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Old 12-01-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Best LP to CD software

Now that the Airstream is in storage for the winter ,one of my projects to get done is the conversion of my LPs into CDs. I admit that I am among the "electronically challenged" so I have been looking for an easy way to do this. I have been thinking about getting some software from Acoustica called " Spin it Again" supposedly very easy to use and all you need is a turntable to get the job done. Anyone used this and is it as easy as advertised?
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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You show your age! My kids don't want me using a non-word like LP. I really lose them when I talk about 78 rpm "short plays."

This will be a good thread to watch -- thanks for bringing it up.
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:26 PM   #3
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I picked up a Pioneer PDR-509 CD recorder componant a few years back just to make copies of some of my cassette bootlegs I had from concerts way back when. Works great but man is it time comsuming. I'm interested in what others are doing also. Our 18 year old son is now digging through our albums and dusting them off looking for ways to do the same.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:22 PM   #4
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I was using software from Ahead Nero that come bundled with a CD burner. A web search will turn up a bunch of downloads.
While the audio editor was fairly easy to learn, it did take a long time to play the LP, save the audio to disc, break down the tracks and burn it to CD.
The biggest problem was the connection between the amp/receiver, turntable and the computer. I had a very hard time trying to eliminate the 60 cycle hum from line even using shielded and grounded components.
Good luck and have fun. It was worth it in the end.

Tom.
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:05 PM   #5
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A couple months ago Costco has a conversion pkg which contained everything you need to get it done. It was $150. Should have picked it up to do our 150 album collection but got side tracked. Not sure if they still have them. Will have to check.
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:14 PM   #6
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There are actually USB based turntables. Direct input to the computer.
A search for USB turtable turned up lots of hits. Three pages on Amazon alone.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #7
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I use Toast 8 with an Audio Technica turntable designed to plug in the mic input of your Mac. Tried the USB approach using IMic and its software but felt the results weren't the quality I was after. Toast enables super quality recording equal to prime CD's.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecatsandi
There are actually USB based turntables. Direct input to the computer.
A search for USB turtable turned up lots of hits. Three pages on Amazon alone.
And yes, as of this week Costco still has them - now $100 IIRC.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:53 PM   #9
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The conversion is on

I figured this out, bought a piece of software from Acoustica called "Spin it Again" and a $99 Sony turntable (PS-LX250H that has a preamp built in) both from Amazon. Hooked up to my computers sound card (had to buy another cord and some adapters) and I'm in business, could not be easier and the results have been great. Can't wait to hit the yard sales to look for records.
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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Cassette to MP3

I was reading this thread about an hour ago. I have been wanting to convert some cassettes to MP3 and save them on CDs. Was unable to do it until I did a seardn "Recording cassettes to MP3", and visited this site. Golden Records Vinyl to CD Converter - Convert Cassettes or Vinyl Records to CD or MP3 My computer has the necessary input jacks and I have the necessary cord from one of my cameras to do the job. I am converting as we speak. Works great.

Thanks for the thread!
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:36 PM   #11
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They now have a vintage design record player that also is a radio, cd player and cd recorder. You can play the recoed while dubbing it to your cd. Looks pretty cool too.

try this Brookstone: Recordable turntable is great way to convert LP to CD. Order!
Jerry
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:55 PM   #12
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Acoustica will do MP3 and tapes as well. Now if I can just find the tapes.
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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On the mac I use a free program called 'Audacity' which is just a basic sound editor (stripped down version of what they use in recording studios nowadays). You take an output from your stereo and connect it to the audio input on the Mac (1/8" mini plug) and 'play' the LP in real time as it records to your computer hard drive, much like the old practice of recording LPs to cassette. Then I go into the album-length digital sound file and cut it up by song and tag each MP3 file with the correct song title, and import into iTunes at which point I can burn cds, mix cds, etc.

A bit labor intensive but sounds exactly like the album. Wonderful to get the warmth, pops, and scratches of vinyl. all I need now is one of those super Bose i-pod speaker setups for discos in the 'stream! oh, and a mirror ball...
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63air
Now that the Airstream is in storage for the winter ,one of my projects to get done is the conversion of my LPs into CDs.... I have been thinking about getting some software from Acoustica called " Spin it Again" supposedly very easy to use and all you need is a turntable to get the job done...
You can't do it with software alone. A turntable/phonograph puts out a very low level analog output. That's why there is a "special" phono input on stereos (Well, there used to be a phono input on stereos; many modern units have eliminated that input). So, you can't simply plug in the Left/Right stereo output of the turntable into the computer and expect a decent signal.

So, let's look at the computer side of the equation. Most computers have "built in" sound cards. Talking just about the inputs for now there are usually going to be two kinds. One is the "mic in" and one is the "line in". Probably distiguish by an icon that's too small to distiquish The "line in" can be connected to a "line out" from a stereo with the proper collection of adapters to get from the RCA jacks on the stereo to the 1/8" input jack on the computer.

From there it's a simple matter of software

What about the "mic in" port of the computer. Well, it's for the (relatively) low level input from a microphone. There is a "preamp" connected to this input to boost the signal from the microphone. "Cann't you just plug the turntable into this", you might ask? Well, not likely for several reasons; the preamp doesn't have enough gain, the impedance is wrong and there's this little thing called Equalization or EQ to deal with.

What's this EQ thing? Because the phonograph needle doesn't reproduce all frequencies equally the record is cut to compensate. This requires a special processing step to balance out the sound after it goes through the preamp. Fortunately the recording industry got together years ago and decided on a standard for this called RIAA. In short, if you run the signal through the phono input of a stereo the RIAA EQ is taken care of and you'll get the proper signal for the "line in" jack on your computer.

But what about the USB turntables? These basicly handle all the steps (signal processing) that would be done by the stereo and the sound card. What you're left with is a bunch of "digital information" that represents the sound. From here what you need the computer to do is capture the "bits" and them spit them out in the proper format to create a CD. This is probably the easiest way to go IF you have the right software that recognizes the USB turntable.

There are a couple of downsides to this approach. The quality of the sound from the USB turntable is what it is and there's little you can do to adjust it. For LPs that are in OK condition that's probably fine. The reason I ruled out this approach is none of the USB turntables I looked at will play 78rpm records and I wanted the best possible quality going in so that I could "edit" the audio before creating the CD.

Editting or "processing" the sound once it's in a digital format is done for a lot of reasons. While it's true that there is no loss in fidelity when making digital copies like there is in analog (i.e every copy of a copy of a tape is going to sound progressively worse) there is a lose when you change the "sound". The most obvious processing "effect" with a record is removal of the clicks and pops you hear. There's also the ability to correct the pitch and/or speed (they're related). The older the record the more likely it is to benifit from this processing. Most 78's for example were cut before the RIAA standard and many were recorded at speeds other than 78rpm.

If you do go with one of the USB turntables you mights still be able to do some processing. This will depend on the software you use to "capture" the bits coming in from the turntable. If you're lucky they will be saved in something called a .WAV (wave) file. These are a standard "uncompressed" audio format.

As for the "dongles" sold at places like Costco they're doing the same thing the USB turntables do internally. That is they're a combination RIAA phono preamp and Analog to Digital (A/D) converter. For $100-150 you should expect reasonably good quality and if you already own a good turntable are a good route to go.

For editting the music once it's in the computer WaveRepair comes very highly recommended although I haven't yet had a chance to test drive it for myself.

I've been looking at upgrades to my equipment for playing 78's. The turntable that looks most intrigueing right now is the Audio-Technica AT-PL120 . For playing 78's a special stylus and cartridge is required and the Expert Stylus Company in Surrey England seem to be the go to folks in that department.

-Bernie
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