You should probably sit-down for this.
Originally Posted by darrelsilva
. . . How did you do the converting?
The hardware was relatively simple for me, as I had a good vintage stereo system to start with. The key ingredients were the Sansui SR-838 turntable
and a Sansui CA-2000 preamplifier
The preamplifier has inputs for two turntables, and also has inputs and outputs for two tape-decks. Since the preamp has good support for turntables, I didn't need an external phono-preamp. Now, remember how stereos back in the cassette / reel-to-reel days supported tape-decks? They allowed you to record anything you happen to be listening to, and you had the choice of monitoring what was going into the tape-deck or what was coming out. I simply hooked up a computer to the tape input/outputs of the preamp as if the computer was a tape-deck.
In the computer, I installed an E-MU 0404 audio card
. I used the PCI version, but they also have a USB version
that I have not tried. The software allows me to digitally record and playback as if the computer was a tape-deck.
I use a free recording software called Kristal Audio Engine
to do the initial recording. It supports recording at 24-bits and 192kHz, but I usually use 96kHz. I record at a higher resolution than the final output so that I have headroom to do post-processing, like removing pops and scratches. I save my masters as FLAC files, either 24-bit/96kHz or 24-bit/192kHz (CD's are 16-bit/44.1kHz).
If I do post-processing, I use Audacity
. It is also free, and is also the software the comes with most of the USB turntables on the market. If you don't wish to record at 192kHz, you can do everything with Audacity and forgo Kristal. Beside functions that allow you to remove clicks and pops, Audacity also allows you to normalize the volume, and to output the final product with different formats and resolutions. My final output is one hi-res FLAC file and one 320kbps MP3 file per record side. I use both FLAC and MP3 in order to support all of my different media players.
If I want to be able to access individual songs on a side, or to burn the file to CD, I use a program called CD-Wave
to create a CUE file. I used to make CD's for the car, but my current car stereo can read MP3 files from USB-flash-drive, so I don't use CD's at all anymore.
I hope that doesn't sound overly complicated. I don't mean to scare you away, but it can get quite tedious if you try to do a lot at one time.