While transferring some LP’s onto CD recently, I began to look back on how I dubbed my records onto tape around 30-odd years ago when I first started collecting records seriously as a hobby - the original thinking then was to have a copy, which, I could listen to wherever I was in the house, without having to carry a boxful of singles and a massive record player around as well as preserving the old vinyl.
Back then, all I had access to was one of the old Fidelity HF42 players and a shoebox-style cassette recorder with a built-in condenser microphone. This method was always problematical because not only did you need absolute silence to get half-decent recordings, but the microphone often picked up the noise coming from the recorder’s drive motor. In addition, some of the cheaper machines didn’t have a “pause” key. This meant that if you were recording singles, you had to rewind the tape to play the end of the previous track, stop it, then you held down the record button when you were ready to start the next track and pressed play to start recording again, hoping to eliminate the annoying “clunk“ caused by the microphone picking up the noise of the buttons disengaging when the stop button was pressed. Albums had their own problems - each side of an LP would normally last around 15-20 minutes, which meant that you had several minutes of blank tape remaining on a C-60 after the last track on the side. When you played the tape at a later stage you’d have to fast forward the tape for several minutes before turning over. (Although on the occasions that I had some singles by the same artist, I’d add a few B-sides and non-LP singles to pad things out.) C-90s were a better bet in this case, as you were able to put a complete album on each side - which was quite handy for double albums, but if each record in the set lasted over 22 minutes per side, it was best to resort to two C-60s, even if it meant having an extended run-off at the end of each side.
Since then, I’ve used various combinations to make up tapes such as record players and radio cassette recorders (connected with 5-pin DIN leads), music centres and midi systems, but the set-up I have now (including minidisc deck and audio CD recorder) is ideal for my requirements. And with the addition of a laptop to the system, my bedroom is more like an audio mastering suite these days. Mind you, I won't be moving into mp3s just yet...
- Mark Radbourne
- Cromer, Norfolk, United Kingdom
I'm a former hospital radio/club/mobile DJ, avid record collector and amateur musician (playing guitar, keyboards, recorder, harmonica and percussion.) I've even filled in on bass guitar for a couple of local bands as well (although that was quite a few years ago). Also interested in Motorsports, Wrestling/Mixed Martial Arts and Classic Television and Radio from the 1960s - 1980s.
Why am I on here? Well, I'm just trying to make some sense of life before it's too late...but who cares anyway?