CEDAR Cambridge system saves historic Australian radio plays
AUSTRALIA: Grace Gibson Productions, arguably the oldest and most prestigious name in Australian radio drama, has acquired a CEDAR Cambridge audio restoration system to return its vast catalogue of recordings, until now languishing on ageing and damaged vinyl and magnetic tape, to pristine condition. The recordings date back across almost 70 years of heavy-duty use.
Described as ‘Australia's leading audio library of classic radio plays’, Grace Gibson Productions began producing audio drama in 1944, swiftly becoming the country’s largest such company during the golden era of radio. It continued making radio plays into the 1990s. Included in its enormous library are plays such as The Castlereagh Line, Cattleman, Dossier On Dumetrius, Night Beat and others.
However, as managing director Bruce Ferrier explained, the collection has so far sat on gradually deteriorating formats: ‘Unfortunately, no master discs were ever kept, and so the vinyl albums have well and truly done the rounds of Australian and international radio stations,’ he explained. ‘Some of the vinyl discs were quite damaged with some pretty alarming results on playback. So it was of paramount importance that the right equipment was obtained to restore such a valuable collection of Australia's radio history.’
Prior to purchasing the Cambridge system, Mr Ferrier reportedly looked into other options but found them to be unsatisfactory. ‘I tried some less expensive software solutions but I ended up with a less expensive result as well,’ he declared.
He continued: ‘CEDAR Cambridge turned out to be the correct investment and it has provided outstanding results. In fact, I’m constantly staggered at how good a result it produces without any apparent deleterious effect on the main audio. So we’re thrilled, as it has allowed us to give these great shows a new lease of life, and retail them direct to the public through our recently launched GraceGibsonRadio.com website.’
The CEDAR Cambridge system was acquired from CEDAR distributor CDA Pro Audio, whose Australian manager Peter Orehov was equally enthusiastic regarding saving the radio plays. ‘It has been a real pleasure to service Grace Gibson Productions,’ he commented. ‘The CEDAR Cambridge has proved to be an invaluable investment for Grace Gibson and it is always pleasing to receive positive feedback on the audio restoration capabilities of the Cambridge software.’