From Ian Peterson on Compuserve:
Recorders are pretty pricey (about $200-500 for consumer level copiers), but I would
never recommend them if you want to clean up some old vinyl LPs. Their scratch and hiss
cleaning algorithms are very primitive compared to what is available as fairly
inexpensive PC software. I can warmly recommend the DC-ART (www.diamondcut.com) family
of software for cleaning up old recordings. Their apps range from $50-$1000 but all can
clean up old recordings much better than any hardware recorder. In fact the quality
that can be achieved with all versions is the same - it's mainly the speed with which
the results are achieved that differs with price.
For example, I have an original BBC recording on vinyl of "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan
Thomas with a young Richard Burton as "First Voice" - and what a voice! But the records
are very worn and crackly, and the recording, being live, varies alot in clarity. So I
cleaned it up with DC-ART and you wouldn't believe the difference. What was, in places,
barely audible and highly distorted, not to mention scratched and noisy, is now
eminently listenable and sounds like it was recorded, if not yesterday, then at least
It's also highly addictive - cleaning up old recordings.
All you need is a half decent sound card, DC-ART, and preferably a RIAA pre-amp
(approx. $50) to connect your turnable directly to the computer. You can connect your
amp's line-out to the computer but you lose some qualty that way.
And this in reply from Elyse Chapman:
Got this last week from the outfit where I've bought clamshell cases and DVD blanks.
Handy that it came right when this discussion started here!
Subject: How to Create CD-Rs for Cars and Portable Players
Here's the scoop on how to create CD-R discs that will have a "fighting
chance" to playback flawlessly in your portable and automobile CD players,
as well as your home CD stereo system and computer drives...
First, you need to realize that store-bought music CD-ROMs and your home
recorded CD-Rs are NOT the same kind of disc, even though they look very
much alike, and are playable in the same players.
HERE IS WHY:
Unlike store-bought music CD-ROM discs, your recordable CD-R discs have a
special layer that contains a chemical that responds to the heat generated
by a CD burner's laser. That's a very short (microsecond long) recording
laser blast. It passes up through the bottom, then bounces down off the top
silver reflector again almost instantly -- making the plastic even hotter
in that area. This heats up the plastic around the laser beam, and creates
a tiny bubble. When the disc is played back, the CD player shines a lower
powered laser beam up into the discs and scans it. The player's logic chip
decodes these little bubbles into beautiful music. This special bottom dye
layer's material must be very sensitive to the laser heat in order to
produce well defined bubbles for each and every tiny burst the laser makes.
By contrast, the CD-ROM discs you buy in music stores are MECHANICALLY
stamped like old-fashioned vinyl LPs used to be. They do NOT contain the
heat-sensitive layer like recordable CD-R discs do. Furthermore, since
they do not need to be responsive to a heat-generating laser burst like
CD-R discs, they use an inexpensive aluminum reflector on top, instead of
the much more expensive silver or gold used by recordable CD-R discs.
When you leave your CD-R discs in a hot auto interior or portable CD player
in the sun, the heat sensitive layer in the recordable disc responds to the
heat microscopically, softening the edges of the bubbles that encode your
music data. This process may continue over time, until the disc becomes no
If you store CD-R discs in the sun, this process is unfortunately
unavoidable. Any disc sensitive enough to a recording burners's laser to
get properly "burned" or recorded will also be sensitive enough to an
automobile's sun-heated interior to get ruined.
Due to the even MORE sensitive dyes used in high speed CD-Rs (those rated
24X and above), this problem can be even worse. And, most CD-Rs you buy
these days are 24X or faster rated, meaning that they are more sensitive
than ever to sitting in a sunlight automobile's "oven".
So, CD-ROM discs and CD-R discs are made differently. All CD-R discs will
be at least somewhat sensitive to heat and strong UV light, especially if
stored for long periods. The least sensitive disc we sell for heat exposure
would be the "silver/lt-green" type discs, which use a special
phthalocyanine recording layer dye, made to minimize environmental
stability problems. However, no type of CD-R can withstand long exposures
to extremely hot conditions such as the super-heated interiors of
automobiles sitting in the sun.
To see a page with all our recommended "fighting chance" products listed
for easy ordering, go to...
(1) Order CD-R discs featuring the "Improved" light green dye on the bottom
recording side. This is the phthalocyanine dye considered most stable and
least sensitive to environmental heat and UV light exposure factors. See
our Improved Silver CDRs at...
(2) Order the SLOWEST WRITE SPEED RATED CD-R discs that will meet your
minimum requirements from the available offerings. Those discs have a
tendency to be less heat sensitive. Remember that all discs will PLAY at
any speed once they are properly recorded. Our 16X, 24X and 32X are
preferred to minimize possible problems with heat and UV light.
(3) Be sure to use our "no-wobble" CD/DVD labels and apply them with the
new Avery Label Tool to make sure they are bubble free and centered
properly. This will minimize the possibility of playback errors when the
discs are spun at high speeds to today's fast new CD players. See the
"no-wobble" labels at...
(4) See Avery's "full face" type CD label applicator took kit at...
(5) Don't store CD-R discs in a closed up auto interior exposed to the sun,
(6) Also, when you have to leave them in the car at all, try to protect
them inside a well padded and insulated CD case with a zipper closure, and
NOT inside the in-dash or trunk-mounted CD player.
(7) Especially avoid leaving the CD-R discs in direct sunlight, such as on
the dashboard or on the seats. Under the seats is better.
(8) If possible, roll down a window above a half-inch on each side of the
car and use a windshield sun-shade to help lower the interior temperature.
That's our best advice... We hope this information helps you create CDs
strong enough to have a fighting chance in today's popular in-dash and
portable CD players, and that you will enjoy your CD-R discs for years to
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