The Internet Archive Announces Ambitious Project to Collect, Digitize, and “Semantically Restore” 78rpm Era Audio Recordings
I believe we can do a fabulous job of bringing the music from the 78rpm era back to vibrant life if we really understand wear and if we could model the instruments and voices.
In other words, I believe we could reconstruct a performance by semantically modeling the noise and distortion we want to get rid of, as well as modeling the performer’s instruments.
The Great 78 Project will collect over 400,000 digitized 78rpm recordings publicly available, making it a rich data set to do large scale analysis. These transfers are being done with four different styli shapes and sizes at the same time, and all recorded at 96KHz/24bit lossless samples, and in stereo (even though the records are in mono, this provides more information about the contours of the groove). This means each groove has 8 different high-resolution representations of every 11 microns. Furthermore, there are often multiple copies of the same recording that would have been stamped and used differently. So, modeling the wear on the record and using that to reconstruct what would have been on the master may be possible.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.