Sunday, January 11, 2009

A little experiment...

During the festive period, I've been experimenting on cleaning up the audio on a couple of cartoons using the open-source program Audacity (I know there are better, more sophisticated programs out there, but due to this credit crunch, I decided to restrict myself to free software). The first cartoon to get this treatment is the 1929 Aesop's Fable Wood Choppers, where my copy has a rather crackly audio. I managed to clean it up using a minimum amount of noise reduction, and in my opinion, the end result is adequate, if not great:

Krazy Kat's Alaskan Knights proved to be more troublesome. Bootleg-print aside, this one not only has a crackly audio, but it's also very faint and has a lot of background hiss. Minimum noise-reduction and low-pass filtering made it more audiable, but despite boosting the audio as well, it still comes out as quite faint, See what you think of it:


King of [Silent] Cartoons said...

Good work, Lee. I was impressed by the improved audio on Wood Choppers. Some background music was muffled a bit by the process, but the key SFX seem to be much more highlighted now. I'm sure with a little more tweaking (and better software down the road), even more superb results can be had.
Bootlegs like the Krazy Kat are often printed with low sound due to poor duplicating in the film lab. That, and my hunch that it was transferred on an Elmo TRV-16 unit which does not give an awfully good sound output, which is what we need for these early/crude sound cartoons (and poor prints of them, a coupling combination!)

robyn said...

Hello Lee,

Would you mind emailing me? I want to ask you a question and cannot find your contact info.



Craig D said...

Lee: Thanks for the tip concerning audacity. I've downloaded it and am amazed at how well it works for normalizing, de-clicking and noise reduction on my vinyl-to-CDR wav files.