- How to Digitize Your Records, Part 1: From Vinyl to Raw WAVs - DJing Tips
- How to Digitize Your Records, Part 1: From Vinyl to Raw WAVs
- Related Posts:
- Step 1: Stuff You'll Need
- Beginnner's Guide To Recording Vinyl Into Your Computer
It could be that you prefer the aesthetic of how vinyl sounds.
How to Digitize Your Records, Part 1: From Vinyl to Raw WAVs - DJing Tips
On the hardware side, you will need a turntable obviously , a phono stage, and an analog-to-digital converter ADC. You could, of course, purchase a turntable with a built-in USB output that will essentially combine all three items in one, but buying individual components will often produce better results, and it allows you to upgrade each hardware component at a later date. In other words, the better your kit, the better your records will sound. As a complimentary phono stage option, the Rega Fono Mini A2D will get you up and running at a relatively low cost; this unit even has built-in ADC with USB output for those looking to streamline the setup process.
This option is by far the simplest way to get set up, and there are now numerous options on the market. Thanks to an explosion in home recording over the last 20 years, the cost of great sounding USB audio interfaces on the market is now relatively cheap. We refer to both as professional line level and consumer line level respectively.
How to Digitize Your Records, Part 1: From Vinyl to Raw WAVs
The connectors are also different. But you might want to consider this when choosing an appropriate audio interface for the best results. An audio interface like the Apogee Duet will accommodate both pro and consumer line level signals by selecting the correct analog level in their Apogee Maestro application. The Duet is also famed for the quality of its analog-to-digital converters, making this a great option if you already own a great sounding phono preamp and want the ability to capture high-quality digital recordings of your existing setup.
There are many recording packages available, and some audio interfaces come bundled with their own recording software. Alternatively, there are a couple of options that specialize in vinyl ripping, such as VinylStudio or PureVinyl.
Your mileage may vary. A typical software recommendation is Audacity. Whichever recording package you choose, the process is always somewhat similar.
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In the audio setup, set the playback and recording device to reflect your hardware. In other words, you should be able to select your purchased ADC or audio interface from the drop-down menus. Name your project and choose your sample rate and bit depth this will determine the resolution of your master audio files. On the track, press the small circular record button to engage recording on your new track. Bring the recording level down until you get a nice strong signal, without any clipping.
When your levels are set, use the main record, stop and play controls at the bottom of the screen to start recording much like a traditional tape recorder. Once your recording is complete, you can export each track as individual files.
This process takes some work, but it is essential if you want the convenience of track selection and skipping. You can create a loop around the track by clicking and dragging just above the bars indication [pictured below] and adjusting the loop until it fits around the track. Make sure the surface of the record is dry before starting recording. For a detailed description with cleaning solution suggestions and more detailed steps, check out our how to clean vinyl records guide.
There are two choices here:. Note: Though convenient, USB turntables can get a bad rap from audiophiles. For Line output turntables, connect the audio interface to the computer and the turntable. Drop the stylus and let computers do the work.
This should go without being said but do not hit stop between tracks. Instead, play the entire portion of each side and split the tracks in the next step. This is software specific, but look for the flatlines in the waveform and make a judgment on what the best cut is there. Checking track lengths on Discogs is never a bad idea for those types of situations.
Your best bet is to do some research on which file types are lossessly compressed before exporting your tracks.
Step 1: Stuff You'll Need
Save your tracks and albums with naming conventions that make sense to you. Organization, considered up front and often, will save you much frustration in the future. Like our how to guides? Let us know what you would like to learn about next in the comments.
Beginnner's Guide To Recording Vinyl Into Your Computer
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Please at least mention exporting to flac. Flac files at best quality are half the size of wavs, and if you do a lot of ripping, hard drive space soon disappears. Actually, there is a much better program than Audacity for ripping your vinyl into a digital file.
It is called VinylStudio. VinylStudio is light years ahead of any other software.