April 2001   
ASK GRUMP
Advice from the Dean of Curmudgeons

by PAUL D. LEHRMAN

Every month, we at Mix and Mix Online get hundreds of e-mails and forum questions about how to do stuff: mike a drum kit, get into a school, get out of a school, get a record contract, get out of a record contract, achieve the sound that some well-known group has on their latest album or handle an annoying client. Usually we try diligently to answer these questions ourselves or refer the questioner to someone more qualified. This month, we are very pleased that my old buddy Phineas T. Grumpmeier, Lit.D., Pd.Q, L.S./MfT, now on the faculty of the Department of Misapplied Audio at the Southeast Hackensack Institute of Technology, has agreed to lend us his impressive expertise and respond to some of our typical questions. Over to you, Professor Grump…

What's the best computer for doing audio editing?

We all know the problems that both Macintosh and Windows machines have, and although things have gotten a bit more stable recently, I still don't trust either of them. I also don't think much of the fact that, because there's no way to move session files between them or even between most applications on the same platform, then whatever you get now you're going to be stuck with forever — unless, of course, whenever there's any kind of update, you're happy to convert everything you've ever done throughout your entire career into a new format. That's why I use a 1982 BBC Acorn for all my audio editing. I get 38 seconds of 8-bit, 6kHz audio on each 5.5-inch floppy disk — but you know, what goes around, comes around. And, as it happens, it's just perfect for Web work. The disks are dirt cheap, if you can find them, which I sometimes can in flea markets and on eBay, although dumpsters behind office buildings are a more reliable source. But the best part is that I don't have to worry about those silly hardware or software updates, because I know darn well there aren't going to be any.

The rest of this column, along with 56 more, is now available in The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader, published by Thomson Course Technology PTR.

Copyright ©2006 by Paul D. Lehrman