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Can you fix all types of damage to recordings?

No. Listed below are some of the limitations. We want our customers to be informed. Please familiarize yourself with these limitations and write or call us if you have any questions. Read also about the Types of Noises Successfully Removed or Diminished and Our Noise Reduction Philosophy. The quality of our work is 100% guaranteed, but this guarantee does not apply to defects that are impossible to fix, such as those described below:

  • Unplayable disks: Please do not send disks that are cracked, warped, or otherwise unplayable.

 

  • Off-center hole: Some LP’s have the center hole slightly off-center. These records will play with the pitch varying slightly at each revolution.

 

  • Skips: If the record “skips” on your machine, it may “skip” on our machines. Even if a record does not skip on your machine it may still skip on our machine (we use professional grade turntables and needles). If the needle skips forward we will continue processing. If the record skips in place we will push the needle gently into the next groove. We will repeat this a few times until the needle will track again. Some discontinuity may be noticed. We may not detect if the needle has skipped only a few times and then continued. We do not guarantee that we will detect, avoid or fix all skips. If any of these conditions are not acceptable, please do not submit records that skip.

 

  • Severe scratches: We routinely eliminate 50,000 to 100,000 clicks, pops and scratches per record (!!!) We have cleaned up recordings of over 400,000 imperfections with great results. Most clicks are completely eliminated, without even a trace. However, if the scratch is very severe (the underlying music is gone for a considerable amount of time) there will be a trace of a “pop” in the restored version.

 

  • Distortion: Distortions come in many flavors and have many possible causes: over modulation at recording, defective microphones or recording equipment, faulty stamping or quality control when the record was pressed, playing the record with a worn needle or with improper tracking force. A distortion becomes part of the sound. The computer (and filtering equipment) can not decide what is distorted and what is not (sometimes even humans have trouble hearing all forms of distortion). Therefore, if your source recording is distorted, the restored copy will also be distorted (only the sound will be “cleaner”).

 

  • Trade-offs:
  1. Intense computer processing of very degraded signals may result in music that sounds somewhat muted. It is a much more enjoyable experience to listen to a clean sounding recording, but somewhat muted, as opposed to a recording with severe hiss, crackles and pops.
  2. There are cases when a recording sounds clean for the most part, and needs a less drastic approach in restoration in order to preserve the “liveliness” of the original recording. In this case it is more desirable to apply less severe processing, which may leave some occasional imperfections more audible.

 

  • No pause between tracks: Please note that there must be few seconds of actual pause (silence) between the songs in order for us to be able to accurately assign tracks. If the original material does not contain a few seconds of silence between the songs, and timings are not provided we will try to guess where the tracks should begin, but may not exactly match the tracks of the original. This happens frequently with “live recording” albums, medleys, opera and sometimes with compilation tapes. If our “guessing” is not acceptable, please do not submit recordings without a few seconds of silence between songs.

 

  • Inferior quality home or commercial recording: Some customers prefer to record their vinyl or shellac records onto a cassette, and send us the cassette for processing. Please be aware that if the cassette is recorded with inferior equipment (noisy turntable or cassette recorder) the resulting CD will also be of inferior quality. It is impossible to make a perfect CD out of a technically inferior recording. This also applies to inferior commercial recordings (recordings with metallic, tiny sound, recordings with bad sibilants, recordings badly mixed). We can not create frequencies that have never been recorded and can not re-mix a recording since we do not have the multi-track master. Remember, recording companies have budgets of tens of thousands of dollars for their recordings, your budget for your restoration is much less.

 

  • Perfection is not possible and is not guaranteed: We do not promise that we will take a recording in any condition and turn it into a “perfect” recording. We do not re-engineer recordings, unless we are provided with the original master tapes of a recording and an adequate professional re-mastering budget. We guarantee the quality of our work in producing a faithful transfer with adequate noise reduction, but we do not claim or guarantee that a recording that is sent to us will become a “perfect recording” as a result of our work. Our transfer and restoration work addresses only sound elements that are audible by normal listeners under normal listening conditions. We do not deal in “esoterica”.
  • Results commensurate with service selected: We offer a variety of services and price levels: from “consumer services” (and prices) to “professional services” (and prices); from “transfer only” to “Individual Restoration Units”. We perform the service that was purchased by the customer when the order was placed. Occasionally we encounter customers who purchase a lower level service but demand results equal with a higher levels service, without paying for it. Customers with stringent requirements (and “perfectionists”) should order higher level services (“professional services”). Results are commensurate with the budget we are given to work with and the level of service purchased.