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Wax cylinder collection


The process starts with the cleaning of each cylinder before being played. This cleaning is carried out with a brush of soft bristles what allows to remove dirt without damaging the surface of the cylinder.

It is made a cleaning proof with a duplicate cylinder based on Alconox in a concentration of 10 mgr in a litre of distilled water, but it is dismissed, because it means a more aggressive intervention and there is no improvement in the face of dry cleaning.

After the cleaning, the cylinder is put into the player. It is fixed to the rubber handles and fitted in a manual way. It is confirmed that the needle is going along the groove accurately and then the speed of the recording is checked. Some cylinders show problems to be played correctly because they have cross scratches in their surface. Others can hardly be listened, a problem resulting from the effect of the fungus and other microorganisms. The 186 cylinders of this collection that have been able to be digitized play at 120 rpm and 144 rpm, depending on the phonograph laboratory they belong to.

The signal played and amplified goes through the A/D converter (Layla sound card) and it is turned into digital signal. The software used for the recording is SoundForge and it has been made itself at 24 bits/96 Khz in mono. Sometimes it has been necessary to make more than one take and all of them have been registered for the following edition.

The edition is left in the hands of the sound technician of the Eresbil Archive, Jon Miner, and it is carried out by means of the Wavelab program.

Afterwards, sound restoration tests have been made from some of the recordings of more heritage value.


Basque archives of music
Tel.: (34) 943-000868 • Fax: (34) 943-529706