General Work Guide - You have just turned your computer system into a "the state of the art" Digital Audio Workstation. Before you jump in "with your client" and both feet, there are a few things that you should know cold.
ATTENTION ALL CANADIANS! Did you know that you could be facing a levy on blank recording material that increases costs of magnetic tape and blank CDs by 400%! Analog media cost will increase by 0.25 per 15 minutes while digital cost will increase by 0.50 per 15 minutes. The new levy was introduced in April 1997 as part of the private copying mechanism of the Copyright Act. The levy being colleted by "collective" (SOCAN, SGADEM SODRAC, DMRAA and NRCC). These collectives would then distribute the levy proceeds among the composers, lyricists, performers, publishers and producers of sound recordings. This Levy (TAX) was to become effective January 1, 1999. Even though nothing has been finalized we are lead to beleive that the levies, when approved, will be retroactive to January 1 1999. This can only end in a total disaster for the Federal Government to levy the manufacturing industry in this manner.
Everyone who buys blank media will be the losers. I think no one at the Copyright Board took into consideration the a vast majority of blank media users are not "pirating music". The large comsumers are Schools, Colleges, Universities, Hospitals, Police, Software Companies, Theater groups Recording studios, Theater companies, Songwriters, Musicians for Demo's, Independant artist, the graphics industry, Radio stations, Tv stations, Government (they buy recording media too!), Brokerage houses, small business...........need I go on? The costs of doing business, study, research and the duplication of "your own music" will all go up to cover this ill conceived levy. Its purpose is to in some way protect artists from the unmeasurable few who are copying instead of buying. It is not out of "politicals hands". Those that introduced and passed this legistlation can recind it! Are you mad yet? If this issue hits you where you live, do something about it! Write the copyright office, your local, Provicial and Federal government Got a comment on this topic, leave a note in the WerksBook. I will be posting a list of names, addresses,, and phone numbers of important contacts on this proposed levy on blank media SOON! More on this topic as it unfolds.
Before committing to any project, spend at least a weekend familiarizing yourself with your computer, software and digital audio system. If you are new to computers, you must spend some additional time learning the standard ‘tools of the trade’. It is important to know what a ‘folder’ (or ‘directory’) is, and how it helps you organize your work. Standard operating system procedures, such as ‘drag and drop’ and other mouse techniques, how to create a new folder, and how to manage ‘files’ (such as delete, rename etc) are all fundamental operations you need to know to work effectively with computers. This is true for any computer, program, or operating system. Take advantage of the general tutorial material you have at hand, or buy one of the many helpful books available on working with Windows if you feel you need a ‘refresher’.
‘Good housekeeping’ is very important. A poorly maintained computer will not perform as well as a well maintained one. Also, computers in which the directories are cluttered or disorganized, and where random files are lying about, become difficult to navigate, and problems that may develop are more difficult to solve. Use the Windows utilities ‘Scandisk’ and ‘Defrag’ to maintain the condition of your drives. We recommend using these utilities before beginning any project. Also, make sure your Arrangements are well organized into folders. This greatly eases the task of archiving (backing up) and deleting groups of related files when you are through with them.
It is very important to remember that what you record on hard disk is not etched in stone. Digital recordings consist only of magnetic flux which can be easily disturbed or altered. Unlike analog tape, which is also magnetic, a slight alteration, such as a dropout, is usually fatal to a digital recording. Furthermore, hard drives can fail, making the recovery of the data contained therein either impossible or extremely expensive. Save your work frequently, and always, ALWAYS backup any important work you do. Do not consider doing any serious work without some way to backup your hard drive to another medium. Far too many people have had to learn this the hard way.
May each new endevour you undertake be more fruitful than the previous one. Good luck and may the "bits 'n bytes" be with you.
By Anton Bernhardt 1998
© Copyright Anton Bernhardt - Audiowerks.com All rights reserved 1998