June 15, 2002

A Ripping Spin

The project of the day was converting more of my music from analog media (cassettes and vinyl) to digital bits. It's an admittedly huge task, given the size of my music collection, so perhaps that's why I've been jumping from one thing to the next without any real plan -- some live in-studio performances by Boston bands taped off the radio, one of my old radio shows, live concert recordings I made (specifically, a 1992 Sebadoh/Luna concert at CBGB's).

The cassettes led me back to the vinyl in that I dug out a couple of particularly great mix tapes circa 1995 that I decided to replicate in my iPod... tapes which contain lots of songs originally from 7" singles or other vinyl. So there's a queue of about fifteen records sitting by the turntable that have been cleaned and are ready to be ripped.

All of this audio recording is still a bit new to me, so in the process I've learned that:

-- It would be much easier to have the computer and the turntable in the same room, if only because the constant scooting back and forth to drop the needle / click the record button / lift the needle / click the stop button gets pretty old pretty fast.

-- It's better to set the input levels extremely low then overshoot the peak level and get nasty digital distortion.

-- Amadeus II is a pretty good shareware sound editor for Mac OS X, though I must admit I still miss using CoolEdit back when I had a PC.

-- I'm going to need to get one of those programs that fixes background noise and crackles from vinyl recordings. Even though I cleaned each record with my vacuum-cleaning machine before playing, some of my old punk/post-punk records in particular are just a bit too worn (or were pressed on lousy quality vinyl to begin with).

-- Even though it's been extremely slow going, this stuff is a lot easier than I thought it would be, thanks in large part to my iMic for USB audio input/output.

Posted by nstop at June 15, 2002 11:31 PM


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