Record Albums to CDs

conrad

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#1
I would like to convert some of my records to CDs. My PC has nForce2 SoundStorm, and I was going to use Wave Repair for the recording.

But I've recently heard about some USB devices for this purpose, such as the Xitel INport and the ADS "Instant Music" units. They are claimed to avoid the RF interference that happens to internal sound cards. Is this a reasonable claim or just marketing hype?

The INport device was reviewed at Dan's Data, and has transformers for ground loop isolation.

It also comes with some recording software, LP Recorder, which has an interesting Auto Level feature that sets the recording level if you preview the loudest parts of a record, to avoid clipping. This seems to ease one of the more time-consuming parts of the process. Does any other audio recording software have this feature?

What are some other reasonably-priced (<$200 U.S.) alternatives I should consider?

I've done some research at Hydrogen Audio, CDRFAQ, and searching this forum, but any other links would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

sechs

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#2
If you you're considering needing more than a reasonable sound card, some nice cables, and a good turntable, then maybe you should really have the conversion done professionally.
 

Mercutio

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#3
Nero has a really nice audio editor builtin. Well, OK, not REALLY nice, but more than good enough to do the job.

You'll need an amplifier for your turntable and a set of stereo RCA to mini-jack connectors. Total cost, even if you have to buy the record player, should be under $200.
 

conrad

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#4
Thanks for the replies. I should have specified that I do have a good turntable and amp, and have connected the tape-out to the PC.

The INport USB unit I mentioned is only about $65, so if there were real recording quality benefits over the nForce2 MCP-T, it could be worthwhile.

And since it comes with the LP Recorder software with the labor-saving auto-levelling feature, and I have dozens of LP's to convert, it was intriguing to me.

The professional conversion option is interesting, but could get expensive at $10-15 per album.

I've googled the newsgroups and not really found good info on these two questions. Does anyone have ideas for good newsgroups to pose them on?

Thanks again.
 

Mercutio

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#5
It's worth pointing out that since you're dealing with less-than-pristine analog sources, there will be issues with less-than-pristine sound input no matter what you do. As a practical matter, using a USB device for input probably isn't going to make any difference.

"Auto Level" sounds to me a great deal like Normalizing, which is something that any decent sound recorder should be able to handle.

In short I think you should take the cheapest route possible and work with the stuff you already have, before blowing a wad of cash on something you probably don't need.
 

conrad

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#6
The "auto level" feature of LP Recorder is supposed to automatically adjust the recording level of the input "on the fly" to prevent clipping. So you play (the loud parts of) a source once to set the level, then record the source at this optimized level.

Thanks again for your comments.
 

sechs

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#7
That's something that you can easily eye-ball, with the waveform helping to point out the high points. The only problem with doing this, is that, if you have an album of great dynamic range, most of it will end up very soft.
 

Explorer

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#8
On the rare occasion that I've converted vinyl audio into CD digital audio, I did it the same way the pros do it if they are doing vinyl transcription work.

Starting off with a turntable and a phono preamp (moving magnet or moving coil + RIAA equalisation), the signal is patched into either a 31- band equaliser or straight into an Aphex Type III Model 250 Aural Exciter for noise reduction and harmonic reconstruction. I also use a BBE 882i which offers a different set of method of achieving similar results as the Aphex Type III unit. Some raw sources only require dynamic range compression or expansion. I can dial that in with the dBX 1066 Compressor / Limiter / Noise Gate.

At the end of the audio processing chain is an Alesis MasterLink mastering recorder. The ML9600 has two channels of very high quality pro-grade A/D conversion, two pro-grade digital input channels, an internal hard drive, and a CD-R drive. I record all the raw processed audio onto the MasterLink recorder's internal hard drive, then perform all fade-ins, fade-outs, cross-fades, edit P/Q track info, save the session, and record a CD-R.

Not pictured are a Technics direct drive turntable with Audio Technica moving coil cartridge, Kenwood preamp, and a second dBX 131 31-band equaliser.





 

conrad

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#9
sechs said:
That's something that you can easily eye-ball, with the waveform helping to point out the high points.
"Eyeballing" would seem to have a few problems. One would need to do some actual recording to WAV files, then be able to translate from the graphs' high points to the audio level adjustment. And it just adds to the already time-consuming manual process. If the auto-levelling were done right, it could be a real time-saver.
sechs said:
The only problem with doing this, is that, if you have an album of great dynamic range, most of it will end up very soft.
I guess another problem with some music (rock, blues, jazz) is avoiding setting the level too low just because of the drum beats.

FWIW, ExtremeTech has a somewhat negative review of the INport. The LP Recorder software still may be of interest, though.

Thanks, all, for your comments, however relevant to my question.
 

Bumeaung50

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#10
I would like to convert some of my records to CDs. My PC has nForce2 SoundStorm, and I was going to use Wave Repair for the recording.

But I've recently heard about some USB devices for this purpose, such as the Xitel INport and the ADS "Instant Music" units. They are claimed to avoid the RF interference that happens to internal sound cards. Is this a reasonable claim or just marketing hype?

The INport device was reviewed at Dan's Data, and has transformers for ground loop isolation.

It also comes with some recording software, LP Recorder, which has an interesting Auto Level feature that sets the recording level if you preview the loudest parts of a record, to avoid clipping. This seems to ease one of the more time-consuming parts of the process. Does any other audio recording software have this feature?

What are some other reasonably-priced (<$200 U.S.) alternatives I should consider?

I've done some research at Hydrogen Audio, CDRFAQ, and searching this forum, but any other links would be appreciated.

Thanks.
For recording, I use audacity it is the best recording I ever used. It's free to download, and they have audacity guides to help you using this software.
 
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