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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Click here for a random Rebuilt Tranny post

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Hey, read first!

The following images are what your ears will see when listening to Chris & Cosey’s experimental masterpiece Trance. Play “Re-Education Through Labour” on the provided YouTube feed and ever so slowly scroll through the pictures. Make sure to use your headphones.

Juxtapose two images at a time as a pairing for the music. For example, how does seeing a googly-eyed Andy Griffith paired with a woman’s severed arms make you feel. Similarly, why did Mr. Griffith instruct a vulture to steal that darling child? Let your imagination run wild and take your time to extrapolate multiple ideas from each pairing and feel free to add or multiply inferences to the progression of photos on your way through the set.

Again, be sure to use your headphones, take your time, and really contemplate how the beat correlates to the animated gif’s visual tempo.

What does this all mean. Something? Nothing? Everything?

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>>>Click here to download Trance at 320kbps from vinyl

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Tracklist

A1 Cowboys In Cuba 5:36
A2 Lost 3:04
A3 The Giants Feet 6:22
A4 Impulse 2:23
B1 Re-Education Through Labour 7:07
B2 Secret 2:53
B3 Until 5:26
B4 The Gates Of Ancient Cities 4:28

Brazilian Music

The majority of this album is a genre of music called “axé”, which is a mixture of reggae, marcha, calypso, with a little bit of salsa. Axé hails from the city of Salvador in the Atlantic coastal state of Bahia in Brazil. You really only need to know one thing about Axé: it makes you feel like the guy on the lower left hand corner of the album’s cover.

"Deixe-nos dançar." Translation: "AWW HELL YEAH THIS IS MY JAM!"

Seriously, listen to any song on this album and try to sit still. No tapping the toes, no nodding the noggin, no flaring the nostrils. Complete and perfect stillness.

You can’t because it’s perfectly impossible to resist the Axé Effect. If you attempted a stationary position through Tânia Alves’ “Amor De Matar” your brain would end up boiling over through your ears and onto the the floor in a squishy puddle, upon which your roommate would perform the following dance maneuvers:

Yes, this album will make you shake your ass. Hard. I recommend inspecting any and all rivets that unite your badonk and pelvis before listening to Tempo De Bahia. If you don’t your bum bum could wiggle off completely, bounce down the hall, through the front door, down to the Greyhound station, and on its way to picking up a gig as a roadie on the El Debarge comeback tour. Frightening, yes, but entirely plausible.

I can’t help but feel a bit worried that this album will cause all sorts of problems once released upon the sedentary people of the United States. Americans have never used the muscles exhibited in the first video. They know how to line dance and mosh. If they’re feeling really wild they can opt to Jump On It. That’s it.

If this shit ever goes mainstream (which is very likely since it’s on the wildly popular Rebuilt Tranny’s Rat Rod Record Exchange) we’re going to see a 2,000,000,000% increase in hip, elbow, knee, and spinal dislocations in this country. 90% of of the workforce will be bedridden from axé-related injuries.  Almost the entire population will be without their life-giving Fourth Meals. How will Americans get their daily ration of bovine binders of extenders? It’s best not to visualize such horrors.

But would it be worth the complete loss of Crunchwrap Supremes for these sweet Brazilian jams? Naturalmente.

>>>Click here to download Tempo De Bahia at 320kbps

Tracklist

A1 Celso Bahia – Neguinhos 4:32
A2 Novos Baianos*  – Besta É Tu 4:24
A3 Moraes Moreira – Do Caribe 3:31
A4 Muzenza – Jamaica No Peito 2:56
A5 Chiclete Com Banana – I Love Chiclete 4:07
A6 Geronimo – Lambada Da Delicia 3:12
B1 Tânia Alves – Amor De Matar 4:16
B2 Banda Mel – Bagdá 4:29
B3 Laranja Mecânica – Mama África 4:57
B4 Missinho – Ouro De Orumila 2:59
B5 Moraes Moreira – Preta Pretínha 5:08
B6 Ara Ketu – Semente Da Memória 3:48

 

"Be-In" "Central Park" New Hope, Pennsylvania 1969 Hippies LSD Marijuana Marihuana

The awesome album cover copy on the Environments discs never ceases to amaze me. It’s always unintentionally serious and hilarious at the same time. You can check out another one posted on Rebuilt Tranny here and here.

The following copy is from the back of the album cover for volume three.

Side 1

Be-In (A Psychoacoustic Experience)

Sheep Meadow, Central Park, New York City

April 6, 1969

34 minutes, 17 seconds

Before the terrible fire. Details below.

The 1969 Easter Be-In in New York’s Central Park has come to be regarded as a sort of high-water mark for the new almost vanished Love Generation.

The tremendously diverse crowd kept growing and gathering momentum until almost everyone marveled at this spontaneous “thing” that had taken place in the park.

This Be-In was certainly not the biggest gathering of young people to take place in 1969. However, there are many things that happened during this recording that make it a rare, magical moment.

The recording captures with honesty and total realism this particular instant in time which in retrospect seems more than a bit unreal.

Be-In  is the real experience of running barefoot in the grass on a beautiful spring day, surrounded by thousands of half-innocents exhibiting little, if any, trace of paranoia or guilt.

If you were ever at a massive, totally spontaneous gathering in 1969, we think you know the feeling we mean.

This particular disc is unlike anything you’ve heard before; we call it a “psychoacoustic” experience”. It recreates an event with such realism that it actually seems to be happening again. We think that once you experience the total immersion of this encounter, you’ll agree with us that Be-In is something special.

The following video is an example of a rare, magical moment at Central Park in 1969.

Side Two

Dusk at New Hope, Pennsylvania

August, 1970

36 minutes, 51 seconds

PA

Imagine a warm summer night deep in the verdant backwoods in Eastern Pennsylvania.

An infinity of sound stretching out before you. The steady, yet constantly changing drone of countless tiny insects, reminding you of the serenity and timelessness of nature. For in the distance, a hound occasionally barks.

You feel as if you are a thousand miles from the annoyances of city life.

If you can imagine such a night, you pretty much know what our recording of Dusk at New Hope is like.

This highly realistic stereo sound took almost a year of location work and patient testing to perfect. In its present form, it is a perfect compliment [sic] to other natural sound recordings in this series.

In an urban setting, we think you’ll be amazed by the profound changes that take place when you play the disc as a background sound. Many people find that the sounds of night in the country are second to none in creating a setting for increased interpersonal relationships.

Dusk at New Hope can be left on for very long periods of time without inducing fatigue or boredom. Once you become familiar with the sound, we are certain that you will find many new uses for the effect.

How do you make more crickets?

Bonus copy excerpts from the album gatefold.

Be-In

Later in the day, there would be rock throwing and confrontations with the small contingent of policemen nearby, and a terrible moment when a nude dancer leaped into a roaring bonfire, but for this moment in time, frozen on a real of magnetic tape, everyone seems together and happy.

Dusk at New Hope

A little known fact about field crickets is that it is possible to determine the ambient temperature of their surroundings to a fairly accurate degree by simply counting the number of chirps in a fifteen-second period and adding forty. Thus, we have deduced that the temperature at the time of the recording was approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This formula works quite well for field crickets between the temperature range of 55 degrees and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Above and below these temperatures the cricket no longer sings.

 

>>>Click here to download Environments Vol. 3 at 320kbps

 

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Technics SL-10I’ve been receiving emails lately about how I convert my records. In response to these queries, dear readers and listeners, here’s an email correspondence that I feel should give away most of my trade secrets. I’m always happy to answer any questions anyone may have about anything related to this site and it’s gearwork. I’ll also answer some personal queries if you don’t get too slutty about it.

The question email comes from Kevin at resound.wordpress.com, where you can also find some very interesting rips.

Hey there!

I’ve stumbled upon your blog and appreciate your passion for vinyl “finds” and the whole thought of making your treasure hunting so available.

I’ve been (admittedly slowly) attempting something similar with my mother-in-law’s collection of beat up (but still fantastic) vinyl jazz records from the 50’s and 60’s, and my father’s and co-worker’s records (see my blog at http://resound.wordpress.com if you’re interested).

I was wondering if I could pick your brain about Audacity a bit, as your work is very nice.

I lean towards leaving some of the fuzz of the vinyl in the recording, as there is a certain “ambiance” of the corroded grooves, but when I do decide to take out the pops and damaged audio, I was wondering what your favorite method would be.

I tend to isolate each skip or pop by zooming in, and then selecting and either “repairing” (repair tool), de-amplifying, or merely deleting the redlined section (although i tend to use this as a last resort).

After going through this, which can take forever with a poorly maintained platter, I will sometimes “compress” the audio using the default settings (i know this is another sketchy area, as the whole goal is to keep the recording uncompressed, but I find this to be the quickest way to fix the volume levels so that playing the resulting audio file in a mix with the rest of my collection isn’t so alarming in differing levels). I’ll then export to mp3’s after tagging at 256kbps.

Do you have any tips on getting through this process any quicker, finding the right levels, or tools that I may be overlooking? Or, does it remain a labor of love for you, and stay necessarily tedious?

I love what you’re doing and aspire to produce audio files that come closer to the quality you provide on your site.

Thanks for your passion, and hopefully this email isn’t seen as an annoyance.

Cheers,

Kevin

My response is as follows:

Hey Kevin,

Thanks for checking out my site and for the compliments. It’s good to hear that you’re getting into the conversion world as well. I can give you a quick rundown of what I do to record my records.

1. The first thing you always want to do with an old record is check and make sure it’s clean. This sounds obvious enough, but sometimes just using a carbon fiber or felt brush isn’t enough. Ideally you’d use a record cleaning machine, but if you’re like me they’re too damn expensive. I use my own process, which is pretty easy and something you may be doing yourself. You can check out this process here: http://rebuilttrannyrecords.com/2010/06/17/environments-disc-4-the-psychologically-ultimate-thunderstorm-and-synthetic-silence-1974-vinyl-download/ I also use canned air for albums I’ve cleaned in the past and have become dusty. My record player is a static machine. Yes, I know the carbon brushes are static eliminators, but canned air is just so much more fun.

*Sometimes a record can sound ever worse after you clean it using that technique. I believe it’s the static buildup from drying the discs off, but I’m no scientist. However, you can fix this by letting the album play once, which will neutralize the charge on the album. Yes, this whole process is a very imperfect process but I’m getting there.

2. The program I use to collect sound is CD Wave Editor. It’s a free download, really easy to use, and it gives you a good visual interpretation of how much sound is coming into your computer. Every album’s recorded with different gain and as such every record is fed into your computer at a different volume, which is the reason for your lack of level sound on your converted MP3s.

On my first conversions I left the input sound on my sound driver at zero. However, many records ended up being too quiet and lacking punch even would I would adjust the replay volume. To remedy this I test every album I rip using CD Wave Editor’s visual sound wave output to determine how much I need to adjust my computer’s input volume. I always want the loudest part of the record’s sound wave signature to just barely exceed the upper and lower limits of CD Wave’s display window. In other words, you want the green sound wave to fill the window at the album’s loudest. Explaining this takes more time than it takes to actually do it. Just be careful that you don’t turn the input volume on your comp up too much or it will distort the feed.

I can’t tell you where you need to change the input level because each computer is different but usually just go into your sound settings or right click on your volume meter on the computer’s task bar and search around.

*This process is for if you’re using the TAPE/RECORD OUT from your amp to a Y-splitter and on into your audio input jack. If you’re using a USB turntable then this process might not work as I’ve never used one of those newfangled contraptions.

3. Once each side has been recorded as a WAV I split the sides into tracks using CD Wave. It’s a whole hell of a lot easier to split tracks on CD Wave at the exact spot you want than Audacity, and you can save the split file names which will carry over to Audacity.

*Side Note:  My recording settings for CD Wave are 44100 frequency, and 16-bit resolution (which is CD quality). I used to record at higher studio quality settings but it’s a real strain on the computer and sometimes it will freeze the whole operation, which ruins the rip. I’ve also found this setting to be perfect for conversion to 320kbps.

4. Open all of the files in Audacity. I used to mess around with “normalizing” each track before I began altering the input volume but it’s not necessary if you set the input volume correctly. The only other thing I do to clean up the sound is to use the automatic “click removal” tool under the effects tab. I, like yourself, like to leave some of the pops. Additionally, if you’re too heavy on the click removal it’ll remove a lot of the high-end frequencies, the “airiness” of the album. My ideal setting for every record I use click removal  is 30 on the low-end and 197 on the high-end. I don’t know what those numbers correlate to but they sound the best to me. I de-click the majority of my albums in their entirety to maintain a certain pop level and the settings I use ensure that the original “good sound” still stays intact. I never use click removal on new albums.

5. I always rip everything into 320kbps. There may not be much of a difference from 256 but my heart believes there is so I sacrifice the disc space for the perceived sound quality.

I would say stay away from the compression technique since MP3s are already compressing the pure WAV file.

The other thing is experiment with the equipment you’re using. I use a Technics SL-10 turntable, which was used by radio stations back in the 80’s for broadcast and is built like a tank. I used to use a Luxman L-100 amp in Cincinnati, which cost $1000 in 1976, but haven’t shipped that out to San Francisco yet. Right now I’m using a Pioneer SX-3700 that probably cost less than a quarter of the price of the Luxman. But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound almost or just as good in the recording aspect.

vintage amp tube receiver

Pioneer SX-3700 Receiver

Always let your amp warm up really good and hot before you record anything.

I hope I’ve covered everything here but if I’ve left anything out or am unclear about a point don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. It took me a lot of practice to get my records to sound the way I want them and am actually going back through some of the earlier ones and re-ripping them because I’m a lot better now.

The main thing is to have fun and enjoy it. If you don’t then what’s the point?

Thanks for the email and have a good one,

Corbin

If anyone has any questions about this process or any tips for streamlining I’d love to hear from you in the comments section. Thanks for reading.

I’ll convert any record to any medium of your choice (WAV, MP3, OGG, FLAC, etc.) for $10 an LP and work special deals for multiple records. This will include record cleaning, digital conversion, click removal, and song tagging so they’ll work on your computer, iPod, and/or home sound system. I’m using quality equipment (Technics SL-10 Turntable and a Luxman L-100 Integrated Amp) and will ensure the highest fidelity possible on every track. I’m located in San Francisco and can take local delivery or you can send them to me and I’ll send them back as soon as they’re converted (turn around time 3-5 days) Shoot me an email here if you’re interested. Thanks!

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