I am back again – this time after a nine month or so pause. As always, I make no promises as to how frequently I will put up new postings and, if things become too busy, there may be another extended period between updates.
While Radio Dismuke is my top priority when it comes to vintage music projects, I do miss having an outlet through which to share the many incredible recordings I have managed to accumulate that are beyond the station’s 1920s & 1930s popular music and jazz scope. Of course, postings will continue to focus heavily on recordings that I have digitized for Radio Dismuke. But this blog is my opportunity to share 78 rpm era records from other genres and periods as well.
Because my posting schedule will be erratic at times, if you enjoy what you find here I do have a Twitter account through which I send out notifications of updates.
Hi, I’d like to know how you digitize your recordings? I too have a bunch of 78 rpm records, and I’d like to put them on my PC. Can you help with some ideas? Thank you, and love your blog / radio channel.
Hi Mike – For transferring the recordings I use a Souvenir VSP from KAB Audio http://kabusa.com It is a real time audio restoration machine. Once transferred I use audio restoration software. There are a few options in this area – I mostly use Diamond Cut DC7 http://www.diamondcut.com/store/index.php. What also helps is using custom styli which enables one to get above or below groove damage. You check with Kurt Nauck to see what he has available http://78rpm.com To what degree you want to spend money on the equipment and software depends on how many 78s you have and how often you want to listen to them. What I like about the Souvenir VSP is you can actually use it to LISTEN to the records in real time. Transferring and doing audio restoration on 78s is time consuming and labor intensive. The Souvenir VSP allows you to simply play records the old fashioned way – to listen – and brings back the approximately correct period equalization and removes perhaps 85 percent of the noise and clicks. If you have records you don’t listen to very often it is great for that purpose. I only digitize records that I either wish to include in Radio Dismuke or this blog or records that I know I will listen to a lot or want to listen to away from home or wish to share with friends. My collection is so large that there is now way I could digitize everything – so I don’t even try when it comes to records that I only occasionally listen to. Unless the ONLY use you will ever get out of your turntable is occasional transfers to digital, I recommend NOT getting one of those USB turntables that have become popular in recent years. Get a real turntable and simply use old fashioned audio cables and plug them into the appropriate jack in your computer’s soundcard. That gives you the option of using the turntable for regular listening purposes. Also important if you wish to transfer older 78 rpms is to invest in a turntable that has variable speed/pitch control beyond just the standard 33 45 and 78 speeds. Most records from the acoustic era (pre 1925) were recorded to be played at 80 rpm, not 78 – the exception was Victor which were intended to be played at 78. Also important is a turntable with a removable head shell – that enables you to acquire custom styli. Now, if the transfers are only a one time deal and you don’t have many to do one can even make do with a 33 and 45 only turntable – most audio software has the ability to allow you to record at the slower speed and then use the software to bring the file up to the correct speed. You can also do that if you already have a 78 turntable but do not have pitch control to bring a file recorded at 76 up to 80. Ultimately, it depends on your budget and how much you want to invest in it. Hope this helps.
I just found Radio Dismuke yesterday via a vintage music Facebook page. What an unbelievable find! Thank you so much for doing this. For fans of pre-swing-era music, it’s like we died and went straight to heaven!