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Can I improve the quality of old recordings and get rid of the crackling and hiss?

Probably, yes.

Obviously some recordings are beyond salvage, but it is remarkable how much better you can make poor quality audio sound with a bit of work, decent hi-fi equipment and some software.

You will want to play your old audio on the best quality equipment you can get hold of. If it is a tape listen to it with Dolby B and Dolby C on and see how it sounds best. See our page on non-portable recording equipment for advice on what equipment to use for playing and copying audio.

Connect your tape recorder or amp to your computer sound card and record the sound using some sound editing software. All of the sound editing software packages allow you to boost the volume of the sound, and some will offer some kind of hiss removal, noise removal, crack and pop removers and other useful tools. There are a variety of reasonably priced software packages designed for this, and you will find them in your local computer shop or on line.

You may find reading EMOHA Information Sheet No 18: Digitising Oral History useful.


Last updated: 29/6/04
East Midland Oral History Archive Web maintainer
This document has been approved by the head of department or section.

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