Category Archives: Music

From OST addiction to mandolins and zithers.

Forget the Movie, Give Me the OST

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Some of us love original motion picture scores, and I don’t have to explain that to my fellow addicts. Eighty bucks for a rare Jerry Goldsmith OST CD? Cheap at the price! Okay, that’s a little farther over the edge than some of us. But if you had the money to splurge, you would, too.

It’s not about “I have it and few people do.” That’s a soundtrack collector‘s mindset, a certain competitive completeness. I want to have it to listen to at will. If you gave me a choice, for free, between a full Krull limited edition 2-CD set, and 20 or 30 soundtrack albums that have to be $10 apiece or less, I don’t even have to think about it: I can list a couple dozen off the top of my head that I will take on that offer. Those will give me more happy time than any single complete soundtrack.

A pause to define: There are what they now call soundtracks that are anthologies of pop songs used as soundtracks (that started in the 1970s). I have a few of those, especially when it seems the only way to get some songs or versions of them. Suckerpunch, for example. The covers of songs are great (love of covers is another day’s insanity). But we need to differentiate those from the original soundtrack (OST) or film score. Read the rest of this entry

Still Writing

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But not finished.

I did build a clock for the bathroom this weekend, and cases for three more (need to buy the mechanisms), besides knocking off the Mongolian chapter for People’s Names, Around the World from 3000 BC. Am I narrowing the subject too much?

I also expanded some of my playlists at 8tracks. If you’re looking for music to write by, or walk by, or dance a branle by, you might have a look.

On Ripping Vinyl, Pt. 2: Disc to Cloud

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When you make up the mp3 files, you will have to Export them in the new format. You will need to have certain information ready at the end, and you need to collect it before you start. You will get to type this in, over and over, because, at least in my copy of Audacity, it won’t let you paste anything in. This is possibly the most onerous part of the whole ripping business, and it’s just repetitious.

What you will need are: Read the rest of this entry

On Ripping Vinyl, Pt. 1: From Licorice Pizza to Hard Drive

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Cleavers are better than knives.

Actually, I’m using Audacity with an Ion turntable. Your mileage may vary, as will your controls, depending on what you use.

The number of whosit bands whose LPs have made it to CD or, even more likely, MP3, is amazing. Julian’s Treatment, for heaven’s sake! The H. P. Lovecraft!

Great jazz artists of the 1950s are making it over, so if I had just waited two years I needn’t have gotten the vinyl for the Peter Gunn (TV show) soundtrack by Henry Mancini.

What I am not seeing are lesser movie soundtracks, especially those of the 1970s and early 1980s. When they came out on vinyl, and when the switchover to CDs occured, they were too new to be collectible, so that they’ve fallen between media chairs.

So here I am converting the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, often called the Bakshi LotR or the 1978 LotR, with the soundtrack by Leonard Rosenman. It’s not as distinctively epic fantasy as the Howard Shore OST, and that’s what I like about it. It sounds like a good action/adventure soundtrack written anywhere from the 1930s to its own era. That means it makes good writing music.

I’m waiting on Miklos Rosza’s 10″ Quo Vadis, with nostalgia. My BFF from high school had a copy of this, and anything newer doesn’t include the song of the Vestal Virgins in the processional. Also in the mail, a movie I never saw, the 1978 Yanks whose soundtrack for a WW2 setting might suit some of my projects. (Then again, it may all be too mushy, but that works for other things, right? Characters can’t always be jumping through windows.)

Now, if you have considered doing this sort of thing but been thinking it’ll all be too technical and fussy — fear not. You, too, can convert your grandparent’s LPs or your great-grandparent’s 78s.

#1 step for quality is to get a crackle-free disc. They happen! The copy of the Krull OST I got is beautifully clear. (Early James Horner.) Many discs are worn, but cleaning them can make a huge difference. Before you ever put a platter on the turntable, inspect it. Look for gunk, dulling, dust, scratches. You can clean it, in a circular motion, with special cleaning agents, or go the extra (expensive) mile to get a disc-washer, like libraries used with loaner LPs. This gently deep-scrubs the grooves while keeping the label dry. A brush or velvet pad held to the surface on the turntable will get off superficial lint, but it’s not going to deep clean. You need

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