Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The digital curation of ethnic music audio archives: from preservation to restoration

Preserving a multicultural society

Abstract

In the sound archive field, a long-term maintenance of the collective human memory in its original form is not sustainable. All physical carriers are subject to degradation and the information stored on such carriers is bound to vanish. Only a re-mediation of the original documents can prevent precious knowledge from being permanently lost. In particular, ethnic music audio documents are often recorded on non-professional carriers by means of amateur recording system, or, more in general, in fieldwork circumstances. Thus, the preservation of the carrier and the restoration of the audio signal are crucial to avoid the permanent loss of the musical heritage, which is already heavily corrupted. This article describes the protocols defined, the processes undertaken, the results ascertained from several audio documents preservation/restoration projects carried out in the ethnic music field, and the techniques used. In particular: (i) a number of recommendations are given for the re-recording process, and (ii) an audio restoration environment (constituted by three audio restoration tools), developed using the VST plug-in architecture and optimized for different audio carriers (cylinders, shellac discs, tapes) is detailed. The experimental results and the perceptual assessment presented show the effectiveness of the restoration environment developed by the author.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1

    Middleton R.: Studying Popular Music. Open University Press, Philadelphia (1990)

  2. 2

    Yakel E.: Digital curation. OCLC Syst. Serv. 23(4), 335–340 (2007)

  3. 3

    Bernardini, N., Bresin, R., Camurri, A., De Poli, G., Leman, M., Rocchesso, D., Serra, X., Valimaki, V., Widmer, G.: A roadmap for sound and music computing. In: The S2S2 Consortium (2007)

  4. 4

    Canazza S., Dattolo A.: The past through the future: a hypermedia model for handling the information stored in the audio memories. J. New Music Res. 38(4), 381–396 (2009)

  5. 5

    Zattra L.: The assembling of Stria by John Chowning: a philological investigation philological investigation. Comput. Music J. 31(3), 38–64 (2007)

  6. 6

    ITU-R: Methods for the Subjective Assessment of Small Impairments in audio systems including multi-channel sound systems. Recommendation BS.1116-1 (2000)

  7. 7

    Orio N., Snidaro L., Canazza S., Foresti G.L.: Methodologies and tools for audio digital archives. Int. J. Digit. Libr. 10(4), 201–220 (2009)

  8. 8

    Storm W.: The establishment of international re-recording standards. Phonogr. Bull. 27, 5–12 (1980)

  9. 9

    Schüller D.: Preserving the facts for the future: principles and practices for the transfer of analog audio documents into the digital domain. J. Audio Eng. Soc. 49(7-8), 618–621 (2001)

  10. 10

    Boston, G.: Safeguarding the Documentary Heritage. A guide to Standards, Recommended Practices and Reference Literature Related to the Preservation of Documents of all kinds. UNESCO, Paris (1988)

  11. 11

    Brock-Nannestad, G.: The objective basis for the production of high quality transfers from pre-1925 sound recordings. In: AES Preprint No. 4610. Audio Engineering Society 103rd Convention, pp. 26–29. New York (1997)

  12. 12

    AES-11id-2006: AES Information Document for Preservation of Audio Recordings—Extended Term Storage Environment for Multiple Media Archives. AES (2006)

  13. 13

    IASA-TC 03: The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy. IASA Technical Committee (2005)

  14. 14

    Orio, N., Snidaro, L., Canazza, S.: Semi-automatic metadata extraction from shellac and vinyl disc. In: Proceedings of Workshop on Digital Preservation Weaving Factory for Analogue Audio Collections (2008)

  15. 15

    Canazza S., Vidolin A.: Preserving electroacoustic music. J. New Music Res. 30(4), 351–363 (2001)

  16. 16

    Esquef P.A.A., Valimaki V., Karjalainen M.: Restoration and enhancement of solo guitar recordings based on sound source modeling. J. Audio Eng. Soc. 50(4), 227–236 (2002)

  17. 17

    Niedźwiecki M.: Steady-state and parameter tracking proprieties of self-tuning minimun variance regulators. Automatica 25, 597–602 (1989)

  18. 18

    Niedźwiecki, M.: Identification of time-varying processes in the presence of measurement noise and outliers. In: Proceedings of 11th IFAC Symposium on System Identification, pp. 1765–1768 (1997)

  19. 19

    Niedźwiecki M., Cisowski K.: Adaptive scheme for elimination of broadband noise and impulsive disturbances from AR and ARMA signals. IEEE Trans. Signal Process 44(3), 967–982 (1996)

  20. 20

    Canazza S., De Poli G., Mian G.A.: Restoration of audio documents by means of extended Kalman filter. IEEE Trans. Audio Speech Lang. Process 18(6), 1107–1115 (2010)

  21. 21

    Anderson B.D.O., Moore J.B.: Optimal filtering. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (1979)

  22. 22

    Godsill S., Rayner P., Cappé O.: Digital audio restoration. Kluwer, Boston, MA (1998)

  23. 23

    Ephraim Y., Malah D.: Speech enhancement using a minimum mean-square error short-time spectral amplitude estimator. IEEE Trans. Acoust. Speech Signal Process 32(6), 1109–1121 (1984)

  24. 24

    Ephraim Y., Malah D.: Speech enhancement using a minimum mean-square error log-spectral amplitude estimator. IEEE Trans. Acoust. Speech Signal Process 33(2), 443–445 (1985)

  25. 25

    Beerends J.G., Stemerdink J.A.: A perceptual audio quality measure based on psychoacoustic sound representation. J. Audio Eng. Soc. 40(12), 963–978 (1992)

  26. 26

    EBU Project Group B/AIM: EBU report on the subjective listening tests of some commercial internet audio codecs (2000)

  27. 27

    Nelson T.: A cosmology for a different computer universe: data model, mechanisms, virtual machine and visualization infrastructure. J. Digit. Inf. 5(1), 311–319 (2004)

  28. 28

    Dattolo, A., Luccio, F.: A state of art survey of zz-structures. In: Proceedings of the New Forms of Xanalogical Storage and Function Workshop. 20th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia, Hypertext 2009, pp. 1–6. Torino, Italy (2009)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Sergio Canazza.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Canazza, S. The digital curation of ethnic music audio archives: from preservation to restoration. Int J Digit Libr 12, 121–135 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00799-012-0088-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Audio archives
  • Ethnic music
  • Audio restoration
  • Historical audio documents