Monday, May 21, 2007

Link / computer advice?

Hi all -

Mariah: great article about Lissa, but... am I missing somethink or is there no link to the photos?

On another matter: I'm currently bidding (on EBay) for a vintage tape recorder with the proper playback speed for the Crawford Collection of KCAC tapes. I'm also looking into a computer system that is compatible with high-end audio recording, restoration, and storage. Ron Wortham teels me to seriously consider a Mac - and I am - but based on my limited investigations so far it looks like the iMac 24-inch model would be the best (250 GB hard drive with optional 500 or 750 GB upgrades). Trouble is, that set-up costs $2000, which is about double what I'd hoped to pay (I won't say "afford" because I can't "afford" anything right now, except by going deeper into credit-card hell). Anybody out there got some advice on a cost-effective audio work station?



4 comments: said...

An option might be

1. Search eBay for an EXTERNAL stand-alone hard drive to add as a peripheral to your existing system. $150.00 should do it.

2. Add and upgrade your existing RAM memory to make things run faster and smoother

Again the software I would recommend would be AUDACITY. You can record from a conventional 3 &3/4" speed then have AUDACITY cut the speed in half (1&7/8" virtual) without having to bet on an older tape recorder. You can also do a myriad of other things with AUDACITY including echo, click removal, phasing, all sorts of acoustic changes, speed changes, compressions, and on and on.

This way you can squeeze past the audio setup without feeding Visa and still get really fine quality.

ONCE IT IS DIGITIZED, you can do almost anything with it.

ANOTHER TRICK is to take 2 recorders. Play back the tape at 3&3/4 into the second machine at 7.5 IPS *THEN* play it back at 3.75 - half the recorded speed which equals a virtual 1&7/8 IPS (cassette speed).

I hate to see you spend so many bucks on the project if not necessary.

I would recommend downloading a free copy of audacity, try it out and SEE WHAT IS POSSIBLE with your current setup. you can do a line input from even a cassette recorder to experiment with it
the url is

To turn your digitized audio file into an MP3 you'll need a little second-source file called LAME (lah-may) available on most download sites.

Really, for the size project you are looking at, an external or second internal drive of about 60gig should do the job OK.

Best of luck with it. Ask me anything that I can help you with.

Ronco said...


Hi Folks,

As you know, I've been working for years on setting up an Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.
I am not a member of their Board of Directors anymore, but I still volunteer to help them any way I can.

One of the main goals of the AMEHOF is to become a resource for archives pertaining to AZ music and entertainment. They have a couple storerooms and are beginning to collect things.

Just last week, they obtained all of the films from the Backstage Pass TV show that aired in Phoenix for many years. There are thousands of music performances and interviews on those films. The AMEHOF's goal is to sort, catalog, digitally master and make available to the public, all of those films and any other historical artifacts they can get.

If you guys have some old tapes, they are quickly disintegrating and may already be ruined....
Those tapes should be donated to the AMEHOF. They will keep them in a temp controlled environment and eventually get them digitally mastered and preserved.

The AMEHOF is a non-profit org and they are there to preserve and protect the historical record of AZ music...

You should contact them and donate any historical tapes you may have.

See there website at:

The Archives Committee Chairperson is a fella named, Lowell Hollars


Jimmy said...

Excellent tips from Ron about addressing the tape speed problem. I don't know why I didn't think of that before, but Ron's words bear repeating: "ONCE IT IS DIGITIZED, you can do almost anything with it."
Transfer the tapes at the too-fast speed to a digital file and then just use the software to slow it down.

Mariah Fleming said...

The link to Lissa's photos is at I thought it was in my post. Thanks for your kind words on this and other subjects of late.