Hello, all -
I work at a research library that is going to start digitizing the oral
history collection. Currently, the only public access copies are on
cassette. Many of the masters are cassettes as well, along with reel to
reel. We already have a nice Nakamichi cassette deck, and we will be
able to get a computer with plenty of memory. I am going to have to
purchase a USB audio interface and some decent monitors. As we are at
the beginning stages of the project, my goals are modest: I just want
to make cd copies available to the public, and to have some audio clips
of the more popular interviews available on our website.
Of course, our budget is extremely limited. It is nearing the end of
the fiscal year, however, and it looks like there is going to be enough
money left in the supplies budget to cover some equipment purchases. I
already emailed Mike Hurst, who had posted here previously on this
subject. He had some great recommendations, so I wanted to tap into the
other minds here as well.
I was curious about was what software was most popular. Of course,
Protools is kind of the industry standard, and is less expensive than it
used to be. But I have little experience with it and I understand that
it is difficult to master. I would think more of an editing or
mastering program would be more appropriate, like Wavelab. I am a
musician, and I have some studio experience from recording my own music,
but I am not an audio engineer by any stretch of the imagination, and my
co-workers generally have less audio background than I do. So
user-friendliness is a big consideration.
I know we could use Audacity, which has the added benefit of being free.
Since we won't have much need for effects, Audacity may be perfectly
serviceable for this project. One of the USB interfaces I was looking
at (the Tascam US-144) comes with a free version of Cubase, but I don't
know that it would be any better for our purposes than Audacity. At
least Audacity stands the chance of being improved down the road, and
those improvements could be downloaded for free. Since I only see
budgets shrinking in the current financial climate, being familar with
the shareware program might be a better idea than learning to use a
proprietary program, if we never get the money to buy an updated version
down the road. On the other hand, if I can get the money for Protools,
that should cover anything we might want to do in the future.
Anyway, your thoughts on a good USB interface, a good and inexpensive
pair of monitors, headphones, and on suitable software would be most