Thursday, August 07, 2014

Back When the PAUSE Button Was King

Back before the kiddies came along, I used to spend some late nights trying to compile my favorite music from my favorite TV shows and movies.

Some sources were the soundtrack LPs, some sources were the TV screen (as in holding a mike to the speaker).  With one TV we had for a while, I interrupted the in-cabinet speaker wires to run a line to my cassette deck's "line in" jacks.  If it was a movie, I just used the VCR's RCA outs as sources to the recorder.

I also felt pretty tech-savvy to have two separate cassette decks.  That meant I could dub and edit, one to the other.  That's how things like Tracks 9 or 10 come to be a little longer than what you see on TV -- I extended them (with a hamhanded touch, some might say).

So think of this as a curiosity, a viewpoint into what a SF nerd thought was fun around 1984 or so.  One regret is that Track 2's audio phases in and out, like a half-degaussed tape.  The ORIGINAL (now long lost) patch job of various TREK TV themes sounded crisp and seamless, I promise!

1          Star Wars Suite       12:14
2          Star Trek TV Edit  01:32
3          Twilight Zone the Movie       05:44
4          Star Trek the Motion Picture           03:16
5          The Prisoner 04:06
6 Dr Who 01:13
7 The Wild, Wild West 00:50
8 The Martian Chronicles 01:54
9 Tales of the Gold Monkey 01:17
10 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 01:10
11 Star Trek II and III Suite 15:48
12 Scarecrow & Mrs King 01:12
13 Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. 01:09
14 Battlestar Galactica 03:12
15 The Greatest American Hero 01:31
16 The Day the Earth Stood Still 01:43
17 ET The Extraterrestrial 03:47

It wasn't long after this that the PAUSE button on a cassette deck changed..  Originally, the mechanism physically paused the tape, still against the PLAY or RECORD heads.  If you used the PAUSE button, you could produce an edit that sounded nearly as good as anything you heard on the car radio.

Later, hitting PAUSE retracted the heads.  This meant "goodbye" to my amateur editing days.  It was probably intended in the industry to save wear-and-tear on the tape.  But boy, it bummed me out.

Track 4 is another editing example, putting the beginning of the ST:TMP soundtrack LP together with the end credits.

Hit the button!

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