Project IRENE Using optical scanning to digitize ethnographic field recordings on wax cylinders

Comparing Optical and Stylus Transfers: Frequency Spectra Labeled

The image shows the frequency content of the same cylinder digitized through the traditional method of playback, a hard stylus, (shown in blue) and through the optical method (shown in purple). The stylus transfer has louder low frequency noise and audio at high frequencies is heavily attenuated, with several peaks resulting from unknown artifacts. The optical method has an even frequency responds and captures audio at higher frequencies without rolling off.
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