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Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108137
12/20/06 03:01 PM
12/20/06 03:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Wow! I was up last night until 12:45 working on these CDs, and had commitments all morning, so just now had the chance to check this thread. What a wonderful outpouring of support. heart

Let's see if I can hit most of the questions that were raised:

What's on the CD? Mostly pieces by David Nevue (Solitude, Wonderland, Home, Overcome, Emerald Valley, The Gift) and Einaudi (Nefeli, Un mondo a parte, Dietro Casa, Limbo, Una Mattina). Tiersen's "Comptine." And a couple of others I'll keep secret for now because they may be pressed into action for future recitals. wink

The really aggravating thing is that at 12:47 a.m., as I was getting ready for bed, I realized that in all the transferring of files and creating playlists etc. I had left off one 8-minute piece I was particularly proud of. This was after burning 10 copies. Aarrrrgggh! mad Oh well. It just means I have a head start on next year's CD. :rolleyes:

The cover I got from Microsoft Word; if you open up Word and search for "labels" and scroll down the list, there's a template for CD jewel case covers. In future years I'll probably explore some of the label making kits you can buy. But for something quick and easy, this sufficed.

Roberta, the Zoom is really ridiculously easy to use. As someone who has tried recording using a microphone and a laptop, I can vouch that this is much easier and virtually foolproof. The quality is very good, imho. The best part is that there is never any clipping, distortion, or hisses. So when I play the CD on my stereo system, it sounds like a "real" CD. When I was listening to my various recordings through headphones, trying to select which ones to put on the CD, the contrast between my Zoom files and my condensor mic files was so striking that I ended up not using any of my non-Zoom files. They all had a noticeable hiss and usually some degree of clipping.

You can get better sound than the Zoom with fancier setups, e.g., expensive mics and a mixer and pre-amp (I just love what jollyroger has been able to do with his), but I wasn't willing to put the time, money, and learning effort into accomplishing that.

"Normalizing" is a process that equalizes the volume of different tracks recorded at different times. This lets you put multiple tracks on a CD without having to constantly turn the volume up and down for each track. It is very easy to do with audacity. Audacity is a free program for recording and editing music files that you can download off the web. It is very very easy to use. I'm not sure what you meant by "how do you override the program that was sent with it." The Zoom comes with a disc containing Cubase bundled with it. But I didn't even install the software, so there was nothing to override. (Others who use Cubase say it's harder to use than audacity. It has features that audacity does not, but I haven't needed them, so I'll stick with the easy program.)

In listening to others' experience with the Zoom, I would say that most of the time the resulting files are somewhat low in volume. So normalizing helps quite a bit.

The Zoom comes with a USB cable that allows you to connect it to your computer. Your computer basically treats the Zoom like a removable drive, and you can copy, rename, and delete files easily with your computer. Then just open the .wav files in audacity, and you can edit out the dead space at the beginning and end of the piece, normalize the file, and then export it either as a .wav or .mp3.

Then it's just a matter of creating a playlist in Windows Media to burn the CD. That was the hardest part for me, actually, because it took me a while to figure out that you had to move the music files to the "My music" folder in order for Windows Media to find them. I think. At least that's how I finally got it to work.

The whole flash drive thing was just my inefficiency; I had audacity on my laptop, but I couldn't burn CDs on it, so I had to copy the files onto a USB flash drive and then to my basement computer. In the future I'll just install audacity on the basement computer and work only on it.

Ozor Mox, I admit that I am a brainwashed Zoomie, but my advice to you is to not even open up your new microphone. Throw it away or send it back, and get yourself a Zoom instead. You will save yourself hours of frustration in fiddling with the mic and the cables and whatnot. Whereas if you get a Zoom you'll have that CD for your sister in a matter of weeks. wink

Arjen, I don't know how to upload a CD. I've uploaded several of the tracks individually; they're sprinkled around in the various Zoom, piano bar, and Christmas music threads.

Anyway, this has truly been a thrilling experience. Monster, I know exactly what you mean about the thrill of being able to listen to yourself. It's a tangible sense of accomplishment and real source of gratification. I'm also looking forward to being able to go back and compare it 5 years from now to my "Volume 5." (Presumably, there will be noticeable improvement! :rolleyes: )

I'm even giving copies to my kids. I'm sure their little faces will fall when they open it this Christmas ("uh, gee, mom. A cd of your piano playing. Just what I always wanted."), but I also know that they'll be glad to have it when I'm dead and gone.

Anyway, I'll be glad to offer more specific help to anybody who is similarly inspired. Not sure how much help I'll be, though, as a lot of my actions last night consisted of clicking on things randomly until the right things popped up.

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Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108138
12/20/06 03:11 PM
12/20/06 03:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 67
Alberta, Canada
2play4U Offline
Full Member
2play4U  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 67
Alberta, Canada
Congratulations, this is quite an accomplishment. You have been an inspiration to me, and your excitement in getting the Zoom, inspired me to purchase one as well. I echo your comments that the device couldn’t be simpler to use, and does a great job at recording.

Now if I could just get the courage you have to upload one of my recordings...


Mike
Estonia 168 in ebony polish, serial no. 1378
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108139
12/20/06 03:15 PM
12/20/06 03:15 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,559
Roswell, Georgia
N
NancyM333 Offline
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NancyM333  Offline
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N

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,559
Roswell, Georgia
Okay, now that Monica has talked about recording these pieces live, I'm embarrassed to say that I did a CD a couple of years ago at a recording studio (a gift of my wonderful teacher) where they EDITED out all of my mistakes! I continued to go there as I learned pieces one at a time, and it costs about $60 per piece to get it recorded and edited. Now I realize if I were just a little less nervous at the red dot, I could just do it at home much cheaper! That will be my goal for next year.

Great job, Monica!

Nancy


Estonia 168
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108140
12/20/06 03:17 PM
12/20/06 03:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
You don't need courage, Mike, to upload a recording. That's the great thing about the internet!! Nobody is watching so you can just upload it quietly and then run and hide in your pantry. wink And if you upload it in the piano bar here, we will all be very nice. Just do it!

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108141
12/20/06 03:38 PM
12/20/06 03:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,522
Portland, Or.
G
gabytu Offline
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gabytu  Offline
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G

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,522
Portland, Or.
Monica, You are an inspiration to those of us who need the Idiot's guide to PC's and other crutches in order to do much on the computer.
I am impatiently waiting to get my new Zoom H4--the orginal one came without tripod, and instead of sending me a tripod, they prefer to ship me a new Zoom in exchange for the one minus a tripod. Seems like a cumbersome way to do things, but they must have their reasons. The new one is being shpped express and should be here Fri. or Sat. at the latest.

My computer has a built in CD burner and I have used it for storing pictures and things and the process has been simple. Now let's hope it is as easy to make a CD with the Zoom.

Enough of this chatter. Back to the piano for me. Really gotta nail some pieces so that they are good enough to store for posterity on a CD.Gaby Tu

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108142
12/20/06 03:49 PM
12/20/06 03:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member
mahlzeit  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
I also just made a CD, just for fun really. To make the cover, I used a free paint program called The GIMP .

A CD cover is 709 by 709 pixels at 150 DPI. DPI means "dots per inch". The higher this value, the better the print quality. If you have an inkjet printer, it can probably handle 300 DPI just fine, which looks better, but also requires a bigger image (more pixels).

I actually made an image that is 1418x709 pixels, so that it has a front and an inside when you fold it in half. Then you simply print it as landscape on heavy glossy photopaper. Cut it out, fold it in half, stuff it in the CD case. Looks almost professional. smile


No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108143
12/20/06 03:56 PM
12/20/06 03:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Quote
Originally posted by NancyM333:
Okay, now that Monica has talked about recording these pieces live, I'm embarrassed to say that I did a CD a couple of years ago at a recording studio (a gift of my wonderful teacher) where they EDITED out all of my mistakes!
Two reactions: (a) What a *marvelous* gift idea of your teacher's!! Special and unique and so appropriate. You're a lucky student indeed. smile

(b) Yesterday, as I was playing "Cristofori's Dream" for the 314th time in a futile attempt to get a take that was reasonably clean, I would have GLADLY paid $60 for the privilege of having a recording expert edit out my glaring mistakes!! laugh

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108144
12/20/06 04:19 PM
12/20/06 04:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
Cape Cod
H
hv Offline
1000 Post Club Member
hv  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
H

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,242
Cape Cod
Hi, Monica. Congratulations on your accomplishment. Seems like just yesterday you were trying to figure out the input jacks on your computer. Bet it won't be long till we see your name on I-Tunes.

Howard

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108145
12/20/06 07:20 PM
12/20/06 07:20 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,215
S. California
Van Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Van  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,215
S. California
Congrats, Monica. You inspire us all.


[Linked Image]
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108146
12/21/06 01:41 AM
12/21/06 01:41 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
In a state full of Volcanoes
wolfindmist Offline
1000 Post Club Member
wolfindmist  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,478
In a state full of Volcanoes
You go girl!


I have my own weapon of mass destruction in the form of a "teenage" German Shepherd. Anything she spies and can get ahold of is fair game.
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108147
12/21/06 03:26 AM
12/21/06 03:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 293
California
Sarah M Offline
Full Member
Sarah M  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 293
California
I'm impressed. A whole CD!

I haven't even managed to record a single song to my satisfaction. frown But you've inspired me. My new year's resolution will be to make my own CD for next year. smile

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108148
12/21/06 10:21 AM
12/21/06 10:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Quote
Originally posted by Sarah M:
I'm impressed. A whole CD!

I haven't even managed to record a single song to my satisfaction. frown
Well, I didn't say I was satisfied with any of my recordings! laugh

That really is the key, Sarah. I can tell you right now that there is no such thing as a flawless recording. We are our own harshest critics, and we will hear even the slightest hesitation or less than optimal pedalling or dynamics. Not to mention an occasional skipped or wrong note.

What you have to do is achieve a sort of Zen acceptance with imperfection. And once you abandon any hope of achieving a perfect take, and aim instead for the much more reasonable goal of achieving a no-glaring-bloopers take, the whole enterprise becomes a lot more feasible and less stressful. I know where each and every mistake is in every single one of my pieces on the CD. But a naive listener wouldn't notice most of them, I think. And that is good enough for me.

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108149
12/21/06 10:23 AM
12/21/06 10:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Quote
Originally posted by mahlzeit:
I also just made a CD, just for fun really. To make the cover, I used a free paint program called The GIMP .

...I actually made an image that is 1418x709 pixels, so that it has a front and an inside when you fold it in half. Then you simply print it as landscape on heavy glossy photopaper. Cut it out, fold it in half, stuff it in the CD case. Looks almost professional. smile
That is way cool, mahlzeit! What design did you use? Any chance you can post the image for us so we can see what it looks like?

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108150
12/21/06 11:53 AM
12/21/06 11:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member
mahlzeit  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
Hi Monica,

This isn't the cover from my Xmas CD, because that one was too silly. smile

I hope this is a good example of what I meant:

http://www.box.net/public/6qzzm2evbh

If you fold it, the left half is the inside, the right half is the front of the "booklet".

Like I said before, 1418 x 709 pixels, 150 DPI. That DPI number is important, otherwise it will print in the wrong proportions.

Oh, the photo is from www.sxc.hu which is a free stock photo site.


No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!
Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108151
12/21/06 12:02 PM
12/21/06 12:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
Monica K. Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline OP

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,314
Lexington, Kentucky
I love it!!! I have got to figure out how to do something like that. Or maybe I'll just steal your photo and change the text on it. :p

....but you realize, don't you, that you have now got us all WAY too curious to know exactly what you mean by "too silly" to show us? c'mon, fess up. laugh

Re: Just made my first CD!! #1108152
12/21/06 02:53 PM
12/21/06 02:53 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
mahlzeit Offline
1000 Post Club Member
mahlzeit  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,916
Netherlands
Heh heh, nope. I'll just leave it to your imaginations. wink


No idea what chords you are playing? Reverse Chord Finder Pro will tell you!
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