Thanks to fellow Blog owner


About Me

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BLOG NOW ABANDONED, PURPOSE WAS ORIGINALLY to present restored VINYL albums of both Folk & Jazz. Lack of interest and comments has resulted in me deciding to throw in the towel... Once specialising in vinyl restoration. Although I would have preferred to only post albums that I have paid for, or those of close friends, I was open to suggestions and offers of rare Folk items that need tender care and restoration, provided the supplier had the right of ownership of the physical item. NOT JUST an MP3 COPY of it. To give you an idea, I was prepared to restore vinyl belonging to another person, IF I received a decent quality scan of the front, back and any relevant information that comes with the LP, preferably at least 2400 by 2400 quality, (600DPI scans for back) along with the sound files in FLAC format as waves are a bit too large to transfer. Then I would check their suitability for restoration. I tried to maintain the requirement for a decent set of scans for each item, where possible, as I felt the music is incomplete without it. Sometimes this was just not possible as a lot of my stock came from broadcasting organisations that had their own heavy card sleeves.

Monday, 17 April 2017

WELL ... I TRIED, Tried to regain enthusiasm to post NEW stuff, but NO-GO


I guess this is the END of the story really !

Blogging is DEAD it seems, perhaps I should have NEVER tried to re-awaken this blog, it was obviously a BIG Mistake
seemed like a good idea at the time to post a few new albums, re-vitilise a few others, re-post some links, but the lack of comments and the inability to check the download numbers on Dropbox make the exercise WORTHLESS.

So, that's it the BLOG dies herewith.

Sorry to all those that HAVE enjoyed the music, found missing treasures and been re-united with old friends work, it was always nice to get your emails and stories.

Thank you,


Sunday, 22 August 2010

Gonzo creates a BLOG of RANDOM Jottings: Music/Art/Technical/etc

So not to be BOUND to Folk music and Jazz, I created a random blog

               Product of a "Freewheeling Mind"

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Avoiding CLIPPING (Overload) on Vinyl ripping


Recently there has been some discussion on one of the blogs I visit about sound clipping and the distortion it causes to the music. There are many examples of badly done Vinyl rips, leaving aside the obvious problems of old, dirty and worn records, which only allow certain levels of improvement, there is one fundamental that should be firmly understood that of LOUDNESS when encoding from analogue to digital.  Digital recording is just a bucket of bits, once the bucket is filled, any more filling is lost over the side NEVER to be heard of again.  This is a simple analogy as although it would appear that what falls out of the bucket cannot be heard, this is not actually true, the effect of the bits falling out leaves behind unwanted bits, mixed up with the wanted bits... DISTORTION !!

The picture that saves a thousand words (I hope) ..
Click on the picture to magnify it for printing/reading

So, next time you consider turning one of your precious vinyl's into something DIGITAL please take care to do it to the best possible quality with the equipment you have available, most will have a record VOLUME control, please USE IT !! (CAREFULLY)

To assist you in getting the ripping levels right, here are some useful utilities.

Retro Style Analogue meters

These are available from the excellent VU-Player site   HERE

Then the Professional style Broadcast Peak Program Meters (PPMS)

These meters and others can be downloaded from  HERE

Both these meter programs are compatible with Windows 98/XP/Vista
There are enhanced versions that run only with Windows 7.

I have no connection with either of the programmers, I just want to spread the word because I have used them both to great advantage and am grateful to them for their labours.

 Now the words you all wanted to read... They are FREE
However donations are accepted.

Technical Words

These programs use your sound card to monitor the current audio stream, they can be set to monitor recording and playback, by making the correct selections on your audio mixer settings. Most computers have a "What You Hear" option, with this enabled, the meters will show exactly what you are listening to, the RETRO meters can be quite a talking point.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

HOW L* O* U* D can you make your music Mr record producer ?

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Way back when the Compact Disc (CD) that we know today was being designed by Philips & Sony the designers were constrained by the technology available in the period (1979-1980). Digital recording was already well established in studio complexes using multi-track tapes, what was needed for home use was a medium that the average listener could handle easily, like the move from reel to reel tape to cassette tapes made handling easier, what was needed was a similar transition from the vinyl disc in analogue format to a smaller neater disc in digital format.

The CD was born.  Even with the restrictions placed on the designers by the 1980's technology, the CD produced audio so clear and bright compared to the average record, played on the average domestic record player, the differences were obvious immediately, no awkward pickup arms to place carefully on the record, no rumble, no scratches, no stylus to wear out.  The CD's future was assured and after 30 years it is still a major source of recorded music for most people.

However, the convenience of the CD its ease of production with 21st century technology has meant that the CD has become just a marketing tool for record companies to fight each other with, to produce the LOUDEST sound in the battle for attention of the younger !music! listeners.  We have lost the plot totally in this respect, music (real music) has two principal parameters, frequency, the pitch (key)  of the sound, and amplitude (volume)  of the sound. The loudest instruments in an orchestra or band are probably the percussion, and a front line of brass, the softest sounds being made by the delicate brush work on a drum skin, or the triangle in an orchestra.

Both these sounds have their place in the music, which means the space between them in volume as heard in the recording studio, should be the same space as heard on the eventual recording, this space is called the dynamic range, the difference between the softest and the LOUDEST sounds in the music. Sadly this is NOT happening, and has not been happening for  the last 15 years at least.

Studio engineers, producers are progressively reducing this dynamic range in an effort to produce the LOUDEST overall sound to the consumer, the consumer that is becoming progressively more DEAF to the dynamics in music expects it.

This destruction of dynamics in music had not gone unnoticed by those that remember better times and better music, to this end a group has been formed to try to convince the record producers that dynamics are needed in music, to allow the best listening experience.

If you are interested in joining or just reading up on this subject, might I suggest you visit the web site HERE

You can read more, and even download a program "DR" that you can use to check the music on your system HERE  

A brief extract from the site gives us this leader into their mission ...

DYNAMIC RANGE and the end of loudness insanity!

The TT DYNAMIC RANGE METER Plug-in is an open source plug-in (VST, AU and RTAS)
which is perfectly suited for many applications used in modern music production. Additionally we supply the TT DR Offline Meter Software (PC) which will be used for the fast and convenient offline calculation of the official DR value of releases. In this way, anyone involved in music production has a tool for creating more dynamics in their productions.

This is a condition for ending the Loudness War!

For those who are not familiar with this term, here's an explanation: the Loudness War designates the senseless competition between record companies which involves releasing music with increasingly high amounts of dynamic compression (the "compression" of dynamic levels so that originally quiet passages are as loud as the loudest parts of a song). This results in products which are increasingly obtrusive in order to fight for the listener's attention.


 If you are in music production, or involved with mastering,  please remember we like to hear our music correctly, with LOUD highs, and delicate soft lows, just as it would be in a concert hall, 
NOT as a weapon between record companies to destroy our enjoyment, and hearing.

PHASE 2 Begins July 2012, by this time record companies that have signed the pledge to reduce compression in their music should be producing CD's with a dynamic range of at least 14dB, or
on lesser ranges (circa 8dB) music with a 6dB headroom to sound the same volume as the 14dB.

!!Great News!!   Now all you MAC owners can get DR !!

The MAC (MacOS) has long been a favourite of music makers, it's range of music production tools was always way ahead of the Windows platform until very recently, now there is NO EXCUSE for too much compression for all you MacOS Muso's

Only one change remains now for the MAC users, get to use SPACES in file names, dump that crazy Underscore finally.
(that was just a PERSONAL GRIPE folks)

Monday, 28 December 2009

"The LollyPop Man" Jim Causley

The Lollipop Man

Chorus: trad. Verses: © Jim Causley,
Paul Wilson & Marilyn Tucker 2007

Oh the lollipop man has a great big stick
And all that he charges is a penny a lick
And he gets it out whenever he can
He’s a dirty old devil is the lollipop man

Who is this with his spurty spout?
A dribbly cone, you can suck it all out
And a knicker-knocker glory, it’s the ice-cream man
But he cannot hold a candle to the lollipop man

Who is this with his grimy sack?
You can have it up the front or he’ll shove it round the back
With his sooty old nuts it’s the dirty coalman
But he’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

Who is this with his long stiff brush?
He rams it up the flu with a shove and a push
And he doesn’t give a toss; he’s the chimney sweep man
But he’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

And who is this with his floppy mop?
It’s long and it’s wet with a foam on top
Well he’s squeaky clean; it’s the window cleaner man
But he’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

Who is this with a silver top?
It’s nothing that a little blue-tit can’t pop
With his manly jugs it’s the creamy milkman
But he cannot hold a candle to the lollipop man

And who is this with his petticoats gay?
Powder puff and curly wig and lingerie
Well it’s old Mollybags, neither woman nor a man
But she’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

Who is this taking down your draws?
He never ever shoots and he seldom scores
Well it’s never jackpot with the Littlewoods man
And he’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

To reveal the next verse, drag your cursor over the text to highlight it

Who is this with the long bent fruit?
He peels back the skin and he slips on his suit
Well his real name’s Eric, he’s Banana Man
But he’ll never hold a candle to the lollipop man

(A Little humour for 2010, hope you don't mind Jim?)

You can hear Jim singing this hilariously funny track on

The Mother of all Morris, 2007 Talking Elephant Records
MORRIS samples

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Australian Bush Fires Fund raising in Tasmania

Here are a few of my Tasmanian friends, in a Launceston mall, They raised a grand total of over $700 for the appeal in just an afternoon. The Concertina player is an ex-Brit of some 30 years ago from Orpington Kent and is the owner of the vast Topic LP collection which I have access to when I visit.

The Guitarist with the grey beard is Kerry Cantley, a traditional singer with a powerful deep voice, he backed by the seated melodeon player Bill, and the bass guitarist Mark has made a few recordings on CD, I have one of his recordings made at a friends house in Tasmania.

Some samples of Kerry from his album "Meander Valley Musings" HERE

Another venerable musician and artist Brian Mooney, seen often in the Launceston folk scene was
commissioned to make a painting of the group, this is now hanging at the house of the concertina
player, Michael Manhire.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Scanning LP Covers

Scanning LP covers:

There is nothing I know that will scan a complete 12" LP cover, even A3 falls short by about 5mm each side. So you need to be inventive to get a complete scan. The A3 scanner does have the advantage over the A4 in this respect in that you only need two scans and the joins can be over to the edge, not in the main part of the cover which means that some LP covers with a large selvage can often be scanned in ONE by focussing on the central part only then have the edges cloned from the main body. Since the edges of an LP cover will often be frayed, creased or in other ways damaged, you will need to do some work on the edges for the final production anyway.

If you are stuck with an A4 scanner you will need to be really creative, sometimes you need a left and a right side scan and then a further scan to cover either the top or bottom edge, or both. All these parts need to be assembled in your favourite graphics editor, Photoshop or Paintshop etc. I prefer Paintshop, only because I was trained on that program, however Photoshop has similar features.

Requirements for multiple scans:

The scanner needs to be well warmed up so it will produce an even intensity scan across the whole plattern, this will show up when you try to join two halves, or add the top and bottom strips as a boundary at the joins this needs careful adjustment of brightness and contrast for each constituent part before the final join is made.

Joining: (example using Paintshop)

Load one scan (left for example) check the size of the canvas, make sure you MERGE all layers of the image, Increase the canvas size to 20% more height and double width, re-merge all layers, move your first image to the left of the canvas, re-merge layers. Save this new image. Open the Right side scan as a new image and select the part you want to join to the left image, make a copy (Control C) discard this image, revert back to the new canvas size image of the left, select PASTE and option AS NEW LAYER, this will place the selected part of the copied right image on the larger canvas, move the right part around to make a good join at some convenient place where errors show the least.

When you are happy with this, merge all the layers to one, and save as "Name L+R" from this point you can tidy the image, adjust contrast etc as needed. Proceed the same to add the top and bottom strips (remember the 20% height added to the canvas) finally crop out the wanted picture from the excess canvas, merge to one layer and save to a final file name.

I scan front pictures at 300 DPI and rear cover up to 600 DPI where there is fine text. You should aim for a working resolution of 2400 by 2400 pixels during the edit, you can go to 3600 by 3600 if you have enough memory in your machine but at this resolution you are working with raw files 30-60 megabytes, that take some time to move around and join.

The final resolution for distribution and sharing need only be 1200 by 1200, and for posting as a blog picture 800 by 800 is the maximum size that will be accepted without cropping.

Most scanners that I know will allow you to scan LP's in parts either as two(+) vertical scans, or (2+) horizontal scans. Some scanners do not give full access across the platern from both directions, so you may need to make one scan upside down, you can correct this before assembly in the editor using the ROTATE command (180) .

Some top models will work at 4800 pixel resolution, 2400 is really quite good enough for most work. The software to handle the scanner, frame the image, set up the scan is variable in quality, I favour the suite provided with the Epson range of scanners, or those based on "Pagemaker" (Canon)

There is a great sense of achievement in making a good job of an LP cover, their artwork is so much better than the average CD cover.