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LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 10:12 AM   #1
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LPs to CDs

I have a pretty good collection of music on LPs that I haven't listened to since a burglar made off with the turntable a few years ago. Now I would like to transfer the music to CD's - or DVDs - and would appreciate the experience of others.

The 'puter has a cd burner, but how do I get the analog signal from a turntable into digital? Through an amp first? Also I have duped a few cds in the past on the computer with not always great success; would it be better to buy a dedicated cd/dvd recorder for this?

If possible I would like to clean up some of the noise that is inevitably on the LPs; how to do this?
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: LPs to CDs

I have not tried this:
----------------------------------------
http://www.athome-products.com/ittusb.html

Ion ITTUSB - Belt-Drive Turntable with USB Output

# Converts records into MP3 or CD in one step
# Adjustable belt-drive turntable
# Anti-skating control for increased stereo balancing
# Bias software restores vinyl to superior sound by reducing noise
# Line level RCA and USB outputs
# Software compatible with Windows 98, 2000, XP and Mac OS9 or greater
# Includes USB cable, stylus, 45 RPM adapter and recording software
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: LPs to CDs

There are many higher quality, more expensive options, but...

Using a couple of cable converters from radio shack you can adapt the signal from a receiver or possibly even the turntable itself to the "audio in" on most desktops and laptops. The receiver would go to the 'line in' and the turntable would go to the 'mic in' ports.

If you have a machine with no audio inputs, a soundblaster live card for a desktop or a USB or pcmcia sound card (more expensive than the desktop card) would provide the ports.

You'd need one cable to adapt from the L/R audio RCA type connection to a single pin 3.5mm mini phone plug.

It'd look like this:


You might need some other cables to make the entire connection, but this should do you.

A dedicated burner might work far better for you than the capture/burn cycle on the pc, although if you do it right you could conceivably end up with your entire collection on the computer in MP3 format and even apply some software tools to clean up hiss and pop. While you're getting a dedicated burner, get one that does both cd and dvds. Handy things. I got the el cheapo $99 magnavox unit and aside from some cryptic operation and a few oddities in how the dvds it makes are structured, it works great.

A really easy alternative would be to find someone who loves vinyl, sell your collection to them and then either by used cd's to replace the vinyl one-to-one or use i-tunes to download just the specific music you like, then burn that to cd.

I think you may find the music quality combining the downsides (hiss, pops, other analog noise) with the clipping/digital artifacts of cd's wont produce a particularly pleasing outcome.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 12:57 PM   #4
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Re: LPs to CDs

Because my computer is in a different room (and on a different floor) from my stereo system, I first transfer the music from vinyl to tape. I have a second tape deck which is always connected to my computer through the "line in" port using a L/R to RCA cable like the one CFB shows in his post. I capture the music into a free software program called Audacity which allows me to edit the music.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Since most of the music I am transferring is not currently available on CD (e.g. a favorite flip side of a 45 or an album cut which has never been included in a "Greatest Hits" compilation), I spend a fair amount of time editing the captured music manually to remove bad "clicks" or "pops". Audacity will then let you save the edited music as a WAV file which is ready to burn to an audio CD.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 01:06 PM   #5
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Re: LPs to CDs

Oh and one other thing...

Who's the dumb burglar that takes a TURNTABLE when you've got a computer laying around?

Unless this was more than a "few" years ago...
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 01:20 PM   #6
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Re: LPs to CDs

He had a collection of LP's and wanted to transfer to CDs?
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 01:21 PM   #7
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Re: LPs to CDs

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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 02:02 PM   #8
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Re: LPs to CDs

Our burglar, back in the mid 80's, made off with everything that was for fun in our house, including the stereo and all of the LP's that lined one wall in a big, old house. Took TVs, cameras, video equipment, half of a water jug full of change, etc. The only thing that he did not take were my DH's guns. (He used to hunt and has since sold them). We had moved from 1 state to another and my spouse and I were working in 2 different states, so we rented a farm house until we could both be together working in 1 state. We always had house insurance, but did not even think to get renter's insurance for the short term. Bad mistake on our part. I have never saved change since being robbed either. The worst part of the whole thing was that my young son at the time, was sure that they were going to come back to get his toys that were in his toy room. It took a while for him to get over it all.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 04:39 PM   #9
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Re: LPs to CDs

Thanks to all. I was sure I would get some informed insight, & you haven't disappointed.

Khan, that machine is interesting, I'll check it out. It might be the thing for a lazy bum like me.
Fired, thanks for the link. I thought there would be something out there; free is good too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny


I think you may find the music quality combining the downsides (hiss, pops, other analog noise) with the clipping/digital artifacts of cd's wont produce a particularly pleasing outcome.
CFB thanks. If the machine Khan mentioned doesn't pan out I'll probably go this route, maybe with the software Fired mentioned.
I do wonder about the quality of the end product, but the fact is with my compromised hearing in the upper registers I'm not sure I would know the difference. I'll keep the albums; so much good stuff - not to mention the cover art! And if something doesn't turn out quite right with an old fave I'll just blast it straight from the LP. I suspect that might be the case with some of the older symphonic stuff.

Don't know why they left the pc; time, maybe, & harder to fence? They also got some cheap jewelry from DW, but left the good stuff laying in the next drawer.

We think it was some local kids who wanted to impress their gf's - plus they were dumb.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-27-2007, 11:37 PM   #10
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Re: LPs to CDs

http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm

good information whether you buy this guy's shareware program or not. I have it and have been happy with it.

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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 09:30 AM   #11
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Re: LPs to CDs

I've done this, with the cable CFB described. I used a Magix software package from Best Buy (think it was around $40) and hooked up the turntable and receiver to the computer. It also works with cassettes.

It is tedious work, but if you are really into the sound quality of your albums, it is a labor of love. I only did about 15 of my albums, and then used the software to clean up the sound a bit. I can always tell the songs I recorded from albums when they come up on my iPod, not just for the mellow quality, but also the slight background hiss from the album. I like it, though. I play albums a good bit (look at thrift stores for good old turntables, I have a great one I paid about $10 for).
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 10:13 AM   #12
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Re: LPs to CDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
I can always tell the songs I recorded from albums when they come up on my iPod, not just for the mellow quality, but also the slight background hiss from the album. I like it, though. I play albums a good bit (look at thrift stores for good old turntables, I have a great one I paid about $10 for).
Sarah
when I use the procedure in the link I posted above, have an lp in fairly decent shape, a fairly new stylus, a decent turntable, and am careful how much signal processing I do afterwards (i.e. don't get too agressive with the cleanup), I cannot tell when I am playing from a CD or a reprocessed LP, and neither can others who do not know.

I use WaveRepair and Wave Corrector, but being too agressive is counterproductive as you will take some brightness out of the sound. It is an art that takes a bit of practice. WaveRepair actually has the capability of redrawing the wave form. With a little practice, you learn to see what the pops and clicks look like and can edit them right out. I will point out that it can be time-intensive and if the lp isn't in good shape, it is cheaper to just buy the CD if you value your time.

background hiss indicates something in your procedure that needs to be corrected. It happens sometimes if you are recording cassette tapes. A poor quality turntable can produce a rumble. A hum is from power supply problems.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 11:20 AM   #13
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Re: LPs to CDs

Seems like some entrepreneurial retiree could make a bit of pocket change archiving stuff for people if they didn't mind piddling around with all this stuff.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 01:19 PM   #14
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Re: LPs to CDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
Seems like some entrepreneurial retiree could make a bit of pocket change archiving stuff for people if they didn't mind piddling around with all this stuff.
But wouldn't that be ......w-w-w-work?!? <<shudder>>
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 01:37 PM   #15
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Re: LPs to CDs

Somebody (maybe more than one) offered a transfer service where you sent them your stuff and they'd give you back mp3's of it. Seems to me that at least one of them had everything in an existing mp3 library and by showing proof of ownership of the physical media they'd 'sell' you the (already done) "conversion service" and give you the mp3's. Unless whats on your vinyl is a rarity, it might be cost effective to investigate that route.
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 01:50 PM   #16
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Re: LPs to CDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Seems to me that at least one of them had everything in an existing mp3 library and by showing proof of ownership of the physical media they'd 'sell' you the (already done) "conversion service" and give you the mp3's. Unless whats on your vinyl is a rarity, it might be cost effective to investigate that route.
Sounds like what I do at Jelly's...
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-29-2007, 02:04 PM   #17
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Re: LPs to CDs

Hmmm...lawyer question (see...I should get that prepaid legal service!)...if you have purchased a license to own a piece of music, may you download it off of one of the many internet sites and retain that copy legally, providing you dont share or give it away to someone who doesnt own the record/tape/cd/dvd?
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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-31-2007, 10:12 AM   #18
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Re: LPs to CDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
Seems like some entrepreneurial retiree could make a bit of pocket change archiving stuff for people if they didn't mind piddling around with all this stuff.
I had considered this. There is very little effort in transferring the vinyl to a wave file, and subsequently to mp3. It does pay to learn a little bit about the best software, rippers, etc.

However, doing a decent job of cleaning up older vinyl is very time-intensive. Automatic declickers etc. don't do nearly as good of a job if you are picky. Unless the vinyl is not available on CD or from some other source, it's not likely to be worth the cost to someone. A really messed up album can take many hours of work.

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Re: LPs to CDs
Old 01-31-2007, 11:16 AM   #19
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Re: LPs to CDs

Indeed...I see one guy thats offering this service charges an average of $200 per album to thoroughly clean the vinyl, transfer and clean up/enhance the results.

Nice chunk of change once you have the equipment/process in place.

But I'd bet you have plenty of competition.
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