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Thread: Vinyl to MP3

  1. #21
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    coldraven- museums and possibl;y veteran oraganizations would be interested in your dads' disc, undoubtedly many websites as well. You should convert it to digital for them.
    Ubuntu 12.04.2_amd_64_LTS on Desktop run by Intel core I5 3570K on Asus P8Z77-V Pro MB

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  2. #22
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Thanks for the further replies, and apologies for yet another delay (called away again, sorry).

    I managed to find a Torrent and was able to work out how to use Transmission, but no traffic. Turns out my ISP is one that blocks sharing, so that's the end of that. At least it seems I can (probably) download some of the tracks from YouTube without breaking any laws.

    Sharing/downloading was a side issue anyway. The main thing is to get all that vinyl onto the computer. I'll check the Computer World article now.

    Audacity's Noise Reduction works well in a lot of cases, but even sampling the "silence" at the beginning of a track doesn't seem to help with surface hiss and turntable rumble.

    Obviously I'd like to use the equipment I bought specifically for the purpose, but so far it's looking as if I'll have to pay out again.

    My own fault I suppose. Always go for brand names. The trouble is, without studying the market, and with turntables no longer available in the shops, it was a case of getting whatever I could.

  3. #23
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Quote Originally Posted by Barney-R View Post
    Using Audacity, the input level from the turntable is too high, and the relevant slider is greyed out....
    Are you guys sure you're focusing on the problem? The problem is that the input level is set wrong. The user has a turntable that has phono outputs and a USB output.

    So far you guys have discussed belt drive turntables, Bit Torrent, legal issues, and where to buy turntables, and just about anything except the question. Furthermore, you've got poor Barney stringing along with you. Did I miss something?

    OK, Barney, I'll tell you what I know--which is, unfortunately, not quite enough. The problem is that the gain is too high somewhere, so the problem is how and where to set it.

    I don't know how these USB outputs from turntables work, or how you are getting music into Audacity. I am told that a USB turntable just looks like a drive. That means that the turntable should have done the work of amplifying the sound, equalizing it, and setting the gain. That means the gain setting would be in the turntable. It would have controls somewhere -- either on the chassis, or in software. If the controls are software, they would require special software in the computer, and that almost certainly means Windows-only, or Windows plus Mac.

    In other words, if this turntable is directly giving you sound files and Audacity shows you that the files are clipped, the gain setting is in the turntable. Period.

    Now, if you have an analog input into the computer, instead of a digital input, you are in luck. Just go to the System Settings on your computer and look for sound. Look around and push the buttons until you find the right input.

    If you have a good sound card and want to go the analog route, you will need a pre-amp. An RCA output requires a phono preamp, which includes the required phono equalizer. That will give you a line output that you can connect to the sound card and record with an analog-to-digital recorder (your sound card plus Audacity is one way to do this).

    If all else fails, read the directions.



    One other point to consider, after you have solved the problem. I belong to an organization that digitized several hundred vinyl recordings on a $100 USB turntable. I got my hands on one of those records and digitized it myself on my old, modest AR turntable with Shure cartridge. I have normal hearing for a 70-year-old, and I am not one of those audiophiles who imagines huge differences where there are none. Nevertheless, I was absolutely shocked at the difference. The $100 turntable was just awful. The equipment doesn't have to be fancy, but quality does matter. I think you need to get this working first, though, before you decide on quality.
    Last edited by VanillaMozilla; June 25th, 2013 at 09:31 PM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    In another post you mentioned two other problems: surface noise and rumble. Surface noise is an inherent characteristic of vinyl recordings, especially if they are in poor condition, and that's really about all there is to say about it. Once it's there, you can't take it out without taking something from the music.

    There are a some ways of reducing it in some instances. You've already tried filtering with Audacity, and that sometimes does an amazing job if rescue is your objective. I've sometimes even had good luck with automatically removing clicks and pops, and if the automatic procedure fails, you can do it manually. Good luck if you have thousands of LP's. Probably better to present them as they are. There are also needles available with an unconventional shape, so it rides in a relatively unused part of the groove. For monaural records you can also wire the two channels in parallel at the cartridge, and that can cut noise somewhat in some cases. You say both of these are beyond you? Yeah, me too.

    The rumble could be the turntable. Or 60-Hz hum. If all the wanted sound is above the rumble frequency, you can just filter it. Otherwise you will remove some of the music. Or you can get better equipment. Read it and weap.

  5. #25
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaMozilla View Post
    That means the gain setting would be in the turntable. It would have controls somewhere -- either on the chassis, or in software.
    I pointed that out earlier in the context of my AudioTechnica turntable. It has a switchable preamp. My device only has on/off, though, not a variable gain control.
    If you ask for help, please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  6. #26
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    SeijiSensei, good point. You did say that yours has a gain switch. It just doesn't make sense that turntable with a digitizer that always clips sound files has no gain control. If Barney is using the USB port, the turntable must have a gain control somewhere. If it doesn't, then it's unsuitable by design for its intended purpose, and should be returned for a refund. If that's what he's doing, I do wonder if he read the directions, though.

    I'm thinking, though, that he probably isn't using the USB port at all, but a line input to his computer. In which case, he simply needs to look for the correct volume control in Ubuntu. If we know what he was doing, then we could advise him, couldn't we?
    Last edited by VanillaMozilla; June 25th, 2013 at 11:21 PM.

  7. #27
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    First, you need to find out what sound device your version of Linux is using to receive sound from the turntable. I'm pretty sure every version of Linux has a mixer or volume control or control panel for multimedia (or just audio). Your mixer should show what devices are set up on your system and you should be able to adjust the volume from the turntable there if Audacity doesn't let you do it. Make sure you have the latest version of Audacity, by the way.

    Under Edit>Preferences>Quality set the default sample rate to 44100 Hz (standard sample rate for audio CDs) and default sample format to 32-bit float. This will give you plenty of dynamic range to work with. Record something from one of your vinyls. (at this point you may want to export it as a .wav or FLAC so you won't have to record it again if you want to change something later. The fewer times you play a vinyl record, the better) Click and drag a few seconds to select some of it. Hold down the Shift-key and click the play button. That section will run in a continuous loop. Click on Effects > Equalization. If the EQ graph isn't a flat line at 0 Db, click on the Flatten button. Start dragging the sliders down at the left side until you can get rid of as much rumble as you can without losing anything you want to hear. You can probably reduce anything below 40 Hz to zero. Above that, reduce only as much as you need. Above 1000 Hz start gradually lowering each slider a little more as you get higher in frequency. You should be forming a nice little curve ending with the last slider at zero Db. This may be all you need to do.

    You can now play with the frequencies and see if there are some that might be better a little louder. If you still have hiss, click on Okay to close the EQ. Then click on Analyze > Plot Spectrum. You might see a spike among the higher frequencies that might be your hiss. But you might not, either. You can try selecting the silence at the beginning of the recording then clicking Effects>Noise Removal. The click on Get Noise Profile. Click on Effects > Noise Removal again. You can play with the sliders in Step 2 but they usually a pretty good where they are. Click on Preview to hear how it is going to work and click on Okay to apply.

    Then you can export it. Click somewhere in the gray area at the left end of the recording to select the whole thing, or click and drag the whole recording after the silent lead-in and click File>Export and select MP3 or whatever you want.

    As long as your turntable spins at a steady RPM, the only thing that can be "awful" about it is the cartridge.

    Hope you get this worked out. It's going to be a lot of work, no matter what.

  8. #28
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    d_in_Conduct, your mixer and recording advice is probably good. I'm not so sure it's a good idea to save his files with a 1 kHz cutoff, however. Or even a 10 kHz cutoff.

    I'm thinking it might be also be a good idea to postpone any post-processing until he knows what he's doing, and then either to do nothing or to use more sophisticated noise-reduction methods.

  9. #29
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    The main thing at the moment, of course, is for him to get good, undistorted recordings to work with. I don't know what advice I gave that would result in 1 Khz or even 10 Khz cutoff. I wouldn't knowingly do that, so I'm missing something.

    You've already given him better advice than I did, anyway. I just hope he has enough to get started.

  10. #30
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    Re: Vinyl to MP3

    Quote Originally Posted by d_in_Conduct View Post
    Above 1000 Hz start gradually lowering each slider a little more as you get higher in frequency.
    Quote Originally Posted by d_in_Conduct
    I don't know what advice I gave that would result in 1 Khz or even 10 Khz cutoff.
    I meant rolloff, not cutoff.

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