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 Making the transition from tape, cd or mini-disk to mp3

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Kerry Kistler

Posts : 149
Join date : 2010-01-12

PostSubject: Making the transition from tape, cd or mini-disk to mp3   Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:20 pm

Hi Gang,

Here is an excerpt from an email I received this week and my response. Hope you find something here that helps:

"We are getting serious about going mp3, as the mini-disk was being temperamental this past week...So we were thinking that mp3 and a decent docking system would be a whole lot more compact and lightweight than the mini-disk and Fender passport system for such a [missions] trip. Have any advice or light to share?"

Hi Friends!

Nice to hear from you again. I've been wondering about you all.

Yes, perhaps you could start with these notes I have posted for free download:


A couple of years ago I switched from using an iPod for program playback and now use the mp3Tech - not cheap but designed and built for full time performers. You can find out more about it here:


This device works well for me because I have so many music tracks in each program - not just the chalk track. Therefore I need a lot of control over playback functions. I do still use iTunes to rip, catalog and organize my entire music library to make it easy to find the right pieces. Then I convert the needed tracks to mp3 files using a free utility program called Switch Sound File Converter. Then I build the show playlist using the mp3Tech software (which is free). I have 10 full shows on one small SD card - and a backup just in case.

Of course, this will not give you an iPod/docking solution (of which there are many) because the mp3Tech has a 1/8" stereo output socket. Although there are special cables available online which do allow you to jack a 1/8" output into a docking station socket but it's an expensive work-around. Info here: http://www.cablejive.com/products/Dock-Input-Cable.html

You can read here how Ben Glenn jacks his iPod into a sound board:

There are still MANY performers who still use an iPod (or equivalent) for show playback but I am not as knowledgeable in this area as I once was. Their solutions can be found on the Magic Cafe. Here is a link to just one thread on the topic but there are many more. Seems that some are using the iJet nav system to control the iPod remotely.


I know, all of this is tough to sort out but the correct answer really depends on what your sound needs are during a program. I wanted to be able to play 20 or more music tracks during a program using a discreet remote in my pocket (I activate it through the cloth of my pants). I also needed the capability of fading out a track and having the next track cue and hold in pause. Sometimes I need that next track to start automatically after the previous track has faded out. I wanted to be able to control playback volume and also jump past an unneeded track if necessary. Finally, there are times when the production volumes of different CDs are all over the map - some songs are loud and others are soft. The mp3Tech software has the nice feature of allowing me to tweak each track to the perfect playback volume - I do it once for each track and never have to think about it again.

Your needs are probably much different than mine so I really can't direct you to the "perfect" solution. Some performers demand certain features that they just can't live without while others get along fine without them. As I say, there are many options. Spend some time in the FX forum at the Magic Cafe (search on iPod or sound control) and you will find lots of creative solutions.

Yo bro,

www.ChalkIllustrated.com | www.GoldenChalkClassics.blogspot.com | www.ChalkedAndAmazed.com

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