I am again not doing NaNoWriMo this year. My streak continues! Um, yay? But I think I will try the LJ post-a-day trick I’ve tried for the last few years, inspired by quickcasey and his doppelgänger quetico.

I started a new phase of the tape digitizing and archiving project I started in November of 2012. Originally I was working with tapes I recorded on my first four-track cassette recorder, a Fostex X-15 which I purchased in 1987, I think. So those tapes were recorded in the later 1980s and early 1990s, and were interesting artifacts, I guess I would say. I put a few of these tracks on my Soundcloud page as an experiment, and they’re still there, for better or worse.

Today I started working with tapes recorded on my second beast, a Tascam Portastudio 414. This one recorded tapes at double the regular speed of cassette players, 3 3/4 inches per second versus 1 7/8 inches per second. The faster speed gives better quality recording, but also renders the tapes unplayable on any other equipment but the Tascam. My goal now is to pipe the Tascam into my CD recording deck, do a quick-and-dirty mix, and commit this analog stuff to digital. I don’t expect to get anything immediately usable, since the recordings will fall into one of these categories:

  • Unfinished songs, including snippets of guitar licks that were cool but subsequently ignored;
  • Unauthorized cover songs that I was only having fun with;
  • Open mic performances recorded at Xhedos Cafe by jjfmi or perhaps even at Gotham City Cafe.

The likelihood of anything rising to the level of Bob Dylan’s basement tapes is vanishingly small if not negative. But I may recover a song or two that I can rework to make it useful again. I enjoy revisiting these and rediscovering the odd really cool bit I forgot.

It’s a project that needs to be done now if it ever does. The tapes are deteriorating and so is the machinery. So I’ll see what I get, and report on anything cool.

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About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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