Tag Archives: digital restoration

Listen to Voices from History…Literally

Vitaliy Fadeyev (left) and Carl Haber with some of the wax cylinders,
and acetate and shellac discs, which will be studied with methods under
development at Berkeley Lab.

Imagine a voice reaching across more than a hundred years to whisper right into your ear. What if this voice belonged to a significant historical figure who, until now, had remained mute to the generations that followed?

That’s exactly what a team of digital restoration experts and physicists, including Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory‘s Carl Haber, did when it melded science with high-resolution digital restoration techniques to turn back the sands of time and restore the voice of Alexander Graham Bell from a previously unplayable recording. The restoration process will lead to the recovery of many fragile recordings, allowing us to form a deeper connection to history.

Carl Haber and his colleagues at the UC-operated Berkeley Lab have been plugging away at their technique to bring century-old recordings of music and spoken word from the Library of Congress back to life.  You can learn all about the science behind this amazing process from Haber himself in these two UCTV videos from 2005 and 2009.

“Imaging the Voices of the Past: Using Physics to Restore Early Sound Recordings”

“Hot Technology – Cool Science”