Should I remove Chronotron II before installing PaceMaker?
You do not need to remove Chronotron II. When you install and
select PaceMaker, it will override the Chronotron II plugin since
Winamp allows only one DSP plugin to be active at a time.
Convert Mini-disc to MP3
Do you by any chance know how to convert from minidisk to mp3?
There might be a device (mini-disc recorder?) you
could buy that would plug into your computer
into which you could put MiniDiscs. There
might be special software associated with
that device to read the music directly from the mini-disc.
Failing that, The following link may be helpful:
Convert MP3 file to WAV file
Is it possible to convert a MP3 file to a WAV file?
This is very easy to do. Every music file editor should be able to do this. In fact, Music Editors must convert the MP3 file to a WAV file (or the equivalent) before they can edit it.
WAV files and MP3 files are just different types of sound files, just like TXT files and DOC files are different types of documents. Just like a word processor such as Microsoft Word can open a file of one type (e.g., TXT) and save the file as another (e.g., HTML, DOC, RTF), a music editor can do the same thing with music files.
In CoolEdit 2000, for example, you "Open" the MP3 file,
then do a "Save As" and select type "PCM raw data (*.wav)"
to get a WAV file.
CoolEdit - .PK files
I've been playing with recording square dance records to MP-3 with CoolEdit 2000. Would like to ask a question if it's OK. When I save my file (the record), it saves a file as record name "Pink Cadillac.wav" but it also saves a file with it: i.e. "Pink Cadillac.pk". Do you know what the .pk extension is?
The following information was found on the CoolEdit (Syntrillium) web site:
Once you save a file via Cool Edit, it saves a *.pk file in the save directory as well. This file is used to speed up the loading of a file for the next session. These .pk files can be deleted at any time. They bring no harm to the application or the original file. If you would like to turn them off, from the menu bar, select Options, Settings, System, and uncheck Save Peak Cache files.
I always delete the .pk files after I exit CoolEdit200 since
I'm only interested in the .wav files.
Cue sheets and choreo
You also say the words and patterns can be displayed.
Can you explain how this is done?
Some callers display their choreography sequences or cue sheets via a word processor such as Microsoft Word, others use other programs such as Microsoft Powerpoint or Adobe Acrobat.
Do you use an MA-150 with your laptop? If so, how do you like it?
Do you still need the line amplifier thing when using an MA-150?
I've been using an MA-150 and a laptop for several years now.
It's wonderful. Of course, it'd be nicer if the laptop and MA-150 were smaller and lighter. :-)
In my opinion it's the best Hilton amplifier so far.
The 'Signal Booster' is not needed with the MA-150. I only use the signal booster when I'm calling at conventions and other places on 'antiquated' (older) systems.
I carry my MA-150 amplifier almost everywhere I call. It's small and easy to carry on the plane. (Of course, the TSA airport security screeners sometimes ask questions since there's an 'unidentified' round metal disk inside the amplifier.)
How do I create an MP3 file?
Can you tell a computer stupid ol caller how I can make a mp3
so I can email it Thanks.
First of all, you need to get the digital music into the computer. If the music is on an audio CD, you can use a program such as AudioGrabber to copy the file (as a .wav file) onto your PC. You then need a program to convert the .wav file into a .mp3 file. (you can do this via a 'music editor', described below, or you can use BladeEncoder, a free encoder, of which I've saved a copy at http://www.ceder.net/csds/ftp/BladeEnc091.zip
If the music is on vinyl, you'll have to get a 'music editor'
program (see http://www.ceder.net/digital_music.php ),
hook up your turntable/amplifier to the computer, and record
the music. You can then save the file as a .mp3 file.
How to I distribute my music?
My wife and I are entertainers in Country Music for Line Dancing,
Barn Dancing and Square Dancing.
It's an easy step for me to modify most songs into square dance
tracks and I would like to offer my productions to other
callers but I have no idea how to distribute them successfully without
my work being pirated.
I went to your web site recently and as you seemed to be successful
in the world of Square Dancing I though that you might know
the right people to talk to and to send demo's of my work to.
Some pirating is probably unavoidable nowadays since digital
music is so 'easy'. However, most professional callers nowadays
have ethical standards that doesn't allow them to engage in such
Due to recent consolidations in the square dance field, there's
really only one major record/music dealer left, Palomino Records.
is the owner. He should be able to assist you in distributing music.
You also might contact Pat Carnathan,
the owner/producer of Shakedown records. He can probably give
you a music producer's assesement of how to produce music.
last modified: 26-March-2007 ID: 670
Humm and background noise
I get an awful hummm and background noise when I try
recording, following your instructions to a "T". It
turned out that the ground wire (the round plug that is part of
the three-pronged plug), when plugged into the wall or outlet,
was making the hum...
You've got the "A/C Humm"!
I've encountered this problem in a different form. It has happened to me when I tried to playback music from my laptop thru some of the old hilton sets (the 200?). The fix is to use a three-to-two prong adaptor on the laptop power cord.
I've tried using my Hilton AC-201 and it gives me a Hum while recording. This 201 has always had a hum in it since I bought it.
To minimize hum:
Use shielded cables.
Try not to place the recording cable over or near a power cord.
Try different jacks on your computer. E.g., you could be going into the microphone input instead of the line input -- this could overload the system and create a hum.
If the above suggestions fail to resolve the problem, try using the 'noise reduction' feature of CoolEdit2000 to remove the hum.
Increasing volume level of MP3 files
I copy my mp3s to a CD for listening on my portable discman, but even when I turn the volume to the max the music is still very quiet! How can I increase the volume of my mp3s and save it so that the music on my diskcman is much louder?
I tried mp3trim where you can do that, but I've got many mp3s wich are larger than 100 MB and they are not supported by mp3trim! If I want to use the program I have to buy mp3trim pro which costs 99 dollars. Is there any other thing i can do?
Or any other program which support large files?
I'm not sure if I can answer your question.
I assume you are burning standard CDs with WAV files (playable on any CD player), and not specialized CDs with MP3 files (playable only on specialized MP3 players).
Try searching the web for terms such as 'mp3 volume normalization'.
Players such as WinAmp have plug-ins such as AudioStocker that can normalize the volume level as the song plays.
You might send a question to mp3trim (http://www.logiccell.com/~mp3trim/)
to see what their response is.
Personally, I think $99 is too much to pay just to do what you want.
I have a program called Cool Edit 2000, which has a 'Transform | Amplitude | Amplify' function, which can increase or decrease the volume. It also has a 'Transform | Normalize' function. (Cool Edit 2000 is $69).
last modified: 06-January-2008 ID: 84
Japanese Electrical Power
I'm going to Japan to call for the first time. I'd like to
bring my laptop and/or Mini-Disk player. What is the
electricity like there? Do I need any plugs or adaptors?
Japanese AC power is similar to USA power. However, I believe that Japan uses 50Hz 100V, and the USA uses 60Hz 120V.
Europe, on the other hand used higher voltage, typically 200 to 240V, which fries some equipment.
As for your laptop, it should run fine. The important thing is to check your power adaptor. Look underneath it, and you should see something like this:
INPUT: 50-60Hz 100-240V ~ 1.5A
As long as you've got 50Hz and 100V covered, you're okay!
As for your Mini-Disk, check it too. I don't have a Mini-Disk, so
I couldn't check to see a sample range.
I checked my CD player, which said:
INPUT: AC 120V 60Hz
I'd be worried about using it since it didn't list a range.
But since it said:
OUTPUT: DC 6V 400mA
I should be able to find (or have a Japanese friend find) a
suitable replacement power adaptor.
Items such as electric shavers work fine in Japan. They just humm at a different frequency.
As for Hilton turntables, you sometimes need to turn the speed up to 50 or 55 rpms to get it to sound like USA 45 rpms. This may be machine dependent, on whether or not they've been 'converted'.
Japan uses the same electrical plug-types as the USA.
Unfortunately, 3-prong (grounded) plugs are less common in Japan,
so, if your laptop requires a 3-prong outlet, I suggest
you bring along a 3-to-2 prong adaptor.
Laptop - Foreign travel
I have been taking Mini-Disks to Europe when I call ... no problem ... do you take your laptop and if so have you found any problem taking it through the different borders?
There's no problem taking a laptop into Europe. It's certainly less noticeable than carrying a big record case full of records.
The power transformer that comes with the laptop usually handles 100-240 V 50-60Hz, so there's no problem with power conversion.
Just be sure to bring an electrical plug adaptor for the country you're visiting.
Any suggestions as to what kind of laptop to use when calling with mp3 files? speed - brand - memory etc...
Almost any new laptop purchased today should work just fine.
Speed, brand, or memory are not major considerations.
You might look for a laptop that makes a claim such as 'multimedia', since it may have a better sound card than similar laptops.
I've found that the most limiting factor is hard disk space. As your collection of MP3 files grows, you will eventually use a lot of disk space. Choose a laptop with plenty of hard disk space - the more the better.
My original laptop is a Dell Inspiron 3200. It has 96MB memory, 4.7GB Hard Drive, and runs at 266MHz. I've used almost all of the available hard disk space on it. It contains 926 square dance MP3 files, and I still occasionally call with it.
My laptop (Dec. 2000) is a Dell Latitude C800, the top of the line professional model at the time. It has 256MB memory, a 32GB Hard Drive, and runs at 850MHz.
My current laptop is a Dell Vaio. The Dell had some sort of a random memory or disk corruption bug.
Laptop vs. Mini-Disk
Currently I am using Mini disk. What are the benefits of carrying only an Amp and laptop.
The main advantages of a computer over mini-disk are
the potential to carry thousands of songs;
easily locate a song by name, artist, type of music, etc.
automatically display the cue sheet associated with a song.
Licensing (response from Harry Fox Agency)
Through my organization, I have a BMI/ASCAP license. Suppose I purchase a 45 rpm record for use in my activity. I then decide that this 45 is becoming hard to replace, so I digitize it and use it now as an MP3 or on a CD. Do I need to purchase a separate license for this?
If this MP3 or CD is being used for your personal use, then no license is
required. However, if you are producing additional units and distributing
these, then you would be required to obtain a mechanical license.
A mechanical license grants the rights to reproduce and distribute
copyrighted musical compositions (songs), including uses on phonorecords
(i.e. CDs, records, tapes, and certain digital configurations). The Harry
Fox Agency was established to license, collect, and distribute royalties on
behalf of U.S. publishers that own and/or control the rights to musical
compositions. Simply stated, if you want to record and distribute a song
that was written by someone else, or if your business requires the
distribution of music that was written by others, you must obtain a
Mechanical rights should not be confused with "master rights" that are
granted by a record company in order to use an existing recording, or with
"performance rights" that are granted by publishers or societies for the
public performance of a song. Depending on the use, one may also have to
obtain these rights in addition to the mechanical license.
The Harry Fox Agency issues mechanical licenses for phonorecords
manufactured and distributed in the United States (including territories and
possessions) only. Our mechanical licenses are only available to United
States manufacturers or importers with a United States address.
The royalty rate (what gets paid to the music publisher) is set by law, and
is known as the "statutory rate." Until December 31, 2003, the statutory
rate is .08 or .0155 per minute or fraction of a minute, whichever is
greater. After January 1, 2004, the statutory rate is .085 or .0165 per
minute or fraction of a minute, whichever is greater.
I don't know much about them, since I use my own program (CSDS) to organize mp3 files. Screen shot from CSDS
I have recorded music from 45 rpm vinyl on my Hilton 75-A to my
computer using Cool-Edit. After I filter it for noise and record it back to cd I have discovered that much of the bass is missing -- way too much treble -- sounds tinny. Is this something I am doing wrong? I am (trying) to follow Dan Prossers instructions.
You've done the noise reduction incorrectly, and you've filtered
out too much of the 'real' music. You only want to remove the noise.
I seem to have a problem with recording my records into the computer.
I don't seem to get the volume that I think that I should have when
I play the mp3 back thru my laptop. If I use the tape record jack on
the back of my 300, and maintain the -18 to -3 db on the view meter,
I have to raise the volume so high that it will blast me out of the
room. Do you disconnect the speakers when you record? I have made
some recordings with the other speaker jack and hardly any volume
on the turntable, but when played back they also don't seem to have
the same volume as when the record is played directly. If you can
think of something that I am doing wrong, please let me know.
Other than disconnect the speakers and turn up the volume,
I can think of three other ways to increase the recording volume.
Put a signal booster (Hilton Audio sells one for about $45) on the
cord used for recording.
Music recording programs often have a 'Volume Normalization'
or an 'Amplify' function that you can use after you've recorded
Play with settings in the windows 'Play Control'. This can usually
be found in the icon tray (lower right portion of the Windows
task bar). Double-click on the Speaker (Volume) icon. You can
also run the 'Play Control' via 'Start | Run...' and open
'sndvol32.exe'. From here, goto 'Options | Properties' and
check set the radio button for 'Adjust volume for | Recording'.
Then make sure that the 'Line in' and 'Microphone' checkboxes
are checked. Click okay, and it should display the volume
controls used for recording. Tweak them as necessary to get a
good volume level.
last modified: 06-January-2008 ID: 658
Recording vinyl records into the computer #2
I need to convert my square dance record collection to MP-3 files and am at a loss. I am not a programmer, I am a user and am looking for an easy to use program that can convert my records to MP3. Can you help me out? If there is somewhere I can download an easy program, preferably shareware, I would be interested....thanks in advance.
I use Adobe Audition. I have not used the other programs.
last modified: 06-January-2008 ID: 693
Signal booster #1
Do I need the line signal booster for use with my Hilton AC-201?
The signal booster is used for playback. I.e., playing your music from a CD or computer into your amplifier.
The signal booster is not needed with an AC-201, but I recommend getting one anyway, as it can improve the quality of a weak signal.
Signal booster #2
I have a Hilton 75B. In order to boost the signal
I have a couple of options.
Purchase Hilton's Signal Booster. Do I use Monaural or Stereo? Or doesn't matter?
Obviously 1) is cheaper but is there noticeable output sound
difference between 1) and 2)?
The signal booster requires a stereo plug -- in fact, you get a
little piece of paper with a warning message about this when you purchase
This doesn't mean that your recorded music needs to be stereo --
just the plug. 95% of the square dance music I use is mono.
Personally, I've had trouble with the signal booster. The knob
is flaky or some connection is bad. It's been fixed once by
Jim Henshel, but it still doesn't work particularly well. Sometimes I have to wiggle it or fiddle the knob to get it working.
I purchased a backup signal booster which is still in its
original plastic bag -- just in case mine decides to expire competely.
I've heard of other callers who have also had problems with
their signal booster. One caller had some other contraption
that was either purchased at or made from parts from Radio Shack.
This caller was bragging that it only cost him about $10 instead of the $40 for the signal booster.
I think the MA-150 is wonderful. I fully recommend it.
It's more powerful, smaller, and easier to use. And it
doesn't require that stupid little signal booster!
In my opinion, the sound from the MA-150 is better than the sound from the 75B.
The only drawback about the MA-150 is that vinyl records can no longer be used.
Tranferring MD files to laptop
Can you tell me if you know of any way to do a bulk transfer of
MD files to laptop. I've been transferring/recording them to the laptop using ADOBE Audition one at a time so far. Seems like there ought to be a quicker way.
Be sure to register PaceMaker (pay the $10 or so), or
CSDS may appear to hang because PaceMaker has invoked
a pop-up reminder window beneath CSDS.
last modified: 24-July-2008 ID: 532
Writing MP3 files to audio CD #1
How I can convert Winamp media files into WAV files in order to put it on a CD?
Winamp can not do this. You need a music editor program such as Cool Edit 2000.
With Cool Edit 2000, open the Winamp media file (I assume you mean .mp3), and then save it as a WAV file. Then use your CD burner to write the WAV files.
Writing MP3 files to audio CD #2
You mentioned a product called Easy CD Creator.
I didn't see any references to that product on your web site.
Could you please let me know where to get it ?
Easy CD Creator comes free with many CD writers.
Use google to search for "Easy CD Creator", and you'll find many matches.
Writing MP3 files to audio CD #3
I have a song in mp3 format that I want to record onto a CD-ROM. How can I convert it to a .wav file so that I can include it on my song list?
Run a Music editing program such as Cool Edit 2000, and
save the file as WAV format.
You might not need to do this, since many programs that allow you
to create a CD first prompt as to whether or not you want a 'data CD'
or a 'music CD'. If you select 'music CD', the mp3 files are automatically
converted to a wav file when written to the CD
(I believe my CD writer software works this way).
If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to E-mail Vic at