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The Quick Quick Slow Death

August-November 2003

The Quick Quick Slow Death was suggested as the next serial to be restored by a visitor to TheAvengers.TV Forum - and who are we to ignore a request?

On Tuesday 26th August 2003, we transferred the episodes to computer and performed noise reduction and graphic equalisation in Sound Forge. This was a newer version of the program than the one we were used to, and we ultimately decided that our work was not of the standard that we have set for ourselves. Naturally, this isn't down to the program, more our lack of experience at using the filters in the updated version. Therefore, after a few week's acclimatisation with the program, we decided to start work on this serial once more, from scratch. We're aware that this means a delay in the serial's availability, but we'd rather get it right. In fact, with the improvements in Sound Forge, we're convinced that The Quick Quick Slow Death can be our best restoration to date.

On Sunday 21st September, we re-captured the episodes and carried out noise reduction work. The main thing that we'd missed on the unsuccessful "first pass" was that, new in this version of Sound Forge, were noise reduction 'modes', ranging from Mode 0 to Mode 3. Mode 0 is effectively the NR mode used in previous versions of SF, while Mode 3 is a new filter which is more forgiving and leaves less by way of artifacts, if any at all. On heavy removal of noise, this mode gives a much more natural sound to the remaining signal. We've used this on The Quick Quick Slow Death this evening, and were able to reduce the noise by a massive 27.5dB leaving us with practically no noise, a natural soundscape and no artifacts. Wonderful.

Manual declick work began on Wednesday 24th September, with Episode One being completed in a two and a half hour session. Having listened to this episode through in detail, I can safely say that this is definitely going to be head and shoulders above any Avengers restoration we've completed to date. This certainly confirms we were right to start afresh (see above). It does however raise the worrying spectre of possibly needing to revisit the serials done previously to bring them all up to this standard. Aaaaarrrrrrggghhhh!!!

Further declicking was performed over the weekend of November 8th-9th 2003, on Episodes Two, Three and Four. Episode Three required a patch of some music from another episode as it was affected by a severe dropout. Fortunately, no speech was affected. The replacement of the affected sound was performed successfully. The work on Episode Four was made doubly difficult by a damaged source CD. Clearly the CD-R we'd used to record the dub from " tape had been faulty, and this episode (the last on the disc) was the one affected. The damage was evidenced by a series of splats on the audio, often as many as six a second. Luckily, we were able to remove these manually in Cool Edit. Remarkably there is now no clue that they were ever there.

Work on these episodes was concluded on Monday night, 17th November 2003. The final two episodes proved fairly straightforward to declick and - barring a couple of drop-outs that required attention - presented few difficulties.

by Alan and Alys Hayes