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Digitizing Vinyl Albums -- Need Some Advice

Old 02-18-08, 04:38 PM
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Digitizing Vinyl Albums -- Need Some Advice

Since Iím off today, I decided to use the time to transfer a couple of vinyl albums to my computer. I havenít done this in some time, and now my turntable has stopped working. Itís always been a hassle to hook my computer up to my stereo, run the cables to an external soundcard (my laptop only has a mike input), and then use software to divide the tracks and clean up the sound. I use an older version of DART CD-Recorder to help with the transfer and to clean up noise, but I donít like what the noise reduction does to the overall sound.

So, what is the best set-up? Are the USB turntables sold for this purpose any good (most reviews seem mixed), or is it better to buy a regular turntable and go through the stereo to the soundcard? Also, whatís the best software for cleaning up the noise without losing too much sound quality? I want something that works, but isnít too expensive, both for the hardware and the software.
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Old 02-18-08, 04:52 PM
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Try the Tech talk forum. This is for discussions of music.
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Old 02-18-08, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cungar
Try the Tech talk forum. This is for discussions of music.
Sorry, I wasn't sure where it belongs, since it's music-related, and there's no audio-only forum.
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Old 02-18-08, 09:29 PM
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Software for Sound Digitizing & Clean-up

I tried posting on this topic in the music forum, but I was told I should have posted in the tech forum. I'm trying to digitize some vinyl records, and while I also have a question about USB vs. non-USB turntables, I'll stick to the audio software question. I have something called DART CD-Recorder. I haven't been pleased with the results of the parts of the software that reduce pops and surface noise. If you process it to the point where that noise is eliminated, you wind up with a thin-sounding recording with a slight hiss in the background. The version of this software is a few years old, so I don't know if the technology has improved. I'd like to know if anyone has good experiences with other programs that do a good job of reducing noise, are easy to use, and aren't too expensive (freeware would be even better, though I'd settle for a trial period just to see if a program would work).
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Old 02-18-08, 10:16 PM
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I think DART is very good, but you have to watch about being too aggressive about removing the clicks and pops. You have to listen to the removal file to see how much musical information you're removing.

I tend to prefer Sound Forge with its Noise Reduction plugin though for its ease of use and configurability.
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Old 02-19-08, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by X
I think DART is very good, but you have to watch about being too aggressive about removing the clicks and pops. You have to listen to the removal file to see how much musical information you're removing.

I tend to prefer Sound Forge with its Noise Reduction plugin though for its ease of use and configurability.
Thanks for the advice. Sound Forge is out of my price range, but I might try the free trial. I did find a freeware program, Audacity, that seems to work. I got my turntable running again (the cartridge was loose), and that software was easy to use and didn't affect the sound too much. It probably helps to start with a record that isn't too scratched to begin with.
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Old 02-19-08, 08:09 AM
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In the past, I have recorded the albums to tape and then then used the headphone jack from by tape deck or boom box to connect to my soundcard. I used Goldwave to do the recording and found it very easy to use. I think there is/was a free trial to Goldwave. Also, being that I had the albums on tape, I was able to use my deck's Dolby noise reduction to help filter out some of the noise.
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Old 02-19-08, 09:45 AM
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Here's the way I do it. I have my turntable next to my laptop. Connect the RCA out to an ADS Tech Instant Music USB break-out box. I tried connecting the turntable to the mic-in, but it seemed to introduce minor feedback that annoyed me. The ADS device does not. Then record the sound from the turntable with Audacity. The latest version has the Repair tool, which is useful for repairing large pops. Then export as WAV, and run that through Groove Mechanic, which is excellent for removing the small pops, clicks, and motor rumble. For the surface noise, i sample one of the bands between tracks, and then use that in the Noise Removal tool of Audacity. I have found the best setting to be three steps from the left side. Then export from Audacity to MP3 with the LAME codec. I have found that 192 Kbps at 48 Khz is best for most albums, tho classical and vocal albums give better results at 320, but use your own ear to determine what sounds best to you.
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Old 12-29-08, 12:26 PM
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Bump.

I got some vinyl albums as gifts. I put them on my turntable, and....dead. Time for a new one. I was thinking about getting one with a usb port to make life easy. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 12-29-08, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by parrotheads4 View Post
Bump.

I got some vinyl albums as gifts. I put them on my turntable, and....dead. Time for a new one. I was thinking about getting one with a usb port to make life easy. Any suggestions? Thanks.
I was tempted to get a USB turnable, but the more popular one ION, was a lightweight piece of junk.... flimsy body, lightweight plastic platter, no dust cover, etc. I ended up with an Audio Technica that has a switchable pre-amp and connects to a PC via 1/8" audio-in jack. It has the added benefit of being able to connect directly to PC speakers (or any generic powered speakers with a 1/8" jack)

My turntable came with Cakewalk Pyro which does a serviceable job.

I recommend researching what the latest offerings are as there may be better turntable options available now. (I've had my Audio Technica for about 2 years).
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