1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

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bobfells

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1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostThu Jan 19, 2017 7:36 pm

MENDELSSOHN VIOLIN CONCERTO IN E MINOR: Fritz Kreisler with Sir Landon Ronald conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Recorded in 1935 at the Abbey Road Studio, London, where the Beatles recorded some thirty years later. I digitized from original 78 rpm discs (somewhat worn I might add) with audio restoration software applied but without added reverb or artificial ambiance.

Last edited by silentfilm on Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ray Faiola

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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 6:58 am

Great performance, nice job on the recording! Same with Whiteman's recording of GRAND CANYON SUITE (which I think I actually have on a Victrola LP).
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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 9:51 am

Thanks Ray. Most classical music discs on 78s tend to be in mint condition, suggesting that the original purchasers rarely played them (if ever). But whoever owned the Mendelssohn set must have played it a lot with those iron needles that destroyed the grooves as they played through the record. I could have applied more audio software to mask the noise but then it would have distorted the music and that's a big no-no.

Next on my list of restorations is Toscanini's 1929 "Haffner" Symphony (No.35) by Mozart. I can only hope that the original owner didn't play it much!
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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 5:20 pm

Bob, I was lucky in that I got a lot of my 78's from stock that was previously owned by broadcasting stations. They had of course gone over to playing "modern rubbish" (please - just my opinion) and thus didn't require any recordings of "proper music". The covers feature date stamps as to when the records were played - and some of them weren't played that often - which renders them in near to mint condition.

I am interested in how you go about your restorations? I have DB6 and Audacity. The former is rather technical and as I don't have a degree in Sound Engineering, my efforts in re-mastering have been hit and miss affairs thus far.

I have heard too that records should be played wet - although my brain doesn't understand how a layer of water affects things?

The main filter I use is a "sampler" which picks up on a small section of the underlying noise (usually nowhere near where the actual recording is) - this sample then filters out most of the extraneous surface noise. If there are clicks, I usually enlarge the "picture" of the recording and edit them out manually.

The knack then is to improve the sound by using the equalisers I believe - something I am still fooling around with finding my way.

Something interesting you may not know. Apparently recordings made in Australia were of a better quality in that they didn't use brick dust mixed in with the shellac - so there is less surface noise. That is evident on one Tauber record I have which most people won't believe is on a 78! :D
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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 9:27 pm

Donald,

I've heard about playing records "wet" but then I heard that was bad advice. Washing records is another matter if we're careful about drying them first and not getting the label wet. I have a horsehair brush that gently sweeps out crap in the grooves. Unless a record looks dirty or sticky, I'll limit the cleaning to using the brush as the disc goes round the turntable. Victor, later RCA Victor, seems to have manufactured the quietest sides and apparently researched various types of material.

I use a basic Ion turntable with three speeds although I experiment with digitizing 78s at 33 rpm, apply audio software and then electronically shift the track to 78. I'm undecided whether the extra steps result in better sound. I don't pretend to be a sound engineer and in fact my hearing isn't what it used to be. I use ear buds because they are hyper-sensitive to distortions and if I'm satisfied with what I hear using earbuds I know the music will sound even better over speakers. The software I use is Magix Audio Cleaning Lab which is user-friendly but I had to experiment quite a bit through trial and error to get anywhere. Noise reduction - pops, clicks, crackle and hiss - can only be eliminated so much until the music is affected. When the music gets echo-like I know I've over-processed.

I leave equalization alone because I find it changes the balances and the trade-off usually isn't worth it. Magix has cleaners to reduce crackle/clicks and hiss in various degrees - weak, moderate, strong. I find that weak and moderate removes the noise w/o distorting the music. "Strong" affects the music so I hesitate to use it. Among the mastering options I can split the mono signal into two tracks but then a miracle happens. I select "convert stereo to mono" and by golly it removes the rumbling and "wind" distortions. At that point unless a disc is worn or damaged, I have myself a beautiful sounding track to download. I should add that none of this applies to acoustical recordings. The frequency range is quite limited and the signal is not very compatible with software controls. That said, if the disc is not worn or damaged i have been able to trick out a decent signal with a bit more range.

Bob
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Donald Binks

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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostFri Jan 20, 2017 9:36 pm

Bob - Thanks for your post. Good to have someone on board who is also doing a bit of sound engineering. As I said - I am only in the "foolin' around" stage and am not yet ready to put any of my "masterpieces" up for other people to listen to. Hopefully I will learn more as I go along - but, being a retired person, I find myself so busy with all the other things I am doing. :D (How did I ever fit work into the schedule?) Anyway, I'll come back on when I have experimented further.
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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 3:02 pm

You may not agree but I actually prefer Kreisler's earlier recording of the Mendelssohn concerto, made in Berlin with Leo Blech conducting the State Opera Orchestra in 1927!

Believe it or not the sound and recording is much better, probably because it was recorded in the Singakademie, which had a superb acoustic.

Be sure to check it out. Kreisler's playing is utterly transcendent. Boy, was he ever on form that day!
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Re: 1935 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in Restored Sound

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 9:58 pm

I haven't compared the '27 and '35 versions but I'll take your word for it. My interest in digitally transferring the 78s was to gain more experience with the audio software I am using. It served that purpose and I got a much better sounding performance than what I started with. I have since posted several more restorations on YT but perhaps i should post some of the better ones here.

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