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Luke 2nd January 2003 10:36 AM

converting vinyl to mp3 or cd digital format?
Hi all,

A freind just asked me how we can convert his vinyl collection to digital format, either mp3 or cda. Sounds simple but not sure how it can be done.
I thought about using a phono stage and feeding teh mic input of my sound blaster card on my PC but I would imagine its designed for much lower voltage signal, any one ever done this?


sangram 2nd January 2003 11:07 AM

Use a phono preamp. One built into a good amp or a standalone is fine.

Use the line input of your soundcard. The quality of the resulting sound will depend a lot on the quality of the soundcard. An m-audio AudioPhile will sound much better than a Soundblasted card, another good bet is to use a standalone ADC and record the sound into a digital input. A Soundblaster will then deliver acceptable results.

Do let me know if you need further help on this.

Luke 2nd January 2003 11:16 AM

Thanks Sangram,

I didnt even know I had a line input in my soundcard, thought it was a mic input. I dont have an audiophile soundcard but Im not sure hes so into his music quality, just has alot of rare vinyl especially jazz which he wants to convert to digital.
BTW what is a "stand alone ADC?"

sangram 2nd January 2003 12:02 PM

The following are colour codes of sockets on a soundcard:

Green: Front out
Black: Rear out
Pink: Mic In
Blue: Line in

If you can see a blue socket on your soundcard you have a line in. There are more sockets on a lot of cards but for a regular soundcard that should be it. Even inbuilt soundcards such as those found on the newer computers have line in.

A standalone ADC is just like a standalone DAC. except in reverse. It takes an audio stream, maybe stereo, and converts it into a digital stream. You can find plenty of these in studios etc. m-Audio makes a little USB audio device that's pretty good at this.

If you need to convert rare vinyl specially jazz, I'm sure that he'll want good sound quality. I use a SoundBlaster myself, and I'm not unhappy with results (I've been converting tons of tapes to digital) specially in combination with good restoration software (for getting rid of noise) but it could've been better.

You should try out a few and see if you are happy with the results.

SkinnyBoy 2nd January 2003 12:05 PM

yeah, sure.. lol... anyway, MY card is:
red: mic in
green: speaker out (line out)
black: line in (or rear out if you turn it on)

sangram 2nd January 2003 01:57 PM


You must have one of the newer cards which have combo sockets. Not uncommon. Cost/space saving.

You can either record, or use a set of rear speakers. Primary use in the home segment would be for rear speakers for surround setups.

:confused: I still don't see the joke. I must've read the thread 4 times.

SkinnyBoy 2nd January 2003 01:59 PM

Umm... I don't think there was a joke.. sorry.. :( actually, my crd is getting abit old... it just depends on who made it, and what they felt like doing... older cards have all black sockets.. lol

Luke 2nd January 2003 10:39 PM

Thanks Sangram,

how bout software? How do I convert it and save it as am MP3? And is it possible to save as cda as well?


sangram 3rd January 2003 07:50 AM


Yeah you're probably right, some cards may have different types of colours. This side of the world every card I've seen follows a similar kind of colour. No big deal.


I would recommend a nice free utility like Audacity or Soundengine. Look for wave editors, most of them can save the incoming file after it is recorded as wave file.

I would suggest using LAME to encode into MP3. I personally use Blade, which I find sufficiently high quality.

You can't 'save' a track as .cda. .cda files are virtual files, which are a directory system designed for audio CDs. Any CD-burning software will be able to burn the wave (or MP3) files onto an audio CD. The .cda files will be created automatically. think of the .cdas as shortcuts or roadsigns, the actual road being the wave file.

Luke 3rd January 2003 08:28 AM


thanks for your help on this thread. Im well armed now to give it a go:)

regards Luke

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