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Topic: MagicRoadie.com, CD Recording Questions?
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 5, 2004 10:45AM)
Hi, everyone!
I've started writing a new article for http://www.magcroadie.com. It's all about creating audio CDs for use in your show. It will cover compiling, burning, labeling, and packaging.

Does anyone have any specific questions or concerns they'd like to see addressed in the article? Please note that this particular thread is intended to gather requests for info, and I will not answer questions in this thread. For questions, just start a new thread (or join in an existing one), and I'm sure I and others will be glad to help.

So far, articles at http://www.magicroadie.com include;
• Speaker Placement. For superior sound quality, maximum coverage, and increased "gain-before-feedback".
• Wireless, Part 1. (July 13 '03) Dispelling several "urban legends" surrounding wireless mic systems.
• Wireless, Part 2. Proven advice on how to make your wireless system work as well as possible.
• Pick A Mic, Any Mic! (July 10 '03) Learn about the different types of mics, and learn how to choose the best one for you!
• Stage Lighting Basics, Part 1. Everything you need to know about the tools of stage lighting.
• Stage Lighting Basics, Part 2. How to create an effective stage lighting design.
• "Advancing” Your Shows. Even part-time, close-up magicians can borrow a few pages from the contracts the big boys use. "Advancing" is the process of gathering your requirements and speaking with the client to make sure they’re handling all necessary arrangements with regard to your requirements.
• Stage Plots. A good stage plot isn’t difficult to create, and should be very simple, cleanly laid out, and easy to understand. First, we’ll look at some of the rules of thumb regarding formatting & content. Then, we’ll check out a sample stage plot for a stage illusionist, and one for a close-up, table magician.
• Pyrotechnics and Stage Effects. My friend LORAN contributed an article on pyro which includes a lot of the legal ins-and-outs. LORAN is an International Magician & Illusionist and a certified Pyrotechnician who has a tremendously charismatic stage presence! The articel also includes some extra info from the encyclopedically knowledgable Steve Zigmont!
• Cue Sheets. Don't go on stage without one! All the how's & why's of cue sheets, with tons of tips, anecdotes and insights from full-time pros Dan Harlan, Loran, David Merry and David Peck.

Cheers from Toronto!
Message: Posted by: Majiloon (Sep 5, 2004 01:13PM)
Great work Dan!

These are truly helpful to those who want to become more effective performers- at any stage.

I admire your willingness to make the case for improving what many seem to take for granted.
Thank you for contributing to this open forum!

Cheers,
Kelly Duro
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 5, 2004 03:27PM)
Hey Dan,
Sounds great! One tip (which you may already have covered) is that you should never, ever, ever use adhesive labels for CDs. In heat (especially that created inside CD players, especially slot loading ones like in cars or the Sony single rack space units), they can come off and goo up the player, and they can sometimes affect the balance of the CD and eventually wear out the player. And if the label does start to peel off, sometimes it can pull the reflective layer up and ruin the CD.

If you want a printed CD surface, the only reliable way to do it is to use inkjet printable CDs and get one of the inexpensive Epson inkjets that can print on CDs (lately I've been using the Photo R200, which costs $99 and does a really nice job of printing CDs).

Best,
Andy
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Sep 5, 2004 10:46PM)
Thanks for the tip on CD labels, Andy. I wasn't aware of that, and I have been using the adhesive labels. Where do you get printable CDs, and what type of equipment do you need to get started? Thanks!
Message: Posted by: procyonrising (Sep 6, 2004 12:18AM)
Hey guys,

I'm a hypnotist who wants to experiment with making audio CD's in a home studio. Can anyone recommend a good mic to use? (Vocal/speech only, no singing or music).

If it matters, I'm using a P4 2.4Ghz with stacked 150gig drives, complete with DVD/CD burners. I'm also on the market for a new sound card (32 bit?) and I'm hoping someone can recommend one too.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

- James.
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 6, 2004 07:58AM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-06 01:18, procyonrising wrote:
Hey guys,

I'm a hypnotist who wants to experiment with making audio CD's in a home studio. Can anyone recommend a good mic to use? (Vocal/speech only, no singing or music).

If it matters, I'm using a P4 2.4Ghz with stacked 150gig drives, complete with DVD/CD burners. I'm also on the market for a new sound card (32 bit?) and I'm hoping someone can recommend one too.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

- James.
[/quote]

James

Check out the Shure mikes a 48 should be fine for your needs.

Paula
Message: Posted by: Regan (Sep 6, 2004 08:36AM)
James,

The Shure SM-58 is a great vocal microphone. It is best used for live sound reproduction as opposed to studio use. However, it works ok as a decent, enexpensive vocal recording mic also. They're only around $100 and they will stand lots of abuse.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Salazar Magic (Sep 6, 2004 09:41AM)
You should go into choosing the correct bitrate
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 6, 2004 02:58PM)
Thanks, Andy & Salazar! I will include label & bitrate info. Is there anything else anyone would like to see included?
Dan.
Message: Posted by: Salazar Magic (Sep 6, 2004 10:11PM)
Loss of quality from compressed mp3s
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 6, 2004 10:25PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-05 23:46, jkvand wrote:
Thanks for the tip on CD labels, Andy. I wasn't aware of that, and I have been using the adhesive labels. Where do you get printable CDs, and what type of equipment do you need to get started? Thanks!
[/quote]

I know that DiscMakers.com sells inkjet printable CD-Rs, although I haven't used them. I actually bought my last batch off somebody else, and I can't recall where he ordered them offhand. If you do a Google search for "taiyo yuden" brand, those are considered to be the best and most consistent, and I'm pretty sure they make printables.

A lot of the brands you buy in stores are very inconsistent; Memorex, Sony, etc. repackage whichever manufacturer they can get cheapest that week. One week the Sony blanks you buy are Taiyo-Yuden, the next they're some shoddy factory. It's safest to stick with T-Y or one of the other factories where you know where it's coming from.

As for equipment to print, in the low end there's Epson's R200 photo printer. For $99, it comes with a special slot and a holding tray for printing CDs, and works great. It's what I'm using these days. To get a dedicated CD printer, however, you're talking a hefty investment; if you're willing to spend enough and have enough need for it, you can even get all-in-one machines that are capable of both burning and printing an entire stack of CDs.

Hope this helps,
Andy
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Sep 6, 2004 10:28PM)
Hi Don,
I see that you're planning on covering the aspect of labeling - I would appreciate more info based on Andy's post about not using the adhesive labels. I went to WalMart tonight and asked the electronics clerk about labeling directly onto a CD, rather than using an adhesive label, and they had no idea what I was talking about. So, can you direct us to where we might find the technology to do that? Thanks!
Message: Posted by: procyonrising (Sep 6, 2004 10:48PM)
I bought a stand-alone CD-RW and printable CDs from Discmakers. It's all pretty good, though their customer service is a little on the slow side. The CDs they sell don't have the smooth edge that Sony's or other brand names have, so I suspect they're from some factory - cheap - that gives them a consistent standard.

They guarantee their CDs, though, if you think about it, how hard is it to replace one or two CDs?
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 7, 2004 01:04PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-06 23:28, jkvand wrote:
I went to WalMart tonight and asked the electronics clerk about labeling directly onto a CD, rather than using an adhesive label, and they had no idea what I was talking about. So, can you direct us to where we might find the technology to do that? Thanks!
[/quote]

First off, no disrespect meant to you or the clerk, but a WalMart clerk is the LAST person I'd go to for electronics advice. Actually I tend to avoid most salespeople, since they have an ulterior motive, but especially ones at major chains like that, especially major chains that don't specialize in electronics. That said....

Read my previous two posts where I tell you what kind of CD blank to look for and name a specific model of inkjet printer that is the least expensive way to get started printing your own CD surfaces.

The printer I mentioned can be bought at pretty much any store that sells printers, and while you can't get the best CD blanks there, most office and computer stores now do sell at least one brand of printable CD-R.

Also, if you do mail order the CD-Rs, make sure you order inkjet printable ones, not thermal printable.
Message: Posted by: fccfp (Sep 8, 2004 09:51AM)
If I should not use adhesive labels on CD's, what about Sharpies?

Thanks,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 8, 2004 04:21PM)
Fccfp,
Here's a brief preview of the upcoming article.
"Most CDs are fine if you label them with a Stanford Sharpie felt-tip marker, and you can get felt-tip markers that are specifically for CDs. As with labels, you will “probably” be okay — Again, “probably” doesn’t put food on the table, so I wouldn’t use markers for show CDs. Writing directly on the top of a CD with a marker is definitely safer than using an adhesive label, but it really doesn’t look pro. Whatever you do, don’t ever use anything with a hard tip, like a ballpoint pen."
Message: Posted by: RayBanks (Sep 9, 2004 01:07PM)
Hey, Don

How about some info on burning an audio CD one track at a time i.e. one track from CD #1, two from CD #2, another from CD #1, etc.

Advice on software, links to help pages, etc.
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 10, 2004 06:37AM)
Hi, gang, and thanks for your ideas! Let me kow if there's anything else you'd like to see covered.
Here's a list of what I've already included, and keep in mind that the software-related bts are generic, because I can't possibly give instruction in individual app use.

Media selection, Red Book compliance, audio file types, ripping, compiling audio files from various CDs, finding sounf FX, getting sound out of an audio source, setting record levels on your computer, differing levels from song to song, normalizing, adjusting for average loudness, removing vocals from a recorded song, cross-fades, DAO vs TAO, finalizing, spare copies, labeling, packaging, portable player issues, software needed.
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Sep 10, 2004 03:22PM)
The 48 are the best from shure. We use them and they are just amazing. Don't go for anything but shure. They will SHURELY live us out.

Michael
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Sep 11, 2004 09:38AM)
How about carrying multiple mediums with you? MIni disc, Cd, tape. Maybe your own player and patch cords with you.

I have seen too many acts show up with music that will not play or work on the house system.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 11, 2004 03:15PM)
Dan, good point emphasizing the standard Sharpies, but I'd go further, to explicitly point out that the newer "industrial" and "professional" ones can be deadly to the coatings on some CDs, and should be avoided at all costs.

[quote]
On 2004-09-10 16:22, The Mirror Image wrote:
The 48 are the best from shure. We use them and they are just amazing. Don't go for anything but shure. They will SHURELY live us out.

Michael
[/quote]

Um, no. The SM-48 is a low-budget, not as good smaller brother to the SM-58, a world standard vocal microphone. It's far from the best. And a 58 is cheap enough that you should just get the real thing. BUT...they are really best for LIVE sound.

For recording voice overs, you really want to get a good large diaphragm condenser microphone, or a large dynamic designed for VO work. Alas, they're nowhere near as cheap as dynamics. Lately I use a BLUE Baby Bottle, but those are quite pricey. You might look into renting a good VO mic from a local company; AKG C414s are great, or, in the large dynamic side of things the RE-20 is quite popular, or a large Shure dynamic that I can't remember the model of off-hand.

If you really can't afford that, however, the SM-58 or SM-57 will do the job, just not as nicely.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 11, 2004 03:38PM)
Hmmmm


interesting posts
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 12, 2004 08:06AM)
[quote]On 2004-09-11 10:38, hugmagic wrote:
How about carrying multiple mediums with you? MIni disc, Cd, tape. Maybe your own player and patch cords with you.

I have seen too many acts show up with music that will not play or work on the house system.[/quote]
Thanks, Richard! I've already included bringing a spare CD and a spare player, and I've also covered the proper CD burning method to allow for playability on the widest possible variety of CD players.
Thanks again for your input, Richard!
Message: Posted by: jkvand (Sep 18, 2004 09:12PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-06 23:25, Andy Leviss wrote:

I know that DiscMakers.com sells inkjet printable CD-Rs, although I haven't used them. I actually bought my last batch off somebody else, and I can't recall where he ordered them offhand. If you do a Google search for "taiyo yuden" brand, those are considered to be the best and most consistent, and I'm pretty sure they make printables.

A lot of the brands you buy in stores are very inconsistent; Memorex, Sony, etc. repackage whichever manufacturer they can get cheapest that week. One week the Sony blanks you buy are Taiyo-Yuden, the next they're some shoddy factory. It's safest to stick with T-Y or one of the other factories where you know where it's coming from.

As for equipment to print, in the low end there's Epson's R200 photo printer. For $99, it comes with a special slot and a holding tray for printing CDs, and works great. It's what I'm using these days. To get a dedicated CD printer, however, you're talking a hefty investment; if you're willing to spend enough and have enough need for it, you can even get all-in-one machines that are capable of both burning and printing an entire stack of CDs.

Hope this helps,
Andy
[/quote]
I just bought the Epson R200 and printed my first CD, and it looks great! Thanks for pointing me in that direction, Andy. Much better than the adhesive labels I've been using, and with how often I print CDs, I think it'll actually save me money in the long run. Thanks! -Jeff
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 25, 2004 06:41AM)
Does anyone know how to burn a "pause" after or before on a CD/R? What I mean is a pause between tracks. Is there a CD one can buy that has for instance, track one: one minute pause etc?

THanks

C
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 25, 2004 07:50AM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-25 07:41, Candini wrote:
Does anyone know how to burn a "pause" after or before on a CD/R? What I mean is a pause between tracks. Is there a CD one can buy that has for instance, track one: one minute pause etc?

THanks

C
[/quote]

Hi

Using a sound editor (sound forge is my pref) trim any track to your one minute and then reduce the volume to its lowest.

Save it out and use this track to get your "pause".

Paula
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Sep 25, 2004 12:12PM)
Another way is to just generate silence. At least that is how it is done in Cool Edit Pro or Adobe Audition.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Tony S (Sep 25, 2004 03:24PM)
There is a feature in Sound Forge to insert silence as well.
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 25, 2004 07:02PM)
If you use a "real" CD authoring program like Nero or CD Architect, you can specify the pause length between tracks, too. CD Architect is the more flexible, but more expensive, of the two.

Other programs may be able to customize pause length, too, but these are the two I use.
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 25, 2004 07:12PM)
Hi

I find if you try to transfer pauses to mini disk they do not work - so I use a Nul track of the length I require.


Paula
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 26, 2004 09:27PM)
I'm using NTI CD-Maker....I will check it out, thanks!
Message: Posted by: Andy Leviss (Sep 26, 2004 11:29PM)
I advise people to avoid MiniDisk. The advantages are far outweighed by the unreliability of the medium and inconvenience of transfer speeds. So pauses not transferring are not an issue for me :o)
Message: Posted by: Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie (Sep 27, 2004 06:41PM)
Please forgive the duplicate posting if you read this in the other thread, but the new article, "All About Show CDs" is now online!
http://www.MagicRoadie.com
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 27, 2004 06:52PM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-27 00:29, Andy Leviss wrote:
I advise people to avoid MiniDisk. The advantages are far outweighed by the unreliability of the medium and inconvenience of transfer speeds. So pauses not transferring are not an issue for me :o)
[/quote]

Andy

Your words ring so true now -

Last night 1000 people show and mini disk played on my third number but at very low volume, slight panic but - CD player was already cued so on with the show.

Back to CD for me now.

Paula
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Sep 29, 2004 01:23AM)
Paula,

What system do you use?

Candini
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Sep 29, 2004 08:24AM)
[quote]
On 2004-09-29 02:23, Candini wrote:
Paula,

What system do you use?

Candini
[/quote]

Hi

I used a Soundlab cd/mini disk combination deck into a Phonic 1705a mixer and a Fender passport.

I have a sony cd player as backup - which I always set up, and in this case I'm glad I did.

Snowstorm in china without music does not work - LOL


Paula