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Old 19th September 2003, 06:19 PM   #1
tg3 is offline tg3  United States
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Question Digitizing Vinyl Advice

I have a friend who would like to digitize his vinyl records and burn to CD. He is set with TT and preamp, but would like advice on sound cards and software.

We're both a bit puzzled at how much difference a higher quality sound card would make for this application.

Thanks 10^6.
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Old 19th September 2003, 06:51 PM   #2
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As for everything, the sky is the limit. Some advise, in random order:

- software: Adobe Audition, formerly known as Cool Edit Pro. It has all you will ever need and more, easy to learn and has a lot of tools for cleaning up bad vinyl. And it is affordable, even cheap for what you get. This if he uses a pc, for a mac you will have to ask elsewhere....
- he has a TT and preamp, good. Check that it is set up correctly, that the vinyl is spotless. Keep the TT as far away from the screen of the pc as you can! A monitor can spew interference like nothing else. More than a metre is no luxury.
- soundcard: a minefield. Stay away from anything with a creative badge on it. They can only sample at 48kHz, and if you use anything else it will pass thru a samplerate convertor that I still have to be heard praise. Lot used for this job is the Echo Mia. I like the RME stuff, but it is expensive. If the budget can carry it, go for a card with a digital input and an external AD convertor. If there are no limits, check the Lynx cards, the top.

The card can make a difference, but not as much as a well cleaned good copy of the vinyl. Once you clear the bottom of the pit, they are all more or less up to the task of archiving vinyl. That is the reason the Echo Mia is so much used, if you want better, you will have to pay substantially more and gain less in proportion. I does make sense to record in 24bit, as the software can then do a better job afterwards. 96kHz is debateble. I don't think it is worth the diskspace.

Before you start recording even the first LP, check the system to make sure you have the max out of it. Record 60sec of silence (with the motor of the TT running) and then do a spectral analysis of the middle 30sec. See if you do not have 50Hz and harmonics (those ove the ocean, substitute 60Hz). If you have, then try to get that as low as possible! You may have a ground loop, or some loose ground or just a badly routed cable. It should be possible to get that below -78dB.

Make sure you also have some decent system to monitor your recording, certainly if you are going to clean up the recording.
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Old 20th September 2003, 07:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Digitizing Vinyl Advice

Quote:
Originally posted by tg3
I have a friend who would like to digitize his vinyl records and burn to CD. He is set with TT and preamp, but would like advice on sound cards and software.

We're both a bit puzzled at how much difference a higher quality sound card would make for this application.

Thanks 10^6.
mebbe not direct answer,but........
look that your sound card have at least 65db s/n

look at
http://www.a-reny.com/restauration/restaurintro.html
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Old 21st September 2003, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
look that your sound card have at least 65db s/n
Most modern soundcards do not have a problem wih that spec. But if you are going to measure the noise by recording some silence and then do a spectral analysis, you will find that in the bass region, the noise goes up quite a lot. This is nothing else than the noise profile of the riaa preamp. You can follow it very well.
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Old 4th October 2003, 07:10 PM   #5
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hello

Unless the lp's can't be bought on CD's it is not a good money saving tip as the time spent can be quite a lot.......
I speak from experience and have only converted my direct cut discs and some rare tape recordings

You are looking at around 1 hours work per 3 minutes music if you have to remove clicks etc manually

Michael
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Old 5th October 2003, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Unless the lp's can't be bought on CD's it is not a good money saving tip as the time spent can be quite a lot.......
I can only agree with your calculations and your conclusion. It is not usefull to tranfer the ninth of LvB by vK. If you do this as a hobby and want good results, then you need to count about a week for an album from cleaning the record to burning the cd (if you only work in the evening after work and have some obligation in the weekend).

But there are enough lp's worth the trouble.
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Old 19th October 2003, 11:59 AM   #7
tere is offline tere  Hungary
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Hi!

Quote:
Originally posted by Great Dane
You are looking at around 1 hours work per 3 minutes music if you have to remove clicks etc manually
It depends on the record's quality.
I have to tell, if you have a good equipment you can do much better CDs than the industrial ones. You can do an A/B-test if you have same music on LP & CD. Then grab the LP and write a CD. Your CD will be better than the "offer" version. You can check your work when testing LP and your written CD. Or grab each CDs and make a difference test on an analyzator software.
I made a lot of restaurations, they are good ones. I have SB Live card, it works very well with my Pioneer SA-540 tape2 "port". I use comp. as a tape p/r I can use the amp's input selector and grab from any connected signal sources easily. A better card may could be better but I'm satisfied with this one.
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Old 21st October 2003, 06:07 PM   #8
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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Quote:
Originally posted by tere
Hi!


It depends on the record's quality.
I have to tell, if you have a good equipment you can do much better CDs than the industrial ones. You can do an A/B-test if you have same music on LP & CD. Then grab the LP and write a CD. Your CD will be better than the "offer" version. You can check your work when testing LP and your written CD. Or grab each CDs and make a difference test on an analyzator software.
I made a lot of restaurations, they are good ones. I have SB Live card, it works very well with my Pioneer SA-540 tape2 "port". I use comp. as a tape p/r I can use the amp's input selector and grab from any connected signal sources easily. A better card may could be better but I'm satisfied with this one.

agree.
I have EMT930 as source,Audigy in PC.
Software: Sound Forge6 for rec and normalising,then Dart Pro XP for denoise and declick.
if LP is good enough,minimal postprocesing is needed.
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Old 22nd October 2003, 01:16 PM   #9
tere is offline tere  Hungary
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Yes, SF is good. I use the SF's directx NR plugins. They're good. I use SF4.5h. I don't like 5 or 6. 6 is faster, but has no those codecs I'm recently using.
An advice: when you want to copy all tracks of the vinyl, that's better to record the whole side (or disk) in one file and make all works on one timeline. When you finished, you can cut and copy tracks and make fade in - outs. You can manually edit the "extra clicks" at the end of the procedure too.

If you normalizing an album track by track, you won't get back the real volume differences, so you'll loose the dynamics of the album.
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Old 22nd October 2003, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by tere
Yes, SF is good. I use the SF's directx NR plugins. They're good. I use SF4.5h. I don't like 5 or 6. 6 is faster, but has no those codecs I'm recently using.
An advice: when you want to copy all tracks of the vinyl, that's better to record the whole side (or disk) in one file and make all works on one timeline. When you finished, you can cut and copy tracks and make fade in - outs. You can manually edit the "extra clicks" at the end of the procedure too.

If you normalizing an album track by track, you won't get back the real volume differences, so you'll loose the dynamics of the album.
Exactly as I do;sometimes (hm,mostly) when LP is not too scratchy,I don't use any denoiser and declicker; that way sound is better.
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