Is this 1943 "home record" a lost cause?

First, as this is my first post, I want to thank everyone here for all the information, tips, and good advice I’ve gotten from you over the years.

A while back, I came across a “home record” made in 1943. It’s a vinyl record my grandfather made (at a booth, or something) of my mother and aunt at 3 years old.

Unfortunately, it’s exceptionally bad quality, full of hiss, pops, and crackles:

I’ve tried a low pass filter, high pass filter, the ClickRemoval tool mentioned here, and the instructions for inverting here – all to no avail.

Is there any way to salvage this recording, or is it a lost cause?

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

– Michael

I too would use a low pass filter , ( removing everything above 5kHz ) , then Brian Davies DeClick [ mainly DeCrackle at maximum] then Brian Davies DeNoise , [or Audacity’s noise reduction ].

You could try to make a stereo recording.
It’s of course not ideal but isolating the centerr can reduce material flaws that are only on one side of the groove.

Thank you for the advice, and for uploading a sample file with the modifications. I wanted the opinions of people more experienced than me, and I appreciate it.

You’ve confirmed the same results I’ve been getting: any decrease in noise/popping also decreases intelligibility. I think I’ll give the recording to my Aunt, as is, and let her do with it as she will.

Thank you again.

Just filtering out everything below about 100 Hz and everything above about 3000 Hz seems to be as “good” as anything else.

Just to show what my technique described above (stereo recording) can do:

  • Vocal Reduction and Isolation (Audacity 2.1.1), “Isolate Vocals”, strength 4.0
  • Noise reduction to get rid of the “skating” sound.


I’m impressed, Robert!

Do you still have the record? There are published techniques to force a modern phonograph to play a 78 and then “convert” the result back to real time and pitch, but there’s just nothing like playing a 78 at 78 with a 78 size needle which is much less likely to pick up clicks, pops and groove noise. The narrow LP needle rides along on the bottom of the 78 groove picking up all the cat hairs and dirt down there.

So if this is one of those speed conversions I think you can do a lot better playing it the way it was supposed to be played.

Then clean it up.


That’s why I said it isn’t ideal to use a modern stereo stylus.
However, one has to be open minded.
The advantage of a variety of different styluses is that they ride on different levels of the groove and you can combine the recordings and isolate what’s common to all of them.
It’s even possible to have the same stylus but different weights.

It seems to me that the recording of this topic is already at the end of its life span and I would apply all possible means to preserve the contents digitally.

The best way would be a pure visual, microscopic inspection of the groove but who could afford this procedure?


Thanks, Cyrano
If you want to give it a try yourself, the longer recording can be found in this topic:

Really a pity that my tool wasn’t available back then.


Here’s another example, recording taken from
It’s ironically meant as warning how it should not be done.

It is fairly controverse; should one record in stereo or not?

One guy says in his comment that he mixes down to mono in order to eliminate clicks on one side of the groove.
However, the reduction is maximally 6 dB with this method, whereas center isolation reduces the extreme sides by inf dB.

The following sample file has those settings applied: