A todo I have to get to

Recent conversations here and at work have reminded me I have stacks and stacks of old cassettes with me and friends jamming, writing songs, all of us living a bit raw, just over ten years old. I need to get them converted digitally right away, before their already bad fidelity gets worst.

4 thoughts on “A todo I have to get to

  1. Karl –

    You meant “Today right?”

    LOL (Just teasing)

    You know I’ve been kicking around this same problem as well. I’d like to swap ideas with you if you have a solution on this. I have a drawer here filled with old tapes. Some of which you’re on my friend. I’m guessing I have something like 50 cassettes (estimate) of original music/rough copies/possibilities, that will die if crammed in a drawer for too long.

    The best thing I can think of is burning them to DVD’s. Or CDR as Data format projects.

    I just don’t know the right way to go about other than taking a cassette player running a line from that into the line in on the computer’s sound card and using a program like Wavelab to capture it all.

    You figure an average tape holds 90 minutes of recordings, and with the way stuff got recorded often there were blank spots, half a side not used, it would require extensive monitoring to map it all out!

    While there are companies out there that will charge you to do the conversions, I frankly don’t trust anyone with that responsibility of guarding my memories. I’ve been someone who’s done open heart (tape) surgery on broken tapes so as to not lose anymore than I had to.

    What are your ideas on this?

    Peace,

    – Neo

  2. Karl – Sound Recorder? BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Sorry I don’t mean to laugh.

    Oh man, that is funny I hadn’t seen that article before. That’s hilarious… 60 second clips on sound recorder, right…

    There are only 3 programs I would use for this type of project. Wavelab, Cakewalk, or Soundforge.

    I have all three of them.

    I’ll add to their list a bit, if your cassette collection is close to mine, you’re going to need to do some documenting with it, so a notebook and a pen with a lot of ink would be a great idea. That way as your going through your pile you can check off what is what. The pain is going to be the hard drive space prior to the burn. And average wav file at 48 khz, stereo for 60 minutes worth of recording is going to be roughly 1.4 GIG’s as a wav; if recorded straight through.

    I wouldn’t want to do it as a straight through recording because the audio packages aren’t going to like buffering such a large file and the hard drive will likely explode. šŸ˜‰

    Breaking it up into 10 minutes per session seems more realistic to me. That’s where noting on the notepad what’s recorded on each tape will come in handy.

    I would do all the recordings dry (without effects) and once the sound levels are ok, I’d take the wav files and covert them to mp3 which will be more manageable to deal with. I’m guessing the “One tape at a time,” approach would be best unless you have a ton of disk space on your computer to work with.

    If you end up with 13 recordings per tape; which for me is realistic with the way I used to record on cassettes, you could dump all of that onto one CDR disc and still have a little space left over. So I’m guessing if you were to dump it all to a DVD you could fit 4 (maybe 5) CDR sessions to that in DATA format, but I think the CDR route would be much cheaper with CDR disc’s being cheaper in the pack of 50’s.

    The only hard thing to figure out is TIME. I’m thinking just doing one tape conversion using the method I just described would take 3 hours easily. (Including the setup, the stopping, documenting, etc)

    X’s that by 50 tapes, 150 hours.

    Also I think giving each tape it’s own catalog # that you make up would go a long way in the documenting process. If your tapes are like mine some of them don’t even have labels, even though I know pretty much what’s on them once I start listening. So some cheap white labels cut to size would help as well.

    A project of this size for me, would take about 6 months, but get that nagging monkey off my back about worrying I’m going to lose all those cool memories of the earlier days of songwriting, and guitar playing with friends and the times I sat alone in my room at home with mom popping in occasionally telling me to “Turn it down!!!”

    Hmmmm, still wondering how you turn down an acoustic guitar. šŸ˜‰

    In your case, 150 hours might as well be 150 years when you have a little one running around vying for your attention…

  3. Hey I found this video that might help you. It’s a really cheezy way to pull off the conversions, but it should work for you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UO-EdNXjkg

    Especially if you don’t have any high end audio authoring software to capture audio with.

    As the guy on the video states, “Doing it on the cheap.”

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