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Thread: Vinyl to MP3

  1. #1
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    Vinyl to MP3

    If this problem has already been dealt with elsewhere, I'd appreciate it if somebody could provide a link, though I'm not sure there is a solution.

    I spent a little over £200 (UK) on a USB turntable, intending to transfer my old vinyl records to the computer.

    I didn't want to pay a fortune for something that would be redundant when the job was done, but I didn't want anything too cheap either, like an old Dansette perhaps. I was hoping for a decent quality conversion.

    Using Audacity, the input level from the turntable is too high, resulting in excessive clipping, and the relevant slider is greyed out, so I can't do anything about it.

    Also, I'm getting turntable rumble and excessive surface noise - from records that are in near-perfect condition.

    I've tried adjusting the tracking weight, and I've gone through the settings in Audacity, but nothing helps.

    Is there a solution, or have I wasted my money?

    Is Audacity the best software to use for something like this, or would something else be more suitable? Something with a scratch and rumble filter perhaps? Does such a thing exist?

    I should point out that I'm a comparative newbie where this kind of thing is concerned, so if anyone knows of a solution, please keep it simple. I just want to convert about 4,000 tracks to MP3 without having to spend too much time on each one.
    Last edited by Barney-R; July 5th, 2013 at 11:13 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    So how does this turntable work? What plugs into what?

    You might have done better to buy a good normal turntable for less than £200, and then used a "phono to jack plug" cable and plugged it into the "line in" input of your sound card. You could then then use audacity to tecord the input.

    I have never done that with a turntable, but I have certainly done it with an mp3 iplayer using a standard cable with a jack plug at each end.

    I use audacity a lot, so may be able to help you if you give more info about what exactly you're doing.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 12.04-64bit --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo

  3. #3
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    So how does this turntable work? What plugs into what?

    You might have done better to buy a good normal turntable for less than £200, and then used a "phono to jack plug" cable and plugged it into the "line in" input of your sound card. You could then then use audacity to tecord the input

    I have never done that with a turntable, but I have certainly done it with an mp3 iplayer using a standard cable with a jack plug at each end.

    I use audacity a lot, so may be able to help you if you give more info about what exactly you're doing.
    No, PHONO is a different standard found on old turntables and tape recorders. It's impedance differs from LINE standard. If you connect a PHONO device into a LINE input, you'll get bad equalization and overall bad levels. That's why you need to get some form of amplification that includes a PHONO input.
    Ofcourse you could try it anyways, it won't damage your stuff or anything. Just wanted to clear this out heh.

  4. #4
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    About the USB turntable issue, could you please be VERY specific about brand/model, cables you're using, laptop/desktop brand model, ubuntu version etc etc.
    Things to consider:
    Grounding. Is your turntable well grounded? Three prone wall outlet and all that. If you're using a laptop, try disconnecting it from it's charger, these usually produce electric noise, especially the cheap ones. Is your turntable connected to the same wall outlet as your PC/laptop?
    Driver. Did the turntable come with drivers or anything that points to linux support.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    I hate to be a downer but any gadget that you see advertised in a newspaper supplement or "innovations" type brochure is quite likely to be rubbish.
    Is your turntable belt driven? If not then that would explain the rumble. You may see where this is going....
    I bought an Akai tuner/amp and a Pioneer deck at a jumble sale for £4 about 15 years ago, it still blasts out sound really well.
    I got a new belt for the deck from eBay when the old one perished.
    As the old adage says, "If you want a job done well, do it yourself".

  6. #6
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Thanks for the replies so far. I'll come back with more info as soon as possible, but something's come up and I won't be on-line over the weekend. Sorry. Got to go.

  7. #7
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Sorry. That took longer than I anticipated. I hope this thread hasn't "died" in my absence.

    The deck is a "Onestar" (perhaps I should have seen that as a warning), and it did come from one of those companies that distributes mini-catalogues in magazines. I'm not sure now whether it was "MySmartBuy" or "BrightLife UK".

    I haven't removed the turntable itself (no circlip pliers, and I don't want to risk damage or injury by using a screwdriver), but I believe it's belt-driven.

    It plugs directly into the mains (3-pin plug) and has two outputs, a twin phono which is too short to reach the computer anyway, and a USB.

    It didn't come with any driver software, just an Audacity CD.

    The computer itself is a high-end desktop model, with Asus motherboard, 8 core processor and enough RAM to ensure that it never needs to use the swap file.

    My operating system is Ubuntu 12.04, 64-bit (single boot).

    I don't know whether any of that helps, but I suspect I may have wasted my money on a deck that isn't fit for purpose.

  8. #8
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    flac

    Skipping ahead to when you've gotten the hardware solved, you'll probably only want to port from vinyl to digital once per disc. In that case you should strongly consider making the first copy in a high resolution archival format. FLAC is good for that as it is both lossless and allows embedding of considerable metadata. Then from there you can make MP3s or whatever you happen to need in terms of lossy formats, resampling to a lower bits per channel and lower samples per second.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Thanks for that Lars. I don't know very much about audio formats other than .wav and .mp3, so I'll take your advice - assuming the quality problem can be solved.

    If the deck really is rubbish, I'd appreciate any advice as to where I can get a decent one (I'm in the UK), and which make and model to go for now that they're no longer available through the shops.

    Boot sales are out due to personal circumstances, and I don't get much chance to look in junk shops, so it will have to be new (or perhaps Ebay).

  10. #10
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Hello??? Anyone here?

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