Audio Restoration 101
If you've clicked here, you are the typical Enhanced Audio customer. Most likely, you have a collection of older vinyl or tape recordings and you want to clean them up...both physically and sonically and transfer them to CD for posterity...and your home or car CD player. This
process and the tools you need can be as simple as you'd like. In conjunction with our sister site, www.tracertek.com, we have provided a list of products that may make your restoration job much easier. Tracer not only has a great
deal of detail on these products, but also the best prices on the web in order to secure them. What type of products might you need? Well, if you are using a Sound Blaster or other bundled-type card, you may need a sound card. If you plan on plugging a turntable into your
sound card, you may need a stereo preamp. Tracer also sells a bunch of other products that could make your Audio Restoration job easier to complete. Below, we'll outline several items which you may want to secure that will guarantee that the work you put into your restoration
will not be in vain.
We'll assume that you have a nice fast Pentium PC with all the trimmings like a mouse, modem, Internet connection and monitor. The rest we will outline.
Audio Restoration Software
We happen to sell the best audio restoration software on the planet, so you won't have to search very long. This software will allow you to record the audio that is being played through your sound card to the hard drive of the computer. It will then allow you to remove
clicks, pops, hiss, surface noise and virtually any other audio disturbances that take away from your listening enjoyment. It will also provide multiple layers of enhancement, so that in the end, your recordings may sound better than the original. Lastly, the software will line
up the recordings (Wave files) so they're ready for CD Recording.
Our newest Diamond Cut Audio restoration and enhancement software tools.
Now you can push filters further than you've ever gone before. You won't
believe how much more noise you can get out. Also includes the new Tune
Library. A powerful new database view added to DC SEVEN. Only $
Mentor- The newest and easiest member of the DC Noise Reduction
Family. Mentor is designed to walk any user through each step of the
Audio Restoration/enhancement process. From Vinyl or Tape directly to
CD...minus the noise with little or no experience. You won't believe how
easy this can be. Only $39
DC Millennium- Affordable Power!
The next step in the evolution of the Diamond Cut product line. Now you can string together multiple noise reduction/sonic enhancement filters and process them all simultaneously. You can also
process several wave files at one time. You can read the full details by clicking on the product name. Only $59
The Sound Card
Probably the question we hear most frequently is, "Is my sound card good enough to make good CDs?" This is a tough question to answer because everyone hears things differently and has different opinions about audio quality...but, since you asked...
There are no good Sound Blasters...only noisy Sound Blasters (whether they say LIVE, LIVE 5.1, 16, Gold, Platinum or any other rare metals). Also, if you are using a computer that has a sound card that came bundled with it, chances are darn good, that it is the equivalent of about a
$10 sound card and thus, won't offer you the kind of fidelity you're imagining you'll get on your original recordings. Remember, you are trying to remove noise...don't add more in with a sound card that provides 70% signal and 30% noise. Also keep in mind that Audio
Restoration will take some time...do you really want to waste that time and be disappointed with the end results?
Anyway, we provide a bunch of stereo sound cards that not only will deliver a great recording, but also won't cost you a great deal of money.
Below, we've outlined the ones we usually recommend which provide lots of quality but not a lot of investment.
Affordable Stereo Cards
A wonderful product at a wonderful price! You get
sterling recording quality and have enough money left over for dinner and a
USB Sound Cards (for notebook computers)
This is a very simple solution that works in any USB port and
offers high quality 24 bit recording for only $79
Standard Stereo Phono Preamp
Most turntables cannot be plugged directly into your sound card because they do not generate enough levels to make an adequate recording. That leaves you with 2 choices for hooking things up.
1. You can hook the Tape Out of your stereo system into the Line Input of your sound card.
2. You can purchase a Stereo preamp.
Because some people don't like dragging their entire stereo to the computer, we do carry a very nice inexpensive stereo preamp that will boost the levels of your turntable and give you an excellent recording every time.
Tech Link Phono PreAmp
- The missing link for connecting your record player to your sound card. This is an easy solution, sounds great, and is up and running in minutes. Only $59.
There is a completely new way of approaching archiving your
treasured audio to CD. Entities like the Smithsonian Institution do not
use standard phono preamps when archiving treasured recordings...simply because
all phono preamps use some sort of RIAA EQ curve on their output. This EQ
curve compensates for the way 45 and 33 records are recorded. To put it
simply, when you record an album or 45, because it is dependent on grooves to
reproduce the sound, it would be impossible to get many songs on a record
because the grooves would have to be so big to simulate bass. Manufactures
compensated for this by removing a great deal of the bass and boosting the
treble on all of the recordings so that they'd fit on a standard LP. They
then depended on stereo units to supply this RIAA curve on the sound as it came
into the stereo. Unfortunately, every manufacturer differs on their
opinion on this RIAA curve...therefore, each and every stereo applies a
different EQ curve. In today's world, where software like DC SIX and DC
Millennium can apply an almost perfect EQ curve, the New Way specifies the use
of a flat phono preamp to transfer the vinyl exactly as is the computer and then
apply the almost perfect curve post production. This gives you the truest
recording you can get and also sounds much better than the old way. Tracer
offers 2 preamps.
(Computer Transfer preamp)- Excellent for any system, simply offers a
flat transfer from any turntable. Only $99
CTP-2000- Now Flat goes tube! Now you can get the recommended
flat signal plus the lush warm sounds of a real vacuum tube! The CTP
2000 arrives on the scene for only $229
Depending on the shape of your vinyl and the care that was taken in storage, you may or may not want to think about cleaning your records. For a tutorial on cleaning records, you may want to consult the
FAQs and Documentation page. Because age
and storage can allow minute particles of dust and other gook to get into the grooves of your LPs, 45s, or 78s, we do offer a wonderful system for cleaning your treasured recordings. Make sure that you read the tutorial first before moving to the next step. We've got solutions
for any budget and solutions for any sized collection...from mostly automated machines, to simple brush-based systems.
Nitty Gritty Record Master- Vacuum-based system. You apply a cleaning solution and then spin the record while an automated vacuum deep cleans your vinyl safely. Only
Nitty Gritty Model 1.5FI- More Automated...You just apply the cleaning solution and let the machine take care of the rest. Only
Spin Clean Manual Record Cleaning System- No automation here, but still a very flexible and complete system. Only
Disc Doctor's Miracle Record Cleaning System
- $65.45 gets you a pint of the cleaning liquid solution, as well as specially designed brushes and a localized dispenser.
In our ongoing effort to provide you with everything you may need to make the best sounding CDs, we've added some audio basics to our entrees. Now you can purchase quality
Turntables at very affordable prices.
One major timesaver can be the addition of a audio database product. This makes keeping track of all of your "tracks" a much easier job.
Music Database 2000- This cool powerful database can be set up to fit your style of work and easily keeps track of your entire collection. Only $39.95