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Mentor De-Noiser More Sophisticated than DC6 EZ Clean

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  • Mentor De-Noiser More Sophisticated than DC6 EZ Clean

    It is worth mentioning that the DC Audio Mentor adaptive noise reduction system for Scratch, Crackle and Hiss is more sophisticated than the EZ Clean filter found in the DC6 product. You should find that the Mentor version is more effective.

    This improvement in Noise Reduction technology will be incorporated into the DC7 EZ Clean filter when that product is released. So, at this point in time, Mentor compliments the DC6 product in that regard (adaptive noise reduction technology).
    "Who put orange juice in my orange juice?" - - - William Claude Dukenfield

  • #2
    And I'd just add that I think it is considerably more effective.
    Dan McDonald

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    • #3
      That is good to learn, because we spent a considerable amount of time developing new techniques and technology in that domain. You see, when you are trying to develop new mathematical techniques, it is impossible to "hurry up and and have a breakthrough", no matter how hard one tries despite the tightness of a product introduction schedule. We were hoping that the results of those efforts would be discernable to the user base.

      And, of course, we are continuing to improve all of the algorithms and routines that are used in the Diamond Cut product family.
      Last edited by Craig Maier; 07-21-2006, 07:56 PM.
      "Who put orange juice in my orange juice?" - - - William Claude Dukenfield

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      • #4
        The improvement over DC6's EZ clean is VERY discernible....now using Mentor for cleaning, then ADV to DC6 for the rest.
        "You earthlings are all fools, fools, fools, do you hear me ..." Plan 9 From Outer Space

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        • #5
          J --

          Sounds like I'm doing the same thing you're doing, except in addition to my own collection of LPs I've been haunting Thrift stores and a used record store. I've been loading up on LPs, mostly in the 25 to 75 cent range, and I'm very happy with the results. I am pretty critical about buying records in good shape, but at less than a buck apiece, they're not collector quality.

          It did take me several months before I was turning out CDs that I was really proud of -- DC6 has a steep learning curve -- but again, I'm happy. About 75% of the LPs I do have essentially the same filter sequence, with maybe a few tweaks.

          I hate to see someone whose not enjoying something that I like. How are you physically cleaning the LPs before you record them? Have you posted your filter sequences/settings anywhere for comment or comparison?

          Anyway, good luck!

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          • #6
            DC6 and DC Audio Mentor are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes I use just DC 6 in my restorations, sometimes just Mentor; other times I use a combination of the two. They compliment each other.

            I can't recall a single instance where DC6 and/or Mentor didn't improve the sonics of a particular disc, even badly damaged ones. Just like any software program there will be some learning involved to get the results you desire.

            I've tried all of the so-called restoration software out there and NOTHING can touch the Diamond Cut Family of restoration products... case closed. And no one is MORE concerned about helping you get the results you desire than Diamond Cut.

            And like Cromag said, once you find a series of filters/enhancers that work, you will be able to use these settings on 75 percent or more of the discs/tapes/cylinders that you have.

            What type of recordings are you trying to restore and why are you not happy with the results you are getting? We are a friendly bunch here. Most will try to help you get the results you want.

            GB

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            • #7
              J -

              I suspect that there is something wrong with your hardware set-up. Please give us a call so that we can figure out what your system set-up problem is.

              Thanks,

              Craig Maier / Diamond Cut Productions, Inc.

              Tel: 973-316-9111

              ps - When the setup is correct, clean-up is very easy using the following steps and the EZ Clean Filter in either Mentor or DC6: (These steps are done using the Preview Mode)

              1. Put all control to their lowest setting (towards the right)

              2. Move the top control (Scratch) upwards until the large clicks are eliminated without distortion. (usually occurs around a setting of 75)

              3. Move the middle control (Crackle) upwards until the crackle are attenuated without distortion. (usually occurs around a setting of 65)

              4. Move the bottom control (Hiss) upwards until the residual surface noise is attenuated, but not artifacting. (usually occurs around a setting of 30)

              5. Run the Filter
              Last edited by Craig Maier; 01-01-2007, 06:17 PM.
              "Who put orange juice in my orange juice?" - - - William Claude Dukenfield

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              • #8
                If you wouldn't mind, Craig, I would like to know the resolution to this problem when it is resolved.... and it might help others in the group as well.

                GB

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                • #9
                  All:

                  Thanks for the responses and for your concern. I'll be travelling on business for the next week+, but will try to post some results when I can.

                  Best Regards,
                  J

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                  • #10
                    Factors Affecting Restoration Results

                    J,

                    I'm sorry you're not getting the results you were expecting. As you've noticed, there are several folks here who a willing to share their experiences to help you achieve better results. Even though I've used the product for several years, I'm always learning new tricks from forum members.

                    I have a few questions if you're interested in responding.

                    What kind of music are you restoring?
                    I've found that I have varying results according to the music type, based on the predominant instrument. For instance, Dixieland is often hard to restore if the source album is in average or worse shape. If the scratch and crackle settings are set fairly aggessively, trumpets and trombones are distorted. If I back off to prevent distortion, some of the noise remains. I also have some classical music where the adagio passages are so quiet that it's down in the mud with the noise. I've found that selective restoration often helps, doing an overall clean at the highest settings that doesn't introduce distortion and then using more aggressive cleaning only on the segments that can tolerate it.
                    What condition are the LP's you're restoring?
                    Since I'm a child of Depression age parents, I was taught to take good care of what I have. That's why I still have my first record player and albums I bought back when I was 12 are pretty much scratch free. Not all the records that others have given me or that I've found at the Salvation Army were given the same amount of care. I've found that there's some types of scratches and crackle that's just beyond the capabilities of EZ Clean. That's when I use the other filters in DC 6, including multiple passes at different settings and even reversing the file. This, of course, takes much more time. I usually reserve extensive restoration efforts for rare or out of print records. I have a loose "one hour rule"; if it's going to take more than an hour to restore and the album is available on CD, I'll spring for the CD.
                    What cleaning method, if any, are you using?
                    I've found that some of the Salvation Army finds are in need of a good cleaning. Even those records I've treated well get a good vacuum cleaning before restoration. No single step does more to improve the results.
                    Do you use EZ clean exclusively?
                    As I mentioned earlier, some tasks are beyond the capacity of EZ Clean and are better handled using the expert filters.
                    What is the chain of equipment from the turntable to the computer?
                    I've been much happier overall with my results now that I'm using the "new way" of restoration. Before, I was using an NAD integrated amp with a well regarded phono stage. Now I transcribe to the computer using a flat pre-amp. Normally, my steps are Transcribe -->Apply RIAA EQ-->Apply custom 20 Band EQ tweaked for my cartridge's response-->Clean up the file. On occasion, I get better results applying noise reduction to the flat file. Also, on stubborn jobs, recording at 24/96 allows me to be more aggressive with the cleaning settings before distortion is introduced. I then downsample to 16/44.

                    Here are some final thoughts. It's been my experience that living in the digital age has made me less tolerant of any sort of distortion or noise. I even get annoyed sometimes at the faults in the original recording. I've also found that audio restoration is a balancing act between thorough noise reduction and preserving the recording's frequency response and dynamics. I tend to err to the conservative side, allowing a little noise to remain in order to keep the results from sounding muffled or over processed.

                    I consider myself a DC Art enthusiast, but not a chauvinist. I continue to check to see what's available. I have another product that was bundled with my sound card and is roughly equivalent to EZ Clean and I've found that occasionally I will get a slightly better result with it. On 95%+ of the cases, though, EZ Clean gives me better to much, much better results. I've tried trial versions of other products and I haven't found anything that comes close. This must be the fourth version of the product. I've found every upgrade worth the price.

                    Finally, I too would love it if someone would come up with a "killer app" that would combine ease of use with perfect results. My limited understanding of the noise we're trying to eliminate and the characteristics of the music we're trying to preserve leads me to believe no algorithm will ever be able to definitively and unerringly separate the two. I'm thankful for those who have the smarts and tenacity to continue to work toward the goal, though.

                    Best wishes,
                    Doug

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                    • #11
                      That's interesting about your loose "1 hour rule"; because I use roughly the same approach.... BUT even though CD versions are available for many of the recordings I am restoring (from vinyl), just because it is on CD does not mean that it guarrantees that it will be a superior recording.

                      I have purchased CD versions of recordings that I wanted the best possible versions available, and when I played the CD, to my shock, that my vinyl version was actually better. So, just like anything, you've got to be careful.

                      On the other hand, I've purchased some remastered CD versions of vinyl that I own, that the new restored version was so far superior that I had wished that I had gotten the CD a long time ago.

                      I wish I could give everyone a hard and fast rule about which CD's will be good and those to stay away from. You really never know until you purchase the CD. BUT if you do a little research, sometimes you can find information about the recording, what engineers were involved, etc. and you can make a pretty good calculated guess if the restored version will be any better.

                      And, there are some recordings, for example, LED Zeppelin's II album (aka. Brown Bomber), that will never be sonically impeccable, just because of some original problems with the original master tapes.

                      GB

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                      • #12
                        How True

                        Originally posted by Geebster
                        I have purchased CD versions of recordings that I wanted the best possible versions available, and when I played the CD, to my shock, that my vinyl version was actually better. So, just like anything, you've got to be careful.
                        GB
                        I've had the same experience. Usually, though, if it falls under the "one hour rule", the vinyl copy is so beat up that just about anything will be an improvement.

                        If I buy a replacement CD, I try to find out as much about its creation as I can. As you mentioned, there are no general rules about reissue quality, bu the ends of the CD timeline seem to be problematic. The first CDs were too often taken from a master EQ'd for vinyl reproduction and led to CD's getting a bad rap (along with early DACs). In the past few years too many recordings are compressed and clipped all to heck. I recently ripped some cuts from "A John Waters Christmas". It's a very funny collection of Christmas oddities, but all the files are flat topped.

                        I have several oldies anthology CDs and inevitably there's some overlap of songs. It's amazing how much difference there can be from one to the other. I've read complaints of the various Elvis collections where different CDs use different sources, especially for the 50's recordings. Going back and remastering can be hard or impossible. The Eagle's Hotel California masters suffered from sticky shed and had to be baked to be played. Engineers also went back to early Janis Joplin masters and found sections where the oxide had been worn off completely!

                        The problem is even worse with reissues of vintage 78's. The most dramatic example I have is three different CDs, all issued by Columbia, containing Bessie Smith's "Gimme a Pigfoot". One version is thin and noisy, another was obviously recorded using RIAA EQ(!) and thankfully the cut on "The Complete Recordings" was cleaned and EQ'd correctly.

                        Finally, the "correct" or "improved" versions aren't the same songs I remember. "I'm Looking Through You" just doesn't sound right without the false start from the Capital issue of "Rubber Soul", nor does "She's A Woman" sound the same without all that added reverb.

                        Doug

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                        • #13
                          Oh yes!! I know exactly what you mean about various versions of recordings and their differences. I can remember vividly when one of the promo guys would give us a promo copy of a particular artist at the radio station. Often times they would say... "this is just to give you guys an idea what the American release is going to be like; this is the European version..."

                          This is particularly problematic with a group like the Beatles, because especially their earlier releases were drastically different depending on what side of the ocean you got the disc.

                          Luckily, I haven't been burned too many times. I have the good fortune of having a pretty large network of musician buddies that usually know the particulars about a recording I'm either restoring or researching to buy.

                          And after a while you know which engineers are good in obtaining the "sound" you like. I have a internal reference list in my head of the engineers/producers that I like what they do as far as recording sonics go. That in itself helps a bunch.

                          GB

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Geebster
                            This is particularly problematic with a group like the Beatles, because especially their earlier releases were drastically different depending on what side of the ocean you got the disc.
                            Don't you wish you still had some of those Beatle's radio copies?

                            I'm reminded of Barry McGuire's recording of "Eve of Destruction". It was recorded late in the session and the vocal was meant to be a guide vocal track, to be replaced at the next session. Since he knew it was a throwaway, Barry pulled out all the stops and ripped into the vocal. Also, he was frustrated because he was having a hard time reading the lyrics of the scrap of paper provided. A photographer visiting Lou Adler's office a few days later "borrowed" several acetates on his desk, including "Eve of Destruction". It made its way to a local LA radio station and became an instant hit. Adler rushed back to the studio to polish up the song for release, but McGuire was unavailable to redo the vocal, hence the version we all know.

                            Doug

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DougMac
                              Don't you wish you still had some of those Beatle's radio copies?
                              Don't shoot me over this, but I did have some of the promo stuff from the beatles and even a copy of their infamous "Butcher Baby" cover. But, I wasn't (am still not) a big fan of the Beatles music. I respect their contribution to music as whole but really never "got into it". Oh, I did like their later stuff (White Album Sgt. Pepper's) fine, but I was and still am a definitive "Doors" guy.

                              PS. My abosolute favourite Beatles album is "Magical Mystery Tour", which most of my friends totally dislike. "I am the Walrus" still is my favourite Beatles tune... googoogagoob!!!"

                              I don't reget getting rid of my Beatles stuff, because I knew I would never play them.

                              Yeah, a buddy of mine told me that story about the "Eve of Destruction" and the vocal track many, many years ago. Some of the best vocals are done by accident or were originally never to be on the final take.

                              GB
                              Last edited by Geebster; 01-05-2007, 09:02 AM.

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