Sansone's Gifts for Families

Visit our Amazon Associate store. Same prices as Amazon, but you can help us in the process.

Visit Sansone's Gifts for Families

A Question for those who record their sermons

Monday, December 10, 2007

I am not having much success getting responses when I ask for ideas from here, but I thought I would try it at least one more time.

This question is regarding the recording of sermons (or other things that you may record).

1. Do you record both a cassette master and a digital master (CD, Mp3, etc.) or do you just make one master?

2. If you only record one master - which type is it?

3. If you record only a digital master - do you (can you) make a cassette copy off of that digital master or are cassettes essentially obsolete?

3b. If you copy from a digital master to a cassette, how do you do that? Is the process complicated?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Just asking for your thoughts,

Frank

15 comments:

Don Johnson said...

Right now we record audio on a VCR, then transfer it to digital. We used to transfer it to audio tape, but a lot of sound quality is lost in that process.

It is possible to transfer digital to a cassette, you just plug a tape recorder into your digital machine and record the output. We have not been too happy with the result. The tape sounds a little "speeded up" -- not 'chipmunky' but the pitch and cadence just isn't right. This might be because of the equipment we have or because of the nature of transferring from digital to analog. The process is not fast because as far as I know there is no high speed dubbing method from digital to analog.

I think the cassette is basically going the way of the dodo bird, though. Even our older folks who don't have computers do have DVD players. They can replay a CD of a message on that.

Hope that helps some.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

peter beninate said...

At CHBC we record the sermons to 3 masters: CD, DAT and cassette. The CD is our "true" master for duplication, archive and publishing to the web. The tape is just for duplication (cos apparently some people still want those things), and the DAT is pretty much just an emergency backup.

For new installations, I recommend recording to an audio file (AIFF or WAV) and doing duplication for that. You can use a computer or a stand-alone recorder, going straight to computer gives you the easiest way out to CD and web.

If a file-based system is too cost prohibitive, CD only is a good option. If you find that you need to go to cassette as well, it's quite easy to do a straight dub from CD to cassette.

Hope that helps some!

Chris Anderson said...

We record on to a (very, very old) laptop, from which we can burn CD's, upload to sermonaudio.com, etc. It's worked well, and is a cheap, almost immediate solution.

I don't believe we make tapes anymore at all, and as Don said, nobody really wants them.

Want to buy some blank tapes? :-)

Don Johnson said...

Peter, you seem to know more about this than me! [not hard to do!] We are going to move to computer based recording. I had been thinking to record straight to mp3, but is AIFF or WAV better? WAV files are bigger... could you comment on advantages/disadvantages there?

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Frank Sansone said...

Don, Peter, and Chris,

Thank you for your input. It has been helpful and I appreciate it very much.

Peter, I would love to hear you address Don's questions if you get the chance (good to hear from you again.)

Hardingville used a DAT, but I never understood what and how they were doing with it. (I am not much of a technology guy, even though I enjoy computers.)

Peter, you mentioned dubbing from CD to Cassette. Any experience with copying onto cassette from a computer instead? Is the end product significantly different? For dubbing from a CD to cassette, do you just put the CD in a CD player and connect the headphone jack to the mic jack on the cassette player or is there a better way to do it?

Thanks for y'all's comments. (Is that anti-intellectual enough :)).

Frank

Steve Elmer said...

Frank,

Not sure if you remember me, but we were together in old Bryan with my brother Dan.

Been reading your blog for awhile now, and its been quite an encouragement to me. Not much of a blogger or commentator, but I do enjoy your content.

The church I pastor still has the tape master, and usually every Monday, I'll transfer it to my computer using a free program "Audacity." It has a lot of features to it, but you probably won't need to use too many of them. I just hook up a jack between a tape player and my computer. We don't keep the tapes anymore, though. I'll convert them to MP3 and then upload them to SermonAudio. Of course, as there is no fast way to transfer from digital to tape, there is no fast way to transfer from tape to digital either. Sometimes, I'll use the time to critique my message and delivery as well.

I've been looking for a good alternative to this method, but they just haven't been feasible up to this point. Hope this helps!

Steve Elmer

Don Johnson said...

There you go, Frank, yore larnin'

BTW, I see from Steve's comment you were in Bryan? Both my boys (alas) failed to follow their father's wise example and are also Bryan Bears.

I have been slowly transferring our tape library to digital. It is a slow process, but I do it while studying. I just mute the sound and let the tape run. I am back to 2002 now. Only 15 more years to go! As I noted earlier, the pitch isn't right on our old cassettes, so I am massaging the sound with RipEditBurn Plus from Blaze Audio. It isn't perfect, but it is the best we can do.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Frank Sansone said...

Steve,

Wow! It is great to hear from you. It has been a long time - and yes, I remember you and Dan. I'm afraid to go out on a big limb because it has been so long and I don't always have the best of memories, but didn't you have an older sister at BJ as well and (this is really a strain) didn't you spend some of your growing up years (or at least have some type of direct connection) with Practical Bible Training School?

It is great to hear from you and I appreciate your input. Have you had any problems with quality going from cassette to mp3?



Don,

It is good to hear that your boys have the good smarts to think for themselves and choose a superior society. At least you can be proud that you taught them to chose the best.

"We love those Bears, Bears, Bears, Bears, Bears, those Bryan Bears, Bears, Bears, Bears, Bears. Everybody loves them, loves them Bryan Bears."

Frank

Steve Elmer said...

Frank,

Yep, that's me! My parents served at PBTS (now Davis College, I think) in NY. My sister lives in NC, and Dan (soon to be married) is now serving in Zambia, teaching at a Christian college there with Steve Hafler & family via GFA. Send me an email sometime at pastor-elmer(at)hotmail(dot)com.

As far as recording goes, I've had to toy with it a little in order to get the best quality, but I got it to an acceptable level. I'd like to archive the rest of our audio library, but it takes way to much time!

Steve.

Frank Sansone said...

Steve,

That's great. I will definitely need to email you and catch up a little more - and thanks for the input on the recording.

Frank

peter beninate said...

Don, regarding your question about MP3 vs AIFF/WAV:
Recording direct to MP3 is a totally legit option. Here are a few reasons to record to an uncompressed format such as AIFF or WAV:

- Encoding MP3 on the fly is subject to errors due to the processing requirements. If your hardware can't keep up with the encoding, you will get clicks or pops in the audio, or it may drop out completely. Generally speaking, today's hardware is more than capable of handleing on the fly encoding to MP3, but I like to play it safe.

- Most people need multiple versions of the MP3, such as a 256kb/s version for archiving and a 32 or 64 kbps version for web distribution. If you record straight to MP3, you'll need to trascode to get a version at a different bit-rate. This is time consuming and lossy.

- Uncompressed audio sounds better!

AIFF or WAV files will take up about 10MB per minute, so a 50 minute sermon will take up roughly 500MB.

Let me know if you have additional questions that I didn't address.


Frank, regarding your question about computer to cassette:

The process is very similar. I would recommend running the audio through a "normalize" filter on the computer. This will make the volume more consistent across loud and soft passages. This makes it easer to listen to, and helps you avoid "peaking" and distorting the audio on the cassette.

Basically, you will be playing the audio OUT of the computer and IN to the cassette deck. Check the meters on the deck to make sure they don't peak above 0db, and record away!

Regarding the connections, I'd need to know some details about the specific equipment you are using. Different connections could yield different results..

Hope that helps!

Don Johnson said...

Peter, thanks very much for the info. I really appreciate it. We are going to move to digital recording soon and I want to do the best job we can. It sounds like it might be wise to develop an archive system if we record to uncompressed files, although I realize modern hard drives are quite large. And I am well aware of the need to always backup!

If you do happen to drop by this thread again, I wonder about software and hardware requirements. We are going to get a new computer for recording and would like to get a skookum sound card for inputs.

I am thinking to also get Adobe's Audible software for the purpose. Right now I have RipEditBurn Plus from Blaze Audio.

Any further comments along this line would be appreciated.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

PS, 'skookum' is a local word from our native folks meaning "big, brawny, the best".

peter beninate said...

Yes, backing up is VERY important. A good cost effective strategy may be to convert files to MP3 and burn off to CDs to take off site. An external hard drive would also do the trick.

I believe you are referring to Adobe Audition. It's a great application, but Adobe SoundBooth may be better suited to your needs. It's a newer, more streamlined application and it's also less expensive. Adobe has video overviews of both products on their site.

A free software solution is Audaciy. It's pretty basic, but it gets the job done on the cheap.

As far has hardware, are you planning on a PC or Mac solution?

Don Johnson said...

Hi Peter, thanks for the response and the Adobe tip.

We are looking at PCs. I don't want to start a religious war on the subject, but I have used both and mostly hate Macs.

Regards,
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

ADB said...

At our church we record directly to mp3 on a computer, edit the start and end of the file so it's tidy, and post to the website. Software is a free app called MP3DirectCut. I can tell you where to get it if you like.
So...no "master" really, no CD, no cassette. For CD requests: we burn them from the MP3s. We don't really do cassette anymore, but used to once in a while... the equipment is there and it's not impossible.
Process: I play the mp3 on a computer and plug the audio output into the cassette recorder's audio-in. Have to have an adapter ... 1/8" stereo plug to left and right "RCA" (so, it's a "Y" adaptor), but that depends on how your equipment is ported.
This has always worked well enough though it's a nuisance to do... you have to set a timer so you can go back to the unit and stop the PC playback, then flip the cassette (at 30 minutes or whatever... unless you have a nice autoreverse cassette recorder). The other option is to preach shorter sermons! (I aim to fit two sermons on an audio CD and that helps me use words a little more effieciently)
Hope that helps.
Aaron Blumer