Where can you find all those rare 12 inch remixes you used to play back in the day? You won’t find them on itunes, Amazon or at your local cd store (if you can find a cd store that is). I may be one of the few that can say this but, I can find them in my basement. Squirreled away like nuts waiting for a mid-winter feast, I have guarded my vinyl collection for over two decades.
The American DJ Corporation is always sending me new DJ gadgets to review and try. Some I find useful and some like the American Audio TT Record, (I thought as in vinyl record) I find downright interesting. Out of the box it appears to be just another turntable, but upon closer examination, I find a USB port and begin doing something I rarely do; read the manual first.
From the first page on it reads like the setup for a regular turntable, but then I read page thirteen. Now to some people, thirteen could be an unlucky number, but to me, I had just hit the jackpot! It turns out that the Record in the name stood for recording… meaning the TT Record will record vinyl records to a USB memory stick. Evil thoughts of being able to play music that most no one else has or has even heard of ran through my mind. Not only would this add a little spice to my DJ shows, it would allow me to take a truckload of vinyl records and carry them on my ipod for my own pleasure.
Like opening a locked vault on National Treasure, I brushed away the cobwebs and proceeded into the basement room that held my collection. This shadowy dark place was a hidden mystery from my past that we never really spoke of in our family. It was always the door that was left closed. Taking my son by the hand, we opened the creaky door and slowly crept in. The whole illusion was blown away when Michael flipped on the light and said, Dad, knock it off!
Laid out before us was the history of almost 30 years of being in the DJ business. I immediately went to the rare section and began to pull out my 12 stock. Michael helped me haul it up the stairs to my office.
Having followed all the instructions up to page 13, the TT Record was sitting there waiting to play music that had not been heard since guys were judged by how many polyester Angelflight suits they owned and how they did the hustle. Brushing off the dust from a 12 inch UK import of Blondie Heart of Glass and placing it on the TT Record, the headphones on the mixer started screaming with that oh so familiar tune. My next step was to get Blondie onto a memory stick.
I found it to be a slight learning curve having to start the song playing and then pressing the record button, but after a few 12 inchers, I was recording like a pro to my memory stick. It was as easy as playing the record in the first place.
Listening on my computer the songs off the memory stick, each recording came through as clean as the record it was recorded from. A full 192k bit rate was fine for me, but there is a software patch to bump things up to 224k if you feel the need. Keep in mind the TT Record comes with everything you need to get your vinyl turned into mp3 files and placed on your memory stick, but once it is an mp3, it is up to you to edit the beginning and ends in your own software. If you don’t have software that edits mp3s, you can find freeware or shareware that does a decent job if needed. On the other hand, if you like to do it raw, most DJ software programs out there will allow you to set hard cue points which will also work.
In reviewing the TT Record, I wanted to put it through the paces and found that no matter what USB memory stick I used, other than one that was already filled, I could not get the unit to screw up. As with any turntable, it will skip if bumped and sometimes you get that record that has been played so many times it makes a great Frisbee as it flies into the trash.
My son and I enjoyed many hours of transferring old, out of print vinyl to mp3s. It was so simple that Michael, who is only 9, caught on real quick. This is a Godsend to those people that are not only DJs, but musicologists that want to archive recordings from yesteryear. Thousands of songs will never be produced in mp3 or in any newer format because the music companies in this transition to digital see them as a waste of time and money. Giving the power to pass on this rare music to other generations via the transfer from vinyl to mp3 is one of the best gifts I have seen in years. My son and his future family thanks you American Audio!