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Hi John, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since your original  
post and seemingly, the most favored software editors have been pared  
down to a few.
Whenever I see inquiries such as this, and given the current economic  
climate, I have to wonder if you've checked with local organizations  
to see if an institutional license for one of these programs that you  
could access, it already in possession. For example, in the town that  
I'm in, as part of a youth program, they have a small digital  
recording studio where the local high school kids can do some  
recording and sound manipulation. There's also a public access  
station for local news and events. That's just off the top of my head  
but I'm sure there's more publicly funded organizations who probably  
already have an institutional license for Samplitude, WaveLab,  
Soundforge etc.. If you could find one, it might make deciding  
between them pretty easy.
Steve Koto
On Aug 13, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Schooley, John wrote:

> 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
> appreciated.
>
> -John Schooley