The German Broadcast Archive (DRA) upgrades its audio restoration facilities
12 August 2015
POTSDAM, GERMANY: The DRA has upgraded three of its copy and production suites at its Potsdam-Babelsberg location. Each room is now based upon a Lawo console with all of its audio sources and destinations connected via a mainframe that allows the user to control CD players, tape decks and DAT machines from the console surface. The studios are then connected to each other using a MADI Router that allows sharing of remote control signals and audio between all of them, and this then allows all three rooms to share the three CEDAR Cambridge systems installed at the studios, and to do so without moving equipment or re-patching for either audio or control.
The DRA installed its first CEDAR Series 2 hardware processors in the early 1990s and these upgrades are the latest in a continuous programme designed to ensure that the archive remains at the forefront of audio restoration. Uwe Seyfert of CEDAR Deutschland explains, "Many of the original recordings within the DRA can be both historically valuable and at the same time almost unplayable or unlistenable, but the archive's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of preservation and restoration is amazing. In addition to various CEDAR training sessions that ensure that their knowledge and skills are kept fully up to date, they also understand how rapidly audio restoration technology has developed since we supplied the original units, and they upgrade their latest CEDAR Cambridge hardware and software tools to ensure that they are always the best available."
In 2009, André Huthmann, the Managing Sound Engineer at the DRA, described the extent to which CEDAR systems contribute to the DRA's work. He said, "Since the beginning, the DRA's staff have relied on the restoration tools from UK manufacturer CEDAR. Although our racks are still full of the older, standalone 19" CEDAR units, nowadays we use CEDAR Cambridge systems as our first choice. The dreaded artefacts in particular remain very low even with extreme settings. Additionally the modules are very effective and intuitive to operate, yet still offer a variety of options for intervention."
The DRA currently has seven CEDAR Cambridge systems supplied and supported by CEDAR Deutschland - four installed at its studios in Frankfurt in addition to the three in Potsdam - and it is one of the world's largest users of the system in the field of archives and libraries.
About the DRA
The DRA was founded in 1952 as the German Broadcasting Sound Archive and was renamed the German Broadcasting Archive (Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv) in 1963. Later, in 1994, the radio and television broadcasting archive from the former GDR was incorporated into its Berlin location. Its comprehensive collection includes audio and video, documentary records, printed media and historical objects encompassing significant parts of the audio-visual tradition in Germany and reflecting the development of German broadcasting before 1945 as well as the radio and television of the former GDR. It is not only responsible for preserving audiovisual material of historical value, but for transferring the content of discs, analogue tapes, DATs and other aging media into the digital domain.
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