Monday, November 15, 2010

I got those sun ain't shinin', screwy soundcard blues

Ok. So the waning of the summer light and the end of daylight savings time effects my concentration, energy level, and general sense of well-being. I know there is a name for the syndrome, but I prefer simply to get what I need and do what I must to make it to Spring and let it go at that, without embracing a popular terminology of victimization. Cranky too? "Well, yes, since you asked.

More germane to the blog is the hell I experienced installing a new, 24 bit sound-card. Though my "new" M-audio 2496 is is not state-of-the-art, it is a significant improvement over the old Soundblaster I was using. Unfortunately, uninstalling my Creative hardware drivers also removed the multimedia audio controller from the computer. It took a couple of days (remember I'm not at my brightest!) to figure out that I could download new ones from Dell. Then it was another week before all the functions on the new card worked. I still don't know how I got the mixer finally to regulate recording volume, but I'll take that gift and be grateful for it.

The first order of business was to re-record and renovate the Op. 59 No. 2 of the Budapest set of Beethoven's middle quartets. That's done and posted and can be downloaded anew at the link on the original post. While only the last movement had a skip, patching in a movement recorded on a different card seems chancy, so I reupped the entire quartet, flac and mp3.

Future posts will be recorded in 24bit 96khz and sampled down to CD quality specs before posting. If anyone wants a 24 bit flac, please ask, as I will not be putting them up as a matter of course. Debate rages about whether or not 24bit masters make any difference. I think they do, although the benefit is not necessarily apparent -- more felt than heard I guess. I wanted to try it, anyway. I'd love to hear any feedback on the issue or on subsequent posts with the new card.

And, though Dylan Thomas had death, not winter in mind, "Rage against the dying of the light.


  1. Dear Lawrence, so sorry to hear about your travails. It's amazing how bad much commercial software is, including uninstall routines; there was no reason for Creative to blitz your multimedia controllers. I'm in a perpetual grump at Vista, surely the worst OS I've ever encountered; closely followed by anything from RealMedia and Apple. Thank you again for your patience and your generosity! Nick

  2. CharmNick: Thanks. I've always said that if cars worked as badly as a lot of software, one could not sell them. Vista is to Windows 7 what Windows ME was to XP -- a trial run that did not quite make it. And while we are listing awful software: beware of Pinnacle Studio! I've never owned software that crashed more consistently. Only the analog video in device makes it worth buying if you have tapes you want to digitize.

    Hope the re-do of the Op. 59 No.2 works for you.

  3. Newest the OS worst works with audio, I can record very clear with my Realtek onboard soundcard in XP, I can't do nothing in Vista or 7, the OS install it owns drivers and the very silent sound card at XP becomes in a very noisly one in 7. So, I still work in XP when I'm recording and editing.
    Good luck with your new M.

  4. Dumbarton Oaks: I'm still using to XP to record my sound files. I have a laptop with Windows 7, and it's a nice operating systems once you get used to it. But it's not what I use for audio work. For one thing the audio restoration program I use doesn't work in Windows 7. Computers! You can't live with 'em; you can't live without 'em.

  5. Many thanks for this. I wore out my parents' Hadyn Society records when I was young, and these recordings are so satisfying to me on several levels.

    As far a sound processing, have you tried Audacity? I have it installed on my Ubuntu 10.04 OS, but haven't used it in years. (btw, Ubuntu GNU/Linux is a fine OS.)

    I think Audacity is available for WIndows. If there's any issue with this, if you'd like me to try it out on an unprocessed file, I'd be happy to see what happens.

    Again, thanks for making these files available. I've been looking for them for many years.

  6. Hello,

    This isn't a comment related to this current post, but I just wanted to say thank you for all these gems! I've been downloading like mad for the last hour, you've managed to post so many records I've always been curious about!

    I'm inspired - once I get a new working record player, I'll do some transfers myself.

    Thanks again,
    Rick M.

  7. Rick: I'm glad you've found recordings here that you've had an interest in. I hope you get to visit some of the great blogs I link to, where you will undoubtedly find many other treasures.

    Wallnut: I'm particularly pleased when the Schneider Qt. recordings are mentioned. Haydn is important to my mental, spiritual, physical, and aesthetic health, so I take special pleasure in offering great recordings of -- the quartets, in particular.

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