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Dated: Feb. 18, 2005

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Technological Advances

By Andy

"Essentially begin with as good quality an audio signal as you can manage ie. new stylus for records, clean your tape heads or whatever as the better the inital recording is the better your result. Try to have as few pieces of equipment and cableas between your source and your computer soundcard inputs as every piece of equipment will add noise. Try to have a sensible gain structure (ie there is no point boosting the signal at one place to have to it right back down on the inputs to your sound card as this will introduce extra hiss.)

There are many programs suitable for recording audio, two good (professional) examples being SoundForge & can use any but you should try and get a good signal going into your sound card that does not clip (digital clipping sounds unpleasant and unlike analogue clipping). Find out what recording frequency your desired output media uses and if your soundcard and program will support doing so, record at this frequency as it will save time later (CD's are all at 44.1kHz). Whether you record all your tracks separately or as one and chop them into individual tracks later is up to you, some programs will enable you to insert track start markers to able you to jump from track to track without doing this. I would recommend removing the silences from the start and end, and chopping them into Transfer LPs and Tapes to CDindividual named tracks. You should also normalise them (this effectively makes the tracks as loud as the can be) and if required, process to suitable frequency.

Most programs will have decent help files to help you achieve these tasks. Many programs also allow you to clean up hissy or scratched recordings (Dart does this, I believe that Wavelab and Soundforge can either do this or you can purchase plugins.) You may have to experiment a bit. Remember that the less processing you do to a file the better in general. Happy recording."

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