Celemony has announced Capstan, a tool to remove wow and flutter from audio recordings.
For over 100 years, music has been recorded on mechanical storage mediums, and for over 100 years such recordings have been plagued by the same problems: wow and flutter. Who isn’t familiar with the wobbling and warbling, the droning and dragging? Mechanical degradation caused by defective devices or sticking tapes, by aging or defective storage. Furthermore, wow and flutter were for the most part irremediable.
Countless recordings of renowned orchestras, big bands and rock groups are currently slumbering deep in archives because precisely this problem has rendered them unusable. The tapes worthless, the recordings lost to posterity. Until now.
For with Capstan there is now for the first time a program capable of removing wow and flutter from musical recordings – whether on tape, compact cassette, wax, shellac or vinyl. Capstan detects wow and flutter by analyzing the musical material itself, so the medium is of no relevance. In this, Capstan is clearly superior to solutions such as bias tracking, because Capstan still works even if the tape has already been copied several times or digitized only in low resolution.
Being musically intelligent, the Capstan algorithm is capable of recognizing not only the minutest amounts of wow and flutter but also continuous speed variations within the musical material itself and makes possible detailed editing that extends even to drawing in the curve manually. It is based on the patented DNA Direct Note Access technology made famous by the award-winning program Melodyne, which is used worldwide in all major studios for the editing of pitch and timing.
Whilst the precise detection of the wow and flutter represents the actual technological revolution, repairing the recording is easy: the musical material is simply played back with the velocity curve inverted. Pure varispeed – guaranteed free from artifacts.
Capstan will be available for Windows and Mac (standalone 64-bit) mid June 2011. Estimated price is 3,790 EUR. A demo version will be made available on the Celemony website.
More information: Celemony