Monday, March 11, 2013

record label saver

i have about 200 vinyl records that i started collecting in the early 2000's. Most of my collection is made up of primarily deep house music, with some various electronic tracks and an even smaller section of "everything else". I've been toying around with the idea of digitizing all of my vinyl records. i think it would be super cool to have the audio files of these hard to get songs in my pocket. the down side to this is that each record holds anywhere from one song to 45mins worth of music. recording them all would be a huge feat, imagine recording one record each business day for an entire year.

back when my friends and i would go digging for records, i'd buy most of these records for only 1 of the songs on the record. most records have 3 other tracks (2 songs per side seems to be the most popular format). so there is also the possibility that i'll discover some gems on sides of records that maybe received 10 seconds of my attention while i stood at a record store turntable auditioning stacks of records.

i recently input my collection of records on discogs (see my list here) to find that i have 246 records that are in the discogs database, and about 10 that aren't. The discogs database is real easy, each recording has a alphanumeric identifier making the lookup process real fast. doing this made me want to digitize even more.

but before i do an analog to digital conversion, i want to make sure that i can minimize as many snaps and pops that accompany old records as possible. i thought about buying different record washing mechanisms, but wasn't convinced i'd be happy spending $79.99 on a spin clean washer without trying my own diy project first.

i came across a label saver idea called groovmaster on an audiokarma thread. the design was simple and effective. after reading about different brush and solution ideas, i went to the hardware store and bought  a few items.

these two mini plungers looked perfect. and at $1.99 ea how could i go wrong?

record labels are 4" in diameter, this is just the size i needed.


i cut the handles off and drilled holes for the threads.

slipped the threaded bar through, with some washers and wing nuts for clamping power, and there you have it. two plungers that will end up squeezing my record during bath time.


i somehow have a copy of the original westside story broadway show, and it has been beaten to hell. i couldn't think of a better record suited for job of test drive the washing.



i washed a few records successfully, using a solution of 1/3 90% isopropyl alcohol, 2/3 water, and a drop of dish soap. after scrubbing along the grooves using my paint pad, i rinse with lukewarm water. some microfiber towels are used to dry the records and i'm good to go!

here we have an analog to digital recording in progress.

6 comments:

jonyangorg said...

great work!

gaga said...

you're such a nerd, i love it!

Da Curious One said...

the plunger fit perfectly! you're so handy!

feeling entropy said...

you guys are just too nice. thanks!

Omnisprime said...

clap clap. impressive.

William Sargent said...

The ORIGINAL Groovmaster Label Saver is well worth getting. A time saver and label saver!

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