Restoration Tips & Notes Working with audio media (mostly tape) restoration


Mechanical Media

Filed under: — Richard L. Hess @ 15:51

In the latter half of the 19th century, many approaches to capturing sound were investigated. Mechanical reproduction in band organs  used adaptations of the original Jacquard loom  punched cards (arranged in a book).  Later, rolls were used for band organs and player pianos.

Grooved cylinders and later discs were able to capture, preserve, and distribute sounds. Flexibile discs were developed for dictation purposes and EvaTone developed a manufactured flexible disc used for distributing sound as part of publications and other pathways. Dictaphone developed a grooved belt for recording dictation.

Caution: Many discs and cylinders are  fragile and becoming  more so with age. Even a single playing may damage the recording further, making professional  restoration more difficult and costly and  may result in an inferior final product.

Here is a breakdown of different mechanical media:

                   grooved cylinders

                   grooved dictation belts

                   grooved discs

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