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Celemony Capstan

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Quick Overview

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Remove wow and flutter from magnetic tape.

Capstan – an end to wow and flutter

For over a hundred years, music has been recorded on mechanical mediums. And for over a hundred years, there has been a problem with this: wow and flutter. Who isn’t familiar with the wobbling and warbling, the droning and dragging? Mechanical degradation caused by defective devices or sticking tapes, by ageing or defective storage. In the past, it was usually impossible to get rid of wow and flutter.

Countless recordings of renowned orchestras, big bands and rock groups are currently slumbering deep in archives. Yet they are unusable, simply due to wow and flutter. The tapes worthless, the recordings lost to posterity. Until now.

For, in Capstan, there is now for the first time a program capable of removing wow and flutter from recorded music. Whether on tape, compact cassette, wax, shellac or vinyl.


Musical intelligence

The Capstan algorithm is capable of recognizing not only the smallest amounts of wow and flutter but also continuous speed variations within the musical material.
Capstan’s detection of notes and their fluctuations is based on the patented DNA Direct Note Access technology made famous by Melodyne, an application used in studios all over the world for the editing of pitch and timing. Unlike Melodyne, however, Capstan employs DNA note detection exclusively to remove wow and flutter by means of varispeed. It allows detailed editing that extends even to letting you draw in the curve by hand.

What the experts say

Capstan has been used in many renowned projects, restoration- and mastering studios all over the world – with outstanding results

"No glitching or warbles, ever!"

4-page Capstan review in Sound On Sound magazine

"I found that Capstan was a delight to work with. The software is brilliantly simple and intuitive to use, and I found it astonishingly effective."
---Hugh Robjohns

The Concert Sinatra

Legendary recordings from 1963 restored with Capstan

Originally mastered on 35mm magnetic film and stored for nearly half a century, this is the first reissue that employs the original source. "Capstan has helped us."
---Larry Walsh, Mastering Engineer

Archeophone Archives

100-year old Edison Blue Amberols preserved for posterity

"The Edison Blue Amberols are plagued with off-axis, out-of-round, and surface distortion issues. With Capstan, these cylinders have never sounded better."
---David Giovannoni, Producer

Wagner at The Met

25-CD box of historic Wagner performances by the Metropolitan Opera New York

"We try to run everything through Capstan because all the material sounds so much better afterwards: smoother with a silky high end."
---Charles Harbutt, Longtail Audio

Audio Mechanics

Restoring Hollywood film soundtracks with Capstan

"I did a Capstan demo for some executives at 20th Century Fox and they were blown away! It only took a few seconds to fix the wow."
---Ellis Burman, Audio Engineer

Everest Records reissues

Historical recordings of classical music, restored with Capstan

"The ‘vinegar syndrome’ problem during digitization led to wow and flutter effects. Using Capstan for the speed corrections, we have made very good experiences."
---Lutz Rippe, Restoration Engineer
Precise control
How far Capstan reaches into your music to correct wow and flutter is something you can determine precisely. The corrections are effected using high-quality varispeed, so no artifacts of the kind associated with pitch-shifting or time-stretching algorithms are introduced.
The medium is irrelevant
Capstan is a purely digital solution that detects the wow and flutter in the music material itself.

Many advantages

Capstan is an easy-to-use and highly efficient solution for the elimination of wow and flutter:

Runs on Mac or PC and requires no additional hardware
Handles all common audio formats
For mono, stereo, multi-channel or multi-track recordings
Detection based on our patented DNA Direct Note Access technology
High-quality, varispeed-based correction free from pitch-shifting or time-stretching artifacts
Works even when a tape has already been copied several times or has been digitized in low resolution

Capstan – demo version

An end to wow and flutter. With this demo version, you can test the full range of functions of Capstan but you can neither save nor export the results. And although the demo version analyses the entire audio file, playback stops after seven seconds. To try it out, locate the critical passages in your material and start playback just before them.

To get you started, we have prepared a small tutorial including audio illustrations. You will find the tutorial in the user manual. The audio files are installed by the demo installation program. Capstan is for the time being only available in English.

Capstan for macOS (approx. 20 MB)
Capstan for Windows (approx. 20 MB)

Capstan Manual PDF


System requirements

macOSIntel Mac, macOS 10.9.5, 10.10.5 or 10.11.3 to 10.13, 4 GB of RAM or more, iLok 2 or 3
Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, 4 GB of RAM or more, iLok 2 or 3