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Why Sonicraft's Noise Reduction Decoding is Superior

In discussing noise reduction systems, there's an important point to be made about proper decoding of tapes using them. Overlooking this point can seriously compromise the results of what might otherwise be a stellar transfer.

Much concern is placed upon correct adjustment of the noise reduction system, as well it should. But, it's vital to understand that the record and playback functions of the analog multichannel tape machine are actually an integral part of the noise reduction system.

Noise reduction is an encode / decode process. Dynamics with respect to frequencies are compressed during encoding and expanded during decoding. Due to this expansion process, any errors in playback of the encoded signal tend to be audibly increased.

So, the first priority in noise reduction decoding must be accurate playback from the analog tape machine. Input must equal output or the noise reduction system is compromised. Without perfect reproduction of the encoded signal from the tape machine, the best and most carefully maintained and adjusted noise reduction system can still mistrack and degrade the sound.

Fortunately, the recording function of analog tape recorders has consistently been more accurate than playback. We consistently find that a given tape machine could record a signal that is a very accurate representation of what the noise reduction encoder delivered, yet fail to reproduce that accuracy on playback. On a less than optimal playback machine, deficiencies and/or anomalies in response could present the noise reduction decoder with a significantly different signal than the encoder produced. Dynamic range or frequency response that varies from the actual encoded signal causes the decoder to mistrack, causing undesirable artifacts including pumping, breathing, muffling, clouding, etc.

The analog multitrack machines at Sonicraft A2DX have all been carefully engineered to render faithful reproduction of the signal on the tape so that our noise reduction systems will be able to decode accurately and deliver the best sounding signal possible.

Each machine has been painstakingly modified and calibrated to play back the encoded signal with such extreme fidelity as to achieve the most perfect possible performance from the noise reduction system being used.

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