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Didn't Think Ahead

Typing up pages in Notepad to put in the folders I'm putting the digitized sound files in, for use as an "Index" to the recordings, including the original program descriptions, "air" dates, etc.


Thinking it would have made things MUCH easier if I had written the original "air" dates on the cassettes themselves back in the day, instead of just a "copyright" year. As it stands, I have to look at the year on the tapes, and go through the appropriate 3x5 index card files, where I filed detailed descriptions of EVERY "Tape & Record Show Enterprises" program during the active years, and find the card to get the info from. Rather time consuming. 🗃

Then again, I had NO IDEA I'd be digitally converting audio cassettes to hard drives nearly 40 years later!


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Old Recording, Cheap Mics, and Questions

Since I have most of the earliest Randy Haney audio recordings digitized now, I've moved on to the earliest James Stricklin recordings. Just finished digitizing the first "James Stricklin Happy Hour" we did in 1982. Most of it were James and I ad-libbing comedy skits based on TV shows. Even with "modern digital filtering" technology, that one still doesn't sound "great" quality wise. Still a bit bassy and muffled.

Then again, the "master tapes", which I didn't use since they aren't the edited "broadcast" version, were on a VERY cheap "Alcon" branded cassette. The Tape & Record Show version was on a TDK D60 cassette. I was able to remove a good bit of tape hiss however, and boost the dynamics a bit though. Noisy CHEAP microphones were used at the time. A photo of the Radio Shack mics I think we used is below the post.

There are a few short segments with another of James' friends Ronnie Linder I think. He briefly mentioned something about James and "Audrey". Weirdly, it never crossed my mind listening/editing the show in the 80's (I wasn't there during those segments), but after listening for the first time in a few decades, I'm now asking, "Who the f*ck was 'Audrey'"??

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What a Load...

Don't you hate going to put laundry in the dryer only to discover the load is only half done because the washing machine load shifted?
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Yard Maintenance

Not feeling real "spry" today, but going to use the riding mower to do as much of the yard as possible, since there are increased rain chances tomorrow, and the weeds are getting ultra-tall.

The ditches in the front of the house have been needing something done about them for ages, they are almost like a jungle now, but I just wouldn't hold out to attempt to use the push mower, and the riding mower isn't capable of maneuvering them.

Unfortunately, can't afford to pay someone to do the yard.
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Not That Big A Difference

Maybe it's just my old eyes, but even though I have a 4K TV, a 4K Blu-ray player, and 4K capable streaming devices, I'm just not seeing a big enough difference in quality to warrant upgrading any of my older 2K Blu-ray discs. Can't see any difference in 2K/4K streaming either.

I CAN, however see a huge improvement between standard DVD and Blu-ray though.
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1982 Halloween Recordings

Just completed and now listening to the digitized and filtered MP3 version via the Sound Forge software of the 10/30/1982 Skatetown audio recording after changing the housing of the inner tape due to the major "technical difficulty" mentioned earlier. Sounds better than the version I made with Audacity, but there is NO way to clean up the distortion in the audio, being how it was originally recorded, with a monophonic Craig brand audio cassette recorder with an external Radio Shack dynamic microphone (used a AAA battery). Less hiss in the transfer however. Music in the rink was loud, so it was distorted. As a result, everyone had to talk loud into the mic, thus more distortion. Frankly, I'm amazed it sounded as "decent" as it did.
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Pressure Pad Failure

Figures.

Decided to "re-remaster" the old audio recording from Halloween 1982 my friends and I made at the West Monroe,Louisiana Skatetown, since I wasn't really happy with the job Audacity did with the "cleanup". The recording NEVER sounded "great", but I figured Sound Forge would do a better job, as it has with other recordings.

Took out the original "edited broadcast version" copy again. Think I just MIGHT have figured out the "squeak" issue from the Audacity attempt. First thing happened after I took the tape out of the case... pressure pad fell off! Guess the adhesive on the Radio Shack cassette finally decided to give up the ghost after nearly 40 years.

Unfortunately, I have no glue in the house at the moment. Also didn't think ahead before starting this massive digitization project of the old tapes to order a pressure pad replacement kit (yes, there IS such a product).

FORTUNATELY, however, I still had some unused blank cassettes bought in the 1990's, just before recordable CDs became a thing. I opened one of those, which had screws holding the housing together (which makes things significantly easier when dissecting a tape). I dissected the ancient Radio Shack tape (which I had to pry apart with a flathead screwdriver), removed the blank tape spool from the newer tape housing, and put the spool of the Skatetown recording into the new housing, which has an intact pressure pad.

I am currently in the process of re-transferring the old tape. The tape is already, before running filters, sounding better than it did in the earlier attempt.

Listening to this recording, can't help but remind me how freggin' ANNOYING that "nervous laugh" I had back then was!
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Another Project Finished

Tonight I digitized another show from the "Tape & Record Show" archives, episodes 5 and 6 of the short lived series we attempted called "TRS Latenight", original "fake broadcast dates" October 18 and 25,1985. In those two episodes, I interviewed Randy Haney.

Being I haven't listened to it in a little over three decades, it was like listening to it for the first time again. We talked about the origin of his Elvis Presley impersonations, the first recordings for Tape & Record Show Enterprises in 1981, old friends (apparently Don Owens went into the Army according to Randy, and went to either England or Yugoslavia), the time he attracted a huge crowd at West Monroe High School while singing Elvis songs to a couple of girls (and got sent to the principals office as a result), his "fight" with a guy at school who nearly knocked him out, the 1982 Halloween "Skatetown" recording, how he met his wife (at the time of the recording, NOT the "broadcast date", he was 31 days away from his wedding), and some "supernatural" stories (which I STILL have a difficult time believing).

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Another Tape Converted

Since one of the live podcasts I usually watch Monday evenings took the night off due to high heat in Canada, I used the time to digitally convert another old audio cassette my friends and I made in the 1980's, this time the second "Randy Haney Comedy Hour", originally "broadcast" Friday, November 25, 1983.

Randy and James Stricklin sing a few early 80's hits together, and some improvised skits, some FAR from being "politically correct" (thankfully at least most of us don't think that way anymore). One of the highlights is Randy reading a poem, "The roses have wilted, the violets are dead, sugar is lumpy, and so is my head", and as James and I were doing our "Hog Brothers" routine, and Randy was unresponsive for a while, James said "This ain't working out so good".

As for the order I'm transferring stuff, I've started with the earliest stuff, since they were recorded on the cheapest quality cassettes, like those that used to be sold in three-packs without hard cases. Also, I'm using second generation copies, the "broadcast versions", edited from the original master tapes at the time.

Even though I'm not currently using the ORIGINAL masters, but the edited copies I made back then, I'm still amazed at what the audio software I'm currently using can do. After applying the proper filters in conversion, the old recordings actually sound BETTER than the old tapes when hearing them in their original form. For every digital conversion, I'm making both a WAV and MP3 version, the latter in case the friends want an easily "condensed" copy at some point.

The cassette converted this evening...

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