Friday, September 30, 2011
I forgot to mention another big reason for why I started ripping old demos for this blog. Sure I’m disgusted that history is repeatedly getting flushed down the shitter, and yes my brief obsession with music blogs prompted me to create a film deconstructing hardcore punk within the confines of a memorable LSD trip, but ultimately the thrust of the demo portion of this project has been fueled by this smoking audio recorder I bought four years ago.
I bought this Edirol R4 professional grade 4 channel hard drive audio recorder with the intention of using it to make more films. Instead I’ve increasingly been making animated films which doesn’t require real time audio recording. As a result the R4 sat on the shelf for a long while and I started feeling guilty that I spent a couple hundred bucks for this neat little toy and was barely using it. The Edirol is my key to making moldy shit encrusted demos sound barely listenable as new mp3 files.
The process is fairly simple and not as time consuming as you might imagine. I pop the cassettes into my cassette deck which I somehow never got rid of, I send the cassette’s signal through my dj mixer which has an XLR out, and the mix goes direct into the Edirol. The DJ mixer includes a rudimentary three band EQ which has been enough so far to allow me to make a few adjustments to the quality of the signal before it hits the Edirol’s memory. Considering the source material a three band EQ is all I really need. And believe me some of these tapes really needed to be cleaned up. From there I import the clips through USB into my Mac computer and I make the edits using Garageband. I add no effects and no manipulation in Garageband aside from cutting the music into smaller mp3 files. After Garageband the clips get imported into itunes where I then convert to mp3. I try to keep the running time the same as the running time on the cassette although I noticed recently that itunes puts a little two second delay at the end of each file which is bullshit. Anyone know how to get rid of that?
During this “mastering” process I’m able to listen to the material usually three or more times which gives me enough ammunition to write my own recollections and observations. Which is something I neglected to do with the Pinball post. I started writing long before I heard the demo but it still turned out funny anyway. So fuck it.
The reason I bring this up is to share my process so other people with a similar interest of ripping Vegas past will approach it with a level of care that the material needs. DON’T GET ME WRONG. This stuff ain’t Steely Dan. Most doesn’t need a fine tooth comb to be ripped. Case in point, I was recently approached by a Michael Larson. He let me know that he has a stock pile of old KUNV recordings and he’s started a ripping project of his own. He sent me a link to his first foray into this rediscovered territory and I’ve posted the link below.
It’s great he’s taken the time to help archive these lost recordings and I hope my “mastering” advice will go to him with a grain of salt. This first recording is a marvel of old timey KUNV archeology. It’s a Local’s Only broadcast from Lunch With the PMRC featuring Zub Zub. (Ironically the other day my good friend Nate Robards sent me a cassette of a different Lunch w/ the PMRC broadcast which I’ll be sharing in the near future.)
It’s good to hear and it’s my hope that people who come here may download give it a listen. My main criticism of the recording is the faint nature of the sound. The gain needs to be turned way up on this recording. I’m unaware of how he does these rips but he may be unable to bring this recording volume any higher without including a pre-amp in the process to boost the signal. The DJ mixer I use acts as a pre-amp for my set up but I mostly use it for the EQ since I think the Edirol has a built in pre-amp. A stereo receiver can be used as a pre-amp as well. I also feel a little tightening up with the editing could be in order with this mp3 file. There are a few “dead air” gaps within the clip that make it a little hard to keep your attention. Again, I don’t know what equipment he’s using and this is his first attempt. Let’s hope there’ll be more.
I'm nitpicking. I'm sure you'll agree it’s a wonderful thing that Michael is willing to put time into sharing these treasures. The mp3 in question is one file that runs about 25-30 minutes in length. The technical problems inherent in this clip are things that make the recording appear more as a curiosity as opposed to something I might want to listen to more than once. That’s what I mean when I talk about the level of care needed to maintain the integrity of the music.
For these KUNV recordings maybe it is all about nostalgia? So fuck integrity. I personally don't mind seeing these broadcasts lumped into one file. That's how you would hear it on cassette. It just get's a little dicey when you want to hear one song out of the mix and you're not able to do it without manipulating it yourself. I'm glad it's getting out there anyway.
Whatever the case I'm thankful to Michael and hope he continues bringing us some more hits or shits as the case may be.
Here's the link: