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Thread: Attenuating feedback squeal on cassette to CD transfer?

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    Question Attenuating feedback squeal on cassette to CD transfer?

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    Hello All, This seemed like the best place to post this:

    I have stumbled across a tape whose sound quality would be noticeably increased if I could get this improved: During the first 8 songs, whether there is music playing or not, there is a very sporadic, high pitched annoyingly loud squeal. There is no video to accompany this, so I can't tell you what caused the first squeal that happens when no one was talking or playing. It does not seem connected to the volume of the music, it just comes and goes, usually no longer than 2-4 seconds. By track 9 they have figured out what was causing it. I could time exactly on the tape where the worst squeals occur and their duration, then copy the tape to my "Pro" Sony CDRW-33 that has a 3 band parametric equalizer, and a limiter function. I can make adjustments "on the fly" w/ this CD burner. Is there anything that could be done to attenuate this noise, even if it were only a small amount? The source tape would be played on a Sony TC-WA9ES ( which has Dolby Type B, C, S and HX Pro adjustments.) All thoughts appreciated. safeeurohome

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    Hmmm. To try and EQ some of it out, I would use an fully parametric equalizer. With them you can narrow the effected frequency band (Q) way down and get it centered over the feedback tone. Another approach might be a notch filter set at the feedback frequency. Either of these is destructive in nature, but sometimes losing some program material to get rig of something obnoxious is worth the trade-off

    Im sure more will stop in and add to your options.....

    Good luck!
    Why would you record music on a device designed to do word processing?

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    excersise the tape (ff and rwd) then place in the food dehidrator on low for 1/2hr then let it cool down, excersise the tape again and you should be fine.

    or you can try this first if your leery about baking the tape:

    if that doesn't help then the plastic piece that glides the reels (cassette liner) is worn and you'll have to dissect your cassette and transfer the tape reels to a new cassette shell/that has a good liner.

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    Ii dont think he is talking about tape issues with his enquiry. And if he was it is a non problem. The squeal from sticky tape would not be recorded in the transfer to CD process...
    Why would you record music on a device designed to do word processing?

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    Exclamation ...

    Feedback recorded on the original performance.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lt. Bob
    ... subtleties of sound make a difference to those who really listen.

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    I'm with mdainsd.

    If it was feedback from an original performance or transfer, you may well be lucky and find that it's a single frequency or at least a narrow band.

    You could get all scientific and use a frequency analyser on your DAW to isolate the necessary frequency but, as mdainsd says, I'd just try with a parametric EQ set to a relatively narrow Q and just slowly crank the centre frequency until it's hitting your feedback. You may need to play with the width of the EQ to get everything but, if it's narrow band, it should work.

    Alas, if it turns out not to be a single frequency, an effective fix gets more and more difficult. It might be worth trying some frequency analysis to see if there are a few identifiable trouble spots then back to the EQ...or maybe the noise reduction feature on your DAW if you have one (if not, download the trial of Audition--very good NR there). However, the more pervasive the feedback, the harder it will be to remove without hurting the music too.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    Hey Guys, Thanks for your input. Another techie recommended using "Waveform". This noise is the exactly the same every time, it just varies in duration. If I could isolate this particular frequency, then either reduce its' volume, or even better eliminate it, would that be a way to go? Even if I could reduce it's volume to the same as the music,( whenever it appears, it is always louder than the background music) it would make the tape MUCH more listenable. Thanks again for the advice, safeeurohome

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    It's going to be much easier to record it into a computer and process it in a DAW.

    Insert a parametric eq, loop a section of feedback, boost a frequency and sweep it around to home in on the feedback, increase the Q and fine tune the frequency until the Q is maxed and you are directly on the frequency, reset to flat, automate the eq to follow the rise and fall of the feedback with a corresponding fall and rise of the filter gain.

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    I made a video a few years ago showing how I removed feedback from a recorded track using daw software. I know we are in the analog forum here, but this suggestion is an alternative to using an analog EQ while dupping it. The DAW has an extremely tight notch filter built in and an easy way to zero in on exactly the feedback frequency. Check it out.

    How I removed stage feedback from my live tracks. (Adobe Audition)

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    Yep, record it into your computer. I'd use waverepair, (I've used it for several years to archive and restore vinyl & cassette for CD), to sample (fingerprint is what the prog calls it) the noise and then gradually apply the degree of noise reduction until the thing is gone with minimal damage to other audio.
    basically it's a sampling filter.

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