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Computer Analysis and Restoration of Reproducing Piano Rolls

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A new technique for restorating historic reproducing piano rolls by means of a computer is introduced. The rolls are optically scanned by a high-resolution drum-scanner and processed by a computer program. Even damaged or deformed, mechanically no more playable rolls can be analyzed and replayed with the system. A novel method for the calibration of the player is discussed. Reproduction limitations inherent in the pneumatical players and duplicators can be identified by analysis and measurements and compensated in software. Performances of respected artist of the beginning of the 20th century can be re-recorded to digital audio by using a computer-controlled player piano.

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