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Concertina To Laptop - How?


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Hi from Dublin

 

I'm looking for some advice - this may have been covered in previous threads - if so, point me in the right direction and I'll be on my way! If not - please help.

 

I'm an avid composer and handy concertina player with little technical expertise and I want to be able to play the concertina, record the music and listen/copy it onto a cd for playing in the car etc so that I can keep working on the piece of music and keep thinking about it. I can't read music so many of the compositions are spontaneous that I then knead into shape. Hope this isn't confusing.

 

So what I'm looking for is someone to tell me one of the following:

 

1. How to get the music from minidisc onto the laptop. I have a sony minidisc but it wont let me take the music onto the laptop even though the laptop has a program for it.

 

2. Maybe there's a better way of doing it. Obviously I want a reasonably good sound quality so microphone advice would also help. I may need some hardware and software - if you can be specific and indicate price and indicate how the hardware(s) and software(s) interact and maybe even where I could get them online or in Ireland, I'd be very very grateful.

 

I don't mind spending a bit of money on this but I'll try and keep it under a few hundred euro.

 

Hopefully I'll be able to express my gratitude by putting some of my compositions on the concertina.net!

 

Thanks in advance

 

Ciaran O'Grady

Dublin

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2. Maybe there's a better way of doing it. Obviously I want a reasonably good sound quality so microphone advice would also help. I may need some hardware and software - if you can be specific and indicate price and indicate how the hardware(s) and software(s) interact and maybe even where I could get them online or in Ireland, I'd be very very grateful.

 

There are many routes you can take. One option that works well for me: get a good mic -- the Sony ECM-MS907 works very well -- and plug it directly into your computer. Sony mic

 

Use the free Audacity program to make your recordings. Save the files as .WAVs, then use any CD burning program to make the CDs. Get it here:Audacity

 

I've also used a minidisc to record and transfer music through the "line out" jack, but honestly, the recordings aren't any better.

 

No doubt there are more sophisticated ways to do this, but this system works well for me.

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I second that particular mic recommendation, I've used one for years and it's been great.

 

I also use the shareware software program Goldwave, it can be downloaded from http://www.goldwave.com/ . Click on Downloads on the left, and you'll see the link to get the latest version - I still use the 4.26 version, and as I only really use the basic functions I haven't bothered upgrading. You'll also need a secondary download called Lamewin32 (available on the same page) if you want to read or create mp3 files in that program. But unless your CD player is an MP3 player as well, you'll probably want to record in .wav format anyway.

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I use Audacity on my Mac and the same microphone as Jim and Geraghty. It works good enough for me and I'm not technically adept, just frugal. The microphone cost me the equivalent of €80 a couple of years ago. Be sure to download the Audacity manual, and read the tutorials carefully before you start, you'll be sure to have success.

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Hi

 

I use my laptop for the same purpose. I play by ear and my computer is the hub of group of tools that help me so much. This is what I do.

 

I record tunes from my teachers on my Sony minidisc. I then use a software created to put recordings from a sony md onto a computer. It works very well and is worth the modest price it is called WIN NMD, here is the link

 

http://winnmd.net/

 

I also can put recordings from CDs onto my computer, AND streamed broadcasts (useing AUDACITY).

 

Having those on my computer I use AMAZING SLOWDOWNER to enable myself to learn the tune, disect ornaments, play along at a pace that I can get the pulse then gradually speed things up.

 

I just got a new tool.

 

Since my repertoire is increasing sometimes I can't remember how a tune starts so I can practise it. I got a MP3 player that has speakers so all my tunes in music form are handy in my case, without having my computer. I can also use it to practise playing along. This is a great innovation for me.

 

The product I have that I like a lot is a Philips Shoqbox.

 

Good luck,

 

Richard

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1. How to get the music from minidisc onto the laptop. I have a sony minidisc but it wont let me take the music onto the laptop even though the laptop has a program for it.

 

Ciaran

 

which model of minidsc player do you have?

does it attach to the computer by usb cable.

 

with a NetMD player (earlier usb connected player) you can't upload recordings. Instead you have to play the minidisc from Sony's software (sonic stage 3.4 is current issue and if you don't have this one an upgrage is highly recommended!) and use some recording software to catch it, then you can edit and dump it to disc as WAV (for CD) or mp3 for an mp3 player. Audacity (mentioned by others) is freeware and great for doing this.

 

Later minidisc players (the HiMD ones) will upload to computer. Then you can export from sonic stage as WAV and burn to a CD.

 

Chris

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Thank you all for your generous contributions. As Easter is upon us, I'm going to try and lock myself away and do this. I think I'll try the audacity software first. I'll let you know how I get on and if/when I'm successful - I'll ask you bright people how to put those fancy links into your messages so that you can hear my efforts at a click!!!

 

Thanks again - such a decent bunch of people you all are!

 

For the record (but not album just yet!) - I play a 6 fold 28 bone key Jeffries (which is in need of a trip to Michéal O'Raghaillagh for a tune up) - even so it's a delight to play and I'm very lucky to have it. Mum and Dad went shopping for a concertina for me when I was 8 (20years ago) and a shop in Oundle, Northamptonshire had a scatter of concertinas but only one anglo - they bought it. Consider myself very lucky indeed. Spoke to Colin Dipper recently and he's optimistic about my new Dipper - hopefully sometime this year! Very excited indeed!

 

Back to you soon.

 

(Not sure what model of Sony MD it is but I think I have enough info in this thread that my small brain should cope...hopefully!)

 

best regards and thanks again

 

Ciaran O'Grady

Dublin

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I don't know if you have heard but Sony have just brought out a new minidisc which is not only backwardly compatible but wiil allow direct connection to a computer via USB for BOTH uploads and downloads of recorded material. I understand it will allow you to upload the contents of the both the original minidiscs and also the later high density ones. I believe there is some software preventing the uploading of copyrighted material though. I've definitely got it on my present list. B)

 

Pete

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  • 1 month later...

Well I'm back. The earlier optimism is all but gone. I need your help again. spindizzy mentioned previously that if I had a Sony Net MD player I wouldn't be able to import the music and I would have to play it into audacity. That seems to be the problem. When I connect the MD to the Laptop, and I open MDJukebox ( I think) the tunes sit in the loading bay. I then open audacity and fiddle intently for hours but cannot get audacity to pick up the music. Am I thick or what? Don't answer that one. I'm not a great man for reading the manuals but have tried. Jargon kills me. I get the feeling that I need to store the MD music somewhere and then get audacity to pick it up. Kind people - lend me your expertise!

 

Also, my microphone is currently broken but when I get a new one will the following be possible? I plug in the mic to the mic hole on the side of the laptop (apologies for poor techno-lingo). I open audacity and click record. It starts recording sounds in the room - (will it recognise the microphone or do I have to "tell it" where to look?)

 

I have no idea of the internal workings of laptops (sony Vaio) and want to exist on a need to know basis - selfish, I know but I have such little spare time these days that any I do have I want to be able to devote to the music (facilitiated by IT!) and not devoted to IT facilitated by a CD in the background!

:blink:

Yours ignorantly

 

Ciaran, Dublin.

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Hi Ciaran, connect an audio cable from the line-out (or headphone out) of your MD player to the line-in connection of your laptop. Forget about the MDJukebox software.

 

Start up the Audacity software. Hit the 'record' button. Then hit the play button on the MD and re-record the tunes on your MD to the laptop using Audacity just as if you were recording live, in real-time. (Simple explanation, there may be a bit of 'set-up' when using the Audacity software the first time. But once it is set up it is that simple.)

 

I hope this helps, hang in there. It'll be worth it when you get it figured out and set up.

 

Someone else may be able to help you with the MDJukebox software. I'm not familiar with it.

Edited by Sandy Winters
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Also, my microphone is currently broken but when I get a new one will the following be possible? I plug in the mic to the mic hole on the side of the laptop (apologies for poor techno-lingo). I open audacity and click record. It starts recording sounds in the room - (will it recognise the microphone or do I have to "tell it" where to look?)

 

I use Audacity on a Mac, but my guess is that it will pick up the microphone input automatically. The default input is set in the preferences. Mine defaults to the internal microphone on my laptop. Since I don't have an external mic jack I usually do my recording with an Edirol and then import the files to my laptop as MP3's, though I could use WAV to get uncompressed audio. (I've been doing field recordings a sessions and rehearsals, so the performance conditions aren't such that the limiting factor on the quality is the compression of the files!)

 

When I looked at Minidisc recorders a few years ago there was no interface other than playback through the mic or line in input (which I don't have) for getting the files onto a Mac (the software for handling the compression used in MD was not available for Mac, only Windows). That's why I didn't get a Minidisc recorder, but it does suggest that Sandy Winters's suggestion should work. It is just much slower than other means of transfering the files.

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Hi Ciaran, connect an audio cable from the line-out (or headphone out) of your MD player to the line-in connection of your laptop. Forget about the MDJukebox software.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that "line out" and "headphone out" give very different volume levels. You want "line out" to go to your computer's "line in".

 

...will the following be possible? I plug in the mic to the mic hole on the side of the laptop.... I open audacity and click record. It starts recording sounds in the room - (will it recognise the microphone or do I have to "tell it" where to look?)
I use Audacity on a Mac, but my guess is that it will pick up the microphone input automatically.

My experience under Windows is that Audacity doesn't remember your input device setting, but uses whatever input device Windows is currently set to. This caused me great trouble until I figured out what was going on. Whenever I played an audio CD on my computer, the CD-player software changed the Windows setting to accept input from the CD player, so that -- rather than "microphone" was where Audacity was trying to record from. But the Audacity console has a simple drop down menu where you can (re)select the input "device". As long as I remember to make sure that I have the proper setting -- usually either "microphone" or "line in" -- selected before I start recording, it's cool.

 

Also, you should always do a quick "test" recording before you start recording in earnest, to make sure you have the volume levels set correctly... not too soft, but also not so loud that you get "clipping" distortion. (In the Audacity display, that's when the waveform flattens at the top and bottom.)

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Well I'm back. The earlier optimism is all but gone. I need your help again. spindizzy mentioned previously that if I had a Sony Net MD player I wouldn't be able to import the music and I would have to play it into audacity. That seems to be the problem. When I connect the MD to the Laptop, and I open MDJukebox ( I think) the tunes sit in the loading bay. I then open audacity and fiddle intently for hours but cannot get audacity to pick up the music.

 

Ciaran,

 

Can you get the music to play on the computer from your NetMD?

If so, Audacity should be able to pick it up.

 

Hmmm.. I've just fired up Audacity. (WIN xp)

On the top rightish there's a box with a pull down menu... only options on my laptop are Stereo Mix and Microphone. You want Stero Mix.

 

In the middle of the top part of the screen there are level meters, the one with the mic icon is input level. If you click on the down arrow by this mic. you can select "monitor input".

With stereo mix set, anything that the computer is sending to the laptop soundcard (ie speakers or headphones) should be seen on here. You can push the sensitivity up and down using the mic slider on the top right, and the speaker output with it's own slider.

 

If the levels are showing some activity, try clicking the record button in Audacity. (red one).

You should start creating a new recording, with the data displayed as amplitude (volume) against time in the main window.

 

At the LHS of this window it tells you the recording mode, which I have as "stereo 44100Hz"

(you can cut the sample rate down if you want.) I remember having a problem getting these settings to stick (it wanted to start in mono) There's a pull down in this part of the display (next to "Audio Track") which lets you change the sample rate etc.

 

If you manage to record anything, press the stop button then play it back (press play button) and see if it worked. If it did (hurrah!) you can save it on you computer by clicking on "File -> Export as WAV (for making a CD) or Export os MP3 for playing on Ipod or putting on the tune page.

 

If you can't get Jukebox to play the MD, you can try taking a line out from the MD to the line in/mic on the PC. Set Audacity to microphone and do the same thing.

 

And everyone has given good advice on setting levels etc.

 

Failing all else - send me a copy of the MD :)

 

Chris (spindizzy)

 

ps If you are using the "StereoMix" setting - beware of the others noises Windows likes to make - they'll all egt recorded too.... the beep from arriving emails, the card shuffling noises when you get bored waiting for the recording to finish and have a game of solitaire ..... :angry:

Edited by spindizzy
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Jim, Larry, Sandy & Chris,

 

Thank you all very kindly. It's now working like a dream. I nipped home at lunch time to try it. Yipee! ! THANK YOU!!. In hindsight it all sounds so simple. I have no idea why my small brain did not offer any of the multiple solutions you gave. I guess some people have the logic.

 

So now it works and I can record and mess around and start getting somewhere with my writing. Just incase you thought that was the end of this thread I still need some guidance. How do I make the music recorded in .Wav form (seemless use of techno speak!) available on this website?...or anywhere else for that matter. Either that or I post my humble offerings on CD to the people who have pulled me aboard the technology ship and saved me from drowning in the "SeaPU" !

 

Many thanks again. :rolleyes:

 

Ciaran O'Grady

28 Jeffries Anglo

Dublin

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How do I make the music recorded in .Wav form (seemless use of techno speak!) available on this website?

The simplest thing is to save them in MP3 format, and contact Henk about how to provide him with copies.

 

...the "SeaPU" !

Even more puns than you're aware of? B)

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