Sound Recording Publishing and Restoration Services (Historic Transport Recording Specialist)


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Do you have a collection of cassette-tape railway recordings (or other recordings) that you would like published onto CD? Or maybe transferred from tape to computer for safe archiving? I can compile, edit, and design the CD covers. Then produce small production runs or one-off CDs as you require.

Or do you have some old recordings with great content, but poor sound quality (or defective)? I might be able to enhance/repair them.

Publishing CDs of your recordings

If you would like to put some of your own favourite recordings onto CD, then get in touch to discuss any ideas you have for your CD compilation. Then I will need to borrow the originals (unless you can post high quality copies) so that I can then edit them and produce a test copy of the CD for your approval.

I can also create the artwork for the cover, and the printing design to go on the disc, ideally incorporating your own photos, and a printed playlist.

The starting price for compiling/producing such a CD is 30 (45 for a double-CD), which includes: Compiling; doing fade-ins/outs; a small amount of extra editing if required; designing all the artwork and printed playlist; running off a test copy.

Copies of the finished CD will cost 3.00 each (4.00 each for double CDs).

If I have to travel to meet up with you (to obtain the required hi-fi copies from your originals), then transport costs will be added to the fees.

If your recordings require a lot of editing or need restoring or special enhancements (such as for old archive recordings), then there will be additional fees. These fees will have to be quoted after hearing and assessing the recordings for the necessary work (assessment is done for free). For more information on restoration services, see below.

Restoring your recordings

There must be many collections of great archive recordings that could be given a new lease of life.

Do you have some old recordings that have great content, but you don't think the quality is very good? Or maybe there were some recording defects that spoilt some of them? Or they are in mono and you wish they were in stereo? I might be able to help.

Old recordings can be enhanced, and some types of defects can be fixed or removed. Mono recordings can have a pseudo-stereo effect generated using my own techniques. Improvements to old mono non-hi-fi recordings can be quite dramatic.

Please note the following points:

- Although improvements can sometimes seem miraculous, there are limitations and some defective recordings may be beyond salvage. In some cases, reduction of tape-hiss can reveal defects that had gone almost unnoticed.
- Non-hi-fi recordings can't actually be made to match the best in hi-fi sound. But since I'm sympathetic to the subject matter of railways/transport, I can bring out the best in the recording's content.

The cost of restoring has to be quoted on an individual basis, and there is no fee (or obligation) for such an assessment. Note that doing the full treatment to non-hi-fi mono recording is time consuming, but could be worth it for giving archive sounds a new lease of life.

Examples of what my services may do:

Non-hi-fi mono cassette-tape recordings: Edit out any small defects. Reduce tape hiss. Enhance the general sound quality (by digital equalising and filtering). This is useful for removing any harshness. Create a pseudo-stereo effect which includes that "feel" of stereo rather than just train movements (a trade secret!). A "ball-park" example of cost would be about 1.00 to 1.50 per minute of recording (although usually less for on-train recordings).

Stereo hi-fi cassette-tape (or Mini-Disc or CD-R) recordings: Reduce hiss. Edit out any small defects. Equalise the sound to enhance the content (e.g. reduce bassy wind noise or boost other sounds). Reduce defects due to tape-recorder faults. A "ball-park" example of cost would be about 0.60 per minute of recording.

Scroll further down for some audio samples of before and after enhancing.

Modern digital recordings supplied as WAV files: Even modern superb quality recordings might need help. Perhaps salvaging a recording blunder, or defects due to faulty equipment. Or enhancing the recording to bring out the best in the content. The cost is likely to be similar to the above stereo hi-fi recording enhancements.

To discuss your requirements, please e-mail Ian.

Here are some audio samples to demonstrate the difference between originals and restored/enhanced archive recordings. All the originals are in mono, and the improved versions given the pseudo-stereo effect, general enhancements, and if needed, defects removed.

Each sound sample has a few seconds of original recording, followed by the processed version. I recommend listening through good headphones:

Class 50 being uncoupled:

Class 25 departs Chesterfield:

Deltic 55021 tears through Grantham:

Some severe mic handling noise almost spoiled this, as Deltic 55002 fades into the distance as announcements are made (Peterborough):

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Website started 15th May 2012