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  #1  
12-17-2010, 01:47 AM
Sossity Sossity is offline
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My mother mentioned that she would like to digitize her record collection & make them into mp3's. She likes the look of those record gadgets the can do this in an all in one unit for records & CD's.

What would be best for this?
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  #2  
12-18-2010, 01:11 AM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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How many records are we talking about here? Keep in mind that any transfer will involve real time playback, so its anything but quick. Priority should be given to music that has never been released to CD. Here is what I use for vinyl to CD transfers. Note that this is for modern microgrove 33 1/3 and 45rpm records, not older 78rpm records.

Turntable: Technics SL-1300 Direct Drive. These turn up on ebay ALOT and are built like tanks. Any Technics direct drive model is fine for this job, later models have a quartz speed lock for accurate playback. I have it hooked into a standard stereo receiver with phono preamp and run it into a decent soundcard.

Another option is the Audio-Technica LP120 and LP240 turntables, which are basically an inspired copy of the classic Technics turntables. It has direct USB output, some folks aren't a fan of its built in pre-amp however. The stylus it comes with isn't the greatest either (ironic given the manufacturer). If you find a Technics direct drive turntable for less then the LP120, pick it up. Just because the LP120 looks like a Technics, doesn't mean its as good as one. Avoid the ION, its junk.

Stylus:
This is likely more important then the turntable. I have an Audio Technica AT331LP linear contact stylus, which is sadly discontinued. A suitable replacement is the AT440MLa, but it can be pricey. If anything, stick with an elliptical diamond stylus or try hunting on ebay for an older Audio Technica "Shibata" stylus.

Soundcard: I used a Soundblaster AWE64 Gold, because it was the best I had at the time. A used Soundblaster Live! PCI card off ebay will produce decent recording as it has low noise levels and a decent digitizer. You don't have to worry about this if you use the USB turntable, but who knows how good the digitizer is in them.

Post Processing and Restoration Software: Diamond Cut Audio Restoration Tools (also konwn as DCart, get it at http://www.diamondcut.com ). This software was developed specifically to restore early phonograph recordings and has a ton of tweakable filters. As an added bonus, it can be used to restore audio tracks on video recordings as well. The manual alone is worth the purchase price and includes many how-tos for restoring audio. When recording, just record an entire side of an album at once. You can add track breaks later in post processing.

Also important is cleaning your records. Dust = noise. The Nitty Gritty cleaner is popular if you are serious, otherwise look online for various ways to clean vinyl without damaging it.

Is the setup I use audiophile grade? Heck no, but it sounds better then most setups with a cheap conical stylus and belt driven turntable. Most popular recordings aren't the best quality pressings to begin with and wouldn't benefit. Plus the law of diminishing returns kicks in... you got to spend a lot for what amounts to a minimal increases in quality.
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12-21-2010, 10:43 AM
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For basic pop/click and dust/fuzz noise removal, I prefer Goldwave. I have DiamondCut (the Forensics version, in fact), but it's pretty hard to use compared to Goldwave. For that matter, Audacity is probably superior to Goldwave for NR (excluding the pop/click), and Audacity is freeware available on both Mac and Windows. It's a valuable part of my audio workflow for NR.

Those "all-in-one" jobs are not very good. Be it the USB turntable or the standalone unit that requires no computer at all (Crosley, for example). I have a Crosley deck, and it's a nice record player, so-so radio (reception awful). It looks nice, with a lovely cherry wood finish. But it makes blah-quality CDs, and it's picky on CD-R it can burn to. Those cheap Ion turntables are not great either, lousy ADC. You're best to use even a mildly decent turntable (the Crosley works fine here), stereo output, and a soundcard in the computer (like Sound Blaster). I use Sound Forge to record, but Audacity and Goldwave work fine as well.

It's an analog process -- hit play on the LP (drop needle where it needs to go), and then record on computer. It the beginning and end points later, in the editing software. Again, Audacity freeware is good, Sound Forge is better, for the editing steps. Goldwave and Audacity for the NR aspects. Some NR can be done in Sound Forge, too, using our Sound Forge filter pack.

Check out the restoring guides, too: http://www.digitalFAQ.com/guides/vid...ex-restore.htm
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