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Audio Digitization workshop presentation

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A look at how to digitize analogue audio formats such as phonographs (lps) and cassettes and preservation of the original media formats. Updated May 30, 2017

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Audio Digitization workshop presentation

  1. 1. John Lund Presents Audio Digitization and Preservation John D. Lund, 2017
  2. 2. John Lund Presents I’m not an expert If I can do it so can you! Audio Digitization and Preservation
  3. 3. John Lund Presents I’m not an expert  I am an archivist with knowledge and experience preserving records.  I am the Digital Records Archivist for the City of Ottawa Archives.  Previously I was the Photo Records Archivist for the Provincial Archives of Alberta.  I am a total GEEK. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  4. 4. John Lund Presents Here is what we are going to do:  The basic umbrella of audio preservation  Focus on audio cassettes and lps (vinyl records)  Equipment and maintenance  Digitization  Resources Audio Digitization and Preservation
  5. 5. John Lund Presents Audio Digitization and Preservation
  6. 6. John Lund Presents Temperature and Humidity No more than 5% fluctuation within a 24 hrperiod Ideal temp lowerthan 21C, 20-40% Relative Humidity + - Audio Digitization and Preservation
  7. 7. John Lund Presents Sunlight (UV) and Heat  Thus far vinyl (lps) have proven to be the most stable of materials used in the manufacture of sound records.  However, that does not mean they are not affected by environmental conditions such as ultraviolet light and heat.  Vinyl discs are made primarily of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with a stabilizer. The stabilizer prevents degradation for several decades however PVCs are inherently unstable. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  8. 8. John Lund Presents Sunlight (UV) and Heat  Similarly, magnetic tape is affected by ultraviolet light, the tape will begin to degrade when exposed to UV.  Heat Audio Digitization and Preservation
  9. 9. John Lund Presents Caring for your Vinyl  Remove any remaining shrink wrap. Shrink wrap will continue to shrink over time warping the record.  Do not stack your vinyl horizontally (flat):  The weight of the records on top of one another can exert pressure on the grooves and cause sound distortion.  Letting your records lean will cause the vinyl to warp.  Vertical storage exerts the minimum amount of stress possible.  Do not interfile records of different sizes:  Smaller records may get damaged  Larger records may be subjected to uneven pressure causing surface deformations. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  10. 10. John Lund Presents Caring for your Vinyl  Do not store your vinyl records squeezed together. The additional pressure on the vinyl will lead to sound distortion and surface warping.  Keep your vinyl collection free of dust and other foreign deposits.  Wash your hands before touching the discs and avoid touching the playing surface. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  11. 11. John Lund Presents Caring for your Vinyl  Keep your vinyl records away from food prep areas:  airborne contaminants can easily stick to the records and their jackets.  Smoking bad for your records, bad for you.  When cleaning the surface of your records use a proper cleaning brush, i.e., carbon fibre brush.  Recommend Storing in polyethylene dust jacket and insert to reduce wear on record cover and record. - Source: http://www.franksautographs.com/VINYL-RECORDS-PRESERVATION.html Audio Digitization and Preservation Note: franksautographs.com is no longer available but it may be viewed via the Internet Archive, web.archive.org. Franks Autograph Conservation Storage Solutions & Framing does maintain a Facebook page.
  12. 12. John Lund Presents Caring for your Vinyl  Transcription Discs  Must be treated with care and not in the same fashion as shellac or vinyl records.  http://www.theaudioarchive.com/TAA_Resources_Disc_Transcription.htm  Go to a Pro, for example, Toronto Based:  Graham Newton, Audio Restoration, www.audio-restoration.com Audio Digitization and Preservation
  13. 13. John Lund Presents Caring for your Audio Cassettes  http://www.buzzfeed.com/perpetua/11-cool-things-made-from-old-cassettes Audio Digitization and Preservation Recycling Cassettes into Reusable Cool or, Cassettes as Hipster Retro,
  14. 14. John Lund Presents Caring for your Audio Cassettes  Storage:  Fast-forward and rewind the tapes before storage- make sure that the tapes are correctly wound evenly and smoothly.  Store all tapes vertically in acid free boxes. Do not store on wood shelving, in a basement or attic.  Environment:  Keep cassettes in a cool, dry, dust-free environment.  Store away from direct sun & fluorescent light.  Do not store near combustibles like wood or cardboard.  Handling:  Have clean hands and a dust free working area.  Do not touch playing surfaces; handle the cassette tapes by their outer casings. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  15. 15. John Lund Presents Caring for your Audio Cassettes  Handling cont’d:  Do not operate or store cassette tapes near high magnetic fields or high vibrations.  Cleaning:  Clean equipment (tape heads, guides, etc.) often and thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs.  Precautions:  Fast forward to the end and back to relieve stress before playing.  Push out the small squares found at the top corners of cassette tapes to prevent taping over the content. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  16. 16. John Lund Presents Caring for your Audio Cassettes  Precautions cont’d:  Play tapes through every few years to check their condition and to minimize any sticky shed symptoms (tendency for the layers to stick together).  Tape recorders:  Clean the heads every 100 hours to demagnetize them.  After 1000 hours of use have the recorder checked for worn guides, worn heads, and proper tension.  Tapes being “eaten,” arise when tape recorders create poor tape guiding, speed variations, and poor tension. Source: Preserving Your Sound Recordings, Amy Kohlstedt and Sara Doyle, for the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium http://www.iowaconserveandpreserve.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/AudioTipSheet.pdf Audio Digitization and Preservation
  17. 17. John Lund Presents Repair & Maintenance  Rule #1: Get a professional to do it!  But if you feel comfortable I will outline some of the basics with some online help.  Rule #2: Not all online help is equal, some is worse than others.  We will have a look at what resources are available. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  18. 18. John Lund Presents Repair & Maintenance  Cleaning a cassette deck / tape recorder:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2LQr63X7lk Audio Digitization and Preservation
  19. 19. John Lund Presents Repair & Maintenance  Splice & Repair Tape Centre: www.tapecenter.com Splicit: www.splicit.com Audio Digitization and Preservation Duplication.ca is a Canadian source for purchasing blank cassettes.
  20. 20. John Lund Presents Repair & Maintenance  How to splice tape (1 min in):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaKBBZzU1zg  How to fix a cassette when tape broken off spool:  http://www.dvdyourmemories.com/blog/how-to-fix-an- audio-cassette-audio-cassette-repair-guide/  What’s wrong here?:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oglmVcLIYK0  http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_6709625_restore-cassette-tapes.html Audio Digitization and Preservation
  21. 21. John Lund Presents Scrub a dub dub Get your vinyl spic and span clean Discwasher D4 In the Groove Nagaoka CL-152 Nitty Gritty VPI Spin Clean ClearAudio Dble Matrix Pro Audio Digitization and Preservation
  22. 22. John Lund Presents Scrub a dub dub  So many options, here are some prices:  Wood Glue, $8.00  In the Groove, $19.99  Nagaoka, $65.53  Spin Clean, Starter: $109.99, Full Kit: $174.95  Nitty Gritty, entry level: $749-$849  VPI, $945.95  ClearAudio, $1565.00 (Smart Matrix), $5600.00 (Double Matrix)  Do it yourself – price varies   But what is the best option, the safe option? Audio Digitization and Preservation
  23. 23. John Lund Presents Scrub a dub dub  Since dust is usually held in place by electrostatic attraction, dry wiping does not work effectively. Wiping will attract dust back to the surface.  Distilled water is commonly used because:  Its precise chemical composition is known,  It will not leave deposits behind,  It is safe and non-toxic,  It is inexpensive,  It disperses static charges and counteracts the increase in conductivity from the pick-up of salt deposits from finger prints. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  24. 24. John Lund Presents Scrub a dub dub  Water alone cannot, however, dissolve grease:  A surfacant additive is necessary, therefore, to break the grease surface bonds and to allow the water to penetrate and disperse the grease.  Discs are best cleaned by using a machine such as the Keith Monks, VPI or Nitty Gritty using a surfacant in distilled water. These machines evenly disperse the liquid over the surface of the disc and then vacuum clean the surface leaving it clean and dry. Records should be cleaned before each playback.  An airgun or aerosol of compressed air should be kept handy to blow light dust off surfaces.  Audiophiles favour carbon fibre brush before playing record. Source: Audiovisual Archives: A Practical Reader, UNESCO: 1997 Audio Digitization and Preservation
  25. 25. John Lund Presents Digitization  The purpose of digitization is to provide accessibility to information found on old formats that are no longer easily accessible.  Digitization may be used as a backup to the original.  Digitization may be used to clean up audio and restore.  Digitization may be used as a conservation tool when the original format is in threat of degrading until no longer useable.  Digitization is not a replacement tool.  Do not get rid of your originals, especially if they are one of a kind and not a commercial release. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  26. 26. John Lund Presents Digitization - Equipment  Vinyl:  Turntable, preferably manual  Receiver with a phono input, or  Receiver and a preamp or  preamp (alt integrated preamp)  3.5mm Audio jack to RCA Male cable  Cassette:  Cassette Tape Player  Receiver  3.5mm Audio jack to RCA Male cable Audio Digitization and Preservation Behringer U-control UCA202
  27. 27. John Lund Presents Receivers Used vs New Onkyo TX-NR626 - $529.95 Used vs New Used Receiver $35.00 - $150.00 Audio Digitization and Preservation
  28. 28. John Lund Presents Preamps and Cable Canada Computers: Behringer PP400 avshop.ca: Rolls VP29 Phono Preamp Available at The Source Audio Digitization and Preservation
  29. 29. John Lund Presents Integrated Amplifier An integrated amplifier (pre/main amp) is an electronic device containing an audio preamplifier and power amplifier in one unit, as opposed to separating the two. Most modern audio amplifiers are integrated and have several inputs for devices such as CD players, DVD players, and auxiliary sources. Integrated amplifiers commonly had dedicated inputs for turntables, AM/FM tuner, and tape recorders (cassette or reel-to-reel) back when those devices were more common. Except for the turntable, all of the inputs are line level, thus they are interchangeable. The turntable also uses RIAA equalization. - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_amplifier Audio Digitization and Preservation
  30. 30. John Lund Presents Turntables & Cassette Players  Turntables (preferably manual turntable)  Used should be able to get a good quality turntable for $150 or under.  New, introductory audiophile $350 - $600, under this price mark and quality is an issue.  The sky is the limit on what an audiophile will pay for a turntable.  USB turntables general rule of thumb are low quality. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  31. 31. John Lund Presents Turntables & Cassette Players  Cassette Deck  TEAC was one of the last to produce a high quality cassette player, was still available 2013 but now discontinued.  Used, anywhere from $25.00 to $100.00 - However they often come with a great need of cleaning. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  32. 32. John Lund Presents Hardware & Software  Audacity  “Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.”  It is Open Source Software  It is relatively easy to learn how to use  A reliable source to download from is Sourceforge: - http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ Audio Digitization and Preservation
  33. 33. John Lund Presents Hardware & Software  Pro Tools 11 / mbox 3rd gen  Pro Tools and the mbox are a software hardware combination that constitute a professional digital audio workstation for recording and editing in music production, film scoring, post production, musical notation and MIDI sequencing.  Yes that is a mouthful.  Mbox intro demo Audio Digitization and Preservation
  34. 34. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  We are going to use Audacity Audio Digitization and Preservation
  35. 35. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  But First, Computer Audio Preferences: Audio Digitization and Preservation
  36. 36. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  We are going to use Audacity Audio Digitization and Preservation
  37. 37. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Monitoring Audio Digitization and Preservation
  38. 38. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Monitoring Audio Digitization and Preservation
  39. 39. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Monitoring Audio Digitization and Preservation
  40. 40. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Clipping Audio Digitization and Preservation
  41. 41. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Clipping Audio Digitization and Preservation
  42. 42. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Clipping Audio Digitization and Preservation
  43. 43. John Lund Presents Let’s Get Busy!  Some further procedures that I will be demonstrating:  Playing  Recording  Noise Reduction  Click Removal  Selecting a recorded segment  Methods of copying and deleting  Fade in / Fade out  And … Audio Digitization and Preservation
  44. 44. John Lund Presents File Formats  Archivematic Preservation File Formats, https://wiki.archivematica.org/Format_policies Audio Digitization and Preservation
  45. 45. John Lund Presents File Formats – Export from Audacity  Recommended:  Preservation format – WAVE (.WAV)  Access Copy – MPEG 3 (.MP3)  Audacity defaults to saving an audio file as an Audacity Project, which is in fact multiple files/folders that combine to form one project.  To save as either a .WAV or .MP3 file one must “Export”rather than “Save” a file. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  46. 46. John Lund Presents File Formats – Export from Audacity Audio Digitization and Preservation
  47. 47. John Lund Presents File Formats – Export from Audacity Audio Digitization and Preservation WAVE MP3
  48. 48. John Lund Presents Storage There are no guarantees! Files stored on brand name CD-Rs have been found not to open after less than a year. Keep the original analog formats / audio carriers, they are the preservation copy. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  49. 49. John Lund Presents Storage The best means of long term storage is to store audio files on a server or an external hard drive: Your computer, a USB stick, or CD-R are more susceptible to failure and loss of photos; A One Terabyte hard drive (1 TB) cost about $75 It can store over 52,000 high quality photos (20MB each);  While a USB stick uses a solid state drive (no moving parts/reliable), they are prone to being misplaced or lost. Audio Digitization and Preservation
  50. 50. John Lund Presents Storage Back up, back up, back up: Keys to good back up: - Automatic – whether you do it manually or have an automated system back ups need to be second nature; - Local – first backup is easy and fast to restore, such as, an external hard drive; - Remote – in case of disaster, may store at work, at a relatives or in the cloud (should be secure – encrypted); Audio Digitization and Preservation
  51. 51. John Lund Presents Storage Back up, back up, back up: Instead of buying a 3 or 5 TB hard drive you may want to buy two 1 TB hard drives in order to, at minimum, provide for a secondary back-up as previously described. Cozy home Bank your memories Audio Digitization and Preservation
  52. 52. John Lund Presents Storage – CD-Rs While CD-Rs are not recommended for long term storage, if required Gold CD-Rs are preferred and may be purchased through Quebec based http://www.stilcasing.com/. DVD-Rs are designed with a short shelf life  They are not reliable  Less standardized (HD vrs Blu-ray) Audio Digitization and Preservation
  53. 53. John Lund Presents Digitizing Intangible Cultural Heritage : A How-To Guide http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1445531744547 Audio Digitization and Preservation
  54. 54. John Lund Presents Questions? Source: Wikipedia

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