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Re: [ARSCLIST] DC Art Tools for restoring old 78's


I think you are referring to DCART/DC7. I've used DC6 for five years and consider it a great value for general purpose audio manipulation and more specifically, noise reduction. I do have some stability issues on my system though, which I haven't gotten to the bottom of, but really should. That's the short answer. More below.

Regarding stability, I try not to work very quickly, i.e. push a lot of "buttons" and/or navigate around and enter data into control fields very fast for example; and I keep my monitor levels down when I am adjusting the parametric equalizer function in particular. Otherwise I occasionally get a burst in noise or large gain change that could damage my hearing or equipment. Like I said, I should figure that out, and fix the situation, but I do not use the program every day, or even every week, to be clear about how often I use it.

I primarily use the Continuous Noise reduction with good success. I strongly believe that it is also what Digidesign offers as their DNR Pro Tools plug-in, based on how the similar user interface. Note that DC6 offers more control than the DNR version though. I haven't used a lot of other programs of similar price for any extended period of time, and wish I could compare them for you. In the past few weeks two people have recommended I check out Izotope RX, which I will do (perhaps you know of that or will also check it out it).

The harmonic noise reduction in DC6 is also something I use quite a bit, to get rid of hums and other such noise. I love the degree of control the DC6 software allows there. It is a really valuable tool to me and perhaps omething that may distinquish DC6 from other tools (sure would like to hear from others about that, though).

I've always done well with the DC6 decrackle/depop features unless there are a lot of changes in dynamics throughout a file; which may not be a big issue with 78's (but can be with more recent recordings of classical music). It once took me 10 hours to work on a 45 minute piece of music for organ and choir, that Cedar Tools for the PC could do in less than 3 minutes (I know because I borrowed Cedar Tools as a demo and tried it, thinking I might buy it). I had to manually choose 5 to 30 second long regions of audio of this or that level range and then apply settings optimized for those conditions each time (which I at least had stored presets of). Cedar Tools is much more adaptive/automatic. The package I looked at two years ago or so also cost $4000 instead of $200. If DC6 were more adaptive, I could better make use of the batch features, which at least allow you to process a number of files with the same presets very conveniently.

With all of this kind of software/hardware, the more control you have (unless things are very adaptive like Cedar) the better (and even with Cedar I still wished I had the option of playing around with some settings they obviously don't give you control over - not a lot of knobs etc. in that program package). The process often requires trying to find the right balance between too much and too little noise reduction, i.e. reducing one form of noise/distortion without introducing too much of some other resultant form of added noise/distortion. Hope I'm not insulting your intelligence in mentioning that. I just don't know how much of this work you've done before. Cedar tools really blew me away, by the way, in how much it did without adverse affects on the audio, all automatically. It is just the engineer tweakhead part of my personality that wants to play with settings just for more understanding of things I guess (not really believing I'd do much better myself than their automatic algorithms).

I found the folks at Tracertek (who sell DC7) pleasant to deal with, by the way. You might ask them about software stability for example and make sure they give you a money back guarantee if you experience problems. I bet they'd be happy to do that based on their attitude when I contacted them to buy the software.

And by the way, the program has some nifty nonlinear time stretching and expansion features that I haven't seen elsewhere. I've used that on an art project that was part of an art installation in Copenhagen in 2006. Ironically I used DC6 to severely distort sound in that case!

That's the long answer. Hope it is helpful.


Jan Myren wrote:
HI everybody!

I wonder if any of you have any experience with CD Art software for
restoring old 78 rpm records.
See link:

What do you think about this software program?

Hope to hear comments form any of you, especially if you have any real



Karl Fitzke
Assistant Audio Engineer
Macaulay Library
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Our Mission: To interpret and conserve the Earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.

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