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fajw

converting records and audio cassettes to digital format

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I bought a machine (, one of these) and it does the job but only MP3 files at 128kbps. Does anyone know of another machine that does the same thing but in a higher quality format?

 

Thanks.

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Sound card and audacity?

 

You will need to do a little editing to chop the songs up, but can store in what ever format you want.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

I tried that but the necessary volume varies from record to record so it's a bit tricky to get it right which is why I want one machine that can do it all.

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There is a trick for that ;)

 

By default Audacity uses a 32bit float sample size, this gives you a huge dynamic range to work with (more than enough for LP/Cassettes). As long as the level isn't really low the variation isn't a problem.

 

Once you have finished recording select the whole recorded sample (Ctrl+A) and use Normalize (Effects->Normalize) with Normalize maximum amplitude set to the default of -1db. That will give you a consistent level across all your LP's.

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Thanks heaps!

 

Is it important for the volume to not be beyond what Audacity detects, like appears to be the case here: Posted Image?

Edited by fajw
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Very important, if the input level is too high the sound will clip (which sounds awful) pull back the level so it's well within the range. In the audacity toolbar there is there are a couple of meters, select the option I've highlighted to get an idea of the level.

Posted Image

 

With a 32bit sample size there is plenty of space to play with, by default meter display is in db which is a log scale so aim to get the level around the line between -24 and 0.

Edited by SledgY

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Sorry; could you explain what the monitoring is for and how to use it?

 

Thanks.

 

Also: I tried normalising but the blue didn't go right to the top or the bottom. Is this alright?

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yes thats fine. it just means that something in the entire recording is louder than the other.

 

What you can do, is highlight 'song by song' and go "Effects > Amplify" Just be sure to not clip the recording.

Sometimes you might need to turn clip protection off, purely because a pop or a crackle on a tape\record can clip while the song is still fucking quiet.

 

NCH make some amazing software

http://www.nch.com.au/golden/

 

might wanna try that if it all gets too much. But you're so close its not funny!!!!

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Sorry; could you explain what the monitoring is for and how to use it?

 

Thanks.

 

Also: I tried normalising but the blue didn't go right to the top or the bottom. Is this alright?

That's correct it normalises to -1db so will leave a bit of padding at the top. The goal being consistent level across all the tracks.

 

So monitoring is basically so you can set the initial recording level, with the record playing you will see the sound level and you can adjust the input level.

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Audacity may have 32bit internal processing, but the main thing to consider is the recording resolution, which is separate, and dependent on your soundcard. I haven't checked recently, but to my knowledge there are still no interfaces available that have a true 32 bit path. Most 24 bit cards aren't even a full 24 bits. Doesn't really matter anyway, as the dynamic range offered by an average 24 bit card will be enough for this.

 

In audacity settings, make sure you're recording at 24 bits. Sample rate higher than 44.1K won't make a noticeable difference in your situation. Normalize the file to -3dB, not -1dB, because mp3 conversion adds distortion that can clip. Apply dither before converting the file to 16 bit wave, don't worry about it if you're going straight to mp3.

 

One more thing about volume.... Normalising to the same level does not mean that you get the same perceived volume level. If you have old records and tapes that are too quiet, even after normalising, try using a compressor/limiter.

Edited by komuso

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If I'm recording it properly by connecting the headphone output on the record player to my sound card like I intend then I won't be converting to MP3. Does this change your advice? Also I couldn't find how to set it to 24 bit.

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Where to set the bit rate depends on your soundcard and its software. If its not in Audacity settings, look in control panel, interface control software, etc.

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Do more expensive record players produce significantly less noise?

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Sure. The cartridge makes the biggest difference. After that, the arm configuration and setup are also important, but records themselves are often noisy, so beyond a certain point you see diminishing returns.

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Conversely there is also potential for hearing even more noise on a better turntable, since it's picking up the imperfections of the vinyl with greater fidelity. And regarding cleaning, even if your vinyl is perfectly clean, you can't account for impurity in the vinyl. I thought that was all supposed to be part of its charm or something.... I never grew up with vinyl, wouldn't know.

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You'd be amazed the bullshit a good needle\cart can give.

 

I for example, bought a cart for scratch mixing.

Ortofon GT's.

They can take 100% of the tonearm weight and not sound bad (the quality drops, but not much); this is both impressive; and useful for scratched records, as heavy needles wont usually skip as easily.

 

Then you look at something like the Rega Blue; which is magic at the exact pressure.

Too light and the distortion sounds digital; its fucking wierd; too heavy and it loses a lot of fidelity.

 

With that said, there must be some capacitor tricker or SOMETHING going on in there, because Rega's for example seem to reveal less pops and clicks despite there being an easily noticable sound stage increase. Go figure?

They're just picky as FUCK to try and set the cart to the right weight and angle. You need the penny scale and protractor. Where as the GT's just took a beating and kept loving me.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to audacity; if you want a set of simple instructions?

Make sure the volume is clear, but only takes up half the waveform on screen; we can amplify later.

Record everything.

Normalise whole record.

Amplify each track (allow clipping ONLY if there is a 'pop' or 'snap' thats stopping you amplifying the rest; that one sound IS ALLOWED to clip)

Listen to one and decide if it needs a SMALL bass boost, often record players do (depends on brand).

Export as minimum compression OGG (MP3 size, twice the quality IMO), or max compression FLAC (completely lossless, about 20mb a song; way better than wav).

 

Doesnt matter if its quiet while recording, because software can fix that. Try recording some silence too, see if you have a hum. If there is a hum; google how to use 'noise removal' in audacitys features too.

Basically highlight the noise, click get profile, exit the tool, highlight the whole track, run the tool again, apply changes (if i recall correctly).

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if you can find those record peels, they work MAGIC.they're like a glue you spread over the whole thing, then wait overnight, then peel it. The glue goes on clear, comes off brown. You should see the dirt it pulls from the things. http://www.aussiehifi.com.au/buy/record-re...zer-500ml/RR500This stuffDo you know how many records one bottle does?

 

Just found out. One 500 ml bottle of RECORD REViRGiNiZER will restore both sides of up to 16 double sided 12” LP’s. (source)

Edited by fajw

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An Australian invention? I thought you were talking about pva, which people have been using to clean records since way back.

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Nah, PVA almost never comes off completely cleanly.

 

It probably does the job; but Ive personally used the rtevirginiser and it was night and day in sound quality.

Though, I probably have less than 30 records, so it wont cost me a lot to 'do it right'. If i had more I might risk PVA.

 

Gorilla Glue PVA is apparently best. I'd buy a shit record from the salvos to test on first though.

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Friends, prompt

Where now you can buy at a low price Ortofon GT??

Edited by Baxter7

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On 7/6/2013 at 3:12 PM, Master_Scythe said:

Nah, PVA almost never comes off completely cleanly.

 

It probably does the job; but Ive personally used the rtevirginiser and it was night and day in sound quality.

Though, I probably have less than 30 records, so it wont cost me a lot to 'do it right'. If i had more I might risk PVA.

 

Gorilla Glue PVA is apparently best. I'd buy a shit record from the salvos to test on first though.

 

I don't know where you go................but they are way overpriced at St Peters!

On 7/22/2018 at 8:10 PM, Baxter7 said:
Friends, prompt

 

Where now you can buy at a low price Ortofon GT??

 

 

I'm guessing that when I google this to help you, I will find your site selling fakes?

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