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Topic: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

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  1. #1

    OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    Hi guys,

    I\'m looking for some words of experience as far as simply editing CD tracks on a notebook goes.

    My daughter\'s ballet teachers often use edited versions of pieces of music for performances (yes they pay license fees).
    The current method is to run from CD or tape onto a second tape recorder, hit pause where the edit is, find the next part on the source audio, hit play and record at the same time etc., until the complete piece is recorded, and cross your fingers as you rewind to listen to the result.

    The result usually involves a few problems:
    1. Bodgy edit points (although one teacher can do it incredibly well - glitchless edit points, even tape to tape!)
    2. Bodgy audio levels - sometimes they also manually adjust the soft sections as they are recording in order to lower the dynamic range...
    3. Tape to tape generation loss, dolby hiss, tape weaving etc.,

    I nearly wet myself when they explained how they worked. It seemed sooo labour intensive, with a really garbagey end result.

    This year I took about 50 of their pieces, did a little novice noise reduction and mastering on them, and put them on a set of CDs. They\'d previously had two bags crammed with tapes, now they\'ve got 4 CDs. But really, all I accomplished was to take their tapes and go down yet another generation. Soon I\'ll be redoing their edits on the original CDs.

    I\'ve suggested they get a PC for the school, and I think they probably intend to use a desktop for the job, but then I thought about the fact that some of their teachers would probably enjoy the portability of a notebook, so that they could make their masters at home on their own time.

    Basically, we\'re talking about being able to do just a few things with audio:

    1. Rip it into the PC from a CD.
    2. Play it into the PC from a tape recorder.
    3. Edit the audio - basic cut and paste, maybe a crossfade, normalizing, compressing.
    4. Burn the results to a CD.

    I know a lot of people say forget doing audio on a notebook, and I know it\'s still a tough one for multitracking, but what about the scenario above? Do you think it would be doable? If so, what do you think would be a sensible level notebook for this kind of work??

    Thanks guys

  2. #2

    Re: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    Well, a few pc people might not agree with me, but I would suggest getting a 2nd generation Mac iBook (say 300 mhz?) and a cheap USB audiointerface (from midiman for instance).
    Apple have just released a new range of upgraded Ti and iBooks, so the \'2nd generation\' ones have come down in price.
    You could get Spark ME for $20 (till the end of december, I don\'t know what it will be then but I can\'t imagine more than 50 bucks), which will allow you to edit audio and prepare a playlist for burning to cd. It also has a maximizer and eq on board.

    Also, you can get ProTools free, which will allow you more advanced editing,x-fades and 8 channel multitracking.
    A 300mhz G3 iBook would be more than sufficient to run that kind of stuff.

    Just my 2 cents,

    Cheerio,

    Joris


  3. #3

    Re: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    Thanks a lot Joris,

    I should have mentioned that they have a PC that they want to stay compatable with, so maybe a PC notebook will be their preferred route.

    Free Tools sounds like a great extra though!

    That\'s very cheap for Spark. I thought it was $400-600?

  4. #4
    Senior Member LHong's Avatar
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    Re: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    You wrote:
    \"1. Rip it into the PC from a CD.
    2. Play it into the PC from a tape recorder.
    3. Edit the audio - basic cut and paste, maybe a crossfade, normalizing, compressing.
    4. Burn the results to a CD.\"

    It seems that none of above tasks is required Realtime Audio Recording, even the (1), just drag-N-drop from CD to harddrive or the (3) is the Software Audio-processing, which be done off-line too. So, Logically, A 66Mhz~200Mhz-64MB-4xCDRW Note-book with Cakewalk or other audio tools will do the job.

    Hope this helps,
    Long

  5. #5

    Re: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chadwick:
    Thanks a lot Joris,

    I should have mentioned that they have a PC that they want to stay compatable with, so maybe a PC notebook will be their preferred route.

    Free Tools sounds like a great extra though!

    That\'s very cheap for Spark. I thought it was $400-600?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hey Chadwick!

    It\'s a (very) lite version of spark, but for starting users it\'s functionality might be enough?
    Sorry, I hadn\'t realised they wanted to stay with a PC.
    Protools Free is also available for the PC, so that might be worth getting. Not as slick as it\'s mac counterpart, but still quite useful.

    Good luck!

    Cheerio,

    Joris



  6. #6

    Re: OT Notebook for simple audio editing??

    Most of the aftermarket audio cards come with some form of audio editing and recording software. I was going to suggest Echo\'s PCMCIA Mona or Layla, but that\'s kinda high-end. Looks like retail on them is $1000. Heh. I guess they could get away with some sort of USB external box (They aren\'t going to run GS, are they? )
    http://www.aardvark-pro.com/direct_pro_usb3.html

    This is $229 from Musician\'s Friend, and comes with Guitar Tracks 2. That might be enough for them, if not, you could always download Cool Edit, or if you\'ve got a copy of Sound Forge XP or Cubasis laying around that you\'ve gotten with some other hardware..

    Now, for the notebook. Buying a used notebook is an adventure on it\'s own. I know, because I fix them. They can be quite expensive if something breaks, negating the money saved. If they\'re going to buy new, and plan on using it for a while, get a business line computer from Dell, IBM, Compaq, Gateway, or HP. Forget about the smaller companies, those are a pain to deal with when warranties come around.

    If they\'re buying used, stick with the same advice, but get a 500mhz or better. I just started using my upgraded desktop for audio editing.. WOW. A fast CPU really makes a difference. Even though I went from an Athlon 1.4ghz to an XP 1600+, (same mobo), there was an increase in speed in some cutting and pasting with Sound Forge. (I started doing high-end editiing on a K6-2 300 years ago. )

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