The Scoop...

Tapes and CDRs are only for: 1)trade; and 2) non-commercial uses. They will not be traded to anyone intending to sell them or otherwise profit financially from them.

Honesty, effort, and communication. I have been trading music for 18 years and while I have been sent many inferior quality recordings, I have never been stiffed. I firmly believe in the adage, "what goes around comes around." All I ask is that you send what you what you say you are going to send and that you do so within reasonable time; I'll do the same. :)

B&P While I usually do not have the time to respond to grovels (I constantly get bombarded with e-mails), I do *ocassionally* have lapses in trades and will oblige B+P requests. Please do not request anything more than once; I really wish that I had the time to respond to all requests.

I am ANAL about sound quality. If you are not, you do not want to trade with me! I believe that less than 25% of recordings circulating actually have the recording legacy claimed. Most of the remaining recordings are, well, crap. However, there are still nice recordings, even if the legacy is not known- just state so. All cuts, dropouts, and digital noise should be noted. Audience tapes are not soundboards of any sort; if you cannot distinguish these, please read no further. Matrix soundboards (audience/soundboard mixes) are not straight soundboards. Any hiss whatsoever- unless it is clearly coming from a particular instrument- precludes the recording from being a DSB; same holds for FM noise. Let's hear it for honesty. As a rule, I have no interest in audience recordings. In 17 years of tape trading I have heard less than a half dozen audience recordings that sounded decent-- of course, all of these were circulating as ersatz DSBs anyway. Similarly, I generally have no interest in matrix recordings, unless I happened to be at the particular show.

First trades: I only do small first trades (e.g., one show). If the show I receive has the recording legacy claimed, then I'll be game for bigger trades the next round.

Hiss removal: I hate hiss. Often I receive great sounding analog tapes that circulate as DSBs and I will still go through the trouble to remove the little bit of hiss using Cool Edit. This is done with extreme care, so as not to introduce extraneous digital noise. Generally, the better the analog recording, the more hiss that I can safely remove. Typically, I reduce background noise by 10dB (for poor quality recordings) to 25db (for better quality recordings with constant background noise). I have found that reducing noise more than 25db usually introduces the hateful digital background "burbling" and/or causes loss of dynamic range.

DATs Vs. CDRs:Note that DATs and CDRs are interchangeable. I can record any show on either medium using a Delta Dio 2496 digital soundcard (in the past I have used both a Zefiro Acoustics ZA2 and a Soundblaster Live Platinum, but both of these had various drawbacks). However, I am generally reluctant to spin DATs to CDRs because of the labor requirement (anywhere from 4 to 8 hours per show), UNLESS:
1) you request a DSB or an exceptional quality analog recording from my collection, as I always spin CDR copies for myself; OR
2) you have a particular recording that I have been seeking.

(Note that "DAT" is used to refer to both DAT and PCM recordings for reasons too lengthy to explain here.)

CDRs:
1) EAC! EAC! EAC!
2) Burn at half the maximum speed of your burner.
3) Use major brand CDRs that work well in your burner.

Sound Ratings: Over the years, I have seen many ludicrous sound rating systems. While these rating systems only seem to get worse every year, I recently saw the most preposterous yet. Basically all of the recordings were rated from “A” to “A+++.” Now, I might possibly be willing to believe that a recording could perhaps qualify as a perfect “A+” with the right mix of chemical enhancements, but just how exactly does the sound quality actually manage to exceed perfect?! Perhaps, it’s just indicative of the evolving state of modern recording technology… then again, probably not. Thus, in light of the overwhelming number of totally meaningless and absurd sound quality rating systems such as these, I hereby define the next generation of bleeding edge sound ratings…

“A-“ Audiophiles and most sentient beings would gladly choose a slow agonizing death over listening to this.

“A” Only to be wished upon your most despised enemies. Not fit for animal or stereo consumption. You’re your sound system does not self-destruct in protest, you’d be lucky to discern music over the noise, let alone determine what band may be playing.

“A+” Approaching the quality of a 17th generation recording from a microcassette recorder master hidden under the wool trenchcoat of gleeful and boisterous audient in the upper section of the third deck. Listen using headphones at your own risk.

“A++” Can be played publicly without risk of substantial embarrassment.

“A+++” Preferable to all but the most enjoyable illicit and perverse recreational activities.

“A+++ ^ A+++” Your sound system hums in perfect resonant frequency as it’s joined by a heavenly choir that delivers your consciousness from the confines of time and space just in time to escape the spontaneous combustion of the physical body your liberated spirit previously inhabited. Not to be tried at home.

Ahem...

Genealogy: When known, only analog generations are listed, all other analogs are listed as "unknown media."

Grades: I generally do not believe in tape grading. If it doesn't sound good, why keep it? (I throw stuff out all of the time.) However, tapes that sound exceptionally good, I've graded "A." There are no other grades assigned.

I try to list any known problems with a tape. If, due to sound problems, you are not satisfied with a tape I send, just send it back. If you should find any problems that I have not listed, please let me know.

Other questions? Just ask! Thanks for enduring this diatribe!