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It's worth getting a fast computer or a great deal of time will be  
spent waiting for processing to take place. If you're handling a lot  
of material, this can add up.

Malcolm Smith.

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
>