.profusehost.net/misc/goldwave.png

carlsson
May 28th, 2006, 02:58 PM
Hm, yes it looks like everything is maxed. I don't know what might be the case then. Have you tried to connect another sound source to line in and check if it behaves the same way? Maybe maximum recording volume will cause you to scream when you listen to it, and in this case your tape was recorded at too low level so maximum recording volume is about enough to make it pleasant to listen to, through some automagical extra amplifying that takes place inside the computer.

atari2600a
June 2nd, 2006, 06:19 PM
OK, I tried it again, this time using an (mostly) unamplified signal. (I used the headphone jack)

Same thing happened. Anyone have any Idea of what the funkenstien's going on?

DimensionDude
June 3rd, 2006, 06:16 PM
Does your tape deck have a VU meter? If so, is the average level around 0 dB? For a high quality tape (Chrome or Metal) the average can be higher without the tape going into saturation and distorting the sound.

If the tape is recorded at the proper level, then it's my opinion that it must be a software issue. Perhaps you could try an experimental recording with Windows Sound Recorder (or whatever it's called) so that all the settings of GoldWave are taken out of the picture.

Kent