Word of the Day: Cacophony



It may come as no surprise to find that our business is not one that allows us to do one thing at a time. We have multiple machines in our studio and usually multiple jobs are running on each of those machines simultaneously. And each one emits sound.

I like to think of it as the soundtrack of your lives. That’s not to say that it is always harmonious. Just this week I was transferring a video of a Mexican wedding to DVD while the machine next to it was transferring a series of karate demonstrations. In the adjacent room was a vinyl record of a school band in concert playing patriotic songs that was being saved to a CD. Orchestral arrangements, strenuous grunts, and marriage vows spoken in Spanish are not often heard at the same time. For us, it was just another day at the office.

The word cacophony is defined as a harsh, discordant mixture of sounds. If you think about it, that kind of describes life itself. Which is why, when you drop by our studio, you may be greeted with any number of noises from the past. If you are lucky, it will be the sound of laughing children. But there’s no guarantee. It may also be the bone-jarring rumbling of an ATV slogging through the mud.

What we must remember is that all those sounds represent someone’s past experience and should be respected and honored as such. When heard together, it may be a raucous noise… but it is also a joyful one.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

First Record

barbara ann.jpg

Kids today have so much to be thankful for… but at the same time, I can’t help but think that they may be missing out on some of the more iconic moments we remember of growing up. I vividly recall the first music that I purchased with my own money. A 45 rpm single of The Beach Boys hit “Barbara Ann.”

For any kids that may be reading, let me explain. Before there was iTunes or Pandora or Spotify, there were record stores. That’s where we would have to go to buy a song we wanted to hear. They were sold as single recordings on vinyl discs that could be played by dragging a needle across the face of them. On the flip side was usually a lesser known song by the same artist or group. In my case, it was “Girl, Don’t Tell Me.”

Buying a record was a monumental decision for a child. The first time you put your allowance money down to buy a piece of music that wasn’t chosen for you by your parents was like taking a first step towards your independence.

I may be wrong but I doubt today’s kids can remember the first song they downloaded. It is just too easy a process to be memorable. Back in the day, great thought and planning had to be made to bring about the physical transaction that resulted in a sale of the one piece of music you decided you wanted to own. There would be other purchases to be sure, but the first record held a special meaning all its own.

“Baa Baa Baa, Baa Barbara Ann…”

Or maybe not.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. One of the many services they offer is digitalization of audio recordings from reel to reel tape, cassette tapes, or vinyl records. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

Countdown to Christmas II

audio reels.jpg

#It’s just eleven days till Christmas… I hope my true love gives to me…

Voices from the past.#

We have all gotten a bit teary going through old photo albums and coming across faces or images that have been etched into our minds from days gone by. But hearing a voice again… one that has been silenced for a decade or more… can be an emotional gut punch that we often don’t see coming.

We have the ability to work with audio cassettes, reel to reel audio tapes, and vinyl records all which could contain priceless snippets of the sounds of our childhoods. I’ve had the honor of delivering to people their parents’ voices from old answering machine tapes, wartime audio letters exchanged between soldiers stationed abroad and their families, grandparents singing old family favorites to their grandchildren recorded some fifty years ago, and so much more.

A sound can be a trigger to memories just as potent as a picture or video.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd

Voices from the past

voce from past.jpg

The littlest things can often produce the biggest emotional responses.

One of the jobs I completed today contained a audio micro-cassette. The owner of the cassette said that he hoped it was a recording from an analog answering machine containing an outgoing message from his mother who had passed on many years earlier. Just the possibility of being able to hear his mother’s voice again made this tape, which, in its day, was probably rather innocuous, one of his most precious possessions.

I was reading a post on a Facebook page from my alma mater. Someone had found an old vinyl record from our school and had it digitalized. It was of our school choir singing at an assembly which began, as our assemblies always did, with the familiar chiming from our school bell tower. Just that sound, the ringing from our bell tower which has not been heard in over 30 years, immediately brought tears to the eyes of the one who had played it.

The past has a way of creeping up on you and delivering an emotional impact that surprises even you.  It could be a voice, or a song, or a sound that reminds you of another place and time. Whatever it may be, it is an experience I wish upon all of you.

As for the customer with the micro-cassette, he’s going to get a little more than he thought. His mother’s voice does appear on an 10 second clip she recorded for an answering machine… on Side A.  Side B of the tape has a bonus recording waiting for him to discover. And it is something I am sure will spur even more happy memories for him.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories. Audio recordings, whether they are cassette tapes, reel to reel tapes, or vinyl records, can be transferred to a digital medium for continual playback and enjoyment. For more info, call 352-735-8550 or www.homevideostudio.com/mtd