Shai Fishman is a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer. He has composed music for museums, feature films and is one of the creators of The Voca People, an international a capella group that has appeared on the Italian X-Factor and has had millions of YouTube views for clips of its performances.
At Amoeba, he’s helped to digitize Amoeba’s collection of vintage vinyl and 78s for exclusive download at Amoeba.com’s Vinyl Vaults. Right now Amoeba is featuring more than 100 remastered songs by jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong, first released from 1923-1926. I spoke with Fishman about the digitizing and remastering process.
Amoeba: Can you take me through some of the basics of converting vinyl to digital? What are some of the concerns when dealing with older vinyl?
Fishman: As far is converting vinyl to digital media, the main concern is high-fidelity digitizing. We need to make sure that the analog recording process is done in such quality that it reproduces the signature vinyl sound we all love so much, in an authentic way, while still enjoying all the benefits of digital media.
Our digitizing allows for 96 KHz and 24 bit audio sampling resolution, which is more than enough to reproduce vinyl and at the same time allows us to have some room to manipulate the wave file, if need be.
When dealing with old vinyl the main concern is eliminating the noise that exists on copies that are older than 30 or 40 (roughly) years. That noise profile may be a simple surface noise, clicks, pops, crackle or any other intricate profile that we have to deal with in order to produce a digital copy that is in keeping with today’s sound standard.