City Cafe

Audio ‘Archaeologist’ Brings Old Recordings Back to Life

Twenty of the specialized record needles that Michael Graves uses to get the best possible sound from an old record
Credit Dan Raby / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

People like Alan Lomax and Art Rosenbaum have made names for themselves by traveling all over the country—and even all over the world—to collect rare old music recordings. And record labels like Atlanta’s Dust to Digital have made names for themselves by reissuing those recordings in compact disc form. But what comes between? What of the guy who takes those old, scratchy recordings, and restores them to sound as close as possible to being in the same room with the musician?

 That’s how  Michael Graves, owner of Osiris Studio, makes his living. WABE’s Kate Sweeney paid a visit to the Grammy Award-winning audio restoration engineer to find out a about how he does his job—and brought back this sound portrait.

Broadcast version of story that aired Tuesday, February 18, 2014