- Hi, I just joined. My name is Rob and I have tons of old vinal records, both LP's and 45's and want to figure out to convert them over to CD's. I have a Califone Pro Dance redord player and need to know what software is needed to copy the sound files and put it on a CD.
- --- In TheVinylSolutionDiscussionGroup@yahoogroups.com, "Rob" <ky_2i0@...> wrote:
>The easiest (and cheapest, because it's free) is to download a copy of the Audacity program.
> Hi, I just joined. My name is Rob and I have tons of old vinyl records, both LPs and 45s and want to figure out to convert them over to CDs. I have a Califone Pro Dance record player and need to know what software is needed to copy the sound files and put it on a CD.
- Good morning Rob:
I find myself in the mood to write this morning so here is an answer to your
querry. It's probably a broader answer than you want, but here goes.
Converting vinyl into computer files (MP3, WAV, AAC , FLAC, etc) can be
either a simple or very complex process depending upon quite a few factors:
1: Your goals - how do you want these files to sound? Do you want the files
to match or exceed the sound quality and clarity of a modern, well mastered
CD (possible but difficult) or do you just want to hear the music without
regard to matching the quality of current recording techniques?
2: The original source material; is it well cared for or were your records
used for third base?
3: Your resources; how much are you willing to spend to convert these files?
There are many other factors also, but those are probably the main ones.
I don't know the sonic characteristics of a Califone Pro Dance record player
but will just assume that you find the sound adequate for your needs.
People can spend huge amounts of money on turntables, This is not really
required but there is an aqcceptable lower limit. The turntable must be:
(1) ...as free of rumble and speed variation as possible. If not, you will
hear these flaws every time you play the file.
(2) ...equipped with an undamaged stylus that is properly aligned and
capable of properly tracking the records you are playing.
(3) ... electronically capable of sending out a clean analog signal.
Lets assume you have that. If you had no turntable at all you could find
dozens of (table / caqrtridge) combinations on Ebay that would fill these
requirements for less than $150.00. You could spend much more but there is
probably not a need to. For this purpose, you reach the point of
diminishing returns very quickly.
Your records: they need to be as clean as possible. Once again, you don't
need anything exotic to get your records clean. Also, there are a huge
number of myths surrounding the cleaning of records. My perception of the
need for cleaning records is as follows:
(1) ... Records are delicate things, but nowhere near as delicate as some
would lead you to believe. You can use a number of gentle mechanical
methods to clean them without fear of damage, or further damage.
(2) ...Wet cleaning is better. The best way I have found in cleaning
records that are really old and dirty is with copious amounts of water (cold
or slightly warm), a tiny drop of Dawn or some similar detergent and a
shaving brush. Get the record wet, and use the shaving brush in a circular
motion. Create a lot of suds. This wll help bind debris in the grooves.
When you rinse them, rinse them for along time. You will get the cengter
lable wet. Don't worry about that. The center lable is not glued to the
record. It is presed into the record at the time the records are
manufactured. Of the several thousand records I have cleaned this way there
have only been two where the lable sustained any damage after it dried.
(3) ...Let the record air dry and if required gently wipe it with a clean
That's as clean as an old record will get. There will be some debris that
has been impacted into the grooves. You'll never get rid of that. A clean
record will be less noisy and reveal more of the original sound. I use a
Nagaoka roller to clean records of dust prior to storing them.
Now for the tricky part - going from the analog to the digital world. Once
again there are many options as to how to do this. Here, in my experience
one does need to spend some money and effort. It's a multiple step process:
1: Phono signal preamplification: The signal that comes off a standard
moving magnet cartridge is very weak - about 4 mV. What modern stereo
equipment and souncards want to see is about 300 mV. This just means you
will need some sort of preamplification to boost the signal. Once again,
you can spend huge amounts of money but for digitizing there is really not a
need to. Many older receivers, preamplifiers and integrated amplifiers have
very good phone sections that will work very well. If you don't have one of
these you can purchase a small phono preamp for less than 75 dollars. The
best majority of human ears will hear no difference between a $75 preamp and
a $5000 preamp.
2: Ananlog to digital conversion: Regular human ears can hear differences
in this step.
Choice 1: Direct from preamp to computer sound card. Most modern PCs have
sound capability integrated on the motherboard. Some have been implemented
this well, most have not. Generally you will hear computer generated sound
artifactcs if you go this route on most PCs. Most Apple machines have very
good ADC. The way to overcome the issue is to get a decent soundcard.
Remember, the goal here is to digitize the signal coming off a record, not
to hear the bones of the monster you are killng crunch and crack in surround
sound. You want a clean and quiet signal. My favorite for this sort of
conversion is the M-Audio audiophile 2496, about 95 dollars at Amazon. It's
very quiet, and does a great job of analog conversion.
Choice 2: From phono preamp to an external sound device, either USB or
firewire. This is becoming a more attractive option as there are some
fairly inexpensive devices that will do decent conversion. The Behringer
U-CONTROL UCA202 USB RCA Connector Audio
is rebranded at a higher price by other companies and does a good job. It
records, in my view at the upper quality limit of what most people can
hear. It's outside the noisy internal environment of the computer, so it
creates clean files.
Choice 3: Bypass the computer completely. There are a number of flash
memory based portable recorders that do excellent analog to digital
conversion (ADC.) They have the advantage of being extremely quiet. My
favorite for vinyl conversion is the Yamaha Pocketrak 2G. There are more
expensive ones but for the purpose of vinyl conversion it is good enough.
Also, there are direct to CD recording devices, but these tend to be either
cheap and clunky, or expensive and wonderful.
Regardless of how you get the file into the computer, you will have a file
that needs some manipulation. There are a great many choices in this, and
Audacity is a good one. It's free, fast and fairly capable. It's not very
good at removing noise without also removing music. Some other choices for
recording and file manipulation are:
Sony Sound Forge or Sound Forge Studio
Any of them mare quite capable of dealing with the files. The big issue for
most people comes down to how aggressively you want to try to remove pops
and clicks. The problem is, most software that is designed to do this also
removes a good portion of the music. I think the current winner in terms of
quality output, control and cost is SoundSoap as it gives you real time
control and you can hear exactly what is being lost.
This is a lot more than I thought I would write, but I think it does give a
On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 10:16 PM, Rob <ky_2i0@...> wrote:
> Hi, I just joined. My name is Rob and I have tons of old vinal records,
> both LP's and 45's and want to figure out to convert them over to CD's. I
> have a Califone Pro Dance redord player and need to know what software is
> needed to copy the sound files and put it on a CD.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Welcome! You can try out Audacity. It's free and the developers keeping adding features.
----- Original Message -----
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:46 am
Subject: [TheVinylSolutionDiscussionGroup] Intro
> Hi, I just joined. My name is Rob and I have tons of old vinal
> records, both LP's and 45's and want to figure out to convert
> them over to CD's. I have a Califone Pro Dance redord player
> and need to know what software is needed to copy the sound files
> and put it on a CD.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]