Restoration Project continues apace. No sooner than the work on A Deadly
Gift has been completed, we commenced work on the next serial,
The Super Secret Cypher Snatch.
No mystery behind the choice - it follows on from
A Deadly Gift on John
Wright's tapes, with Episodes One and Two being on the same side of tape
as the final two episodes of that serial. A little bit of investigation
has lead me to the conclusion that this story followed A Deadly Gift
on broadcast. Not only does it follow it on John's tapes, but also its
second episode has a Friday production announcement. Had it followed A
Deadly Gift, Episode One would have had to have been a Thursday
episode. The jigsaw fits together...
September 2008: All episodes of The Super Secret Cypher Snatch were transferred
from 1/4 inch tape to PC in CD quality and were graphic
equalised. Some particularly nasty clicks were removed at this stage.
September 2008: All episodes noise reduced in Soundforge 8.0. They
sound really good, but will clearly need considerable attention on the manual pass
for clicks and pops. This impression proved right on the money, as we
processed Episode One tonight, and it ended up taking an hour and a half
to process manually in Adobe Audition (compared with between 45 minutes
and an hour per episode of A Deadly Gift).
16th September 2008: Another mammoth session declicking Episode Two of
this story. No particular problems, just slow going. Plenty of clicks and
pops to remove, but overall, we're very happy with the sound quality on
this one so far. Ultimately one of the best quality recordings.
17th September 2008: Episode Three manually declicked.
18th September 2008: Episode Four cleaned up tonight, clicks and pops
removed. Pleasingly, another episode with no problem beyond the reparative
capabilities of the software (and the operators!).
October 2008: After a brief time out between episodes while we work on
another project, it's down to Episode Five tonight. The quality is
generally excellent but with a fair amount of background noise, even after
the noise reduction work of earlier. We have decided to leave it rather
than compromise the natural sound - removing further noise will only leave
digital artifacts in their place. Quite an interesting fix to make in this
episode - clearly the tape was damaged at some point and spliced. This
means that half of the word 'activity' is lost from Hugh Rouse's narration
around the four minute mark (including commercials). We checked through
the other narration in this episode and discovered that he also says
'activities' at one point, so we took the 'tivity' from it and patched the
missing section. The inflection isn't quite right, but it's not too
intrusive and is better than an omission. Aside from this, the episode was
completed in just over an hour and there were no irreparable faults.
October 2008: Work on Episode Six has been finished this evening. It
presented another problem in the same vein as the previous episode, in
that a chunk of audio was missing from Hugh Rouse's narration due to a
splice or possibly, in this case, a break in the tranmission signal back
in 1972/3. Fortunately, enough remained to work out what was said. It's
like Blankety Blank... "A short while after, Steed in the the white
overalls of a .... eaner, walked confidently up to one of the armed guards
on duty." So, I had to check the other episodes for the phrase, "a window
cleaner" in Hugh Rouse's narration. I ended up lifting "cleaner" from one
episode and "a window" from another! With a little bit of clean up of the
"a" sound, it fits in quite naturally, and the narration is now restored
as best as possible.
Alan and Alys Hayes