Hell of a Good DJ

Thank you everyone who gave their input in regards to my audio quality issues. After reading through all your input and doing some additional research on my own I’ve determined that the main issue is that the records I buy are usually used, and used greatly at that. I guess it comes with the territory. Still, if anyone has any specific advice on how to deal with that “lispy’ sound issue I’d be much obliged.

I also noticed that many people were making assumptions about the gear/set-up I run. So I thought I would just explain that right now to get it out of the way.

My turntable is a Stanton STR8-80, which I got used for about 80 bucks – a steal. It’s s straight-arm model, and I know that those aren’t the best for audio quality, but it’s always been a delicate balance for me when it comes to finding a turntable that can play at high quality and one that can play stratched, fucked up records. I know that straight-arm turntables can usually play more busted-up records, so that’s why I went with it over a curved-arm model.

The STR8-80 has a standard RCA cable attached to it, which I run to a pre-amp that cuts down/eliminates annoying R/F interference. Then I run the cable out of that to my computer via a RCA-to-line-in cable. Right now its hooked up to the computer’s onboard soundcard. While that’s not perfect, its not half bad either, and seems to be doing the job right now. I did a comparison between the onboard audio and my external Soundblaster and didn’t notice any difference, so I’m not going to bother with an external soundcard for now.

I use Creative’s cheapo recorder for recording the audio, and then I use Sony’s Sound Forge to touch it up and cut the raw WAV files into individual MP3s. I almost never use any automated “vinyl recording” features that touch up audio files. Sure, they can be great at removing pops and clicks, but they also remove high hats, finger snaps and any other similar sound. I do it all manually. I’m crazy like that.

Then I use MP3tag to tag the files. I used to use iTunes for this, but I was finding out that iTunes was leaving some fields black in the actual tags, and whenever I had to re-install iTunes I was losing information, which was incredibly annoying.

Nearly everything I use has been replaced at least once, and the “lispy” audio and slightly of-kilter audio balance have always followed to some extent, so until I get a really super high end turntable (i.e. A Technics SL-1200mk2) I’m now officially no longer caring about my audio quality unless there’s something free and easy that I can do to make it sound better. So, please don’t send me feedback telling me how I’m fucking everything up unless you have a no-cost, preferably software solution. I’ll give an automatic process a chance if it can fix this problem.

Or if my audio quality really bothers you then just send me a Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable for free. Hey, they’re only 600 bucks! Buy me two!

Beastie Boys
Intergalactic (Professors of Technology Remix)
Intergalactic (Fuzzy Logic Remix)
“Intergalatic” was the track I used to test my tonearm weight. The line “when I wrote graffiti my name was slop!” line was a good test of that “lispy” sound. The original version of the track had that problem pretty bad, but these remixes are fairly clean. Regardless of audio quality, they’re all funky as shit.

Follow You (Dominik Eulberg Remix)
I love Hell, the dude, not the concept of eternal damnation. I usually can’t stand minimal techno either, so the fact that I think this dude is the best DJ on the planet really says something about how awesome he is. He’s the only person not playing at UMF this year who I wish was.

Oh yeah, by the way, I’m totally going to UMF (Ultra Music Festival) in Miami this month! If anyone wants to recommend any DJ/artist let me know! There are SO MANY playing that it’s kind of hard to keep track of them all.

4 Responses to “Hell of a Good DJ”

  1. You could use some sort of frequency spread. That might level out your stereo issues.

  2. Gustav says:

    Are you sure about the RPM of the Strawberry Bath and Jelly Soles Instrumental Version of “Intergalactic”? 🙂

  3. Lost Turntable says:

    It’s fucked up and I pulled it until I can fix it.

  4. Gustav says:

    By the way, I totally dig your blog. Sorry to hear about your audio woes…

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