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Iím capturing audio. Donít call it recording, although essentially it is just that. Generally speaking, capture means to digitally record something--audio or video.
First let me describe the set-up.
I use an Archos AV700 mobil DVR, to record audio and video signals, as VCR1, through a JVC-RX8000 receiver. The AV700 can only record from Dish as an analog signal.
Dish Networks sells the Archos AV700E rebranded as the Pocketdish. Data/movies can be transferred through a USB port on the back of dish receiver.
Iím capturing audio at the moment, my cassette collection, mostly, while theyíre still playable. Iíve been capturing my favorit radio programs too. Iíve been a huge fan of college radio for a long time and have a collection going back for quite a number of years, basically, from when I was in jr. high.
I found lots of interesting things on the programs on WHUS 91.7 fm Storrs, WPKN 89.5 fm (and its affilliate WPKM 88.7 fm) Bridgeport, WCNI (Ground Zero Radio ) 90.9 fm, formerly 91.1, of New London, WWUH 90.3 fm Hartford, and the various others Iíve received over the past 20 yrs.
College radio is like New England weather--if you donít like it now, wait 3 hrs and itíll change.
Getting back to tapes, it occurs to me that thereís a number of people reading this whoíve never heard of cassette tapes, and therefore arenít familiar with the joys of these better-gone, little, square wafers of mischief.
In a sense, they are the floppy disk of the musical world--they served they job well, but are so far obsolete.
The technology on a certain level is similar. Both store magnetic information on a plastic substrate. Itís not easy to get metal to stick to plastic. There is a finite length of time that theyíll adhere, despite the best efforts of user to maintain its integrity.
So I have a ton of cassette tapes that are disintegrating, just about as I write this. Their time draws neigh.
One out of 50, it seems, has a certain physical malfunction. There is normally a felt piece attached behind the actual casette tape, to position the tape properly for the sound. This little felt piece has a tendency to fall off, as the glue gives way.
So, part of the capture/recording process is the physical repair of the medium. This is a pain in the ass, believe me. Thank god it doesnít happen often.
I have a pair of long tweezers to hold the piece, and a pointy stick to apply the glue. Then it has to sit for a while, upside down, without being disturbed. The tape physically canít touch the foam till the glue dries.
All of this, for a tape, where half the songs are likely in poor condition.
Still, itís part of this labor of love.
I still have about 200 tapes left to finish digitizing my cassette collection. After that I move to all the tapes in the Jimmy Fund. Thereís another 75 I culled from that. Those are being stored at my friendís house until we can get to those. Likely, weíll be using his tape deck and stereo system for that. Itíll be nice to mess-up his heads and capstans for a change. The funny thing about that, is that almost all those promos are still in the plastic wrap, and will be still in very good condition, despite being 20, 21, or even 22 years old in some cases.
So here we are, at the Jimmy Fund, Cassette Branch. I have to decide which ones to cull, and which to leave in permanent obscurity. This is an awesome task, deciding which 80ís and early 90ís unknown musical acts will be introduced into the digital world.
The way that I know if a certain musical offering is in digital, is by checking Napster, or other databases, like Gracenote. I good number of the ďD ListĒ acts arenít to be found in any database. The item didnít sell enough copies of the original (cassette) presing to warrenty digitizing it.
Essentially, like records before, and 45s before thatr, and 78s before that, and even CDs right now, there are many albums that never make the transition from one format to the other.
Co-incidently, this exact reality applied in the early days of vaudville, going into radio, and then into movies, and eventually television. Thereís casualties alongside the road in any cultural progression and evolution.
Once Fred Neitszche declared God is Dead, f*ck became the most important word in the English languag
What tools are you using to restore the sound quality on those old tapes?
I spend an afternoon digitizing old vinyl records with my dad and we used Steinberg Clean Plus. However, it's been quite a pain in the ass because you pretty much need to adjust the filters for every record individually. Also the GUI sucks a lot.
Depending on how much you value your time, consider just purchasing clean copies from iTunes, and only digitize the stuff you cannot buy anymore.
'Yeah, That's what Jesus would do. Jesus would bomb Afghanistan. Yeah.' - snowlion