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What is Audio Restoration?

What is audio restoration? Audio restoration is simply the process of eliminating imperfections in sound recordings. Audio restoration can either be done directly onto the media that the sound recording is stored on, such as CDs or DVD’s or on an electronic digital representation of the audio track with a computer.

Loss Of Clarity

One common problem with audio files, both on the web and your hard drive, is loss of clarity when the signal is compressed. Compressed audio tends to have a low volume level which results in a muffled and unclear audio. This is undesirable when listening to music, but it is also the case with many other media, such as videos. Luckily, there are software tools that can be used to clean up this loss of clarity. Audio restoration techniques can remove these imperfections and restore your audio to its previous sound quality. The question then becomes, what is audio restoration, and how do you use it.

Audio Loss Mitigation

Audio loss mitigation is just one form of audio restoration—this type of restoration deals specifically with the loss of audio quality caused by compression. Audio compression is the method by which sounds are altered to reduce an audio file’s file size. Compression is often applied to mp3 files and is a common technique used by artists and other marketers who want their products to be more accessible to a larger audience.

Unfortunately, audio compression can also result in audio loss. When an audio file is compressed, some of the information is lost. When this occurs, sometimes the compression algorithm makes parts of a song irrelevant and useless, leading to a diminished audio file’s overall quality. In some cases, the loss of sound quality is so severe that the audio file becomes unusable.

Audio Compression Algorithms

Audio compression algorithms must closely follow sound data and be designed so that the loss mitigation process is as smooth as possible. It’s a big job, but audio specialists know how to do it well, and many do it daily. Of course, the most skilled music producers and DJs can do the job quite well, too – but when you need to have your audio files restored to their original quality, you’ll probably find that they’re looking for someone who is far more experienced at doing just that.

Restoration Programs

To restore audio files after they’ve been compressed, you first need to open them up in an audio restoration program. These programs are designed to recover digital audio files from loss mitigators and other such software. One example of a loss mitigation program is known as Nero. Another example of excellent audio restoration software is Cubase. Both these programs are designed for professional use, but they are also quite affordable for the home user.

Once you’ve opened the audio file, you’ll want to check the types of restoration it has. If the file has been compressed, it will be easier to identify problems within the audio file. Most loss mitigation and audio restoration programs have an option to make sure that all the unwanted noise has been removed – this will be obvious as the white noise waveform will be replaced with more pure forms of internal audio. You may want to look closely at this if there are any apparent noises in the audio.

Recording Inconsistencies

If the audio file doesn’t have been compressed, then you’ll need to go into the loss mitigation or editing section of your audio restoration software. This will allow you to fix any problems with the file. However, it may be recommended that you don’t do anything too drastic – mainly if there are only minor imperfections within the file. A common problem with audio files is when they’ve been mixed down, and the order is changed. This can cause several issues with the file, such as noticeable skipping and recording inconsistencies. Rather than risk the chance of destroying your entire hard drive, you’ll often find it better to go for a minor fix such as a simple re-ordered file.

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