Back to the future

Today, I took a giant step backwards: I bought a turntable! Why would I do that? Aren’t LPs obsolete?
So maybe its old new now that the vinyl record is not dead. In my case I finally have a good place for a turntable, so I have been running thru the racks at thrift stores and places that actually sell LPs to see what I can find. There are some gems out there, and some things I bought years ago that I would never let back in my house. The best thing, however, is that now I realize there are many great records that never made it to CD. For instance, there was an entire series of Time-Life magazine subscription only record sets. All these are three LPs, which also include 30-50 page books about the music in question. Time made these for all sorts of music, but what is most of interest to me are the jazz collections.
So far, I have picked up the Jack Teagarden and Pee Wee Russell sets, and they are really outstanding. There was so much work put into these, since many of the records, the 78s in particular, were quite rare even the 1970s when these LPs were put out. There are performances that I don’t believe are available anywhere else at all.
Now of course I am hooked, and while its great to play records at home, I also want to listen to this stuff at work. To do this, I need to be able to transfer the LPs to a computer. This isn’t that hard, but what is hard is that I don’t want to take the turntable out of the stereo cabinet, since that would be painful every time I wanted to copy a record.
Craigs list of course comes to the rescue: I find a great, vintage Kenwood turntable, probably 10 times better than the one I have owned forever, and snatch it up. In fact, its so good that I end up taking the time to put it into my stereo cabinet (yes, I am fickle!) and now have my old table set up to record into the computer, Remember, if you want to do this you will need to have some sort of pre-amp to place between the computer and the turntable to boost the signal enough to record it.
After that, you can simply use the freeware audacity software to record the LPs. You can do noise reduction, mp3 tagging, pretty much anything you want with audacity. Then, if you are me, you can get all this great music to listen to at work, so you hopefully won’t go so crazy from working so much.

-dana

 

 

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