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Thread: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

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    Default Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I'm in process of setting up a new iMac and one thing I've been intending to get round to is digitising my LP collection - most of which isn't available on CD. I have several turntables with phono outputs. What would people recommend interms of (1) software and, particularly, (2) an interface between the record deck and computer.

    [I'm aware of RIAA curves etc andalready have the necessary hardware although I believe that most suitable software includes this.]

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I do this a lot. I still have a lot of vinyl I haven't gotten around to converting. I use an Alesis MasterLink and do all the edits and track splitting by hand. I used to use a noise/scratch/pop filter but was never happy with the results - the remaining audio always sounded kinda flat as though it was put through a heavy-handed compressor with 'woofing' in the bass frequencies. Now I just leave the audio the way it is captured. The clicks and pops remind me I'm listening to material sourced from vinyl - and somehow there is still that vinyl warmth to the audio. (Could be all in my head, I admit.). There are programs that would simplify the process, but I'm used to my tools and enjoy the process.
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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I used an apogee duet for this, just into garage band, and the results were good. I'm sure there are cheaper interfaces, so we'll let others chime in. There are times when I'm lazy and just stick a USB mic in front of the speaker to try to get the same result. That works ok, but the recordings are in mono, which doesn't bother me. What does bother me is when the dog barks or the cats fight. That;ll show up along with the music. Any interface like the apogee will make it so it's a direct wire with no loss of sound.

    In any event, the Garage Band that comes with your computer is all the software you'll need, though there are a few LP-specific things out there which supposedly digitally erase any surface noise, like dust pops or minor skips from the recording. I didn't bother with these, so once again I'm of no help here.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I have a turntable with usb outit works great for what you want, that reminds me i should finish doing my records
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I've been doing it on the cheap. An iMic, straight from the turn table into the Macbook Pro, straight into GarageBand, a little EQ (to compensate for the low signal from the cartridge), from there to iTunes to edit, split tracks, and burn to CD.
    I could run it through my preamp first (I still have separate preamp and power amp with my "old school" stereo), but GarageBand has a good enough EQ that I figure skipping the preamp, wires and connections can't hurt.
    I already had the computer with all the software that I'm using on board, I already had the turntable, I spent less the $40 on the iMic, and now I can listen to all those out-of-print LPs on CD.
    Last edited by sunburst; Jan-31-2015 at 9:53pm. Reason: correct mistake in the order of operations

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    Registered User Mike-D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Audacity works pretty well and its free. You have to manually separate the tracks, but it is a decent editor and has lots of filters if you want to use them.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I do it in an even easier way, I bought a Crosley radio that has a turntable, a cassette player/recorder, a CD player/burner and I just put the LP`s on the turn table and record them onto CD`s.....That unit cost about $250 at Target, it allows you to record from any of the formats to any other one....The only drawback I have found is that you cannot adjust the volume while recording so you had better make sure it is at the level you like before starting to record....I hope this helps and is what you are asking about....I never mess with trying to do any of this stuff on the computer....I`m too stupid to do it that way....

    Willie

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I bought a turntable or rather someone bought for me a turntable that is dedicated to operate with a computer --all hookups and software supplied and it wasn't very expensive I don't think. I've had it a few years now,it's called an "Ion" and works pretty well. Pretty simple solution I thought. The needle and cartridge supplied seemed ok. The cartridge really makes a difference when it comes to turntables and the one on my stereo set me back a lot! I didn't want to cannibalize my stereo system to be able to make cd's and actually the whole rig was less money than most available turntables on the market today. It's particularly handy for recording LP's that I rarely listen to but don't want to necessarily want to rid myself completely of the music. I have a lot of old records and I'd just as soon get rid of the ones that mostly just take up space --this way I can turn them into a cd and send the LP on it's way. Digitized is not the same as analog if it was originally recorded by analog means and you can hear it! That goes for high end recording as well in my opinion. I have a pretty nice old stereo system and I prefer to listen to my favorite LP's that way but having a cd version can be pretty handy --like for the car!

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Quote Originally Posted by barney 59 View Post
    Digitized is not the same as analog if it was originally recorded by analog means and you can hear it! That goes for high end recording as well in my opinion.
    It certainly has a much worse signal to noise ratio and far worse overall distortion figures.... but I suspect that's not what you mean

    Having started my career back in the days when field recording meant lugging a 20 pound tape machine with lead-acid packs, and doing an edit meant a razor blade and sticky tape, and the studio recorders needed constant maintenance or they'd chew up your master tape, I don't have quite the same fondness for "the old days" as some. You can get better quality now from a small digital recorder than I ever could from my old Nagra IV..... the Studer recorders we used were the size of refrigerators and cost more to maintain than a modern car does...

    The early digital stuff was not great.... poor converters, etc.... but today, whole different situation.

    Back on topic...

    Unfortunately, most 'de-noiser' software, to remove analog hiss, clicks and pops is prone to generating unwanted artefacts. This is true of all the free/cheap ones without exception in my experience. The only seriously good 'de-noiser/restoration' system is Izotope RX4 in De-Noise mode. Downside is it is not cheap and has a pretty steep learning curve. Worth knowing about, though, if you ever have any truly irreplaceable or valuable recordings you need to restore and preserve. You could ask at a local studio to see if they have it, in such a case. Overkill for simply transferring a few LP's (though it works wonders on those too).
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I've been doing this on a PC, not Mac, for several years. On the software side I use Audacity. Remember you also need to download Lame if you want to convert to mp3 files.

    My audio system is about 30 years old; turntable goes into a stereo amp (along with my old dubbing deck, CD player and tuner). I use RCA cables on the output jacks on the amp into an RCA to 1/8" stereo adapter, then a 1/8" cable into my PC sound card. I also have it setup to go the other way to allow playing music from my computer thru the stereo. All stereo to PC adapters can be found at Radio Shack. I don't know what the audio input to an iMac looks like.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    The digital recording is vastly improved over analog, technically, but when I listen to music I don't really care about all that, analog is " warmer" or so it seems. My brother says it's what I am accustomed to hearing and that is why I prefer it, may be but I would rather listen to good vinyl than the best digital. Same with photography, I prefer film to digital.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I record directly from my Ion LP player into my Roland digital recorder, using headphones and separating the tracks as I listen. I don't have to use the computer at this stage and can sit in the music room in the rocking chair during the recording. I then bring the memory chip to the computer and use Audacity to trim the tracks if necessary before dubbing them to a CD.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I thought about doing this same this a while ago - but !. Most of my Bluegrass LP's are pretty old & exhibit more than a few 'Rice Crispie' sound effects,so spending cash & time to duplicate those in digital form was a non-starter. Surface noise can be filtered out to quite an extent,but with a detrimental effect on the duplicated recording - at least the one's i've actually heard. I'm still a firm believer in anologue,& i do find it more natural & realistic than digital - for me,that is,
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Like Old Joe Clark, I use an Ion turntable through USB and the supplied EZ vinyl or audio converter software. Many of the older folk albums I like are unavailable on CD - Mick Hanly, for example - so this is the only way I can listen to them while on the move.
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Thanks for the input (no pun intended) everyone - any more contributions gratefully received. I don't want to get into the digital/analogue comparison debate. I have my views, as have people with opposing views, and it seems to me that its a case of "never the twain shall meet".

    Setting up the new iMac is proving quite a task - I started with OS8 and I'm going from OS10.6 to Yosemite and, so far, with the latter I'm finding it difficult to see exactly what's going on. I hasn't helped that my old iMac crashed and only works in part. Reinstalling the OS helped but Migration Assistant wasn't one of the things I've managed to get working so I now need to find a way of transferring 40+ gigabytes of MP3s to the new contraption without having to re-load individual CDs!

    Incidentally, the latest iMacs don't appear to have any form of analogue sound input so I'll have to go the USB (or thunderbolt) route.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Lindsay View Post
    Like Old Joe Clark, I use an Ion turntable through USB and the supplied EZ vinyl or audio converter software. Many of the older folk albums I like are unavailable on CD - Mick Hanly, for example - so this is the only way I can listen to them while on the move.
    Which "Ion" model are you using? There are a couple available in the UK but they seem to get mixed reviews. (I don't really need a 4th record deck!)
    R

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    One advantage to my stereo output to sound card method is it works equally well to digitally record anything from my stereo to my PC. Old cassettes, old VHS concert tapes, radio, etc. The USB port equipped turntables can only be used for LP's and 45's.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I now need to find a way of transferring 40+ gigabytes of MP3s to the new contraption without having to re-load individual CDs!
    If the old iMac is running, you can network them to copy files. Better yet, I would use an external hard drive. If you don't already have one, it would be worth getting one to use for "time machine" anyway.
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Thanks Robert, I've already dumped them, together with ten years worth of digital photographs, onto a separate hard drive. It's simply a matter of working out which folder on the new mac to copy them to + sorting the artwork so it comes out with the right recording.

    I did have a backup drive connected (Lacie) but that packed up before the mac - so much for all the advice about backing up!

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    On PC's are the garden-variety sound cards good enough for the analog-to-digital conversion? Are these 8 bit, more? I've got my old Harmon-Kardon turntable and massive twin-amp amp-preamp (dual phono inputs, dual tape monitors, etc0 from the late 70's early 80's, and a PC (upper-level Dell laptop with a sound card). if the stock sound card is good, it sounds like all I need is the software. Are there any programs that will separate tracks manually (reliably)?

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    turntable to phillips burner to a re-writable music CD. I change the track every song. Cd then gets imported to itunes where I name the tracks and album and add art work. Then erase the re-writable and start over. no clean-up
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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    Quote Originally Posted by kjcole View Post
    On PC's are the garden-variety sound cards good enough for the analog-to-digital conversion? Are these 8 bit, more? I've got my old Harmon-Kardon turntable and massive twin-amp amp-preamp (dual phono inputs, dual tape monitors, etc0 from the late 70's early 80's, and a PC (upper-level Dell laptop with a sound card). if the stock sound card is good, it sounds like all I need is the software. Are there any programs that will separate tracks manually (reliably)?
    I've used an old Windows XP machine that I bought used in 2008 for my conversions. It still works fine. Audacity with the Lame plug-in is what I use. It's just like recording LP's to tapes in the old days; all done real time. After it's done, I clean up the space between tracks and label the tracks, then use the "export multiple" command to create a folder with all the tracks in mp3 format. Then I add the folder to my library just like a CD. I rarely burn an LP to a CD.

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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    OK, job nearly done.

    The latest series of iMacs have no sound card input so I've opted for for an Apogee Duet USB interface. Possibly overkill for the job at hand but, in theory, it should cope any other job I care to throw at it well into my dotage. (I already have a choice of three more than adequate turntables and an "el cheapo" RIAA preamp so I didn't want to invest even more in a USB jobby.)

    As for software, I'm currently using a shareware app called "Vinyl Studio" which, so far, seems to do everything I want and more for a reasonable price.

    As for monitoring, I'm not expecting to start playing around with EQ so I've dug out my ancient Auratone 5C's which I'm driving with an Omniphonics Footprint power amp.

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    music with whales Jim Nollman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I have used the software referred to above: Isotope RX for many years. I disagree about having to deal with a wicked learning curve. There are quite a lot of presets that make the software valuable right out of the box.

    Pertinent to this discussion, the software provides a truly remarkable algorithm that optimally removes noise from vinyl when converting to digital. It's what the pros use to do this job. And the pros rarely use speakers for this kind of job. It's done with headphones. Plus your choice of an Apogee interface will handle this job splendidly. Welcome to the world of digital sound editing.

    It is only when I'm using RX for some unique task such as removing ocean noise from whale recordings, that I have ever felt the need of going under the software's hood to set the filters by hand.

    As far as the price of the software, it comes in several versions. the cheapest version will do a fine job of the "declicking and decrackling" that you seek.

    Who says it costs a lot? I mean how many people on the Cafe will gladly spend $50 on a pick! The price of this low-end version of RX cost you the same as 3 picks.

    You really need to ask yourself how many pops and scratches you are willing to treat fondly, before the noise starts to wreck your future listening experience. It seems to me that if you are willing to spend the inordinate amount of time it will take to do this job at all, plus the fact that you care so much about retaining all your old music, consider adding this software to the process.

    Given your time and effort so far, plus those fine Apogee A to D converters, you may want to reconsider relying on some shareware rather than RX. You do get what you pay for.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ripping LP Records to Mac - negligible mandolin content

    I believe the current basic version of RX4 (excluding an upgrade from previous version) is $349 (£175 in the UK).

    The full package is around $1,499 - but is total overkill for most purposes... if you are working on a blockbuster movie with an unlimited budget, maybe...

    Very good program.
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