[tig] Maybe a bit off-topic...

Marc Wielage mfw
Wed Oct 15 11:52:04 BST 2003

On 10/14/03 7:23 PM, "Robert Lovejoy" <rlovejoy at comcast.net> wrote:

> Well now, if I remember correctly, just before those newfangled compact
> discs appeared on the scene, Phase Linear introduced their Autocorrelator,
> designed by one Bob Carver...

Well, I believe the original message from JeffH asked the following:

"I am looking for the LP equivalent of a Telecine Wet Gate.....something
that will coat my albums with something (liquid?) to fill in any surface

He's asking for a LIQUID to fill in ticks and pops.  I said sadly, no such
thing exists.  That's still true.  It's about the same as asking for "liquid
oxide" that you could paint onto an analog videotape to fill up the

Sure, there's tons of black boxes out there that will cover up ticks and
pops.  I've owned several versions of Dick Burwen's devices, like the TNE,
the DNF, the Autocorrelator, and so on.  The latter did nothing for vinyl
ticks (neither the original 1000 or the later 1000A, both of which I own),
but were instead designed just to remove steady-state hiss.  Garrard and SAE
both came out with similar "tick & pop removing" devices in the late
1970s/early 1980s, but the Burwen TNE was the best, in my opinion.  (Rick
Chace liked the Packburn processor, which was the Rolls Royce vinyl
processor of the 1980s.)  All of them work as sort of "audio dropout
detectors," covering up a sharp transient with a millisecond of audio held
in a delay line.  I got a studio filled with this stuff.

But all the analog-based boxes are actually pretty crappy, if you want to
know the truth.  (I hosted a 1-hour radio show examining each of these
processors on IN-FIDELITY, back in the late 1980s, featuring a live
interview with Rick Chace on KPFK-FM in LA.)  Each of them has all kinds of
pretty bad artifacts, particularly on material with very complex harmonics.
The bottom line is that there's no automatic "set and forget" adjustment you
can make that can work for every song on every LP side.  It's pretty much a
song-by-song adjustment -- sort of like scene-by-scene color-correction or
DVNR adjustment.

The newer digital audio processing boxes, like the Cedar series, are
terrific and do a great job at de-ticking and de-crackling.  Of course, they
cost $4K apiece, and you have to buy four of them (de-tick, de-crackle,
de-hiss, etc.) to get the most out of them, but the results are amazing.

And the digital plug-ins I mentioned (like the Waves "Restoration" package
or the Sonic NoNoise package) work about 2/3 as good as Cedar, for about 1/2
the money.

But none of these devices are liquid goo you coat on the records.

--Marc Wielage/Cinesite Digital Mastering
  Hollywood, USA

[Note: the opinions expressed expressed above are strictly my own, and not
necessarily that of my employers.]

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