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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you copy albums (Vinyl) to the PC?

I would like to copy some albums to my hard drive.

I would like to play them back in 24/96 to my receiver if possible via spdif connection.


I was playing with Window Media Player connected to my system. I was quite impressed with the audio quality as it sounded better than my DVD player and LD player.

My PC has the following.


P4 1.6 Ghz

M audio 2496 sound card

7200 Video Card

80 Gig hard drive (Maxtor)


Thanks in advance for your help


Rob
 

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I see two questions here. The first is how to get your LPs in digital form, the second is how to stream them to your receiver.


The first one is pretty simple. You can record your LPs via the sound card in you computer. Just run some cables from your receiver (assuming your record player is hooked up to a receiver) to either the mic or line in port on your sound card. I've done this before with cassette tapes, but not LPs. You'll want to record them in CD quality, 44.1KHz 16 bit stereo. You'll need some software to actually do the recording, your sound card might have come with some, there's also shareware out there that will do it. If your receiver has a spdif out and your sound card has a spdif in, you might be able to let your receiver do the analog to digital conversion, but I have no idea how that would work.


Uncompressed CD quality audio is about 10MB a minute, so you'll need some free space on your hard drive. You can record each piece of music as a separate sound file, then use them as tracks if you decide to burn them on a CD.


I've never tried streaming audio by itself from a file or from a CD to a receiver, only DVDs and AVIs. But given that both of those formats include audio, I'd think it could be done. I'd do a search on this site to see if anyone has rigged Zoom Player to do this.


Hope this helps.
 

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With a program such as Media Jukebox (or many others), you should be able to record your LPs onto your hard disk under a format of your choice. You might want to try some lossless compression (such as the APE file format) to save on disk space, or use a format compatible with your CD player(s) for the sake of simplicity


I haven't tried recording at 24/96 but that should be possible if you want the ultimate quality.


To play these files you could use any program compatible with the file format of your choice (MJ will work just fine). Your soundcard can do the D/A conversion (I'm not sure that you'll be able to send uncompressed 24/96 digital info via SPDIF as I seem to recall that the bandwith of the SPDIF protocol is limited, but that might also be an option).


This is not streaming per se, but will allow you to play with your records as if they were on a CD while making the best use of your hardware...


For the best quality playback, make sure that your replay application doesn't mangle the bits (a la k-mixer). This can be achieved by picking the ASIO drivers in MJ or Winamp
 

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I've done some research into this and found good information on the following page:

http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm


The author gives very detailed information on capturing and recording the analog input from an LP, as well as instructions on cleaning up the noise. Unfortunately I haven't dragged my turntable out of storage yet, so I can't comment on final quality of a ripped LP.


pete
 

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I've gone through this process before, maybe I can provide some insight...


First, I connect my turntable (Linn Sondek LP12) to a pre-amp. This is connected to my mixer, which is connected to the analog inputs of my M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 soundcard. If you don't have a mixer, just connect directly to your soundcard.


I use Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge to capture the analog and record it to my hard drive. I can do this in 24/96. I then use the Noise Reduction plug-in to Sound Forge to eliminate pops, scratches and hiss. Since there is a lot of headroom with 24/96, I have plenty of room for other processing like dynamic compression or normalization. I've even used their Accoustic Mirror plug-in to "enhance" the sound of the original LP.


If I plan to record the LP to CD, then I use Sonic Foundry's CD Architect (recently re-released) and it automatically handles the down-sampling to 16/44.1. Otherwise, I might downsample in Sound Forge if I decide to encode to MP3. Recently, I have been archiving to lossless WMA and have been pretty happy with it. I can archive 24/96 without having to downsample. To conserve disk space I usually downsample.
 

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Topics been covered well. My only two cents is use the highest sampling rate possible considering the hard disc space that will be used and don't use compression. At least on a high end system, I can hear all compression formulas I have tried. If you have the M-Audio set sampling to 88 or 96 KHz and in Media Jukebox 9 set bits to 24. For dry recordings, add a little DSP with MJ9. Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by greggplummer
I've gone through this process before, maybe I can provide some insight...


First, I connect my turntable (Linn Sondek LP12) to a pre-amp. This is connected to my mixer, which is connected to the analog inputs of my M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 soundcard. If you don't have a mixer, just connect directly to your soundcard.


I use Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge to capture the analog and record it to my hard drive. I can do this in 24/96. I then use the Noise Reduction plug-in to Sound Forge to eliminate pops, scratches and hiss. Since there is a lot of headroom with 24/96, I have plenty of room for other processing like dynamic compression or normalization. I've even used their Accoustic Mirror plug-in to "enhance" the sound of the original LP.


If I plan to record the LP to CD, then I use Sonic Foundry's CD Architect (recently re-released) and it automatically handles the down-sampling to 16/44.1. Otherwise, I might downsample in Sound Forge if I decide to encode to MP3. Recently, I have been archiving to lossless WMA and have been pretty happy with it. I can archive 24/96 without having to downsample. To conserve disk space I usually downsample.
Greg, this sounds like a good, straightforward solution. However $SoundForge+$Noise Reduction+$CD Architect is a frightfully expensive combination.
 

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My recommendation would be the following:


If your turntable does not include the phono preamp, you'll need to use your receiver's one, connecting the turntable to the receiver and the output of your receiver to the line-in of your AP 2496 sound card. Use your best / shortest audio cables between the turntable and the receiver.


Some consumer turntables have built - in phono preamps rather than low level outputs. In that case, you connect the turntable directly to your 2496.


Clean the cartridge and your records well. If you have not replaced the stylus / cartridge in a long time, now may be the time to examine it and perhaps get a new one. Likewise if your turntable's tonearm can be calibrated, double-check the calibration. Verify the exact correct speed of the turntable if it includes the fine pitch adjustment.


Next is the critical step of setting up the recording levels. You do not want to clip - but of course you also want to utilize a sizable portion of the available dynamic range. Best thing to do is to find the loudest segment on the record and set it just below 0 db.


Be sure to record in 24 bit / 96 KHz mode. Software wise, I recommend Syntillium CoolEdit. It is inexpensive, and their audiuo cleanup tools are absolutely excellent. You'll be able to significantly reduce or eliminate the dust related "pops" in the sound, without introducing audible artifacts (you get to control the strength of the effect). Note that you may want the updated drivers to make sure your card works with their software in 24/96 mode. I recommend contacting both vendors and inquiring if they work with one another.

After the noise reduction, you can perform the following steps:


1. Trim the silences before / after recording and mute any pauses between the songs (note: you'll need those silences to pattern-teach a given recording's specific noise profile to the the noise reduction algorithm.


2. Equalize the recording (if desired) - use the parametric equalizer to minimize the sideffects of equalization. You will also want to use your main audio system playing from the 2496's line out (or better yet S/PDIF out) through your receiver / speakers to judge the sound for equalization purposes - computer speakers would mislead you!


3. Compress or expand the dynamic range of the sound. I often create versions with compressed dynamic range (i.e. where the soft and medium passages are relatively louder than the source) for playback in noisy environments - like a car, a portable stereo used while coommuting or working out, etc.)


4. The last typical audio processing step would be to normalize the recording, bringing the highest peak to exactly 0 db. You may choose to do this on a per-song basis rather than per-album.


After this step you should have very high quality audio - depending on the condition of your LP's and the quality of your analog gear, it may in fact exceed the quality of the stock 16/44.1 CD's of the same album, and even in cases of mainstream audio equipment, with careful processing as above, may deliver a very high quality experience.


At this point you have several choices:


1. Leave the recording in its native 24 bit / 96 KHz format and use it as is

- or -

2. Convert it to any of the more practical formats below (it is recommended that you keep the 24/96 high quality original zipped and archived somewhere though):


2.1: Microsoft Windows Media Audio version 9 format, lossless or at a high bit rate / conservative compression ratio. This format has the ability to preserve the 24 bit / 96KHz accuracy. This to me seems the best and most promising option. The encoder (beta for version 9) is a free download from the Microsoft's site.


2.2: If you have a DVD-R, you could make audio DVD's (not to be confused with DVD-Audio). You can just have a static image (a scan of the album cover art) with PCM 24/96 audio playing.


2.3: Downconert to 44.1 KHz/16 bit format and make some good ol' audio CD's.


2.4: Make some MP3's, for playback on your PC and portable devices.


Alec
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone for the wealth of information.

I cant wait to go home and try some of these suggestions.

My Preamp has a digital out port. Will this work with the SPDIF in on the 2496 card?


Rob
 

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Rob,


That depends on whether your preamp is configured to output audio digitally on the digital output port when one of its analog inputs is selected (e.g. your LP player).


More importantly, even if you do get digital out from your preamp, you have to make a decision whether you want to use your preamp as an A/D converter or your 2496 card. If your preamp is a high end unit and offers 24 bit 96 KHz analog input -> S/PDIF digital output conversion, you may want to use the preamp. Otherwise you may be better with analog hookup and using the 2496 card's A/D converters for 24 bit 96KHz capture.


Alec
 

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I have a Denon DP-DJ151 turntable with S/PDIF out. I connect it direct to an Audiophile 2496 S/PDIF input. I then select S/PDIF 96000 in the Hardware Settings of the M Audio Delta Control Panel. In the Patchbay/Router I select S/PDIF In.


The records I want to rip are 12" Reggae DJ pressings I bought in Jamaica 20 years ago. They are mint, almost never played (I made tapes when I got them and then stored them away). But they are almost all 'to hot' recorded and with the Denon this now really becomes a problem - the few I just tested sound distorted at quite a few places and the Monitor Mixer of the Delta Control Panel's S/PDIF input is often in the red, all the way up.


Where do I set the recording level? In the Control Panel? It seams when I move the sliders in the S/PDIF Input down only the Master Volume reflects it visually but the sound level monitored through my computer speakers dosen't change (I know I will have to monitor through my sound system but I need to get a longer coax cable first). Also, when I playback the recordings the level changes did nothing, it's recorded to hot with all the distortions.

Thx in advance for your help.
 

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videogeek:


The level is controlled on the analog side of things. Since your turntable is connected to your Audiophile sound card digitally, short of resampling the distorted digital signal, you cannot change the recording level through the computer / control panel.


If your turntable is performing the A/D conversion, that's where the level needs to be controlled - to bring the signal to the acceptable level before it is digitized.


HOWEVER, like I pointed out earlier, before committing to using that sort of hookup, make a judgment as to which Analog-To-Digital converter is better - that inside your turntable or that inside the Audiophile 2496? If your turntable features a good 24 bit / 96 KHz analog to digital converter, that is probably the one to use.


However, if the turntable only has a 16 bit /44.1KHz converter, which is likely, it would actually be better to use the line-level analog output from your turntable and digitize it with the Audiophile 2496.


Alec
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alec


However, if the turntable only has a 16 bit /44.1KHz converter, which is likely, it would actually be better to use the line-level analog output from your turntable and digitize it with the Audiophile 2496.


Alec
Thx Alec, exactly what I needed to know ;)
 
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