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nicksteel 01-09-2007 10:26 AM

Best way to convert Vinyl to cd?
Have a friend who wants to convert some music. He has a ITTUSB turntable for this. Need best free way to convert to both wave and mp3.

rds_correia 01-14-2007 09:30 AM

Radical, dude! :P
Too bad I don't know anything about that.
I myself have a couple of vinyls that AFAIK were not pressed in CD format and that I'd love to convert to WAV.
Let me know if you find a way.
I know a company in Portugal that will do it but they charge ~50€ for each vinyl.
That's not an option for me :roll: .

nicksteel 01-14-2007 12:16 PM

Plan to capture
Clean with Groove Mechanic
Encode to mp3 with Lame.

So far, I've checked out a couple programs Kwag recommends.

Multi Frontend with Lame parameters -V 6 --vbr-new.


Groove Mechanic 2.5c. This comes with a sample wav to "clean up".

Still determining the best capture program.

kwag 01-14-2007 04:59 PM

For cleaning up the captured WAV, I thing Groove Mechanic can't be beaten :D


nicksteel 01-14-2007 06:12 PM

I know cleaning up the sample wav was amazing.

GFR 01-22-2007 07:00 AM

I have a somewhat unnusual setup for vinyl ripping, and I like the results a lot.

It may seem a lot of work but once you do it a couple of times you just do things automatically :) And the results are great IMO.

The very first thing you have to do is to clean the record. It makes a huge difference. A vacuum disc cleaner would be the ideal, but since I don't have one I just wash it with plenty of water, a piece of synthetic velvet, and a drop of neutral soap. Your tap water may be too hard (= too much minerals that can stick to the vinyl as the water dries), in doubt use distilled water. The synthetic velvet (the kind used in sofas) has very thin fibers that can reach deeper into the groove, better than most fabrics. I just let the disc dry by gravity, for a couple of hours.

There's a method I've read about for seriously dirty records, but I haven't tried it yet. Cover the surface of the disc (don't cover the label!) with white glue, let it dry for a couple of days and then peel it off - the dirt is supposed to come off with the "mould". I've gotta try this.

Make sure the needle is clean too.

Washing the disc is not for everyday cleaning, just for special ocasions :) For everyday cleaning I use a carbon fiber brush.

I don't use a RIAA preamp. I use a DIY preamp with the correct input impedance (resistance and capacitance) for my capsule. It has some gain too, altough theoretically a good 24 bit soundcard has enough SNR to handle the low level from the capsule. Be sure to use an amp with very low noise, a very good high frequency response and high slew rate.

Why I don't use the RIAA EQ in the preamp? It makes the preamp simpler, I don't need precision capacitors, just a couple of metal film resistors. But the main reason is that the RIAA EQ, by boosting lows and cutting highs, makes every transient less sharp, including the CLICKS and POPS. By EQ'ing later, I make the job much, much easier for the declicker (if I use it).

Now if the disc is in very good condition I don't process it too much, I just run the RIAA eq with software and that's it. If I decide to run a declicker, I like the ClickFix plugin for CoolEdit/Audition - it's very good and very fast. As I said, any declicker will work much better with the non-EQ'ed signal.

I can also run some noise reduction with CoolEdit, if the disc has too much crackle and surface noise. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid strange artifacts with noise reduction. First, use a BIG noise sample with a big FFT - I use about 2 seconds of noise, 24000 points. It's slow but the difference is worth it. If you can´t get 2 seconds contiguous, paste various smaller pieces together. Don't use the section before the first track (where the needle drops) or after the last track (end of the disc), the surface noise on these sections is much higher than everywhere else. Again, by running the noise reduction before the RIAA eq, the results are much better - not only the noise profile is flatter but if you get some high frequency artifacts they get attenuated afterwards, so you can be fairly agressive with the noise reduction without compromising the sound in the end. But anyway it's always a good idea to use the least noise reduction possible.

The next step is running the RIAA eq.

I can do some rumble filtering after that, it gives you more headroom in case you wish to normalize the track and also gets rid of some "thumps" the declicker may have left. Again my rumble filter procedure is a little bit complicated :)

First I convert from L,R to M,S (that is one channel gets L+R and the other gets L-R). Most actual bass content is in the Mid (L+R) channel, so I do a gentler filtering (5th order butterworth @ 20 Hz), and I filter the Side (R-L) channel a bit more (6th order butterworth @ 40 hz). This is very conservative, you can use higher frequencies if you wish. Then I convert from M,S back to L,R.

Next, normalize if you wish, downsample it to 16 bit for CD recording or convert it to mp3, flac, ogg or whatever you like.

kwag 01-22-2007 10:03 PM

Great tips GFR :D
You might want to add this.

To clean the needle, spray a little bit of WD-40 on it, and let it dry.
This will leave a very very thin coat of oil on it after it dries off, and that will reduce "clicks and pops" during playback.
You'll notice that probably the needle will get very dirty after playing a disk, and this is normal because the coating will pick up dust on the grooves. So use a soft brush to remove the picked up dust after playing.

Also, you might want to use a "Micro Fiber" cloth to clean the disks after washing them. The micro fiber will penetrate deeper into the grooves, and pick up dust that no other cloth can ;)


GFR 01-23-2007 05:56 AM

Some other tips:

- For dry cleaning, the carbon fiber brush has very thin fibers, that are also conductive. It will "ground" the static eletricity as you clean the record - this avoids the problem of the disc atracting more dust after the cleaning than it originally had. :) It is not very cheap, but it lasts forever.

- Avoid using alcohol to clean the disc, or the needle. Alcohol can have bad effects on vinyl, and also on the aluminum on the needle. Altough if the disc is very greasy you can use some isopropil, and dry it as fast as possible.

- You can use thinner (the kind used as a solvent for painting) to clean the needle (NOT THE DISC!). No damage for the aluminum and the needle is mechanicaly attached to the aluminum, not glued. It dries very quickly and removes any oil or fat.

- Some people say vodka is good for cleaning the needle, I don't know, it's alchool. I'd rather drink it :)

I've read a review about that (expensive) record player that uses laser beans instead of a needle, it seems that the sound is not so good. The explanation given is that if the needle meets a very tiny particle of dust, it can just "sweep" it out of the way without you ever hearing it, while the laser will "read" the particle as a click.

Some curiosities:

If you play a track, and then play it again imediately after the first time, the second time will have more distortion (measurable). That's because the vinyl is still hot from the friction of the needle and expands. If you hear an entire side and go back to the first track, though, that's not measurable anymore.

The friction of the needle can slow down the rotation a (very tiny) bit in a variable manner (depends on the shape of the groove). This is a (measurable) form of distortion like FM modulation, it "fattens" the sound a little. The effect is more noticeable in belt driven players (direct drive players react faster to keep the speed constant).

I've seen a spanish site where they do lots of blind tests with hardware, like comparing expensive CD players with discmans, etc. They did a comparison of SACD, vinyl, and a vinyl rip to CD-R (straigth, no processing, 16 bit 44.1kHz). The results are very interesting.
SACD x vinyl - people prefered the vinyl (it seems the SACD mastering was not good)
SACD x CD-R (vinyl rip) - CD-R wins.
vinyl x CD-R (vinyl rip) - people could not distinguish between the two.


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