Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mixed blessing

A few days ago I received a gift from a friend, in the form of a program for mixing audio tracks and cleaning up and remastering old records and tapes. Though fiendishly complex, it is very effective. Once I've figured out all the options it will let me copy all my old vinyl and tape into quality CDs. When the opportunity appears, I'll even be able to make new recordings.

I admit my first thought was a wish that he had laid it on me about three weeks ago, before I sent a number of irreplaceable tapes to another friend for cleanup and transfer to CDs.

But then I ran the necessary cable from audio system to computer and sat down to put this dandy software to work. I now have a long to-do list that must be accomplished before the fun begins:

1. Have turntable serviced because it won't hold its pitch consistently. Also, replace stylus;

2. Buy new cassette deck;

3. New belts, clean-up and possibly new playback heads for reel-to-reel recorder.

4. Forget about having the reel-to-reel serviced. The last time I did that, I was informed that parts are no longer available for it. Buy new/rebuilt machine from reputable company.

Naturally, since none of these are what could be called high-demand consumer items these days, they will blow a hole in my budget slightly larger than the breach that sank the Titanic.

So the software won't get much of a workout until I round up the spondulics to buy/repair the hardware. And I'm still glad I accepted the offer to have the rarest stuff from the collection transferred for me, though the thought of entrusting such fragile material to FedEx filled me with dread, and will continue to do so until it's all safely back here.

Even so, it's a wonderful gift and will be used. Eventually.


Birdie said...

I started transfering my dance music with such a program... it is NOT as easy as I'd hoped, but it worked. The first songs I may have to re-do... you learn along the way and for some of the first songs/CD's I didn't know some tricks. But I'm glad I did it... it's much easier to teach now.
and I wish some of those code letters were easier to distinquish, what a lmovj!

MrScribbler said...

As long as you keep the originals, birdie, you can go back and make improvements.

One thing I like about this program is that it saves both the modified recording and the process you go through to clean it up, so change is always possible.

And yes, the code letters are a pain in the wwtwsf, but I haven't had any spam since I started using 'em!

DAL said...

I have the capture hardware and software, don't have a turntable. They are a mite expensive now. My tapes are few and not particularly special. Nobody wants to hear 'The Best of lhoni' anyway

MrScribbler said...

dal -- if you had the four-volume set of "The Best of mxwqudni," you'd be looking for a turntable too!

Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting my friend. I bet you have some great recordings.

MrScribbler said...

I think I do, Roz. And I want to make sure they are preserved for other people to enjoy....

kim said...

Nice cat photies. Ginger cats rock.