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Thread: Now for the cassettes and 45's!!!

  1. #1

    Default Now for the cassettes and 45's!!!

    Hey, guys...Just an update. I've got a huge chunk of my LP's out of the way, and catalogued. Same with a good chunk of my CD's...WOW! I can't believe how much work I've put into this! Still more to go, though...I just put in about 500 or so cassettes...Cassette artwork can be harder to find...Some of the cassette artwork differed from the LP artwork on a few occasions...But mostly, I've used the LP artwork for the cassettes. And then there are the cassette singles to deal with. Some of these tunes are out-of-print on ANY format, CD. LP, or otherwise, because they're just RARE, or too obscure, so I keep them...I haven't even really begun to tackle the question of the 45's (which is the next big task on my list) except for a few specific items. I'm not even going to start with any MP3's, until I get the PHYSICAL media catalogued first!!! I still have an old CD-ROM for Charlie Holz' "Mega Guide To Singles", but I'm not sure if I can use that in conjunction with Orange CD somehow, as it is pretty old, although it does have some handy information on it that could make the task easier (label, year, etc.). I'm not sure if I want to set up a separate database for the 45's, using that, or add them all into Orange CD...maybe make a separate database in Orange CD just for the 45's (There are many!)...

    So, my question to you is...You guys got any good tips for cataloguing the cassettes and 45's...and cassette singles? What are your favorite strategies and tips for managing THOSE items? What about the artwork and/or pictures of the singles? The LP's and CD's seem to be a little easier, but maybe it's just me...Any one out there cataloguing these, or is it mainly LP's and CD's for you guys? How do you guys catalog your singles? Any thoughts would be appreciated...

  2. #2
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    Hey VM...
    My only comment would be to get those tapes copied as soon as you can. Copy to WAV or FLAC. Then it would be up to you to store them "correctly" whatever that my be.. or put them up on ebay. I have had the worst luck with cassette tapes, mechanically mostly, but tape stretch has been an issue at times. As to the 45's I guess everyone knows that the picture sleeves are at times more valuable then the actual 45 itself, and paper is much harder to preserve than vinyl. So I would get them scanned at the highese res possible.

    Can't comment much on the cataloging though, I do have some recordings that the 45 version is interesting and just have them and another entry under the artist as a 2 track album.

    I have gotten rid of all my vinyl about 5 years ago. The albums that I couldn't find CD's for I converted to digital, and some of the covers I scanned. Right now old vinyl is popular so you might want to take advantage of that. It is really nice to have all of my music 6,000+ albums available at the click of a mouse. And all that physical storage that they occupied empty for other things.

    In the end there is no right or wrong way.. I don't really see the need of separate database, OCD seems to handle large collections easily.

    Fred

    I certainly know the polarization of vinyl vs digital, but for my listening environment and hearing 320kbps cbr mp3's are more than adequate. Although I do have FLAC versions of my core favorites.

  3. #3

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    I have actually copied some of my tape collection already, and some of my favorites are now digitized. To do it right, though, I would have to start with the rarer stuff first, and work my way to the more common things. Remember, it's always good to keep your tape heads clean, too, since I have had more than my share of tape breakage over the years, and dirty heads can only contribute to the problem. With some of the artwork being harder to find for my tapes and 45's, I may have to do some scanning, I think. It seems the Internet can only help me so far. And I do like having my music in the digital format for convenience. But, I must say (and this is more a personal opinion), there is something to holding a piece of tangible, physical media in your hand as opposed to the sterility and coldness of an MP3. Although, you're right about the space issue! Maybe it's just the coolness of owning original vinyl that I don't get with MP3's, but then, for convenience and portability's sake, having the MP3's of the music is a plus. The other thing about vinyl...which no one mentions...it gives me a good excuse to get some exercise! Which reminds me...I have more vinyl and tapes to catalogue (AKA more exercising to do!)! I've been just taking out a stack at a time, and going through it judiciously, so onward I go...

    You're right...There is no right or wrong to collecting, but I'm just thankful that Orange CD makes the process so much easier!

  4. #4
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    Well that's I'm saying.... right now that coolness factor of vinyl is in... same with vintage equipment... turntables, reel to reel, 8 track (not the studio kind.. the ones for your car), tube ampifiers... Now is a great time to cash in, before the coolness wears off ;O) and that is a lot of money you are sitting on.. and maybe literally ;O) that I am sure you could put to good use.

    just sayin'

  5. #5

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    I did both tapes and 45rpm and EP 12inches,

    About tapes they were all live recordings, so the first things I had to do is converting them to a single wav file for each side of tapes (SideA.wav end SideB.wav), this is because if you havo to fix them (pitch, volume level, hiss) you would preserve the sound quality, so forget about converting them directly to mp3 or other lossy sources!!!

    Another thing to do before converting the tapes, the old decks were made before cell phones or cordless, so even if the stereo cables are recent and could shield from these kind of interferences, the decks aren't, so turn off cell phones etc.. better do this in late evening if you live in a condo with thin walls ;-)

    After converting in wav files, if you're comfortable with pitch and you know how the original recording was, you must first check if the pitch is correct, if not use sw like audacity, sforge etc to match the exact speed (f.i. if you know a song has a riff in C and your recording is too slow or fast (sounds in B# or C#), you have to use pitch correction to take it back to C)

    Then its time for volume level and hiss reduction (I am a maniac and also I fixed tape gaps or distortions to clean up as much as possible the sound, but that's too difficult and could cause damages if you're not into it).

    After that, I also split the wav file in single wave files each for avery single track the original tape had, then I store them in FLAC format, so you will preserve the original conversion in lossless format, and then you could burn it directly in am audio-cd or downsample in lossy format (mp3, wma, etc) for your portable devices.

    Same thing could be applied for vinyl 45rpms, 12 inches, etc. (the only things that differs for me is that in manual fixing I also remove the clicks & pops, which are common in vinyl sources while playing it).

    At this point you have a folder like this, with all the tracks, f.i if it's a live gig
    [Band Name - YYYY-MM-DD Venue, City, Country [AUD or SBD]
    01 - [track 1].flac
    02 - [track 2].flac
    03 - [track 3].flac
    etc.

    or if it's a studio album

    [Band Name - Album title (YYYY) [original media format]
    01 - [track 1].flac
    02 - [track 2].flac
    03 - [track 3].flac
    etc.

    at this point you could use OCD to scan the folder and acquire all the tracks and titles, it will be easier if you used before doing this programs like monkey's audio to tag the flac files, so OCD will directly acquire them and you're job is done.

    About the scans, for vinyl it's easy as you should scan the covers and normally they will fit with few fixes the CD-case format.. about the tapes, you need to scan and and edit as best the cover to fit the cd cases (normally you have to re-design the cover)

    Cheers
    Gagliem
    Last edited by Gagliem; 08-26-2013 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    I will add a note about transferring the analog media. Get the highest levels without adding distortion, and DO NOT edit those original transfers. Burn a couple of copies of the WAV files and store them away. Audio restoration software keeps on getting better and better.. especially with those live recordings. And of cours be sure to include a nice long selection of silence from the tapes to be used in noise and hiss elimination. Very useful.. again with impovements in restoration software that WILL come along.

    You probably know all that, but it wasn't mentioned... so just for those that may be new to the "art"

    fred

  7. #7

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    Yes frederf, I know what you wrote but you're definitely right to mention it as I forgot those new to this art, also you're making me laugh while writing this, because now you make me realize I have a ton of dvds storing all the raw wavs, plus minimum 1TB of recordings remastered.. I'm a complete lunatic :-D

    Well, you're right about hiss reduction, minimum you have to leave 1-2 secs of silence recording for each side (tape and vinyl), especially if each side has a different recording, so the hiss may vary and it has to be applied different hiss analysis and reduction.. also if one side has different tracks recorded, each track should have is 1-2secs of silence.

    At this point, another thing I didn't mention but it could be useful in vinyl transfer:
    if who wants to transfer a vinyl recording to pc doesn't have modern turntables with RIAA equalization built-in, it should be used old preamplifiers which have it and then connect these one to the soundcard inputs, if this can't be done, the recording level would be very low and even if raising the volume, the reult would be a sound with too much low frequencies and with almost no bass... the last chance is to use audacity and perform on the wav file the following steps, using from menu Effect > Equalization, then when the eq window appears, going to "select curve" and choose RIAA and apply this to the whole wav.

    Hope this could help...

    Cheers
    Ema
    Last edited by Gagliem; 08-27-2013 at 10:08 PM.

  8. #8

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    All good tips, guys! And I do love using Audacity for my files. I'm sure I haven't looked into ALL the features of Audacity yet, but I'm still learning. It seems I'm finding new things to do with Audacity all the time. It makes for a great audio editor, too, if you're trying to splice different sources together. Say you have a 4-hour long radio show, that you taped on 3 separate tapes. You can edit them all together into one file, and save the original file in a lossless format. Then download it to whatever personal device suits your fancy. I like that you can also grab snippets of audio, as well, for special projects. Also good for restoring the sound of those old tapes on their last legs. Anyone with old mixtapes can tell you how priceless some of them are, so restoration will at least preserve the sound, and maybe a few memories, too!

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