AES Vienna 2007
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AES Vienna 2007
Spotlight on Archiving Details

Saturday, May 5, 10:30 — 12:00


Audio Restoration

MIST Technologies has developed an "unmixing" technology. The MIST software enables the creation of a multitrack version of a mono or stereo recording. These "multitracks" are fully nondestructive to the source material, and the sum of the separated tracks is equal to the original work; and the original mix is thus fully respected. This multitrack facility enables a sound engineer to quickly prepare a high quality multichannel master and was used by Olivier Dahan to remaster the original Edif Piaf recordings featured in the film, La Môme.

This Application Seminar will feature a presentation of the company, its technology and its products, as well as discussions with sound engineers using multitracks prepared by MIST.

Saturday, May 5, 13:30 — 14:00

Invited Paper

-1 Sound Archiving—A Challenge for the Audio Engineering Society [Invited Paper]Dietrich Schüller, Austrian Academy of Sciences - Vienna, Austria
In the course of the past 20 years, issues related to sound archiving and restoration have increasingly conquered a stable position at AES conventions. These issues are also permanently dealt with and further developed by the respective groups within the AES Technical and Standards Committees. In 2001, the 20th AES Conference held in Budapest was devoted to Archiving, Restoration, and New Methods of Recording.

The world’s first sound archive, the Phonogrammarchiv, was founded in 1899 by the then Imperial Academy of Sciences, and that, inter alia, may be one of the reasons why the Vienna AES Convention has made “Archiving” one of its main topics.

This paper will introduce to a full afternoon of specialized presentations, reminding us that, at the cradle of sound recording, nobody would have imagined a recording and entertaining industry which today serves one of the greatest markets of the world. Sound recording was the result of scientific interest predominantly aimed at studying the nature of spoken language. And it was scholars—linguists, anthropologists, and musicologists—who systematically employed sound recording technology from its very beginning. Consequently, the academic world played a key role in founding sound archives from around 1900 onward, and the longevity of sound recordings was given special emphasis, specifically in the archives of Vienna and Berlin. The emerging phonographic industry, however, shaped the development of sound recording technology since that time; yet the permanence of the record that once had attracted the scholarly world was not among the driving forces, particularly not in the development of magnetic tape recording. Only in the late 1950s, when libraries had already been collecting sound recordings as significant cultural sources on a greater scale, did preservation start to become an issue. Today, the world-wide holdings of audio recordings are estimated to amount to some 100 million hours, many of them still on analog or digital single carriers, which sooner or later are prone to decay. Current thinking suggests, however, that obsolescence of replay equipment is an even greater threat to the long-term survival of the audio heritage.

This constitutes substantial challenges to AES, of which the greatest may be: while little can be done to counteract the present terrifying speed of withdrawal from the manufacture of replay equipment and spare parts, how can we maintain the knowledge and the skills needed for the maintenance of equipment and for the optimal retrieval of signals from our audio documents?

Saturday, May 5, 14:00 — 18:30

P4 - Audio Archiving, Storage, Restoration, and Content Management

Chair: Dietrich Schüller, Austrian Academy of Sciences - Vienna, Austria

P4-1 Sound Archiving—A Challenge for the Audio Engineering Society [Invited Paper]Dietrich Schuller, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna - Vienna, Austria

P4-2 150 Years of Time-Base in Acoustic Measurement and 100 Years of Audio's Best Publicity Stunt—2007 as a Commemorative YearGeorge Brock-Nannestad, Patent Tactics - Gentofte, Denmark
Léon Scott's invention of the phonoautograph in 1857 made a long time-base available for recording of vibrations, and it was also the first time an air-borne sound was recorded. Although his invention formed the basis, both for sound recording and reproduction and for acoustical science as we know it, it has been largely forgotten. Neither Scott nor the instrument maker Koenig are mentioned in the series “Benchmark Papers of Acoustics.” Today we take sound archives for granted, but the whole sound archive movement would not have received any attention in the general public, if one particular event had not occurred: the sealed deposit in 1907 of important shellac records and a gramophone in the vaults below the Paris Opera house. They were intended to remain untouched for 100 years, and they have survived to this day. The paper will provide the documentation for these historical events that form the basis of so many of our professional activities.
Convention Paper 7007

P4-3 Knowledge: The Missing Element in Archiving and Restoration? Sean W. Davies, SW Davies, Ltd. - Aylesbury, UK
This admittedly provocative title nevertheless calls attention to a situation that already exists and may become critical in the future. No sound recording can be considered in isolation from the technical system that produced it. A proper working knowledge of such a system is an essential requirement for any person working on the transfer of such a recording. This paper examines the range of such required knowledge and the means by which it may be taught to personnel likely to be involved with archival material.
Convention Paper 7008

P4-4 Noncontact Phonographic Disk Digitization Using Structured Color IlluminationLouis Laborelli, Jean-Hugues Chenot, Alain Perrier, INA (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel) - Bry sur Marne, France
We propose an innovative contact-less optical playing device for 78 rpm and 33 rpm lateral modulation phonographic disks using structured color illumination. An area of the disk is illuminated by a beam of rays, with color depending on the direction of incidence, that are reflected by the groove wall toward a camera image. In contrast with standard methods that measure the velocity of the groove at a single location, direct access to the audio signal value is obtained here directly from pictures through color decoding, and the whole height of the groove wall is exploited. This color coding allows for the detection of occluding dust and automated interpolation of the missing audio signal. Results on distortion, S/N ratio, and bandwidth are presented.
Convention Paper 7009

P4-5 Improvement of Cylindrical Record Reproduction Utilizing Inharmonic Frequency Analysis GHATeruo Muraoka, Shota Nakagomi, Tohru Ifukube, University of Tokyo - Tokyo, Japan
Cylindrical records were important sound media around the beginning of 20th century, and a lot of historical recordings were made by using them. We have engaged in the research of cylindrical record reproduction and noise-reduction of damaged SP records utilizing inharmonic frequency analysis of GHA (Generalized Harmonic Analysis). Surface noise of cylindrical records are more serious than SP records, so we challenged its noise reduction by modifying GHA noise-reduction.
Convention Paper 7010

P4-6 Method Comparison of Pick-Up and Preprocessing of Bias Signal for Wow and Flutter CorrectionNadja Wallaszkovits, Franz Pavuza, Phonogrammarchiv Austrian Academy of Sciences - Vienna, Austria; Heinrich Pichler, Audio Consultant - Vienna, Austria
This paper discusses the practical implementation of high frequency bias signal retrieval from analog magnetic tapes at original replay speeds by using slightly modified standard playback facilities. Based on an implementation within an archival workflow and prior studies of bias signal retrieval from analog magnetic tape, the authors focus on a comparison of reproduction and preprocessing methods of the bias signal. Previous approaches are compared to the authors’ proposed method. The signal preprocessing in the analog as well as digital domain is outlined and, based on analyses of bias signals from professional and semi-professional recordings, the various practical problems are discussed: level instability and unknown frequency of the recorded bias signal, frequency variations mainly with semiprofessional devices of older types of recording equipment due to the instability of the bias oscillator, as well as effects of signal distortions, interferences, signal aliasing problems, and ultrasonic artifacts. The practical applicability within a standard archival transfer is discussed.
Convention Paper 7011

P4-7 Improved Magneto-Optical ¼-Inch Audio Tape Player for PreservationMarcel Guwang, Hi-Stor Technologies - Colomiers, France
This improved quarter-inch audio tape player features a multitrack magneto-optical reader to reduce preservation cost through speed, adjustment automation, and compatibility. The benefits of this 32-channel head, connected to a digital signal processor, are high speed capability, compatibility, and automatic detection of any number of audio tracks, real time automatic adjustment of the best digital playback azimuth, and filtering of crosstalk and partial track erasures.
Convention Paper 7012

P4-8 Analysis and Restoration of Faulty Audio CDsHélène Galiègue, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris, France; Jean-Marc Fontaine, Laboratoire d'Acoustique Musicale - Paris, France; Laurent Daudet, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris, France
Many audio CDs (mostly CD-Rs but also CD-ROMs) have defects that appear due to bad manufacturing, careless use, or simple aging of its physical constituents. Here, we study such audio CDs that are still readable with a standard player (computer CD/DVD drive or standalone audio player with digital output), but whose defects are not fully handled by error correction codes, resulting in a highly distorted signal. This paper is two-fold: first, we characterize these errors on a few example discs; and second, we study different means to restore the audio content, by fusion of multiple reads and interpolation schemes.
Convention Paper 7013

P4-9 Techniques for the Authentication of Digital Audio RecordingsEddy B. Brixen, EBB-consult - Smørum, Denmark
In forensic audio one important task is the authentication of audio recordings. Standards and procedures already exists regarding analog recordings. In the field of digital recording and digital media the conditions are different. A rock solid methodology is needed here, but does not exist yet. This paper reviews existing techniques and presents some results regarding an additional number of tools, the ENF criterion, which should be considered to become a standard within the AES as well as in the forensic community as a whole.
Convention Paper 7014

P4-10 Using Multiple Feature Extraction with Statistical Models to Categorize Music by GenreBenjamin Fields, Goldsmiths College, University of London - London, UK
In recent years, large capacity portable personal music players have become widespread in their use and popularity. Coupled with the exponentially increasing processing power of personal computers and embedded devices, the way people consume and listen to music is ever changing. To facilitate the categorization of these personal music libraries, a system is employed using MPEG-7 feature vectors as well as Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients classified through multiple trained Hidden Markov Models and other statistical methods. The output of these models is then compared and a genre choice is made based on which model gives the best fit. Results from these tests are analyzed and ways to improve the performance of a genre sorting system are discussed.
Convention Paper 7015

Saturday, May 5, 14:30 — 15:30


Stefan Zachau

World Class Noise Reduction for Pro Tools

Cube-Tec audio restoration and mastering tools (VPI's) are used by some of the world's most prestigious facilities. This presentation covers a selection of restoration VPI's that have recently been converted for use on the Digidesign Pro Tools platform. The presentation will include tools for hum & buzz removal, noise reduction, de-crackling, disturbance tone removal, and much more.

Sunday, May 6, 09:00 — 10:30


Dietrich Schüller, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna

The world's audio heritage is estimated to amount to 100 million hours of recorded documents. A considerable part is at severe risk of not surviving in the long-term, as it is still kept on analog or digital single carriers, which sooner or later are prone to deterioration. An even greater threat is the fast withdrawal from the manufacture of specific replay equipment and spare parts. This will lead to a situation where still well-preserved recordings cannot be retrieved anymore because of the lack of replay equipment.

This tutorial concentrates on two basic documents for long-term audio preservation, released by the Technical Committee of IASA, the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives:
• IASA-TC 03, The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy
• IASA-TC 04, Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects

The tutorial will also survey the respective AES Standards that concentrate on the storage and handling of various types of audio carriers.

Sunday, May 6, 11:00 — 12:30


Tim Harris, Snell & Willcox

This tutorial takes an audio-oriented look at the MXF file format. It will start off with a general introduction—to the basics of MXF—what MXF is, why it was invented, by whom it was developed, and how it was standardized. The tutorial will then focus on the MXF synchronization model, and the capabilities of the format to combine audio, video, data and metadata in a versatile way.

Carriage of essence within MXF will then be explained with a particular focus on audio. Attention will be drawn to the involvement of the AES in providing the underlying international reference for the Broadcast Wave format. Metadata annotation of essence, particularly recent work on the MXF Master Format Guidelines for multi-lingual annotation, will be explained.

The talk will be interspersed with demonstrations of how MXF software could be used in real-world workflows.

Sunday, May 6, 13:00 — 14:45


Conversion of analog recordings to digital media is a current trend seen in almost all large audio archives. Radio stations, music production companies, and national archives are all active in this area. There are many different components and technologies involved in the process of digital archiving. This Exhibitor's Archiving Forum offers an overview of the products and technologies relating to archiving that can be seen here in the AES Pro Audio & Expo exhibition halls.

Each of the companies exhibiting archiving related products will hold a 15 minute presentation about their latest digital archiving solutions. There are topics such as digitization, noise reduction, mass storage systems, and complete archiving systems including metadata databases and user interfaces.

The Exhibitor's Archiving Seminar is held in the Application Seminars area at the end of Hall Y and these seminars are free for all visitors to the AES exhibition.

Time Schedule:
13:00 Introduction Stefani Renner, AES
13:10 Algorithmix Christoph Musialik
13:25 Cube-Tec TBA
13:40 NOA Christophe Kummer
13:55 VCS TBA
14:10 CEDAR Gordon Reid
14:25 Hitachi Sascha Oehl

Sunday, May 6, 14:30 — 15:30


Stefan Zachau

Quadriga: The Archive Solution

Cube-Tec presents the latest version of QUADRIGA, the world standard in automated quality controlled audio archival systems. QUADRIGA workstations are capable of simultaneously capturing multiple mono, stereo, or multichannel sources. The presentation shows the ingest process, Cube-Workflow/DOBBIN integration, and explains the new RF64/MBWF capabilities.

Monday, May 7, 11:30 — 12:30


Haimo Godler, ORF
Christoph Keller, Audio Export

KoKo - the ORF Radio Archive

The software for archiving, interfacing, and retrieval was developed especially for the needs of ORF. The solution is a perfect example for a seamless integration between the digital production, the on-air tools based on the automation-system Radiomax, and the sound archive. This exhibitor seminar presents the main ideas of the ORF radio archive to the visitors.

Monday, May 7, 12:00 — 14:00


Dietrich Schüller, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna
Friedrich Engel, Magnetic Recording Historian
Alexander Füller, Replay Practitioner, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna
Bernhard Graf, Replay Practitioner, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna
Nadja Wallaszkovits, Chief Technician Audio, Phonogrammarchiv Vienna

Since analog magnetic tape technology is no longer a part of the audio production process, specific knowledge is endangered to decline. The workshop discusses the various problems occurring in the transfer process of historical magnetic audio tapes. Basing on a definition of historical tape brands and an overview of early magnetic tape developments, the practical handling of critical tapes is outlined.

Starting with the analysis of the physical and chemical preservation status of the individual tape, the choice and adjustment of the replay equipment and parameters are discussed. Problems of carrier handling and physical restoration are demonstrated, as well as possible signal enhancement on the playback process only. The workshop focuses on a practical demonstration of handling and reproduction of original tapes from the early ages of magnetic recording, stored under irregular conditions.

Monday, May 7, 14:00 — 17:00


The Österreichische Mediathek in Vienna is the national archive for audio and video recordings. Over 1.2 million audio recordings are stored on various carriers like tape, records, 78s, CDs, DATs, or audio cassettes. Since the year 2000 our staff developed and implemented half automated workflows for digitizing all these different formats. Meanwhile there exists a complete system for digitizing over cataloging to long term preservation in a mass storage system. The tour starts with a short presentation of this concept, followed by a visit of the storage vault and various premises. Also interesting is the digital presentation platfom of the content: the catalog and a growing collection of galleries on the Web.

Tuesday, May 8, 09:00 — 11:00


Stefani Renner, Ingenieurbuero Renner
Wolfgang Draese, Hitachi Data Systems
Stewart Vane-Tempest, Plasmon
Magnus Widmer, IBM Switzerland, Storage Systems Group

Nearly all sectors of the professional audio industry, in particular large radio stations, face the same problem:  masses of analog archives, waiting to be digitized. Because digitalization pervades all levels of production today, converting from analog archives to digital media has become a necessity, not only to improve quality and preservation but also to make those archives compatible with current production methods. So, it should be no surprise that digital archiving has become a major field of interest in broadcasting.

This workshop will focus on identifying the best storage carrier for archives. Since one storage carrier no longer fits every situation—as it did back when p” analog tape predominated—each archive should be able to utilize the mass storage system that best meets its needs. Today’s archives generally use one of three types of mass storage carrier: tape-based, hard disk, and optical. In this workshop, we will present an overview of these three types of carrier along with their specific features and conclude with an in-depth discussion on how to select the best storage system for your archiving needs. Aspects such as the future-proof of the storage and the total cost of ownership are examined as well as questions about the behavior in high humidity, in dusty environments or at high temperatures. In addition, real-life experiences with archive installations in broadcasting will be shared.