Day 183

I am being driven slowly crazy

This is part of the process of converting vinyl albums to MP3s. The picture shows one of my headaches. Stick with me and I’ll get back to the picture.

 The nice thing about a blog post is that I can wax eloquent (or not) about anything that interests me, and not worry if it bores the pants off of anybody. Of course I wouldn’t especially care to see any of you with your pants off, except maybe the crazy lady in Oklahoma who blogs about rutabagas and follows my blog. OK, that’s a joke. As far as I know, there are no crazy ladies in Oklahoma who blog about rutabagas, at least none that follow my blog.

 Back to the conversion process. I’ll skip over the part where I play the recording on the USB turntable and the music is magically turned into an MP3 file and stored on my hard drive, because I still haven’t quite figured out how that magic happens, but take it from me that it does. What happens next is what can drive me crazy. I open each of the music files in a software package named Audacity, which a free program that can be downloaded to your PC or Mac. It allows you to see a digital image (as in the picture) and hear the sound. I use it mainly to remove record hiss, pops, clicks, and to work on other problems such as when the needle gets stuck and repeats passages over and over. Usually it is a simple process and the MP3 pleases me.

The MP3 doesn’t always please me. In tis photo, if you enlarge it, you see a portion of a sound file of a song taken from a Doc & Merle Watson album. I have run components of the software that cleans out the hiss and major pops and clicks. Then I played the sound file to listen for any problems the software might have missed. I heard some clicks that the software didn’t eliminate. My task is to find the clicks and delete them individually. In this picture I have heard a click and have narrowed it down to the shaded area of the visual display. The shaded area is about a second’s worth of sound. The click is hidden to me among the actual music visuals. Usually I can enlarge the shaded section even more and find the click visually, but not always. If the music is instrumental and has mandolins, banjos, guitars and/0r fiddles (yes, bluegrass) the click is very hard to find. In the case of this song, I still haven’t found it, and this is just one click out of about a dozen on this one track.

Some days it is not worth the effort of trying to find and eliminate the click. Tis is one of those days. Are you sufficiently bored. Are you still wearing your pants? Don’t send pictures, PLEASE!