A Request for Help

“Pubble” Crew, Ananda Village 1977. (Click photo to enlarge.) Top Row: Rammurti, Cliff? (our printer who lived in North San Juan), Nalini, Durgadas, Jyotish, Mark Dyal, Madhava, Sita, Shokhi, Dennis. Bottom Row: Kasandra, Arati, Parvati, Prem, Anandi, Trisha, Julia. Photo by Rambhakta

Dear Friends,

Since 1976 I’ve recorded conversations with Ananda folk on a wide variety of topics related to the spiritual life: music, service, meditation, health, education, work, relationships, etc.

More than 65 of these inspiring talks are included in a forthcoming book, currently in the final editing stages: Ananda Seva – How We Serve. (A conversation with Chidambar appeared in a recent “Stories From the Heart.”)

The recorded talks on education became the foundation of two inspiring books about the Palo Alto Living Wisdom School: Head & Heart (2017), and Happiness & Success at School (2018).

This service has been pure joy. It has been thrilling to capture the thoughts, spirit, and experiences of so many pioneers who have given their lives to help Paramhansa Yogananda’s work.

The Obstacle

However, a significant (not overwhelming) need has arisen. A sad aspect of this service is that all of the talks so far were recorded on audio equipment with the technical sophistication of cow flap. 😎 Very happily recorded, but – cow flap. Namely, very funky, dirt-cheap cassette (and micro-cassette!!!!) recorders, and extremely noisy low-end digital handheld recorders. For this reason, whenever Ananda Radio or others have requested audio copies of conversations for broadcast, I’ve been unable to help, thanks to the awful quality of the recorded audio.

The Future is … high-quality AUDIO!

Going forward, a pressing need is for audio recordings that can not only be transcribed and edited for articles and books, but that will be of sufficient quality to be posted as podcasts, and for broadcast. An additional use is for video. Audio is 90% of video – people will watch bad video but will click away if the audio is bad.

It will be particularly valuable for Living Wisdom School to be able to record conversations with the teachers, especially Helen and Gary, that prospective parents can download as mp3 files and listen to while driving, exercising, etc. With a reasonably priced recorder, we can easily capture very high-quality conversations, as well as LWS music rehearsals, external audio for video clips, etc.

The Need – A Multi-Track Professional Field Recorder

            The Sound Devices MixPre-6 recorder is available used in very good condition on Ebay for around $600. It can record up to six tracks, making it wonderful for recording just about anything. Previously, recorders of equal quality cost $2000 and up, but progress in electronics has drastically reduced the price while improving the quality – the MixPre-6 is routinely used for Hollywood feature film productions. Sound Devices is a highly respected maker of pro audio gear. Follow this link for a full review of the MixPre-6.

Sound Devices MixPre-6 Digital Audio Field Recorder

The Ask

            My thought is that if enough people can donate $20 using the Ananda Garden PayPal donation link in the sidebar at right, we’ll be set. For those who donate $100 or more, I will happily offer a free photo shoot on location in the Ananda community: personal, family, or group portraits, product photos, etc.

           Update: Thank you! Our very generous donors have given just over $400 $540, more than enough to make it possible to purchase the used recorder. In fact, we are happy to be able to respond in kind, by purchasing a NEW Mix-Pre 6 II instead. The latest model has HUGE advantages, primarily 32-bit float recording that offers complete protection against ever setting the volume too low or too high. The new model costs $200 more, at $850, but I am happy to say that I am able cover the difference. (Thanks to Saiganesh for contributing to the project by buying my brand-new unused video lights for $200 to be used in recording webinars for the Sangha.)
The MixPre-6 II will be a most welcome addition for the school, Sangha, community, and music ministry.

            Thank you for your help. Wishing you a blessed holiday season.

In Master,

Rambhakta