My reputation as an audio restoration pro is getting around. In the last week, I’ve been called out of the blue by two different people to transfer records to CD. The first was a religious album by Brook Benton which had never been reissued since 1961, and has never been on CD. This fellow had been searching for it since then, and finally found one on eBay, and he called me on the recommendation of someone whom I don’t even know personally! When he came to hear the results, his eyes got all misty.
Today, I got another call from a studio in town, run by a guy I worked with a few years ago. He was unequipped to do this project, but he thought of me right away. Someone asked him if they could get three tracks recorded in the early 1950s on 78 RPM acetate discs, by their grandfather, restored and transferred to CD. So now I’m working on removing all the noises from these discs. They are one-of-a-kind recordings of a fellow playing the piano. I doubt anyone has heard them in four decades. Acetates are extremely fragile, and start to wear out after about two plays. These are in pretty rough shape.
The first one took almost three hours to remove all of the scratches, pops and clicks. It sounds pretty darn nice now. The second side is in abysmal shape, and it skips several times because the grooves are damaged. On the bright side, I’ve been able to make clean edits over those areas by taking an identical passage from elsewhere in the song and pasting them in the bad spots. They’ll never know the difference. Somebody is going to be very happy. I hope the old gentleman is still with us to hear the results. I’m not going to get to see his reaction, though. Too bad. I bet it’ll be an emotional scene.
I love my job.