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Restoration is the process of improving the quality of recorded audio, especially audio that is very old or was poorly recorded.

Many of the software tools we have at Polkasound are specifically designed for improving and restoring audio quality.  Four of the key software tools we use for audio restoration are:
  • Noise Reduction:  Using our powerful software, a portion of the unwanted background noise (i.e. tape hiss) is digitally sampled. The software then "listens" to the music while we control how much of the sampled noise to remove.
  • Snap! Crackle! Pop!  78, 45, and 33RPM records are notorious for their noise, so it's no surprise that software programs were created just for the detection and removal of it.  We have some of the best software available. Where more thorough noise removal is required, we can also reduce or remove most noises manually.
  • Bass and Treble Enhancement:  Normal equalization simply amplifies or attenuates selected frequencies.  Our software also allows us to enhance the high and low end of recordings by adding pleasing harmonics that "feed" off of existing frequencies, no matter how faint.
  • Multi-Band Digital Compression/Limiting:  In short, we can smooth out audio levels not just globally, but in selected frequencies and bandwidths. Our high-end software allows us to narrow down problem frequencies with incredible precision.


We want to emphasize that recorded music can only be restored or improved to a point, simply because an audio recording cannot be deconstructed to isolate individual instruments. The best analogy to explain this is paint. Once you mix several colors of paint together, you can't un-mix them. Once you mix eggs, milk, and butter together, you can't un-mix them. The same is true for recorded audio.  Once you mix instruments, vocals, and even background noise together, you can't un-mix them.
Restoration software isolates and processes the frequency ranges where specific instruments or noises are found in the audio spectrum. For example, if an accordion is too shrill on a recording, we'll find the frequency range where the shrillness exists and subdue it as needed. It is impossible, however, to physically isolate the accordion from the rest of the instruments and adjust its level or tone without affecting the other instruments in its frequency range.
With our high-quality mastering software and years of engineering skills combined, significant improvements to a recording may be possible, but limitations do exist. If instruments or vocals need to be individually processed or adjusted, then remixing the music from the studio multi-track recording would be required. If you're not sure to what extent your project can be restored, please contact us for a free consultation.

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