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White Star Line

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Things for today

There are four speakers hooked up to my sterio system. Each is the surviving half of a set where the other speaker got "blown". Consequently nothing matches and they sound terrible. So I'm going to go get a set of matching speakers to replace the ones on the main system, one of which is over 40 years old.

At some point I need to research getting something to record all of my casette tapes to MP3's as the tapes are 30 years old, disintegrating and unreplacable. Both martes and I have a bunch like that. There is only one casette player left in the house I can do this with at present. So it's possible I need both the hardware to match it up to the computer without distoring what's on the tape, as well as editing software to cut up the resulting 30 or 45 minute sound files into the individual songs. I think I already have stuff that will work sorta kinda but I'd rather have something made for the purpose as I wasnt to get the best results possible before I abandon the casette tape format completely.

Also be working on the first draft of Huzzah #49 today.


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shockwave77598 April 11th, 2003
Roxio EasyCDCreator is what I run - Platinum edition. V5 is out now I believe. In the MP3 creation set, you can choose to capture from an external input (Aux in) from the sound card. You can also set the source to be a CD (no clean up), Tape (removal of hiss), or Record (removal of pops and clicks) so that the software can perform "cleaning" routines to the audio and remove the artifacts of the media. Since you say you are saving tapes I won't mention that you'll need a preamp to hook up a turntable.

A big warning: if you expect to capture from tape, do not expect the same dynamic range as a CD when you are done. All the songs I've taken from tape have sounded poor when compared to the same song from a CD, which is to be expected. However, since some music never got put out on CD and is unavailable anywhere anymore, for archiving or saving tunes from obsolesence, it's a great solution.

Project #1 completed

titanic April 11th, 2003
New speakers on the main sterio. They sound great, even though they are not high end. Much better than a 20 year old speaker and a 40 year old speaker that do not even remotely match. I had to turn the balance 60% of the way over to get it to work, and the tone quality of the two speakers was so different it didn't work, really. Also the newer and supposedly better speaker was indeed blown.

And I used to have to turn the balance 80% of the way over to get the remote speakers to even out. Now it's only takes 35% and the sound is much improved there as well, even though I am reusing the 1964 Fisher speaker that's probably been on a dozen different sterio sets. Other half is the surviving speaker of of martes previous office sterio, the other half and the main unit long since bit the dust.

Surviving is a Radio Shack Minimus 0.3 speaker, (about a 4" cube) waiting on a shelf for it's next assignment. Useful little thing as it takes both wire and RCA jack input.

loiosh_de_talto April 11th, 2003
Luckily at this time it is possible to find good quality tape players with both RCA 2-pair and mini-jack outs which are easily enough connected to a computer system. Please remember to make sure you have any fake enhancements turned off from the player: including Dolby, Dolby Noise Reduction, True Bass, X Bass, etc as any benefit these 'enhancements' originally provided will just distort the true sound you have on tape.

I suggest using the highest quality sound card you can find. A classic GUS or the Audigy 2 and making sure you use the appropriate WAV settings to ensure the maximum quality. If you happen to know someone, or have, the Audigy 2 a bitrate of 48kHz with a PCM of 96kbps fits perfectly. For standard soundcards, 44kHz at 44kbps will be the best you can get out of the hardware, and perfectly acceptable

Tape is an analogue format, so the higher bit and sample rates will make HUGE impact upon the quality of the recorded image. I truthfully suggest saving those WAV files on some form of acceptably long lasting backup media, perhaps a CD-R. Do not burn them into individual tracks, instead leave the wav file as DATA only upon the CD, this will prevent unnecessary conversions that will affect the quality of your recordings. The software I suggest for both recording and splitting your WAV files is Cool Edit Professional. It includes one of the best Pop/Scratch and hiss reducers around without losing any original quality. It can even remove persistence buzzes, hisses, any constant noise from the entirety of a recording and works fine on older machines.

If you would like to additionally create MP3s the highest-quality and most accurate lossy compressor is still SCMPX. Download SCMPX. You cannot get any better quality out of the sound range than SCMPX can provide.

If you need help locating/using either of these programs, please feel free to contact me.

shockwave77598 April 11th, 2003
You can capture stereo sound at 44khz and create 128Kbps MP3 files just fine. I've done it. I've always used DolbyC on my tapes and you _do_ have to use the same noise reduction you recorded with or the spectrum of your music gets all screwed up. That's all Dolby is - an emphasis on a spectrum before recording to tape, then a deemphasis on that same spectrum on playback removing a good bit of the tape noise. If your tapes use Dolby B, C, HX or even DBX (am I the only one who remembers DBX?) then you'll need to play it back with the same noise reduction or the sound will be screwed up.

dbx

c_eagle April 12th, 2003
yep.. it was good good good :> Filters on both highs and lows of the spectrum, vs Dolby only on highs.
My Technics dbx machine tanked a couple years ago, and I am hoping to get it fixed one of these days.

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