Converting Old LPs Into CDs

Discussion in 'Computing & Gaming Discussions' started by Ruminator, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Anyone into doing this?

    Is it possible, and better to run directly from the turntable, or AUX. outputs on the receiver for unamplified sound; or do you need to connect to receiver speaker outputs for an amplified sound source?

    I've been told that you get a music file with less sound degradation by using WAV files which are uncompressed instead of using mp3 files that are compressed?

    I'm not exactly an audiophile, but if I get into this I would want to make the best quality music files possible for the time, money, and effort invested.

    What benefits if any are there to different sound cards and their characteristics for the quality of the uploading of the music?

    I already know the sound quality differences for the quality of the needle, etc. for the turntable/ LP side of things.

    Getting more picky, high quality speaker cables make a difference in sound quality to high end speakers. I assume the quality of the cables used for uploading music from a source could also effect the quality of the new files created in the hard drive. Any suggestions here?

    It was suggested to use the microphone mini plug to connect to the pc. Is that the best choice?
    I was told that connection has a much larger transfer capacity than a USB connection.


    What other considerations are there?

    Thanks. :cool:
     
  2. you can buy a usb turntable that plugs into your pc
     

  3. Hook N Book

    Hook N Book The Original Hot Rod Staff Member

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    Ruminator, Fan is right, not sure if this is what you're reffering to with your questions though. I had planned on doing this last winter but just ran out of time.
    Circut city has a digital turntable but there are others out there that seem a little better quality. I have a link from Snake69 that has a pretty good one if you're interedted in that.
    The biggest drawback I see is everything is in real-time with no short cuts for transfering the data.
     
  4. seethe303

    seethe303 Senior Executive Member

    If you have room, I would go for the .wav files. Or at the very least 320 kbit mp3s.

    I usually can't hear the difference between .wav and 320 kbit mp3s unless I am listening really carefully on my studio monitors to a extremely well recorded piece of music. If you are just going to be listening on a hi fi home stereo or a car stereo the 320 mp3 probably will be sufficient.

    I don't know anything about the microphone mini plug you mention, but I would be wary of USB transfer of audio data like that. In this audiophile's opinion it would be better to get a halfway decent soundcard and just record the records into your pc.

    if you need a free program to do that check out audacity:

    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    it is free (legal, of course!) and will let you record directly into your computer.
     
  5. If you don't go with one of those USB turntables, you will have to run your current deck into some sort of preamp.

    As for the mic mini jack, I know what you're talking about, and honestly, I think you're better off going with USB, if those are your two options. I've used USB/Firewire devices for recording all the time, over the last several years. At first, I was skeptical, but after seeing what a job they did, I had plenty of faith in them. Check out www.m-audio.com if you're in the market. Great bang for the buck.

    really the only other option to consider, is Deck->Preamp->PCI Card (via spdif). Whether using a desktop or laptop there are options. M-Audio 24/96 is a heck of a budget sound card, for a desktop. Laptop PCMCIA cards are a bit more expensive. I think you can pickup a 24/96 for under $100.

    The idea of expensive cables is sort of twisted. Yes, when dealing with analog signals, it can make a difference. You ideally want the best shielded cables you can afford, in the shortest possible length you can use. When it comes to digital, it isn't a big deal. If you're really looking to burn money, get a seperate A/D converter to go between the pre and computer.

    As far as format, .wav/.aiff is the raw data. Files run about 10mb per minute of audio. That's a lot of space. If you're looking to like, preserve this stuff for the future, encode the WAV files to FLAC, then burn them onto CDs/DVDs as data discs.
     
  6. seethe303

    seethe303 Senior Executive Member

    I second the m-audio 24/96. I used one for years on my production pc, and it worked well. I recently upgraded to an RME soundcard, which is probably way overkill for your needs.
     
  7. I have an Audiophile 192 PCI card in the box here at my house. I had it in my old PC audio workstation, used mainly as a zero-latency midi interface, but the ability to record at 24bit/192khz was a nice touch.

    The 24/96 is probably better suited for all around use, and honestly with the drivers that were out when I was still using my 192, the 24/96 was much more stable. Rock solid actually. I have no use for it now, as I've moved away from desktops for the most part to Mbox2/ProTools a couple of years ago.

    Vinyl to digital is a pretty easy thing to do. There are tons of packages and options out there made just for this purpose. It all depends on budget, and whether your addiction to gadgets and audio ends when the project is over with.
     
  8. i was just at best buy getting the new call of duty game. saw a sony usb turntable for 149.99
     
  9. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    I hear you Rodney, ... "real time"!! Sure, post that link if you would please.

    Thanks guys, this is becoming quite an educational thread on the subject.

    It sounds like that would be one good way to go, but I already have a very good precision direct drive, fine speed controllable turntable and just need a way to upload the music from it.

    Can I run the turntable thru the receiver and connect to either speaker outputs or aux. outputs(preamp)?

    Come to think of it, I also have early cassette tapes that would be uploaded if possible.

    I may end up buying a sound card though. I'm currently running my motherboards sound right now, which has worked well. I'll look into an m-audio 24/96.
    If the price were close to the same, it might be just as well to buy the digital turntable. That way I wouldn't have to pull my turntable out of my stereo system. Would I need a good sound card anyhow?

    OK, checked out the 24/96. That sounds like it'll do far more than allow me quality music uploads!
    All that I really want is to create very good music files on my pc of old music no longer available so I can burn cds and enjoy music I haven't heard for years as I drive to work. ;)
     
  10. seethe303

    seethe303 Senior Executive Member

    unless, you played 33 rpm records @ 45 and then pitched the .wavs down!!! that would work, right? :p
     
  11. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Would that there were my friend, would that there were. :p

    And thanks for the two links MDisbrow, I checked them both out. :B

    Staying with that thought line, are you familiar with the much older album speed of 78? :p
    You could really do uploads smoking hot with that now! :D :cool:
     
  12. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    For my benefit, and that of this educational thread, what recommendations for specifications needs in a sound card can you guys make? (for uploading music)
    It sounds like to buy a new one, the 24/96 is "the one".
    But if a reader here were to wonder what minimal specs their card should have...?
     
  13. i have the sound blaster Audigy SE by Creative. it supports 5.1 and 7.1 audio.i run Xp but it works with vista also.i have my pc tower hooked up to my home stereo. it just your basic sound car but it works for me. got it at walmart for 29.99.to hook it up all you do is run the rca cable from your sound card to the cd input on your stereo reciever.
     
  14. RareVos

    RareVos Lost Sailor

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    I use the M-Audio USB version of 24/96 card. I like having a external power supply. While the voltage rails of the PC PSU are very stable... it isn't built noise isolation in mind. At that point, you can just take and stereo out on your own pre-amp/integrated/reciever and feed the external sound card with standard RCA cables. In my particular instance, the only good out I could get on my integrated amp was the headphone out... which is tapped into the main signal but run through a simple voltage divider. I built a cable specific to this task and have had good results. If you have line level outs, the M-Audio USB has a little gain to add, but not a ton. Check your specs.

    If you have a good turntable... you already know that all turntables are not equal. Those USB turntables are junk of the highest order.
     
  15. Hook N Book

    Hook N Book The Original Hot Rod Staff Member

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    Jim,
    Here's the link SNAKE69 posted earlier this year. I like this one more than the Circuit city model since it has the dust cover. A little more pricey but seems higher quality too.
    I also have a direct drive turn table with a very good cartridge, but figure this will do the job more efficiently. I'll be ordering one in the next few weeks.

    http://www.hammacher.com/publish/74106.asp?promo=xsells
     
  16. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

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    Thanks Rodney. !%

    RareVos, I'd like to know more please. Can you reference any articles or anything, personal experience, that I/ we can educate ourselves with?
    Would that include namebrands like the Sony mentioned above by iam20fan?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  17. RareVos

    RareVos Lost Sailor

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    My statement may be a little broad. There are few different makes of USB tables are some are better than others. If you must go that way, I would at least get one with a standard headshell so you don't have to rely on whatever (non-replaceable) cartridge is installed there. The ones I have handled (ION, Sony, Numark) are too flimsy and cheaply built to make the grade. I am a gear snob, audio enthusiast and I make no apologies.

    If you like the turntable you already have, which probably has a decent tonearm and cartridge, why not use it? If you add the interface between your existing audio system and your computer you will wind up with a better and more versatile solution. Here is another good,cheap ($70) capture device to consider:

    http://www.artproaudio.com/products.asp?type=90&cat=13&id=128
     
  18. I've put about fifteen LP's that never came out on CD to CD via the computer. I hooked a cable to tape out RCA's and run it in the back of the computer. I use Audio Cleaning Lab by Magix to clean up the music.