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Digitizing Rare Vinyl

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the quarter-taped-to-the-tone-arm dept.

Music 397

eldavojohn writes "While the RIAA is busy changing its image to a snake eating its own tail, one man is busy digitizing out-of-print 78s. 'There's a whole world of music that you don't hear anymore, and it's on 78 RPM records,' he stated to Wired. Right now, you can find about 4,000 MP3s on his site, with no digital noise reduction implemented yet."

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397 comments

Firsssssssst Posssssssst (5, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578141)

Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (5, Funny)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578165)

Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

Is that before or after they yell at him for not storing as .wav or .flac?

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (5, Insightful)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578307)

He's archiving as wavs, and simply making available the mp3s. I wouldn't want to host those wavs, do you?

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (3, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578703)

No, but I sure would be grateful if he'd post them in a format not controlled by a patent troll.

Ogg Vorbis would be fine, and he'd have the benefit of smaller files for the same quality.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578775)

wget http://78records.cdbpdx.com/ -O 78records.html
wget -i 78records.html -F
rm *html *mdb
foreach song (*.mp3)
ffmpeg -i "$song" "${song}.ogg"
end

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (5, Insightful)

Ziest (143204) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578793)

Why doesn't he contact archive.org. Archiving old material is their mission. I know they have the storage space and the bandwidth to handle it. Besides, I want to be able to torrent all the wav files. ; -)

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (1)

NI4NI (167096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578817)

Torrent please?

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (2, Insightful)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578827)

Not just MP3s, but 128 kbps MP3s. I know the guy means well, but there are plenty of other audiophiles doing the same thing, but they're ripping at 320 or using FLAC and putting the results on bit torrent.

CDDB (4, Funny)

CranberryKing (776846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578847)

You mean he doesn't have the CDDB plugin for his KLH turntable? Seriously, none of the files have any ID3 tags. He's also using an ACCESS database. I think the archive gods are displeased with this one.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (5, Funny)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578171)

Cue the purists saying: "But it is supposed to have hiss. That's part of its character."

So you're saying they'd throw a hissy fit?

The alternative is nothing. (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578195)

Since the main purpose is for historical archiving, I hope they keep the original hissy digitizing even if they also do DSP.

I was going to make a hissstorical pun but that's pointless.

Re:The alternative is nothing. (3, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578321)

I was going to make a hissstorical pun but that's pointless.

Pointless perhaps, but hissterical nonetheless.

Re:The alternative is nothing. (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578835)

I have tons of MP3s that were ripped from vinyl, and they don't have any hiss. They do have an occasional pop, but that's it -- they sound great.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (2, Funny)

NothingMore (943591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578209)

Purest wouldn't know, they wouldn't listen to it in the first place because its an MP3. There moto is if it isn't FLAC or better, it isn't worth listening to.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578261)

You know what gives those 78s "real" character? Playing them with a diamond needle instead of a steel point.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578745)

That was pretty brilliant of the record companies, though, don't you think? Make the medium out of nice, soft vinyl, and make the worthless, replaceable needle out of the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale.

Brilliant, that is, if you want to maximize the rate at which the media wear out.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578281)

THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME

Capture all aspects Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (3, Interesting)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578333)

Then the purists should invent a way to digitally record all of the information. All the 3D characteristics of the record.

Re:Capture all aspects Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578741)

Bright light, two PNGs, cross eyes, sing it.

Re:Firsssssssst Posssssssst (1, Redundant)

dwater (72834) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578605)

IINM, hiss was tape. Crackles and pops (ie from dust) was the 'warmth' attributable to vinyl.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578153)

LAinhart thy leet haxor :-p

So who's going to stop this guy first? (3, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578161)

Slashdot (good ol' Slashdot effect), or the RIAA?

I hope this guy plans on making a torrent with his stuff :-)

Re:So who's going to stop this guy first? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578443)

smelly cat turds have driven me to pusillanimie!!!!!!!!!

Re:So who's going to stop this guy first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578661)

He already survived the reddit affect a few weeks ago, so /. won't be much more of a challenge :)

Re:So who's going to stop this guy first? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578855)

I'm pretty impressed the site is up. It must be serving quite a bit of bandwidth at this point. Not bad hosting selection for a guy who's every link is the "click here" variety (turns out that Yahoo is doing the hosting). Also, somewhere on there he mentions being on dialup -- that's pretty impressive uploading all that material over a phone line.

Digitizing rare vinyl (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578179)

Here is how NOT [youtube.com] to digitize 33's

Re:Digitizing rare vinyl (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578707)

I was expecting someone putting a record into a flatbed scanner, but I suppose the ol' 45-at-LP has merit as well.

Freakin' AWESOME!! (1)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578181)

That's really about all I can say. Oh, and his studio looks way cool!!

Re:Freakin' AWESOME!! (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578601)

The early bird gets the worm^Wspiral groove.

Other archival projects (5, Funny)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578189)

The Library of Congress has an archival project:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1216161 [npr.org]

This is going the other way - from digital to 78's. Shellac 78's appear to be the best archival format.

Re:Other archival projects (0, Troll)

hkz (1266066) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578331)

Hey, I'll only believe this if we get the OMG Ponies theme to go with it!

Re:Other archival projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578397)

You know that's an April Fools joke, right?

Re:Other archival projects (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578813)

Get the Slashdotter plugin for Firefox and you can have OMG Ponies!!! whenever you want!

Re:Other archival projects (1)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578637)

Until you drop one.

Re:Other archival projects (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578731)

Man I remember a TV bloopers show, where there's a old guy with a slight case of the shakes, with obviously a highly-prized possession, a very old ceramic tube that had a musical recording on it. He was talking to an announcer about how fragile it was, and his hand shakes a bit, and just crushes it. The look on his face as the pieces of broken ceramic hit the floor.

Re:Other archival projects (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578841)

Do you mean this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiBpuGY6lQs [youtube.com]

(I'm not a Perillo fan so, well, I particularly enjoyed watching his show plummet.)

Re:Other archival projects (1)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578821)

The best archival format, broad distribution.

Fucking Awesome! (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578207)

Victor Borge is one of those performers that just seems timeless, always good.

I've been debating whether to use digital filtering for noise/scratches when I record my vinyl collection. It's kind of nice to hear it again. I've bookmarked that page! Awesome!

Re:Fucking Awesome! (2, Insightful)

BlueCollarCamel (884092) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578721)

You could always store the raw audio in FLAC, and then use digital filtering when you convert to MP3.

why digitize vinyl? (0)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578223)

i just can't understand why anyone would do this if the same audio is available in a digital format. i can understand doing it for ease of use and portability, but i think it actually ruins the recording (and the new digital version will collect dust, proverbially).

bottom line: what is acceptable and even expected from analog must not be present in digital, it's a different set of standards.

Re:why digitize vinyl? (5, Insightful)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578309)

The same music isn't there in CD or MP3. That's the whole point. This stuff is out of print, never been released in CD. It's the in summary for god's sake! "There's a whole world of music that you don't hear anymore, and it's on 78 RPM records".

And before something about noise reduction pops up. Noise reduction takes time. He rather put the mp3s up first. Notice the 'yet'. If you really want a song to be cleaner, clean it up yourself and then send the mp3 back to him.

Re:why digitize vinyl? (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578567)

The same music isn't there in CD or MP3. That's the whole point. This stuff is out of print, never been released in CD. It's the in summary for god's sake!

Well, that isn't exactly what the summary says. The summary says the 78s are out of print, which is no surprise because 78s aren't produced anymore. There's definitely a ton of music on there that is available commercialy in modern formats. For instance, he has "Caravan," by Duke Ellington. That's an extremely famous jazz tune, and I can't imagine there's ever a time when you couldn't buy a commercial recording of it. You can buy it right now on Amazon in mp3 format [amazon.com] for 99 cents, or on a CD reissue [amazon.com] . I don't know if it's exactly the same performance or not.

The Wired article also has a discussion of the copyright status of these songs, which basically amounts to, "nobody's sued him so far." I guarantee you that the composition of Caravan [wikipedia.org] , for instance, is still in copyright -- Tizol and Ellington wrote it in 1936, so the only way it would have passed into the public domain would have been if the copyright owner had failed to renew it -- but it was a valuable commercial property (still is), and I'm sure they did renew it. (Nothing from after 1922 has expired in the US except by failure to do the renewal that used to be required.) I don't know about the copyright on the sound recording (is the duration different?), but I'd guess it's still also in copyright.

If copyright law in the US was sane, a composition from 1936 would be in the public domain, but that doesn't change the fact that the law is not sane, it is what it is, and these recordings are not all out of print or out of copyright.

Re:why digitize vinyl? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578645)

It's ABANDONWARE!!!1! Once they stop printing it, there is no copyright left on it, PERIOD!!! PERIOD!!!! That's what copyright means, once you stop COPYING it (read: SELLING IT), then you lose the RIGHTS to it. PERIOD!!!! This is perfect capitalism at work, just like mining coal and making steel. A = A baby. Period! If you don't mine the coal, SOMEBODY ELSE WILL!!! PERIOD!!!!!1 You fake wannabe slash-lawyers really need to learn something about the law before you go all blabbity blab about copyright. I'm not a lawyer, but at least I've heard of ABANDONWARE. Period.

Re:why digitize vinyl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578679)

How old are you, like 14?

Re:why digitize vinyl? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578697)

1) Abandonware is not a legally sound concept, and that defense won't hold up in court. (Though it may lessen damages since it'd be harder to establish actual ones. That said, the main killer in copyright law is statutory damages, and this wouldn't less that.)

I'm not a lawyer either, but at least I've read a good portion of the 1976 copyright act, and there's nothing in it for abandoned work.

2) Your parent's point is largely that some stuff -- like the Caravan song he mentions -- are not abandonware.

Re:why digitize vinyl? (5, Interesting)

pixel.jonah (182967) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578791)

Sadly you're right - US copyright law is messed up.

From: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/copyright.php [ucsb.edu]
"Sound recordings were not eligible for federal copyright protection until 1972 and recordings made prior to this date are only protected by state and common-law copyright. All Edison cylinders are presumed to be in the public domain as the assets of Edison Records were transferred to the National Park Service, a federal agency. Other American sound recordings made prior 1972 may or may not be protected by state laws or common-law copyright. Foreign cylinders are all public domain in the country of production and are also presumed to be in the public domain in the United States.

The nature of the various state laws and differing interpretations of these laws in state courts means that the legal status of many early recordings is unclear. The passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 reiterated that all recordings made prior to February 15, 1972 are only eligible for protection under state laws until February 15, 2067, when federal law preempts state law and they enter the public domain. While the Sonny Bono law was intended primarily to extend the copyright protection to the soon-to-expire copyrights of multinational corporations and heirs to songwriters, in effect it meant that all early recordings, no matter what their commercial potential, historical importance, or availability as reissues (with the exception of Edison Recordings) may be protected for well over 150 years after their creation. This is in stark contrast to the original copyright law passed in 1790 which granted a 14-year term of copyright (renewable for another 14 years) or the copyright law in effect for other types of publications when these cylinders were recorded which granted a copyright or 28 years, renewable for another 14 year (28 years after 1909). Not a single person who composed a song recorded on these cylinders or sang into the recording horn is alive today, which suggests that the original intent of copyright to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" has been completely usurped by the Sonny Bono law."

This happens to be another incredible collection of old recordings: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/ [ucsb.edu]

poor server (2, Informative)

eyeareque (454991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578235)

Someone should download the entire site and post it on bit torrent... then email this guy so he can put the bit torrent link on his site.

I feel bad for his poor server.. its about to get quite a few hits since this is now on slashdot.

Re:poor server (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578319)

Particularly as undead lawyers for the artists will now attack him, like in The Fog.

Re:poor server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578329)

WORKING ON IT. Expect it to be up when I finish downloading 4,000 MP3s at 384 KB/s.

Re:poor server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578781)

How fast would that be in Library of Congresses?

Re:poor server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578361)

someone should make him bittorrent a flac version of this as well.

Re:poor server (3, Insightful)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578569)

Make him? Err... You should *thank* him. Really, WTF?

Maybe, you know, ask NICELY or something. But "make him?"

Anyhow, I was looking and hoping I'd find some Leadbelly. There are a few rare cuts that I don't have yet. In the meantime I'll enjoy what he's got going on though.

Make him? (I still can't get over that people would actually think that way.)

Dang That's COOL! (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578255)

...and all of Dad's 78's are still safely tucked away...

78's, 16's... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578297)

For all you whippersnappers who don't remember records: not only were there 78 RPM records, and of course the 33 1/3 and 45's you are aware of, but they also used to make 16's (technically 16 2/3 RPM). I used to own one record in that format (long since lost to the grue in the attic). It was just speech, not music; I think they didn't typically use that speed for music because of fidelity limitations of 16 RPM.

I made the mistake of getting rid of my (admittedly modest) vinyl collection in the 80's when CD's were the up and coming thing. Sorta wish I hadn't, now. I'm not one of the people who think vinyl has superior sound, but it did have a certain charm.

Re:78's, 16's... (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578479)

Dead people shouldn't be talking - it's quite rude.

Re:78's, 16's... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578595)

Dead people shouldn't be talking - it's quite rude.

So is walking on graves, now get off my lawn!

Re:78's, 16's... (2, Informative)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578519)

I was talking to a stereo repair guy in San Diego when a woman brought in an old record player, which happened to have the 16RPM speed available on it. He said that those records were pretty much just used for speech due to the low speed, and were mostly religious sermons recorded by preachers and sent out to their "flock" in the 1950's. (Presumably they switched to tape once that became common and affordable.)

Re:78's, 16's... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578565)

do you have such a stick up your ass that you have a problem with the term "flock"?
 
you guys are really getting out of hand with your hatred for religion. why not point that anger towards other drains on society like faggots or welfare recipients? oh that's right, it's because they're your only supporters.

Digitizing vinyl (4, Insightful)

Announcer (816755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578301)

In my many years in Radio, I've digitized a considerable amount of music from LP's and 45's. In most cases, I could get moderately scratchy cuts to sound almost new. The transformation is pretty impressive, to say the least! However, I wouldn't even THINK of compressing it to MP3 until AFTER I had run it through an audio clean-up utility, like Cool Edit or Audacity.

I wonder how badly the MP3 compression affects the music with all of that hiss and crackle taking-up so much bandwidth? Also, how much would the compression artifacts affect the ability of the clean-up utility to do its job?

I think it is a laudable thing to preserve some of this priceless music! Kudos!

Re:Digitizing vinyl (1, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578353)

Is there any good documentation on how to remove noise using Audacity?

Re:Digitizing vinyl (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578839)

Note to mods : this is not bloody offtopic.

On the question, there are built-in "noise removal" and "click removal" effects available in audacity, though I have not used them, so I'm not sure how effective they are.

Re:Digitizing vinyl (0, Redundant)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578355)

I wonder how badly the MP3 compression affects the music with all of that hiss and crackle taking-up so much bandwidth? Also, how much would the compression artifacts affect the ability of the clean-up utility to do its job?

Agreed. It seems to be fairly bad, since the mp3s I downloaded were 128kpbs, which doesn't leave very much extra data there.

He should have recorded them to FLAC, and created the mp3s to put on the website, so that he would have a lossless original version.

He has WAVs on DVD for backup (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578377)

DOH, I was wrong.
Please mod parent(me) down.

He has WAV versions of the songs, and created the 128kbps mp3s for the website.

He could use FLAC to reduce the amount of storage that takes up, though.

Re:Digitizing vinyl (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578691)

Having some insight in how audio restoration works it might prove to be a big mistake to data-reduce the material first and trying to dehiss, decrackle and denoise it afterwards. Most professional (commercial) audio restoration software works by analysing the waveform and detecting phase breaks. Unfortunately this information isn't left intact by psychoacoustical data reduction algorithms, so any lossy codec will make it hard to impossible to restore the audio. Only FLAC (or another lossless codec) would preserve the option to process the audio later for final archival.

sovmusic.ru (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578343)

A Russian has been up to this since the mid-90s, digitizing old Soviet LPs (1930s on up) and putting them on his site (http://www.sovmusic.ru/english/ [sovmusic.ru] ) for free.

It's a very extensive collection, and is worth a look, regardless of what you think about Russia's past or current behavior.

torrent plz (1)

signingis (158683) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578351)

:D

Surprising! (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578363)

What an unlikely place to find cover of a video game theme [cdbpdx.com] ...

Re:Surprising! (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578431)

If I recall, it's the original. I haven't played Fallout 2 in ages, but I still have the CD....

Re:Surprising! (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578439)

Bah, it's not the Louis Armstrong version. Here's what you need [cdbpdx.com] , brings back memories of my younger days, playing Fallout/Fallout 2.

Re:Surprising! (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578455)

Well yeah, that's why I jokingly referred to it as a "cover."

Re:Surprising! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578739)

Well, people today, especially video game players, are ignorant enough that someone might not get the "joke". After all, everything that's worth existing was created a maximum of 5 years ago, everything else is "crap".

Re:Surprising! (1)

GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578761)

I didn't get the joke. Anything newer than 15 years is crap. It was all down hill after it took more than whacking the space bar to shoot things in Oregon Trail. Now get off my lawn.

Re:Surprising! (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578789)

Well, people today, especially video game players, are ignorant enough that someone might not get the "joke".

Could just be that it wasn't very funny, or immediately obvious?

After all, everything that's worth existing was created a maximum of 5 years ago, everything else is "crap".

I think the Louis Armstrong version is a lot older than five years. Yours is the quintessential 'get off my lawn!' post.

Of course, whilst I defer to the authority of your relatively low id, I personally just prefer the Louis Armstrong version of that song (having listened to both). :-)

Most 78's are NOT VINYL (4, Informative)

shoppa (464619) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578371)

Most 78's (there are exceptions, including the very famous and historically important V-discs) are not vinyl.

They are shellac, or rather a mixture of shellac, wax, slate, and a cotton or paper filler.

I personally believe that the decline of the music industry is directly related to the replacement of shellac with vinyl, and that the RIAA must remedy this decline immediately.

Re:Most 78's are NOT VINYL (3, Informative)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578475)

The paper filler was useful in some cases - it kept the record from falling apart, so it would still play (albeit extra-noisily) if cracked.

There was a spectrum of record pressing quality back then, too. I have some Billy Holiday records on Columbia that are nearly unplayable due to surface noise, yet many other records sound very clean.

Some later 78s were pressed with vinyl, such as Elvis stuff. It sounds very good.

Wax not vinyl (2, Informative)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578375)

78s were not made of vinyl. The substance was much closer to wax, FYI.

Simply (1)

redcaboodle (622288) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578457)

DownThemAll A list of links - how very convenient.

why won't you stop the madness? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578459)

homosexuals are eying up your children. can you let their scourge continue unchecked?

For even more older stuff (1)

eyrieowl (881195) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578503)

check out the Cylinder Preservation Project: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/ [ucsb.edu]

i got a bunch of stuff from there quite a while back. it's not exactly hi fi...but it's extremely interesting (if you're into the history of music sort of thing). probably even more than these 78s, though, you have to be aware that turn of the 20th century popular entertainment was often quite racist and bigoted. it's not all like that, but it's a definite presence in the collection.

Be careful and use piezo cells, not magnetic ones (4, Interesting)

franois-do (547649) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578509)

I would like to warn all people wanting to digitize 78rpm records : the sound you get using a magnetic cell, especially stereo or mono ones posterior to the invention of "universal engraving" (around 1965 ?), you will get a hissing and unpleasant sound, and poor restitution.

Surprisingly, if you use a piezo, heavy cell (not suitable to read stereo records), you will get a much better sound, and almost no hiss. I got very good results at a time from a Dual 1010 turnable, unfortunately out of order now :-( I also have some Jack Hylton songs that do not seem to be present on his Internet tribute site (Bogey wail, Sarita...), for whoever is interested. I guess they are legally in the public domain now, as all of them date from before WW2.

Re:Be careful and use piezo cells, not magnetic on (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578533)

I use an old Garrard Model RC 121 Mark II turntable, most likely from the early 1950's

So, uh, he did it right then :)

Yeah, I know, I RTFA, so sue me.

Re:Be careful and use piezo cells, not magnetic on (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578727)

It is not the cartridge itself that matters. The shape of the needle changed from the 78 size to a smaller one for the microgroove recordings. (33 + 1/3 and 45 ) The smaller radius on the end of the later needles means that it will be riding on the bottom of the groove instead of on the two sides ( at 45 degrees). Back in the day (fifties and sixties)the cartridge often had both types and could be turned over to select the correct one.

Of course for best fidelity the single use steel needle is preferred....:) I still have a wind up gramophone of maybe twenties or thirties vintage that uses these. No amplification, no electricity.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578537)

Is it legal to download this stuff?

Re:Anonymous Coward (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578833)

Yes it is legal to download anything you want on the Internet without the RIAA suing you over it, Here's your sign! [wikipedia.org] :)

If you have to ask if it is legal to download songs that were ripped from old 78s without the permission of the company that holds the copyright on the song, chances are you might need a sign that says "stupid". :)

troLl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578611)

me if you'd like, bu7 now the7're and other party

i just posted this link 3 days ago (5, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578631)

in the thread on the tragedy of the anticommons, but it seems even more relevant to this topic

on the subject of intellectual property and the rare souls reviving old media through blood sweat and tears [aintitcool.com] , the filmmaker vincent gallo [imdb.com] said this four years ago:

Capone: The songs selections here are inspired at times. I really liked the Gordon Lightfoot song "Beautiful."

V.G.: Thank you. The amount of time I spent choosing the music of the film would be unbelievable to you. The funny thing is, when it's not right, you spend all your time playing songs for people saying, "What do you think of this one? How about this one? How about this one?" You're dying, when you're on that level. When you hit it, it's so obvious and you immediately get a desperate feeling that says, "How am I going to get the rights? Are they going to fuck me on the rights to this song?" And guess who are the worst people in the movie business. The licensing people. They are most miserable, mean, selfish, insensitive, regressive, unproductive on the planet earth. You don't know what it's like to feel so strong about something and not have a budget to make that go away. It's not like I was looking to get some Paul McCartney song for my movie; I'm talking about esoteric music. Some of the music in the film didn't even exist, I had to rebuild the original master tapes that had decomposed. I had to re-bake the tape stock, the emulsion on the tape had peeling off. I'm the only person in the world who would salvage this particular recording because I had an original three-track machine and I knew how to bake that type of Ampex tape. The tape would have disappeared in two more years, and it's highly spliced. Then to be ballbusted for a year and a half on the licensing on that music. We talk about how long it took for me to get the film out after Cannes was because the film wasn't ready due to negative problems. I wanted to use this technique to blow up the negative in a new way. That's why I waited so long to finish the film. But it turns out that I would have had to wait seven, eight months anyway was the releases for the music. If you were dealing with the musician directly, you wouldn't have these problems. It's the people representing these artists that kill the process. I realize if you want to use the Beatles song "Revolution" to sell eyeglasses, I understand the exploitation of that. I understand that I'm using culturally significant relics to manipulate people into attaching those to my product. But if I'm using a rare piece of music by and unknown artist, not to brag, but the people whose music I use in my films sell way more records than they were selling before they were in my film. Proof of it is, the Italian artist who did this one jazz piece in my movie had sold 600 copies worldwide before my movie. Before my film was released just on the announcement that they were included people tracked down the music, and they sold something like 6,000 more copies. Why you're treated like you're exploiting this music makes no sense. If they're going to make a tough deal for you, just be up front about it. But this sort of, "We don't have time for you. What do you want?" stringing along is nonsense. And I'm the producer on THE BROWN BUNNY. I didn't have a music supervisor. I did the licensing for BUFFALO 66 and THE BROWN BUNNY. And of all my memories of making the film, that's my most painful memories.

bottom line: revive old media, bring renewed attention AND SALES to a long forgotten artist and piece of music, and expect the corporate intellectual property assholes to punish you for effort

thats the state of intellectual property today

Why is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578653)

This just isn't Slahdot front page news worthy. People have been digitizing LPs for a long time. And this guy doesn't even have a very good setup for doing so. Could he have possibly picked any worse combination of software to perform this process?

Yes, many of us a well aware that there is old music out there that is no longer in print and cannot be purchase on CD or in MP3. You don't even have to go back as far as 78s, I have plenty of 33 1/3 stereo records with kick ass tunes that you just cannot buy any more. But that's not news.

If we are going to have a news article about how to digitize LPs, can we at least get it from someone who knows what they are doing and has some actual useful advice to offer? And a decent setup?

I'm sure this guy is having fun traveling down memory lane and listening to all his old 78s. And that's cool, nothing wrong with that. I just don't see where it's valuable news to the rest of us...

Mel Blanc??? Good stuff (2, Informative)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578659)

He's doin' Yosemite Sam!!

ac noise hell (0)

heroine (1220) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578669)

That home recording studio captured more AC noise than music in the Rachmaninoff transfers. U need better monitoring speakers.

If there's one, then there's hundreds... (1)

Fireye (415617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578677)

This guy certainly isn't alone. My father has taken it upon himself to archive, catalog, and digitally store thousands of long out of print Folk Music LPs from Eastern Europe. These records are outside of the scope of the Library of Congress (as they were mostly recorded/printed outside of the US), and are some of the few ways to have (mostly) accurate records of a rapidly vanishing folk music tradition.

Not a bad way to spend your retirement, hmm?

No wonder it isn't being slashdotted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578699)

This is a Yahoo webhosted page. I'm getting 999 errors... I wonder if I'll get banned for mass downloading from Yahoo.

ACETATE! ACETATE! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24578711)

I spent 20 years convincing people to save the acetate (pre-vinyl) records before I gave up, and now there is finally a cheap enough technology to be used by the common person to save them in the full spectrum (better than vinyl?)...

SAVE THEM!! PLEASE SAVE THEM!

Removing hiss and pops (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578719)

As a suggestion, how about digitizing the songs several times and then using the redundant data to recreate the originals with no hiss or pop.

As I understand it, pop is sometimes caused by buildup and sudden release of static electricity. This means that the pops will be in different places for different digitizations and can therefore be recognized and accounted for. Scratches, on the other hand...

Hiss is stochastic noise and would average out over several recordings.

It should be straightforward to use a correlation coefficient correction to bring all the recordings into "phase", then use a processing algorithm to remove most of the artifacts.

The artifacts that remain can be removed using techniques more suited to single-images; ie - filtering to remove hiss and pop.

Danny Thomas, Marlo's dad (1)

alfredo (18243) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578729)

I never thought of him singing Arabic Folk Songs.

Great site.

And don't forget... (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578733)

the all important archive.org. There is a section for audio files of old audio cylinders and 78 records. [archive.org] If you have any that are now in the public domain, please digitize and upload for the rest of us :-)

Re:And don't forget... (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578843)

They have a really good one by Eugen Sandow discussing the death of Colonel Lloyd Venture.

Some of it isn't politcally correct (3, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578803)

some of the song lyrics are racist and at least one of them is x-rated and people have to request it.

The early 20th century had a lot of raw, dry, dark, and offensive humor in their songs. People who didn't grow up during those days will find it horribly offensive, esp during the WWII anti-Japanese years or during when segregation was still a law and songs mocked African-Americans.

Just a warning for people who are easily offended, some of these songs might offend them. So do us all a big favor if you are one of them and don't listen to those songs. Monty Python had a similar warning on their show for the same reasons.

This is pretty awesome.. (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24578811)

Some great music there! Already found a few Blue Bird Glenn Miller recordings I've never even seen before (old timey big band jazz ftw).

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