Who Cares? – Music

A Blog by Mick Anger #4

Music

Today I am thinking about music, mostly, with a minor in gear.

I have been a music lover since my father inculcated it in me when I was young. He never pushed me in any direction in particular, at first he taught me by example. He enjoyed music very much and listened often to his console stereo and various radios. He was a traveling salesman and spent a lot of time in the car. In the 50’s and 60’s the radio was the only real option for most people.

I’m certain I will return to this in future installments, but today I’m concentrating on a new, long term project, digitizing my LP’s.

I’ve held onto my vinyl ever since I went digital back in the early 80’s. I admit I’m pretty close to being a hoarder when it comes to letting go of anything even marginally useful, but I love my records for any number of reasons beside the obvious one, the music.

I also confess to being an amateur audiophile, I love the sound that can come from a decent system, no matter the cost, high or low. I am not a strict believer in the more expensive is always better school.

I am however a member of the “there can always be improvement with upgrades” group, to a point.

This has lead to my recent acquisition of several doo-dads necessary for the transfer and playback of the digital files.

It started innocently enough with the acquisition of a new DAC for the interface between computer and sound system. I bought a portable unit from a Chinese website that had good specs for the reasonable price of about a hundred bucks. It is called the “ Topping TP-D1 MKII MK2 USB sound card CS4398 USB decoder External For PC& laptop” and I got it here:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110800207021&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:HK:3160

It sounds great and works without hassle with my 2009 MacBook Pro. interfacing with my main system in the living room.

I am using Amadeus Lite to record from my old turntable to the iMac that is my main computer rig. I had to buy a preamp for the turntable as the cartridge is low powered and neede a boost. I found one on Amazon, “ART DJPRE II Phono Preamplifier Dual RCA Type Inputs and Outputs Switchable Low Cut Filter”

It was only about $40 and did the trick, boosting the level and sounding fine. I love low priced gear that punches above its price point.

I am digitizing at 96khz 24bits and using Decibel for playback from the macbook. The vinyl sound is addictingly rich and detailed, I can’t wait to hear how things sound each day as I complete new transfers. I’m discovering these records all over again. What a gas! Talk about cheap thrills!

Today I’ve selected a couple of Talking Heads albums. I like their music fine, even a lot, but I have problems with David Byrne due to an incident at a live show back in 1982 at the Olympic stadium in Montreal. I was directing video for the Police on the Synchronicity tour and the Talking Heads were on the show as one of the opening acts. During the day a request came from David Byrne to the management for them to let him use the video gear for their show. This was in the very earliest days of video projection at Rock shows and the Police management was reluctant to let them use their biggest production gimmick before they went on stage and refused them the use of the video system.

Then, during the Talking Heads set we got word that the were fucking around with our equipment. When I got to the stage I saw that Byrne was trying to pull one of our cameras up onto the stage so he could fuck around with it like a little spoiled kid. I got on the camera platform and had to pull the camera back out of his hands and back onto the riser. Luckily nothing was harmed and our show was not affected. But wow, what a spoiled brat he was!

Anyway, I still want to hear “Psycho Killer” on vinyl again!

What do you think? Tell me in the comments.

 

© 2012 Mick Anger – All Rights Reserved

Advertisements