Saturday, March 31, 2007

a new step forward

For those who only know me through the digital world, I am the proud caretaker of a large collection of 80's vinyl. I inherited it from my friend Pete Hoaken (who had inherited it from his older brother Rusty). When Pete was going through a downsize in his life, I happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was going to break Pete's heart to lose the collection but he couldn't keep it around. He had just gone through a real crappy time and I was at his apartment in Montreal so I became the steward of the collection, looking after it until the King returns again to reclaim his rightful place. Before the collection left the apartment, the scotch came out and many, many hours later, we had recorded two mixed tapes based on the vinyl - the Bitter Boys Collection #1 and #2.

Since that time, I have supplemented the collection with some more mainstream stuff (e.g. Michael Jackson's Thriller), some vinyl classics (Springsteen's Nebraska) and blues. I have thrown a number of vinyl parties where whoever shows up gets to DJ a couple of tunes so they can walk down memory lane. I have faithfully shepherded the collection through two moves in Ottawa, a move to Princeton and a number of way stations back here to Brampton. All in all, I feel like I've been a good steward.

Now, I've taken it to a new level. With the collection came an odd turntable - a Sony Direct Drive Automatic Stereo Turntable System PS-155. Odd because it has an amp built in and therefore doesn't need to be grounded or go through a special line in. Now, I've taken advantage of that little idiosyncricity and hooked the turn table up directly through the Line-in on my soundcard. I can't seem to get it to work well with my laptop despite a frustrating experience with a USB conversion tool, but with my desktop I'm on fire. With an open source program called Audacity I've been able to record most of the Bitter Boys. Next comes putting classics like Nebraska onto vinyl. After doing a little research, I discovered that much of the collection is out on CD but only about half seems available for down load. For instance, I couldn't find Midnight Oil's Beds Are Burning for download. Now I've got it in all it's vinylesque glory.

Requests being taken now.