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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend that has a couple hundred vinyl albums that have been played only once. He said if I would rip them to MP3 for him I could keep copies for myself. I really want to do this to upgrade my music library for my iPod.

I checked out a couple of software/turntable options on the web but was wondering if any of you had experience doing this. What worked, what didn't and so on.

Would appreciate any input.
 

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govt kontrakt projkt mgr
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actually I have a technics turntable routed through a realistics mixer that's run to my sound card.

then I use audacity; i've also used wavecor in the past, but that program has a fee.

really i have a few hundred i need to rip too--i've actually only have done several---realize the sound is not gunna be a whole helluva lot better than the condition of your record and needle--no matter what pop/static eliminator program you might use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't mind dolling out some coin to get better quality recording. These albums have only been played once as he recorded them to cassette and then put them up. The original record quality should still be in tact. A quality turntable would be key to pulling the quality through to the recording.

The Audacity software looks pretty easy to use and I have looked through there web info. Another one that has caught my eye is DAK. Just trying to get some ideas and suggestions from someone who has done this.

Thanks for yours!
 

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I did something similar to ArmySlowRdr. The turntable was already patched through the sound card at the computer and I used protools to save wav files, then compressed to mp3. It worked well, a high quality cartridge is the key, even with brand new vinyl.

The mp3s were more to preserve some old albums I have that are irreplaceable (First pressings from some great classic rock bands, thanks Dad!)

I'm a nerd though, and still listen and buy new albums on vinyl.
 

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NMBP
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sdsantacruzer said:
Another one that has caught my eye is DAK. Just trying to get some ideas and suggestions from someone who has done this.

Thanks for yours!
I have the DAK and used my old turntable. It takes a lot of time. First you convert the vinyl to .wmv, then you run it through a scratch and hiss remover, then single out each track and convert to .mp3. You have to enter the name of each track also.

The converted files sound real good unless there is a serious scratch in the vinyl. I have old vinyl that's not available on CD or Mp3, so it's the only way to get the tunes to play.
 

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I bike long tyme.
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emtnate said:
I did something similar to ArmySlowRdr. The turntable was already patched through the sound card at the computer and I used protools to save wav files, then compressed to mp3. It worked well, a high quality cartridge is the key, even with brand new vinyl.

The mp3s were more to preserve some old albums I have that are irreplaceable (First pressings from some great classic rock bands, thanks Dad!)

I'm a nerd though, and still listen and buy new albums on vinyl.
I too use ProTools to copy old cassette and vinyl recordings to the comp. I simply hook up my home audio or studio components to my interface which routes to the MAC via USB/Firewire. Then like said before....save as a .wav, convert and presto. If you are a MAC user, use the Garageband recording software. It works just as well.
 

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Vinyl to MP3
I have a friend that has a couple hundred vinyl albums that have been played only once. He said if I would rip them to MP3 for him I could keep copies for myself. I really want to do this to upgrade my music library for my iPod.

I don't mind dolling out some coin to get better quality recording. These albums have only been played once as he recorded them to cassette and then put them up. The original record quality should still be in tact. A quality turntable would be key to pulling the quality through to the recording.
I think you should pass on the offer. It will be costly, in both time and money. There are several web sites (mp3fiesta.com among others) who may only charge 15 cents a song to download a clean digital copy.

I spent most of the last 25 years recording music for myself and my friends. It started off in the 80's recording vinyl to cassette then recording cd's to cassette (my cassette library includes over 4400 minutes of music, mostly mix tapes), then transferring all those cassettes to mp3. Nowadays my friends and I have a private site where we exchange all our recent purchases via FTP (hush hush on the QT). On occasion I have been asked to transfer a friends vinyl to mp3.

You'll need a turntable, as you know. Then a good cartridge, which can cost over $100. Already you will have spent enough to download over 1000 songs from one of many mp3 web sites. If you go to one of the Ukrainian sites, you can find a huge selection of songs and some are less than a dime a song. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was when cd's came out. I was spending so much time in my recording sessions just cuing up songs and setting my meters. Remember not all albums will have been recorded at the same levels. I had to clean each side of each album, then get out the zerostat gun and remove any static charge. Then I'd set the needle down on the song to set the recording levels, and then reset the needle a little bit before the start of the song and start my recorder just before the song began. It is very labor intense. I use to shut off my phone and sit there recording for 12-17 hours at a time. I was making mix tapes so I was removing albums after one song and putting a new album on the turntable. You might save some time but you will have to separate songs so you don't record an entire album side as though it were one song. If you set your program to look for breaks between songs to separate them, you'll find that occasionally you'll have a quiet moment in a song and the program will think the song ended, and it will start recording what it thinks is a new song. I spent months and months transferring cassette mix tapes to mp3 and I was always adjusting the programs sensitivity.

The more advice you ask regarding this project, the more people who will chime in saying they are thinking about doing the same or they once started transferring vinyl to mp3 and gave up after one day, when they only got two albums transferred, and they had several mistakes or drop-outs because they were using the computer for another task at the same time. If your friend paid you $1 an hour to do this, and he paid for the turntable and cartridge, it would end up costing him over $500. Is your time worth more than $1 an hour?

I listen to some very rare music from the 80's and 90's, as well as new alternative music. It can be hard to replace. Many years ago, I grew up listening to standard 70's rock (Eagles, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, Pink Floyd, Edgar Winter, Uriah Heep, etc.) If your friends vinyl is classic rock, it will be easy to find on any number of download sites. You might go to some sites and price out the cost of replacing his vinyl with mp3's. I am certain it will be a fraction of the cost and it can be done in a day, rather than taking you all year long. Good luck.

last three on rotation

Talking To A Stranger by Hunters and Collectors
Some Kind Of Sad by Ringo Deathstar
How Soon Is Now by Love Spit Love
 

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I bike long tyme.
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The Prodigal Son said:
I think you should pass on the offer. It will be costly, in both time and money. There are several web sites (mp3fiesta.com among others) who may only charge 15 cents a song to download a clean digital copy.

I spent most of the last 25 years recording music for myself and my friends. It started off in the 80's recording vinyl to cassette then recording cd's to cassette (my cassette library includes over 4400 minutes of music, mostly mix tapes), then transferring all those cassettes to mp3. Nowadays my friends and I have a private site where we exchange all our recent purchases via FTP (hush hush on the QT). On occasion I have been asked to transfer a friends vinyl to mp3.

You'll need a turntable, as you know. Then a good cartridge, which can cost over $100. Already you will have spent enough to download over 1000 songs from one of many mp3 web sites. If you go to one of the Ukrainian sites, you can find a huge selection of songs and some are less than a dime a song. I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was when cd's came out. I was spending so much time in my recording sessions just cuing up songs and setting my meters. Remember not all albums will have been recorded at the same levels. I had to clean each side of each album, then get out the zerostat gun and remove any static charge. Then I'd set the needle down on the song to set the recording levels, and then reset the needle a little bit before the start of the song and start my recorder just before the song began. It is very labor intense. I use to shut off my phone and sit there recording for 12-17 hours at a time. I was making mix tapes so I was removing albums after one song and putting a new album on the turntable. You might save some time but you will have to separate songs so you don't record an entire album side as though it were one song. If you set your program to look for breaks between songs to separate them, you'll find that occasionally you'll have a quiet moment in a song and the program will think the song ended, and it will start recording what it thinks is a new song. I spent months and months transferring cassette mix tapes to mp3 and I was always adjusting the programs sensitivity.

The more advice you ask regarding this project, the more people who will chime in saying they are thinking about doing the same or they once started transferring vinyl to mp3 and gave up after one day, when they only got two albums transferred, and they had several mistakes or drop-outs because they were using the computer for another task at the same time. If your friend paid you $1 an hour to do this, and he paid for the turntable and cartridge, it would end up costing him over $500. Is your time worth more than $1 an hour?

I listen to some very rare music from the 80's and 90's, as well as new alternative music. It can be hard to replace. Many years ago, I grew up listening to standard 70's rock (Eagles, Deep Purple, Grand Funk Railroad, Pink Floyd, Edgar Winter, Uriah Heep, etc.) If your friends vinyl is classic rock, it will be easy to find on any number of download sites. You might go to some sites and price out the cost of replacing his vinyl with mp3's. I am certain it will be a fraction of the cost and it can be done in a day, rather than taking you all year long. Good luck.
Definitely hit the nail on the head. The entire process can indeed eat up vast amounts of time. Unless you are dealing with albums that simply are near impossible to find copies of, downloading the music probably will be more time/cost effective.
 

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I have an old decent turntable, so I just patched it through my stereo into the soundcard, and used some open source linux software to record & convert to MP3s.

As was said before, it may not be cost/time effective, but if you have the time, and already have the equipment, you can listen to some vinyl while you are recording...
 

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I did mine about 5 years ago (about 200 albums).

Like some of the others here, I ran my turntable trough my stereo and then into my sound card. I used Goldwave Software to record and edit the recordings. It was pretty slick because I was able to remove some humming and hissing I was getting from my stereo, and it had a nice tool to remove crackling and popping. I was even able to fix some skips (my albums were not in pristine shape). I ended up with some very clean recordings. I even did my old 8-tracks .

But it's a lot of work. I basically recorded each album side as a single audio file. Then I ran several of the tools in the software program to eliminate unwanted noise and adjust the sound level. Then I manually separated each track (individual songs) before saving as MP3s.
 

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Prodigal Son makes a good point.

I should add, I used protools to get samples from some old albums that we mixed in with our own recordings. Didn't have a drummer, so a drum machine and samples did the trick.

I think you're better off getting a good turntable and cartridge and enjoying the vinyl. :D

I've also made my share of mixtapes in the way described. In college we had a mailing list mixtape club. It's a labor of love, but I've gotten some really rare stuff that way, and there isn't a better way to discover new acts.

As an aside: We should have a music forum.
 

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This is how it started...
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to all for the input. I have a much better understanding of what it would take to accomplish this task.
I do agree with 'emtnate'. A music forum would be nice. Providing it wouldn't be invaded by the internet police.
Happy New Year to All!
 
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