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#1 2012-10-05 05:28:07

pvsage
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From: North Carolina
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Posts: 12,777

CrunchBang tapers thread

NB:  This is a continuation of an off-topic sidebar that began in the 700MiB-limit thread.  Please limit discussion of taping and sharing of shows in this thread to explicitly legal activity.  No warez.

^ Tapers (the ones who record concerts - with the artists' permission of course!) also frequently use either cassette recorders or MD recorders.  (I bet most of us have never even seen a minidisc player or recorder in person; I know I hadn't before I became interested in taping)  I'm sure most of us are moving to solid-state recorders, but so long as the cassette & MD hardware is serviceable, it will probably remain in use.  Only reason I got a solid-state recorder myself was because my MD was starting to have tracking problems, and a fairly decent replacement with built-in XY mics had just gone on clearance.


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#2 2012-10-05 15:51:14

antiv0rtex
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

^ Tapers (the ones who record concerts - with the artists' permission of course!) also frequently use either cassette recorders or MD recorders.

Interesting that you should mention that - since most, or at least a lot, of the bands I listen to were active from 1991-2004ish, I have a decent-sized collection of cassette>flac live recordings smile

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#3 2012-10-05 19:48:49

pvsage
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Posts: 12,777

Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

Sorry to everybody for continuing an off-topic sidebar.  If there is significant interest in continuing this sidebar further, I'd be happy to fork a new topic.

@R3nCi:  I'm assuming you're aware of archive.org? wink


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#4 2012-10-05 22:25:38

antiv0rtex
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

Sorry to everybody for continuing an off-topic sidebar.  If there is significant interest in continuing this sidebar further, I'd be happy to fork a new topic.

@R3nCi:  I'm assuming you're aware of archive.org? wink

Yes, it probably would be best to move to a new/seperate topic.

I certainly have heard of archive.org; I spend a lot of time on /details/etree and /details/netlabels for music, and /details/prelinger for interesting imagery from old films.

I also love zombtracker.the-zomb.com and dimeadozen.org, although I have trouble maintaining an adequate down/up ratio. I think I should set up a dedicated seedbox soon... wink

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#5 2012-10-06 04:34:06

johnraff
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

Sorry to everybody for continuing an off-topic sidebar.  If there is significant interest in continuing this sidebar further, I'd be happy to fork a new topic.

Music on Cassettes? Yes please. smile I'd like some advice, which might fit in to such a topic.


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#6 2012-10-06 07:50:45

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

@johnraff:  Actually what I had in mind was a thread on concert taping; if you have a specific interest in cassettes, please feel free to start another thread.  I assume this doesn't have anything to do with the "home taping is killing music" fracas from a few decades ago?


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#7 2012-10-06 15:46:28

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

/moved to appropriate off-topic area

So...one challenge tapers face is that, while what they're doing is perfectly legal (provided they have the consent of both the venue and the performers), other concert-goers may raise eyebrows - or get downright confrontational - if they see any overt recording gear.  In the past, I've used Croakey-style eyeglass temple mics for stealth binaural recording; I've also heard of people placing mics under shoulder tabs for something akin to an A-B array.  Since I always consult with the club manager and sound tech anyway, future recordings may just be made with an XY array near the mixing board, possibly with a monitor pull for some fill - hard to get much stealthier than putting something right at the sound booth, huh? cool

Yeah, so...anyway, what do you guys do when taping to avoid confrontations with the guys who are mostly there just to post cell phone clips to Youtube, get drunk, and possibly get lucky?


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#8 2012-10-06 16:08:28

gutterslob
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

Yeah, so...anyway, what do you guys do when taping to avoid confrontations with the guys who are mostly there just to post cell phone clips to Youtube, get drunk, and possibly get lucky?

Call the bouncers/management? I mean, you're taping, they're boot-legging. Pretty sure security is going to side with you, right?
On the other hand, I don't think most venues actually stamp down on "iPhonography" these days. It's become too big to control. Most of it's harmless; just some people recording a few minutes (out of a 2 hr concert, for example) to preserve as a memory. I know some artists are apprehensive of the whole Youtube thing (like they recorded him/her on a bad hair day), but it comes with the job.

As for drunks and Beavis & Butthead types, well, I don't really know. The same as any gig, I suppose. Tell them (politely, even though you'll obviously be shouting at a loud venue) that you're doing a job. If that doesn't work. hold off as long as you can before calling security.



pvsage wrote:

I assume this doesn't have anything to do with the "home taping is killing music" fracas from a few decades ago?

Meh lol


Point & Squirt

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#9 2012-10-06 16:55:07

pvsage
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Posts: 12,777

Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

^ LULz

Home sewing's killing fashion.  (Though I suppose the fashion industry is doing a good enough job at that.) tongue
Home cooking's killing fast food.
Home sleeping's killing hotels.
Home taping's killing music.  (Though I suppose the music industry is doing a good enough job at that.) lol


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#10 2012-10-06 17:27:39

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

@johnraff:  Actually what I had in mind was a thread on concert taping; if you have a specific interest in cassettes, please feel free to start another thread.  I assume this doesn't have anything to do with the "home taping is killing music" fracas from a few decades ago?

No, it was more a technical question about how to digitize a pile of tapes. I'll start a different thread for that.


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#11 2012-10-06 17:31:42

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

Probably the best way is with a simple audio recording program like Audacity; that's what I'd use.  Record the whole side of the tape in one take & crop the individual tracks out from that.


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#12 2012-10-06 18:26:57

antiv0rtex
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

Probably the best way is with a simple audio recording program like Audacity; that's what I'd use.  Record the whole side of the tape in one take & crop the individual tracks out from that.

Audacity is excellent for audio-editing functions. Steve Harris' plugins are an added bonus.

Here's a helpful guide on how to transfer cassette tapes the "right" way, by Jack Endino. link

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#13 2012-10-09 04:28:06

johnraff
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

@R3nCi and pvsage thank you for the advice and links. smile

I was going to follow up with a question about the best compromize bitrate for mp3 archives (preserve quality vs not wasting space) but now think the best approach will be to archive the tapes (several hundred) as audio CDs, and rip the CDs to mp3s when needed, at whatever rate is appropriate at the time. The CD archives will be supporting much higher sound quality than the original cassette tapes are offering for sure, even though some seemed quite decent back in the day. Sound sensible?

Anyway, I'd better hurry up before all the rubber pinch wheels and drive belts perish, and the tapes go fragile and break... roll


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#14 2012-10-09 05:13:45

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

I'm pretty sure the noise floor on cassette tapes (with the possible exception of Type IV "metal" tapes, and that's only if head alignment and azimuth are perfect) is so high that anything above 192kbps would be extreme overkill, and even that wouldn't offer much higher quality than 128kbps.

If none of your cassettes have tape whining against the shell (and this whine does get picked up at the playback head) I'd say you're doing better than most of us.


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#15 2012-10-09 16:18:21

antiv0rtex
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

I'm pretty sure the noise floor on cassette tapes (with the possible exception of Type IV "metal" tapes, and that's only if head alignment and azimuth are perfect) is so high that anything above 192kbps would be extreme overkill, and even that wouldn't offer much higher quality than 128kbps.

If none of your cassettes have tape whining against the shell (and this whine does get picked up at the playback head) I'd say you're doing better than most of us.

My suggestion would be to store everything in a lossless format like flac - that way no quality is lost. If disk space is a major consideration, though, the CD archive idea would probably work fine.

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#16 2012-10-09 20:10:06

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

If re-writable drive space is the issue, may I suggest FLAC storage on DVD?  This would let you put nearly 10x as much music on a single disc.  But consider the cost and physical size of approx. 212 data DVDs compared to the cost & size of a 1TB HD.

If the motivation for putting the cassettes on CD is because you still have CD players everywhere and this format is convenient for you, then by all means, this is the way to go. wink  Remember to baby those discs, though - the film layer in a home-burnt CD is far more fragile than the foil in a factory-pressed CD, and can literally flake apart if you drop the disc.


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#17 2012-10-10 03:47:59

johnraff
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Posts: 3,030
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

... the noise floor on cassette tapes ... wouldn't offer much higher quality than 128kbps.

128 is about what I was thinking too.

If none of your cassettes have tape whining against the shell (and this whine does get picked up at the playback head) I'd say you're doing better than most of us.

I wouldn't claim that. roll You mean that squeak-squeak that sometimes sets in and seems to sort of cross-modulate the audio? I thought it was from the reels in the corners, and "fixed" it by taking the cassette out, shaking it and winding to the end and back again. Sometimes worked for a while. I don't know if dismantling the cassette and graphiting some places with a soft pencil would help...

pvsage wrote:

If the motivation for putting the cassettes on CD is because you still have CD players everywhere...

Yes that's it - CD players in different locations, so it might be more convenient than having everything on one hard drive.

the film layer in a home-burnt CD is far more fragile than the foil in a factory-pressed CD, and can literally flake apart if you drop the disc

Hey I didn't know that - thanks!


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#18 2012-10-10 05:30:11

pvsage
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Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 12,777

Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

I found out about the flaking thing with one of my first CD copies.

Most ofthe cheaper factory-copied cassettes are far more susceptible to the squeal than home recorded cassettes, especially the Type II "chrome" variety, because the ones for home recording tend to have fiber sheets between the tape and the shell, while the factory-copied ones do not.  If you have tapes that are giving you the cross-modulating squeal, it may be possible to take the tape out and put it in a Type II shell.


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#19 2012-10-10 16:43:41

johnraff
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

^ah yes, have resorted to that a couple of times, breaking open the cheap glued shell and transplanting the tape to a better one with screws and that fibre sheet you mention.

Anyway I'd better get to work! Could take some time...


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#20 2012-10-19 05:58:37

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
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Posts: 3,030
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

Sorry, can I disturb you good people with one (hopefully last) question?

I'd like to know if my computer's installed sound card is up to the job of converting analogue from tape to digital with no significant loss of quality. The quality starting point is pretty low so I'm inclined to guess it'll be OK, but if not I'll get one of those audio>USB box things. I'd hate to convert a bunch of tapes then discover the sound has been mangled...

The IBM Intellistation M Pro 6220 Japanese user guide refers to a "Realtek AC97 Sound System" which seems a bit vague.
'cat /dev/sndstat' gives

Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.21 emulation code)
Kernel: Linux raffles3 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Sun Sep 23 09:49:36 UTC 2012 i686
Config options: 0

Installed drivers: 
Type 10: ALSA emulation

Card config: 
Intel ICH5 with ALC202 at irq 17

Audio devices:
0: Intel ICH5 (DUPLEX)

Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG

Midi devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG

Timers:
31: system timer

Mixers:
0: Realtek ALC202 rev 0

So I guess I've got a Realtek ALC202 sound card? Does that look good enough?


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#21 2012-10-19 06:27:57

pvsage
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From: North Carolina
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Posts: 12,777

Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

Most onboard sound modules pick up a little digital noise and power supply hash, but I've never heard any that could hold a candle to cassette tape hiss.  I'd say go for it!

By the way, your onboard audio probably has a lower noise floor than your turntable platter's rumble.  I've noticed some *massive* platter rumble in my vinyl rips; might eventually pass them through a highpass filter to try to get rid of it.


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#22 2012-10-19 11:54:52

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
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Posts: 3,030
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

pvsage wrote:

Most onboard sound modules pick up a little digital noise and power supply hash, but I've never heard any that could hold a candle to cassette tape hiss.  I'd say go for it!

Thanks - will do! smile

I've noticed some *massive* platter rumble in my vinyl rips

Hmm... with a reasonably good quality turntable?


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#23 2012-10-19 16:13:32

pvsage
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

^ I suppose that depends on how many zeros constitutes "reasonable". tongue


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#24 2013-01-27 04:11:48

antiv0rtex
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#25 2013-01-27 18:51:58

Rothchild
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Re: CrunchBang tapers thread

Something else to bear in mind if you are transfering cassettes to digital is that you can make good use of the headroom available. The best cassettes have a range of about 60dB whereas a 16bit digital recorder has a range of 96dB, so when you're setting up your gains between your tape deck outputs and your A/D input you can leave a good amount of headroom and not risk bringing in anymore analogue noise than necessary.

Even in 16bit you can be shooting your peak levels (on Audacity or whatever you're using) at around -12dB(FS) and this should give you a good match up for the abilities of the cassette machine amp outputs. Once you've tracked it you can, if you so desire, digitally normalise your recording so the peaks run further up the scale (you could do this with a 'normalise' function or just by adding digital gain to the file until it peaks where you want it).

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