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[#] Wed Dec 15 2021 16:06:15 EST from LoanShark

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P.T. Barnum at work:

[#] Mon Jun 06 2022 15:05:06 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Wowzers. I've been saving my old cassette deck because I have a small stack of tapes with some old recordings that I want to digitize. These recordings are almost 30 years old at this point.

This morning I learned that a nearby friend had a death in the family and was looking for someone who still had a cassette deck so that she could play a recording of her father's last wishes that he probably recorded 20 years ago. I'm the only one in the group who still has one.

And boy was it hard to get it going. Cassette decks go bad. Several other people had ones lying around that wouldn't start or play at all. Mine barely got going, after I cleaned the heads and ran an old tape through it for a few minutes to sort of sand-down what was left. Fast forward and rewind don't work. Heads accumulate gunk, belts get brittle and break, etc.

So if you've still got tapes lying around that you've been meaning to digitize, do it now! In a few days when I get my cassette deck back, I'm going to stop procrastinating and immediately digitize everything I have left.

[#] Thu Jun 09 2022 17:21:20 EDT from LoanShark

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BITD, you used to be able to buy a "cleaning cassette", probably from Radio Shack. Came with a little bottle of fluid and the drive holes turned a little scrubber thing.

[#] Thu Jun 09 2022 18:33:59 EDT from Nurb432

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They didnt do much for the motor or belts tho. Just the heads and rollers.

Thu Jun 09 2022 05:21:20 PM EDT from LoanShark

BITD, you used to be able to buy a "cleaning cassette", probably from Radio Shack. Came with a little bottle of fluid and the drive holes turned a little scrubber thing.


[#] Sat Jul 23 2022 11:28:09 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Right. On my cassette deck the heads were clogged from many years of disuse.
There are other problems but at least I got the tape to play.

And I was wrong about the tape being his last wishes; it was actually a recording that he wanted to be played at his funeral. And it was AWESOME. It was a ten minute jeremiad about the "commies" who are disloyal to US and Israel and how everyone needs to get their shit together. (Yes, a Jewish conservative -- a rare breed -- and no, I was friendly with this family before I knew that.)

So anyway, I've only got a few tapes with original recordings that I have saved from nearly 30 years ago, so I've got to get those digitized before that material is lost in the sands of time.

[#] Fri Jul 29 2022 20:21:24 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

Subject: Behringer MO240 in-ear monitors

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I've been needing a decent set of in-ear monitors to use for both stage and studio work.  I just couldn't get myself to splurge for the super-premium ones where you send away pieces of clay molded to your ears; those are hundreds of dollars and I have no desire to spend that kind of money.  After my beloved old Audio-Technica monitors stopped working after years of abuse, I eventually tried a set of "ruggedized" earphones intended for use on job sites, but the bass response was so terrible that I just gave them to my daughter who breaks earphones on a regular basis.  

But I'm still pretty frugal, and when I found the Behringer MO240 in-ear monitors on sale for about $40 at Sweetwater (and also at the Beast of Seattle but I try to avoid them) I figured it was worth a shot, I'd probably be disappointed, but I was not disappointed!  They have a really comfortable fit, over-ear hooks, dual hybrid drivers, and a nice even frequency response across all bands.  I saw another reviewer claim that the bass was weak, but I did not find that to be the case.

The sturdy build and looped cable ends were immediately comfortable.  The earplugs did not feel like they were "stuiffed" into my ears the way most earplugs do.  I tried a couple of different sound tests.  The first test was a play of John Vanderslice's classic track "Bill Gates Must Die" which is my go-to audio test because of its good use of stereo separation, diverse frequency range in the instrumentation, and clean track separation.  It did not disappoint.  I was able to pick up nuances in this fine piece of music that I had not noticed before even on the big monitors in my studio room.

My next test was to plug them into my Roland Juno-DS 76 synthesizer.  I selected an 80's sawtooth patch and played through the synth part to Rush's classic anthem "Subdivisions" on the keys.  Good, clean, even response was heard across the keyboard's entire frequency range.   After trying a few other parts on piano, organ, pads, and other sounds, I was equally impressed.

This is a good set of in-ear monitors at a budget price.  Highly recommended.

[#] Sat Jul 30 2022 07:39:42 EDT from Nurb432

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Ironically i still have a pair of wired earbuds from an iphone i got at work 15+ years ago.   Phone was long since turned back in but kept the buds ( kept the phone about 2 months.. " take this POS back" ). And a set of BLueTooth ticpods. ( just listening to music, BT delay dont matter and i dont need audiophile while im out walking around during lunch .. )

I have to use the 'sit on edge ear' style, as if they go in the canal, migraine in 3...2...1...    Cant wrap around the ear for support either, like yours.  Tried that too, fail.

Same for any headphones that touch the ear..  nearly instant pain. Even the HUGE ones ( that you cant get now ) that sat on your head instead, would give me a headache, just not as fast.

Tried that 'neck sock vibrating thingie' back in the 80s, was neat.. didnt hurt, but terrible sound.    Now they have them that fit on your head, and are usable for most, but same problem for me, after a while the pressure gives me a headache. But not as fast as stuff touching my ears directly.


Always wanted to build a bone phone, from Pat Flanagan ( back before he went all pyramid conspiracy on us ).  its 100% electrical, no actual audio waves or anything on your head. But wont do stereo so never got around to doing it.

[#] Mon Aug 15 2022 17:40:32 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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On-ear and bone-conduction sets are interesting, and can be useful, but only for casual use.  If you're listening to a podcast it's fine.  If you're on stage singing or playing an instrument you need full fidelity sound and you usually need ambient sound mostly blocked out. 

Over at the church where I play in the worship band, we have little wireless packs for each musician so we can each get a custom mix.  It's controlled from an iPad on your music stand, which looks like this:

And yes, it's a tremendous waste of time.  In the past we had what the trade calls "more me boxes" which is just the house mix plus the ability to boost your own mic or instrument in your own monitor.  It doesn't require a separate mix and a separate channel for each musician, which as you might expect is a big time sink to maintain.

Anyway, when you're doing this kind of work you really need to be able to hear the full range of your voice or instrument, which for me right now is a Roland Juno-DS76 synth.  If my earphones don't cover the full frequency range without bias, I'm going to compensate for what I don't hear by playing those ranges and sounds louder.  That isn't what we want.

These little Behringer monitors are pretty good.  They are dual driver monitors, which means they have both a dynamic driver and a balanced armature driver, with a crossover, just like you'd build a speaker.  There are monitors that have up to eight drivers (and somehow still manage to fit in your outer ear) but they get up into the thousands of dollars.

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