What is "Audio Restoration"?

Many of us have old memories recorded in some manner from family members who are no longer with us. Whether on old records, 8-track, cassette or whatever, they are sometimes painful because of the loss of audio quality, or damaged by scratches, static or just plain wear.

My family is no different. During the 1930's our Dad played guitar and sang western songs on WHO-DesMoines. He also played and sang until close to the time he left this earth. Those old recordings were first placed on 33-1/3 rpm records, then copied to 8-track tape, then copied in time to cassette.

If audio is not recorded on professional quality equipment, there is noise in it. Just a fact of life. You can well imagine the loss of quality because of all those transfers of music that was recorded in the first place on generation-one recording media, then transferred to old 8-track tape, then transferred to old cassette tapes. Our family has been sad about the loss for years, since Dad is no longer here to entertain us with his music.

Just by luck, I stumbled into a website named TracerTek. I eventually phoned the fine folks there, and ended up buying their DC6 program and a decent sound system for my computer. After a short familiarization period with DC6, and a half-dozen experiments on some old songs, I was able to start restoring Dad's recordings to a quality that allowed us to fondly remember his "pickin' 'an singin'" throughout the years.

Interestingly, I found that TracerTek had long been engaged to restore and preserve into digital format some of the most important recordings in museums from the early days of radio. In fact, that is how they finally got around to making their programs available to the public; the demand for audio restoration was so intense they could not keep up with it. Our good luck!

DC6 is also used to bring poorly recorded conversations out of the static and inaudible mists of poorly recorded conversations.

If you'd like to see the difference between "Before" and "After", you can click on these two examples from my work. This short piece was named "Under the Double Eagle", played by our Dad Harry Lawton.

(2,192kb) Before Audio Restoration.Taken from a cassette tape that was taken from an 8-track tape that was taken from a 33-1/3 record.

(367kb) After Audio Restoration.Taken from the same cassette recording, my first project! If you notice a "clicking" sound in this file, it is Mom "playing the spoons" to accompany Dad on his guitar.

On the restored version, did you hear those rythmic metallic clicks? That was Mom, "playing the spoons" on her fingers. Never saw that trick? Hold the ends of two back-to-back spoons in your hand, index finger between them just slightly separating the backs, and then drag them across your other hand's fingers and slap them onto the top of your leg. Repeat that in a rhythm that matches a song. If, with lots of practice, you get that just right it makes an interesting metallic rythmic accompaniment for home-grown music.

So That's What Audio Restoration Is...

If you have audio restoration that needs done, I can heartily recommend DC6 at TracerTek. If you don't have the time, or just don't want to spend the time, it takes to restore your old audio recordings, perhaps I could help you. Let me know what you have to restore, what medium it's on, and how much of it there is. I'll bet we could come to an agreement that would make us both pleased with the result.

I'll even restore a clip from your sample for free, so you can hear if the improvement is worth the effort.

You just can't beat that offer, can you!

You can use your eMail client to contact me at

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