Monday, November 22, 2010

MX-80 Sound

DAMMIT! I had a nice writeup started then my computer locked up. Oh, well.

I've featured MX-80 Sound before, but that was before I was setup to rip from records and tapes (I cheated for that post and ripped the song from the CD version of the album where it appeared, but the cover I scanned was from my copy of the single). This was their very first recorded appearance, from a local compilation album released in 1975. From what I've read, they started in 1972, the same year that Suicide and the Swell Maps started. Punk rock ground zero, so to speak.

6 biased opinions:

Devil Dick said...

how do you manage to take such good and centered pics of your vinyl???

Lightning Baltimore said...

With a lotta work!

I usually photograph them outside, in the driveway, with the sun overhead for good natural lighting. I take several snaps to make sure I get a good, square one.

Next, I load them on my computer and use Microsoft DigitalImage Standard 2006 Editor to find the best result and straighten it so everything is at nice 90° angles. When that's done, I save it as a bmp file so there's as much image info as possible.

Finally, I load the bmp into ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5, where I trim off the sides and reduce it to 500 pixels wide. After that, I trim off the top and bottom, sharpen the image (since it's been shrunk considerably), and adjust color, contrast, etc., if necessary.

The final step is to save it as a gif and as a jpg and see which looks better. Gif files are typically much, much smaller than jpgs, and the smaller the size of the picture files, the faster the pages will load. Usually, they don't look all that different, but sometimes the difference is really striking. Once, unfortunately, both looked like crap, so I ended up converting the file to png format, which looks great but is only slightly smaller than a bmp file, which is huge. That was the Canis Lupus album, btw. The lettering looked good in the gif but crap in the jpg, whereas the photos looked good in the jpg but bad in the gif.

Biki said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm an MX-80 worshipper and it's so thrilling to hear this, their initial gift to the world. (I've owned the vinyl for years, but haven't owned a working turntable for an even longer time.)

ROOKSBY said...

Hey Lightning B, how do I download this track (I can't work out how - maybe I'm stupid?) - it's the only early MX80 track I don't have & I'm dying to hear it! Thanks for your help... RR.

Lightning Baltimore said...

It's fixed, Rooksby!