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  1. Me, 2009: “I’ll never put my music on the computer! MP3s suck!”


    Me, 2010: “Wait, you’re tossing this 24/96 card? Ooh, S/P-DIF! Just the thing for those DATs full of 45 dubs! Hmm, FLAC seems OK. MP3s still suck!”


    Me, now: “Should only take a couple days to copy these files. MP3s still suck!”


    Me, also: “grumble grumble crowdsourced metadata, what rules of capitalization are those?? And you know that extra space makes it a whole different album...”

  2. “...some services have been known to wipe tags from music files.” Wait, what? I’m well past the point I should have implemented some rigorous backup process. Swapping hard drives with my brother is one thing, but I’m better at accumulating things than organizing them. Metadata is just one part of the headache. I need revision control. I may have a half dozen versions of, say, an LP dub. Raw, clicks & noise repaired, an archival version and maybe one with a little EQ for general listening. Some random category that applies only to those files, perhaps. I may or may n
  3. I completely agree. The track (first pic) is from a late-1980s CD issue of Wishbone Ash's "Argus." I have an original MCA LP (you can see where the Decca logo was airbrushed from the jacket art) for comparison, and the difference is quite audible. Many elements are panned to the center. I chose this example partly because it's unusually bad, but also it points out the need to trust your ears and your monitoring above all. Also, as much as we want the engineering to be perfect, there are many opportunities for error, human and electronic/mechanical. In this case I suspect that,
  4. I stumbled across a free VST “stereo scope” plugin that might be useful here. The X-Y display illustrates the relationship of L/R to M/S in real time. https://www.meldaproduction.com/MStereoScope I have no affiliation with the vendor, but they offer an interesting array of effects for various prices, in some cases free. Below is a screen cap, from a major label CD reissue of a well-known ‘70s album. The entire disc has been mastered about 3 dB out of balance. Oopsie!
  5. Ha, I never got past opening a few files; was already using an old version of Studio One for a few simple projects, & have enough I/O to mix analog if I want. None of which is germane to the article. But I do sometimes make certain... adjustments... to favorite music I find “lacking.” It’s really just an outgrowth of decades of making safety copies, maybe using a click reducer or other such toy. So I’ll be interested in any observations, discussion of technique, etc.
  6. As often happens, I’m starting this series here, will circle back to the first two articles. But I wanted to mention that Tracktion DAW is available as a full-featured free version. This started with their making earlier versions free a few years ago. I may want to update mine... https://www.tracktion.com/products/waveform-free But in all honesty I use Audacity more often, partly out of familiarity, but mostly because it’s often the most efficient tool, at least for low track counts.
  7. As an aside, there exists a (Windows) command-line utility that performs the HDCD level compensation function, but not the other dynamic EQ stuff I’ve not seen coherently explained. Still, it made a huge improvement on my Tom Petty box set. I could probably track it down again.
  8. Thanks to joebah and baoshan for exploring the needle drop issue. Since more than half my files are from vinyl, I’ll keep an eye on this.
  9. Yes, but in the same Birmingham, AL where one station's DJs tried to organize a Beatle-record-burning, the one most people listened to (WSGN) played Them's version first, as well as the correct Brown Eyed Girl. They recognized that their nighttime competition was Chicago's WLS, which came booming in an hour after sundown and only faded for a moment 2-3 times an hour... Not much later, teenage-me chatted up a few of the jocks, who then let me hang out a few times while they did their thing. For a few weeks there was a card above the board "Don't say the name of the new Spanky &
  10. I love finding originals I never knew existed. Just today, a friend posted the original Wayne Cochran version of "The Last Kiss" to Facebook. Hypothetically, I might have heard it at age 8 but don't remember.
  11. Los Lobos' "Good Morning Aztlan" perked up nicely. But that was well mixed, and sounds like someone took a fine mastering job and cranked it to +6 dBFS.
  12. I've been ranting about this for a while now. I've occasionally recorded friends' bands, knowing they'll first complain it isn't loud enough, then trying to please them without hurting my ears too much. Of course I keep the original version also... Declippers aren't entirely useless though. Obviously they can't remove compression per se, but so many CDs have heavy clipping, that with *some of those* one can restore a few dB to the kick. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes any change is lost in the sonic muck. But occasionally, with a little tweaking, something that had DR before b
  13. I disagree with the premise that it is necessary to spend thousands on the vinyl front end. Optimizing what one has, however, is crucial. I've achieved quite serviceable results with a fairly pedestrian setup consisting of a bone stock Technics 1200/II (puts on flame retardant suit) with Ortofon OM series MM cartridge (several styli on hand) through an inexpensive Rane PS-1 preamp (sadly now discontinued.) Proper setup and alignment, clean records, and clean stylus are crucial. If it sounds good "live" it will work. Many are fans of the Rega line (I have a NAD 533, variant of the P2, in t
  14. Hi, Neil. Catching up on some reading on the site today. The loudness war has been a sore spot with me for some time. Here's a link to an article from 2001 that's germane to the subject of broadcast. Authors Orban and Foti are respected authorities on audio processing for broadcast, owning 2 of the largest manufacturers of such hardware/software. And the intro here is by the aforementioned Bob Katz: http://www.orban.com/support/orban/techtopics/Appdx_Radio_Ready_The_Truth_1.3.pdf
  15. I'm kind of a bottom feeder. My systems have always been a hodgepodge of mostly "pre-owned" gear mixed with a few items I bought new but which are now old. So naturally I fell into dubbing my records inadvertently when a co-worker threw out an M-Audio 24/96 sound card that I stuffed into what was then the grandkids' game PC until I maxed out the hard drive and they moved away. Audacity is free and works quite well for my purposes. My initial impetus was a fairly large pile of 45s, specifically making it more convenient to hear them. Have to manually move the belt on the living room tur
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