Monday, December 26, 2011

Homemade Christmas CD's

One of the ways people economise this time of year is to make homemade Christmas "mix" CD's. They take their favorite Christmas songs and make a CD using Windows Media Player, Roxio, or one of many other software packages. They are easy to do, and with a cute cover, can make a nice gift for friends and relatives. My friend Clarence and myself have been making them for years. We, however, go back to the days when the medium was the cassette tape and the source material was records (those black things with holes in them) and tape recordings of TV or radio shows.

Back in the seventies we started this hobby, and now  annoy friends with these things  almost every year. Over time we migrated to CD's and now use computers instead of  tape recorders. Clarence's stuff is more sophisticated than mine in terms of music used. He likes to blend sound effects and one or two music tracks together to create montages of sound. Mine are simpler, but have the advantage that I tell heart warming little stories on mine, between the songs.  This year I got more sophisticated, adding echo to my essays, mixing in background music and tweaking them a bit with Roxio Creator 10. I noticed it sounded like I was in a windstorm at first, then I found that if I taped a Kleenex over the microphone I could eliminate that nasty wind noise. I redid a couple but left the rest. It's hard for amateurs to keep the lilt in one's voice the second or third reading.

People who have children with musical inclinations may have gotten singing versions of these things. Hearing your son play the electric guitar while yodeling is a special treat for parents.

The recipients of these treasures is not always appreciative, however. Many a homemade CD in a car's player gets half played then removed and thrown into the gutter while the car is moving.   Art is not always appreciated by provincial audiences.

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