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newriverrat

Simple vinyl digitatizing

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I am curious if it is possible for me to connect my system in a simple manner to digitize my vinyl. I used a "Y" adapter from my line out to my receiver to play digital, I'm wondering if something similar is possible to save vinyl as digital files. Connect the computer's line in to which option on the rear of the receiver? A tape output?

 

FWIW, I pretty familiar with audacity.

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Edited by newriverrat

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Yes, for about $30 you can get a Behringer UCA202, UFO202, or UCA222 that takes line-level (or phono-level in the case of the UFO202), digitizes it 48/16, and sends it out over USB (or optical UCA202 /UCA222).  MACOS running Audacity sees this input stream and you are golden.

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You can use the tape out straight into yohr pc. You will be using whatever sound chip is in the pc to do the converting. You can use Audacity (free) to record a side and split into different tracks..

 

It's tedious, only u can decide if it's worth the trouble and if the quality is good enough for you. Ths price can co up from there.

 

 

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I'm not aware of any PC with native analog-to-digital conversion capabilities.  I think you need an ADC box or sound card of some sort.

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If you've got a computer with a sound card with a line in you should be good to go.  I've not seen any PCs in the last couple decades that didn't have the necessary hardware at some level of capability.  While a sound card (or codec built into the CPU/chipset) might be a "luxury" on a dedicated server platform, not many people use such at home.

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2 hours ago, pbphoto said:

Yes, for about $30 you can get a Behringer UCA202, UFO202, or UCA222 that takes line-level (or phono-level in the case of the UFO202), digitizes it 48/16, and sends it out over USB (or optical UCA202 /UCA222).  MACOS running Audacity sees this input stream and you are golden.

 

This works for me.  After a bit of practice, using Audacity to split and label tracks becomes relatively easy.  One major difference between ripping CDs or ripping vinyl is the time commitment.  CDs rip in seconds, whereas vinyl rips in real time and should be monitored to avoid digitizing skips.

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https://windowsreport.com/vinyl-to-cd-converters/

 

The first application listed (Golden Records) is $30 this month only, and appears to have a trial period to evaluate.  Looks like a good deal.  The version of Audacity I use (V2.1.0) doesn't really support splitting tracks into separate files easily--certainly not in an automated way.  The application(s) in the linked article all seem to have automated means to separate tracks into separate files.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Ripping CDs is a lot easier than ripping phonograph records, and I've found that used CDs of my favorite phonograph records are usually very inexpensive ($1 to $4), have much lower noise floors than their corresponding phonograph records, and are quite easy for me to demaster.  These ripped and demastered CD tracks sound a lot better than phonograph records on my setup.  For the few phonograph records which I own that are not available on CD format, I keep a 1962 Empire 398 with 980 arm which has extremely low rumble (less than -90 dB re. 20 µPa)...about 20 dB lower than the best quality records.  I use it about once each year or less.

 

Chris

 

 

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14 hours ago, Chris A said:

The version of Audacity I use (V2.1.0) doesn't really support splitting tracks into separate files easily--certainly not in an automated way.

 

Chris,

 

I now use Audacity v2.3.3, which makes splitting and naming tracks very easy.  The prior version I used (v2.?.?) did not.  After recording side one, I pause the Audacity recording, flip the disc, and resume the rip/recording.  It helps to note the numerical positions at the track changes, but even without those notes, it’s relatively easy to visualize the splits on the computer screen.  After the recording/rip is completed, cleaning up the lead-in, record flip and run-out is also easier than before.

 

I too found the process of splitting and naming tracks tedious with earlier versions of Audacity.  Version 2.3.3 makes it easy, but it still takes place in real time.

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I still use V2.1.0 for music track demastering.  I have no plans to change to the most current version anytime soon.  The Audacity development team was clearly not sympathetic to my demastering needs and continued screwing up Audacity in V2.1.1 and later versions for demastering use, unfortunately.

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On 12/23/2019 at 10:51 AM, Chris A said:

I still use V2.1.0 for music track demastering.  I have no plans to change to the most current version anytime soon.  The Audacity development team was clearly not sympathetic to my demastering needs and continued screwing up Audacity in V2.1.1 and later versions for demastering use, unfortunately.

 

Would it possible to use a laptop with v2.3.3 to rip vinyl with track breaks and then demaster the digital files on your main computer using v2.1.0?

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I have never really liked audacity, but tried the newer version last month. The interface looks nicer, but beyond that, it will do what I have needed (for the most part). For  years I have used Goldwave,  although an older version. I know how it works. The new one has cue points, which you can use to split tracks.

 

https://www.goldwave.com/goldwave.php

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2 hours ago, DizRotus said:

 

Would it possible to use a laptop with v2.3.3 to rip vinyl with track breaks and then demaster the digital files on your main computer using v2.1.0?

Yes.  But I don't rip phonograph records because of the labor-intensive process of capturing the analog recording to digital (whole side), splitting the tracks out into separate files and  naming them manually, then the incredibly huge task of de-popping the tracks (which can take literally hours  per side of a record, and the results are usually not nearly as good as buying a used CD, ripping it to hard drive, and demastering it). 

 

There are only a handful of records that I have that are not available in CD format, so I use those opportunities to blow the dust off the TT cover and turn it on, clean the record, and drop the needle on it.  When I listen critically to records on the Jubs, it reminds me why I don't use records again.  It's fine for the sake of nostalgia, but the feeling soon passes when I can put on the demastered CD version and it always eclipses the record's performance. 

 

I know there are a lot of folks that cling to phonograph records and turntables--but I was never one of them.  I've always been dissatisfied with the sound of phonographs, even very expensive ones especially now that I've got a setup and listening room that can effectively extract all that's really available out of these limited quality recordings.  It's actually cathartic to me to again relive the difference between the two formats (phonograph records-->CD), which is just the opposite of what many others seem to like to do.  To me, the idea of dragging a rock through a spiral groove cut on really poorly made vinyl or shellac discs that have been impressed by physical masters that have been used probably 1000s of times before to make other copies, etc...has never appealed to me, especially as an engineer. It's fraught with numerous audible problems. It's actually pretty frightening to measure those distortions and noise types on real turntables/records, even test records meant to be used to calibrate turntables, etc.  (Toole also talks about this in his book.)

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, Marvel said:

. . . . I have never really liked audacity . . .

 

 

I too found Audacity to be awkward, not intuitive, when I first tried to rip vinyl to digital files.  It was especially difficult to split and name tracks.  The newest v2.3.3 Audacity is much easier to use.

 

I understand the problem Chris, @Chris A, has with Audacity regarding demastering, but my focused task is to capture the vinyl squiggles as 1s and 0s.  I’ll leave demastering to Chris.

 

Using a Behringer U-PHONO UFO202, a modified and refurbished Technics SL-1200, and a Denon DL-110 MC cartridge, I’m able to capture and preserve the music on vinyl.  It is especially valuable regarding  vinyl recordings not available in digital formats. For example,  obscure vintage jazz and blues pressings that were never released as CDs can be found for very little at garage sales, thrift stores, and used record stores.  After a Reg Williamson PVA Cyastat facial peel, they can be ripped,  preserved, and enjoyed.  If a CD is available, using a PC to rip the CD’s mp3 files is much easier.

 

Is this process SOTA, not by a long shot.  But, preserving vintage vinyl and being able to access it and play it easily using a Pono player is worth the time and effort.  IMO, the music is paramount, not the hardware or the process.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chris A said:

To me, the idea of dragging a rock through a spiral groove cut on really poorly made vinyl . . . 

 

Chris-

 

My post above was being typed while you posted your reply to my question. 

 

You and I appear to agree almost completely about vinyl.  I’m amazed at how good vinyl can sound despite dragging a semi-precious stone across bumpy plastic.  IMO,  vinyl sounds good despite being vinyl,  not because of it.

 

I agree that digitizing vinyl when a CD is readily available makes  very little sense.  I don’t agree that Audacity, at least v2.3.3, is hard to use.  IME, ripping, splitting to tracks and naming tracks is very easy NOW; it used to be very tedious.  Even dealing with ticks and pops is now relatively easy, but a PVA facial makes that all but unnecessary.

 

In addition to the old vinyl that is not available as a CD, I do rip some vinyl that is available on CD, for example, The Turning Point by John Mayall and I’ve Got The Music In Me by Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker.  I believe each recording is available on CD, but I’m too cheap to duplicate my entire vinyl collection in CD format when the latest version of Audacity makes it so easy to rip the vinyl to digital.  Of course, my vinyl is well cared for and it has been cleaned and rendered permanently static-free thanks to PVA and Cyastat.  The surface noise is essentially nonexistent.

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46 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

using a PC to rip the CD’s mp3 files is much easier

Actually, I don't own any MP3 (lossy) files.  All of mine are in FLAC format, extracted from lossless format files from CDs and other sources (DVD-A, DVD-V).  I don't use streaming music sites, instead, I've used the money that would otherwise go to those concerns to buy discs that I can keep for the duration without added costs to be able to play them again. I also get to demaster the recordings by this method so that they don't sound so poor.

 

I wish I had a SACD-reading disc drive so that I can get the DSD files off those discs onto hard drive.  I've been meaning to solve this chronic issue so that I can leave the SACDs on the shelf, especially the multichannel recordings--which sound superb on the setup.  Same thing for Blu-Ray music discs.  There are a few ways to approach this issue but all are made somewhat difficult because of greed from RIAA-member record companies. 

 

Chris

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On 12/23/2019 at 6:14 AM, pbphoto said:

I'm not aware of any PC with native analog-to-digital conversion capabilities.  I think you need an ADC box or sound card of some sort.

 

EVERY pc with a built in sound card , i.e., line in, has an ADC/DAC. It' been that way for a long time.

 

The Realtek chip used on most computer motherboards is quite capable, and there is an ASIO driver available which also helps.

 

I do, however, use an external usb input through one of three different exterenal boxes. I have a 2 channel Tascam, 4 channel Presonus and 16 input Behringer.

 

I've mostly used the process to capture and convert old reel to reel tapes I recorded before the digital era.

 

Bruce

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On 12/24/2019 at 4:16 PM, Marvel said:

 

EVERY pc with a built in sound card , i.e., line in, has an ADC/DAC. It' been that way for a long time.

 

 

This is kind of what I was thinking, but I know just enough to get me in trouble.

Edited by newriverrat
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On 12/23/2019 at 4:54 AM, newriverrat said:

digitize my vinyl.

It's already been done. They are called cd's , and the first 20 years or so of them that's pretty much what they were all about. Vinyl records copied over to plastic and sold as something better.

 

Now just how many albums do you want to convert. If it's a bunch, spend a $100 or so on one of those cheapy USB record players.  Or you can go the fancy pants digital conversion software, dac-o-rama thingy. If it's just a few buy the cd and them rip them to your computer.

 

Any way you do it you will end up with a subliminal upset stomach because zeros and ones ain't natural, but music mostly is. Analogue and digital are two distinct beasties and trying to pretend they get along together is like trying to imagine harmony in a Three Stooges short.

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