Cleaning up and remastering old recordings?

Hello there, I’ve got an old audio tape recording in bad condition and want to try out cleaning it up a bit to make it sound better. First of all I need to remove the hiss and then repair the recording (remove glitches). After that some compression and equalisation tips (what settings is the best?)…

The recording is a music, trash-metal recording. It’s downloaded from Internet in MP3 format, so I know it’s not the exact copy and it will sound a bit worse than taken and remastered directly from the tape, but I do not own the original tape. Maybe sometimes when I get more time and money, I could ask for the original recording on the original tape and record it to WAV using analog-to-digital standalone converter, but now I have to deserve with the Lame compressed and lowered bitrate digital version :frowning:

So what are the best steps to enhance old and bad condition audio tape recordings to make it as nearest the CD quality as possible?

It’s downloaded from Internet in MP3 format

You lost me. You have a bad tape of a ratty MP3 download?

Tape hiss can be helped with Effect > Noise Reduction. Most noise reductions fail from overuse. Start with gentle settings and listen to what happens to the background noise and for any damage to the music. There isn’t one standard setting and Noise Reduction affects both.

Glitches are hard. this is a piece from the vinyl transfer tutorial.

If it’s a commercial production already, many times removed, you don’t need any more compression and equalization is up to the listener.


Well, it’s not commercial production, it’s rather a demo album of nowadays well known band in Czech, if you can remember Kabát, then you’re my friend :slight_smile:

Anyway, thank you for links and tips and I’ll see if it gets better. I just want to try it out, it’s for education purposes only. So if it will sound weird, I’d use the original download untact rather than the original one remastered. The hiss does not hurt the music at all, but the glitches can be pretty annoying with higher volume…

To the music tape: There are only few copies of the original Kabát demo album Orgasmus (this is the tape), what I know all of these have been damaged during the time passing on, almost every old tape plays back hiss when listened back in the time after bunch of years. There is no noiseless and damageless recording of this demo nowadays. Yes, I’d like to get an original tape and I’d like to make it CD (remastered, without the hiss and glitches), but it’s impossible now…