Tape Restore Live! for Winamp

Help: What is Tape Restore Live!?

Have you ever tried to digitize your old cassette tape recordings? If you did, chances are that you found that the sound quality wasn't what you expected it to be - often dull and flat, lacking high frequencies. Tape wear and age by itself may be bad enough, but if you don't have the original cassette deck on which you recorded the tape anymore, mal-adjusted tape heads, differences in bias settings and Dolby noise reduction settings contribute to ruin the sound.

Tape Restore Live! is a Winamp plugin that fixes these problems, and play back tape recordings with a greatly improved sound quality.
Some unique features of Tape Restore Live! are:
  • Bias correction
    If a tape sounds dull, the bias correction restores the original frequency response.
    If the frequency response of one channel changes over time, Tape Restore Live! can automatically adapt to these changes.

  • Software Dolby B remover (*)
    This is an advantage over using a hardware filter because the tape bias settings can be changed before the filter is used, which is especially useful if the sound of tapes has become dull because of tape wear and age. Also, any noise from the sound card is deminished by the Dolby B decoder. Calibration tones are provided to calibrate the software Dolby B decoder against the encoder in the cassette recorder.

    (*) The filter that is offered by Tape Restore Live! is not a real software Dolby B filter, but it is a close enough approximation to get a decent sound. Because of that it is referred to as a software Dolby B remover instead of a software Dolby B filter

  • AZIMUTH correction
    If the tape head is not set exactly identical to the setting when the tape was recorded, playing it back in mono or through a surround system will result in very ugly artifacts. The AZIMUTH correction calculates the correct tape head setting on the fly, and corrects for it, even if the tape head is moving during playback (which occurs on some tape decks).

  • FM Stereo hiss removal
    Recordings from stereo FM radio stations often contain FM stereo hiss. This filter can remove most of the stereo hiss without damaging the real sound. (This filter can also be used for FM stereo recordings that were not recorded to tape.)
Why a Winamp plugin?

Most programs that repair recordings write the result to a new file. Using a Winamp plugin that repairs the recording upon playback has a number of advantages:
  • There is no need to keep two copies of a recording: One before and one after repairing it.
  • If a new version of Tape Restore Live! with new features is released, the only thing that needs to be done to use these new features is downloading and installing the new version.
  • If you want to hear the original sound as it was stored on tape, turning the filters off suffices to do this.
Of course there are also some disadvantages, the most important one is that you cannot playback the recordings with the best possible sound quality without using Tape Restore Live!.
Tape Restore Live! 1.0     (C) Copyright 2006 by Hans van Zutphen     Email: software@hansvanzutphen.com