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Vinyl to digital, software

Discussion in 'Software discussion' started by rocket_pc, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Hi, Anybody with suggestions on this, I would sure appreciate it. I am finally getting around to this. I have a large collection of LP vinyl albums that I would like to convert to digital using a Numark usb turnable (a model purchased about 2010). (If you would like the exact model, I can look it up from um somewhere. the turntable is currently in storage). Before I get started, I must decide on the computer system that I record these files with. I currently am using Vista OS. However, I have a purchased copy of w 8.1 Pro and would be eligible for upgrading to w 10. I like W 8.1, as it was a much better than 8. Should I use 8.1 for installing the recording software (or could w 10 be too advanced, incompatible)?

    Thank you, in advance, for any help you may offer.

    Don
     
  2. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    check to see if there is a win10 version of software including drivers for your turntable.
     
  3. attar

    attar Senior member

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    I have one of these USB turntables but I never bothered with the software that came with it.
    If you have Audacity installed, just plug in the usb cable and run it.
    Although unofficial, I have verified that it works on Windows 10.

    http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/usb_recording.html
     
  4. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I was hoping to begin on the project today, but I got last minute appointments today and tomorrow. I guess drivers would be the issue, but it seems Windows 10 may be versatile with what is said is compatible on all windows devices. Alao, the more recent Windows operating systems seem to have comprehensive libraries of drivers.

    Another question, though maybe I should look up on Audicity (that I believe is with the Numark turntable), is if the software makes separate files of the songs when recording albums. Seems that would be very basic task for the software, considering that some softwares can remove noise from scratches, etc.

    Don
     
  5. attar

    attar Senior member

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    Audacity doesn't - editing/converting as opposed to authoring.
     
  6. ps355528

    ps355528 Regular member

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    audacity does all of the above.. you just need to learn how to use it.. capture, split, clean up/filter, balance, compress/expand, change levels.. etc.. and then export to whatever format your computer has codecs for.. been using it semi professionally for this for years now.. takes a while to get the hang of it.. you have to manually make your track breaks.. those auto things seem to make a disaster of that anyway..

    what you need to understand is... you need a line level (1v @ 600 ohm) input to your sound capture hardware.. a straight magnetic cartridge input is pointless.. or usb.. but I think those usb turntables are crap.. high noise level cheap plastic crap.. I use my Technics separates and a Linn Ittok/Rega combo direct drive turntable from the early 80's with a Grado 5++ moving coil pickup.. was mid/high end back in the day (the price of the turntable/arm/cart would have turned you grey in '82.. was 5 months wages for me.. except I worked in a high end hifi store and some of these things suffered certain "cosmetic" damage.. lol !!)

    Last rip was The Shadows 20 Golden Greats.. my cd sounds better than the official EMI release.. even from that cheap pressing lp
     
  7. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    did you cause any of that "certain "cosmetic" damage"?
     
  8. ps355528

    ps355528 Regular member

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    well I was 16.. and a "trainee" whose role included taking deliveries and putting them in the warehouse.. errmmm.. saying no more...
     
  9. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    naughty naughty!!!!
     
  10. ps355528

    ps355528 Regular member

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    so anyway.. my semi pro suggestions to achieve flawless vinyl to digital rips..

    1. Use the best turntable/cartridge combo you can afford.. and set it up properly.
    2. Have a mid/high end pre amplifier to deal with the RIAA eq and give you a nice 1v p-p @ 600 ohm line level signal..
    3. get the best possible soundcard in your computer.. I have a pair of old Yamaha cards which allows me to do "double stereo" which allows some control of phasing from vinyl sources.. not every lp is equal..
    4. capture using Audacity to .wav files, and do all cleaning, editing etc on the raw wav files..(don't overdo the filters.. they can really muck the sound up if overused.. I find about 5% expansion helps a lot of older vinyl.. the odd little crackle doesn't hurt at all..) and use a really good amplifier/speakers setup so you can really hear what's going on.. crappy tiny pc speakers aren't up to this job at all.. and you must just mixdown in stereo.. forget 2.1 or 5.1.. vinyl is stereo and you need to keep it that..
    5. if burning to cd do it straight from those files, don't convert at all..
    6. if making files for portable devices then export to whatever format at the highest bitrate supported by the target hardware.. VBR is better than CBR for most purposes.. unless you don't mind huge files..

    And that's it.. how us pro's do it.. Always remember.. Audio is now and has always been trying to get the cleanest best capture possible BEFORE you start trying to restore anything.. trash in = trash out.. follow that simple rule and your vinyl rips will sound better than most bought cd's of old recordings.. especially if they are "early" cd releases.. plus.. you can make cash doing this..
     
  11. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    only to friends not to strangers as they might arrest you for piracy.
     
  12. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Returning from a couple days of appointments. Though I could read the replies from my iPad on public wifi, I couldn't find the replies on my PC; then finding them filtered from the email Inbox. Thanks for the reply, "ps355528." That is quite alot of info on the subject. I am still interpreting your first reply - compacted information.

    Of some of things you said,

    "audacity does all of the above...you have to manually make your track breaks.. those auto things seem to make a disaster of that anyway..."

    Thats a bummer. I was hoping the software would make separate files after each silence space, and I could simply type in the name of the songs on each file. Isn't that very time consuming to record each song from an album?

    You said,

    "what you need to understand is... you need a line level (1v @ 600 ohm) input to your sound capture hardware..."
    Is there documentation somewhere that explains the terminology you mention here?


    You said,

    "a straight magnetic cartridge input is pointless.. or usb.. but I think those usb turntables are crap.. high noise level cheap plastic crap..."

    You're lucky to have such technology, the Linn Ittok/Rega turntable combo you mentioned; What I've got shall have to suffice. This Numark (I think the model name is "TTUSB") does have a heavy aluminum platter for steady recording surface and a belt to reduce transmission of vibration of the motor. Looking at the photo shown on ebay, your turntable is probably much superior. The tonearm with this Numark looks sort of imitation, with limited adjustable weight at the end - which I noticed your turntable doesn't have. At the time of purchase of the Numark, I purchased extra a mid-high quality cartridge for it (I'll have to look up its name later.)

    I'm not sure how you record into your computer without USB, unless you are lining into a preamp that has USB cable.


    Thank you for your very kind and generous suggestions on on your second reply:

    "so anyway.. my semi pro suggestions to achieve flawless vinyl to digital rips...
    ...Have a mid/high end pre amplifier to deal with the RIAA eq and give you a nice 1v p-p @ 600 ohm line level signal..."
    The Numark has preamp built in, don't know the quality.
    How do I detect the "1v p-p @ 600 ohm line level signal" you mention?

    You said,

    "get the best possible soundcard in your computer..."

    I have a Soundblaster soundcard on my shelf. Don't know if the windows 8.1 Pro or 10 OS has the drivers. From my recollection, the Soundblaster didn't get good reviews.

    You said,

    "capture using Audacity to .wav files, and do all cleaning, editing etc on the raw wav files. Don't overdo the filters, they can really muck the sound up if overused. I find about 5% expansion helps a lot of older vinyl.. the odd little crackle doesn't hurt at all."
    Thanks for emphasizing this.


    You said,

    "if burning to cd do it straight from those files, don't convert at all..."

    Thats most interesting to me, of what you have said in your suggestions. The implications of this is, why don't I just simply burn each album to a CD disk? Then I could then convert the songs on them back to "quality level" mp3s. Since I have a large collection of albums, digital conversions of them would take too much storage space on my devices and rather than running my computer whenever playing music, I would like to store the mp3s on a hard drive that streams music to my devices. (I have no interest in burning the files "to share" with others, only for streaming to devices in my home.)
    Another implication about this is, I believe that if I put a CD into any computer software that uses Gracenote, the files are, believe it or not, identified and named. This would save me the time in typing in the names of the song files.

    You said,

    "And that's it.. how us pro's do it..."
    Thank you!

    You said,
    "...the simple rule and your vinyl rips will sound better than most bought cd's of old recordings..." That would be very cool.

    You said,
    "plus.. you can make cash doing this."
    I have absolutely no interest in selling these conversions. I am interested in getting high quality digital of this album collection for listening in my home.

    Don
     
  13. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    All great advice, all spot on! PS35 is one of the few I know to have done more of these than I. My vinyl collection was a compilation of many large libraries. I had a house while many of my friends had to down size their living space. I offered my attic for 'temporary' storage for their vast collections if they did the grunt work.

    I liked the idea of going directly to a CD. That is a popular method. I don't clean up or split my vinyl captures. That takes effort and you can always process the files later. Oh I would use a cue cutter if I lacked a digital version but I haven't these are just duplicates. The cue cutter will usually cut to the original specs if you didn't alter the speed. You need to do the math with side 2. Using a silence gap to cut doesn't work well consistently. If there is a pause in the track it will get cut there. If 2 tracks are closer together than expected they become one. I haven't captured any vinyl in many years so maybe they have invented some new process for cutting. My turn table motor has died and it will cost more money than I wish to spend to get the motor replaced. I also refuse to spend almost that much money of a new/used turn table since what I have is one of the better ones ever made. Working ones go for a lot of money.

    When I chose to listen to vinyl capture I prefer to reminisce.
     
  14. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Thank you for the comments, Mez,

    Sounds like you and your friend, PS35, are music editors.

    Sorry, about the turntable motor. I don't know alot about electronics, but if you can get a motor with the EXACT values inscribed on the original motor, than you could probably safely change them, soldering in the wires. (Or, you could google the values and order a new one). I remember replacing motors on a CD player that way. A problem with doing this with your turntable is if other components are burned out; that an electrician would know.

    Okay, the way I take what you are saying, is that I could burn the recorded files (wave) directly to the CD? And that the files on the CDs can be processed later? (song titles cut and labeled, converted to mp3, etc)? If that was possible, then I could burn a bunch of lps at a time, and process them later, without using hard drive storage. (I did purchase an external hard drive if I needed space for wave files processing). I have lots of old packages of CD blanks, (about ten years old, though).

    Don
     
  15. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Oh no worries about the motor. As I mentioned earlier the turntable may be the best built. There were a few remarkable ones built then. For a price parts can be had. I have built an amp and preamp so swapping a motor isn't a worry.

    Yes an lp 30 - 45 min will easily fit on a 70 minute cd. Lossless to lossless is a very ' clean' process. My experience with cds is they are very stable. I find dvds very unstable unless you buy dvds made to last. I would use the old cd blanks. You may opt not to process them further.

    We are programers. We grew up in an age where people did their own electric work and car maintenance. You learn a great deal from screwing up. Since your friends were also tech savvy there was a different type of tech exchange. Things were much more simple and it was possible to understand the mechanics of a sound card. Now they are in a chip or part of a chip.

    You may want to read the top sticky in the audio forum. It contains a wide range of topics including vinyl capture.
     
  16. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Hi Mez,

    You said, "where people did their own electric work and car maintenance". Would be nice when someday there is the electric car - no maintenance!

    Okay, I looked for stickies in the audio forum that you mentioned. I didn't see anything in the forums labeled audio about vinyl capture. Do you think that they un-stickied those subjects?

    Don
     
  17. cyclops1

    cyclops1 Member

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    Don, not to discredit your thought about the reliability of electric cars, but if it moves it will require some maintenance and eventually it will break/fail.
    By the way, most accidents are preventable while most failures are the result of poor decisions in design, engineering, manufacture and theory.
     
  18. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    No

    It is the top sticky and is read/write. It is a random collection of audio information. Vinyl capture is only one of many. If you discover something of audio interest you can add it to the sticky.
     
  19. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Hi Mez, Thanks for the reply. There are several AD forums on the subject of audio: "Audio" under "Digital Audio" and "MP3, WMA..." sub-forums "General Audio Discussion" and "Software Discussion" (the forum we are currently in). Though I don't see any subject titles of stickies or within stickies named "Vinyl", the stickie under "Digital Audio" (under "Audio") titled "You Too Can Be An Audio Expert" has the subjects of MP3, CDs, sound statistics, and then some discussion on 78 records. Is this the stickie file you are referring or are there other special files on any of the AD forums without alot on vinyl?
    Don
     
  20. rocket_pc

    rocket_pc Member

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    Correction on my typo. I said "without alot on vinyl". I meant to say obviously, "*with* alot on vinyl...

    There was probably conversations on the subject somewhere or even pulled from the stickies.

    Don
     

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