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Vinyl to Digital

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by TroyK, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    It seems like there was a thread somewhere on this, but I couldn't find it. I completed my first vinyl to digital coversion last night.

    RCA turntable > iBook (Audicity) > iTunes > iPod & backup external hard drive.

    It was so great walking out of my house this morning listening to The Cooker. Surprisingly good quality, sounded like when you hear an album played on the radio, rich and full, but with cracks and pops.

    I've got (and will always have) quite a few tasty pieces of vinyl, but this will certainly lead to some lost sleep to get things onto my iPod.

    Here's my question. I'm not doing much with Audicity. I'm capturing the recording with it, cutting the tracks up and exporting them as MP3s. I know there is all kinds of good power with that thing. I don't want to over produce these things and ruin the original mono goodness, but is there some little filter or something that I should apply while I've got it in there before I call it good?

    I'm not a recording guy, so I don't know what I'm doing. I am pretty happy with my first generation, no plan or education results.

  2. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    And for less than the price of a latte, you can send me one of those old LPs in the mail every day... where each will be well taken care of and given jigsaw puzzles and rollicking games of bid whist. Just another friendly service provided by the folks at Standalone Gardens Home for "Active Mature" Wax.

  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the kind offer. My wax isn't going anywhere. I love it and still play it. This is just an exercise in 2 things:

    1) getting that great stuff onto my iPod and
    2) I play "Blindfold Test" with my friends on a website I run for local PacNW players. It's tough to reasonable stump them anymore from my CD collection, but I've got some stuff on vinyl that I'm sure they haven't heard.

    This winter I've got a basement to mancave conversion project going and it's conclusion will result in some good speakers pointing at a comfortable chair from which I can take in the lush sound of my vinyl collection.
  4. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven

    This past year, I completed something similar upstairs in this big barn like garage that's behind our house. I dug the Max Roach/ Dr. King moment I think I saw you mention in today's Roach thread.

    Good word, too. Mancave.

    edit: I recommend focusing on cleaning your records more than applying any post production. Pretty much just an unsubstantiated opinion, though. I just don't trust processing so much. I'd rather hear little pops here and there than risk losing something globally in the tone. Over on the recording boards, people seem to say that good recordings and good mixes tend to translate into the most acceptable MP3's, so you're starting in the right place by recording some fine music!
  5. Sort of an echo of what's been said already: I would do as little digital processing as possible. You can clean up noise if you need to, either using some kind of one size fits all plugin, or by doing a notch/pass eq filter. And you might need to "normalize" a bit (boost the levels to match CDs), but that's all. Plus, with a compressed format like MP3 the quality is already diminished a bit, so less is more.
  6. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Does your iBook/Audacity have an RIAA re-equalization circuit? Without one, I wouldn't expect a direct copy from vinyl to digital to sound listenable.
  7. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Don't know, but I'm copying it straight in with no processing and it sounds great. Not like sitting at home with it on the turntable into my headphones, but for the car and the iPod, generally as good as CDs to MP3s.

    I'm with you guys. No processing. I'm on about my 5th record now and I'm going to leave it well enough alone.

    I can't take credit for the Roach/MLK moment. I was there, but that was someone else's share. I've got to find that record, though. Trading 8ths with Martin Luther King. Wow.

    I'm devoting my evening to listening to Max Roach tonight, though.

  8. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    in itunes preferences there is a function called sound enhancer...
    turn that garbage off and the sound quality is much better...
    better yet, rip that vinyl at 16 bit 41k minimal(no mp3!) and enjoy a much better sound.
    even better, 192k 24 bit.
    i hate mp3, it's the worst thing ever...
    ymmv, imho, blah blah,
    just my .02
    max roach....nice choice!!!
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    yeah, but it's got to be MP3 to play on my iPod, right?
  10. Standalone


    Jan 17, 2005
    New Haven
    Wait... that's a good point about the RIAA curve. Are you running a line out from a receiver or a turntable mixer?

    Or just plugging the rca plugs into your apple? Into a 1/8th" mic input?

    Going through the phono amp of a receiver would apply this EQ curve that's supposed to be necessary for all records.

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