Converting LP to digital. Advice please...

I am looking to archive some vinyl onto a hard drive that I can then transfer to CD. I would like to take it from line level output to a A/D convertor then store it on a computer hard drive. Then have a program that will allow me to take each LP side and dive the songs into individual tracks. Suggestions on a/d conversion and software would be appreicated greatly
You can buy a phono pre-amp with a usb output. I think Hagerman might make one. Pro-ject makes one, too.

Audacity is a free software program to do the management of the uploaded data.


If you have serious $$$ invested in your TT playback rig and are transcribing priceless software, you might want to consider the Korg MR-1000 DSD recorder ($900 street price).
This pup records DSD to internal hard-drive and can record several ways to CD.
I use the Wadia 17 AD converter from the tape out of my Ayre K1x preamp then digital via Yamamura Millenium XLR digital to an Alesis Masterlink recorder. You can split each album side into their individual tracks and then create a CD from it. The sound is fantastic.
I use an M-audio Delta 1010 AD converter and Wavelab mastering software. Expensive and hard to learn, though.
I've been thinking of creating a library of lps on my computer. So its not that easy it seems. I thought i could use my unused preamp RCA output to my mic in on my lap top? Would this work using Audacity software?
I use an old way.
I use a CD Recorder (Marantz DR-700) connected to a preamp (Rogue Magnum 99). It records up to 80 minutes of audio into CD audio format. Then I store them on my computer in mp3 format. You can use either CD-R or CD-RW.
No extra software is required.
The sound quality is at least as good as CD if LPs are in good condition. The only catch is that, if the LPs used are noisy, the Marantz recorder does not recognize the end of of each tracks. Then, you need to manually stop and start the recording for each track.
Thanks for all the help and advice. I was wondering since I have a CD recorder if I could record onto a CD-RW. Then take the CD-RW and transfer it to my computer and is there a software that will let me add the individual tracks and then transfer it back to a standard CD? Sounds like a lot or processing but maybe the cheapest way of doing this.
If not then I need to look at some of the other suggestions here more in depth.
I connected my amp to my PC using the tape input to the sound card line in. Then I use Roxio 10 ($50) to record each side as a .wav file. I use Click Repair ($40) to remove clicks and pops. Then I go back to Roxio 10 to edit, separate out the tracks, name the tracks and burn to CD. It is time consuming but the results are pretty good. If you want to hear the difference I will e-mail you a before and after.
Alan do you feel that the Click repair does so by narrowing the bandwidth? I just wonder how it identifies the clicks and pops if not by frequency. I would be interested how that affects the final sound.
Check out their website.

I can send you a before and after if you would like.
Download the free shareware program "Audacity" to your PC. get a y connector from Radio Shack and hook up your output from your preamp/receiver to your PC. Record your Lp's onto your PC using Audacity and then burn them to cd's. Audicity has a website that can answer all your questions too. Send them a donation as well, that free program is awesome.
Alan thank you for the offer but with my crappy speakers on my computer I doubt I would notice.
Theo, I use my computer as an HTPC. I have a video card with an HDMI output and I run it through my Home Theater Receiver. My montitor is a 52 inch Sony XBR4. The result is stunning.
Hi - I found this useful:
Theo, your proposal woudl certainly work, but using a cd recorder for the a/d conversion, or creating a cd then loading it onto a drive as a digital file, necessarily limits the final quality to no better than cd quality, whereas if you use a better a/d you can create 24/96 .wav files which are closer to the quality of the original lp. uses a lot of hd memory, but that is pretty cheap compared to our other toys, on this forum.

Tried using audacity today and was able to record but can't get the file to my media player to hear it. Will play more with it tomorrow. I have a mic jack on my computer but was wondering if a usb to rca cable would be a better choice.
It takes a lot of time and effort to do this, so you should try to get the best sound for the least effort. So don't use a USB input or the mic input. These restrict the quality you can get before you even record. They both use the factory sound card, which are usually mediocre at best.

Read up on sample rates. I use an M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 sound card - new about $100, used about $40. Run a line level input to the card, or S/PDIF digital (if your system has digital out). Use Audacity or Roxio CD Spin Doctor to record and remove some of the more egregious pops and hiss, cut into tracks and label. Save as Apple Lossless format to iTunes. From there you can play through your computer, output to your amp, burn CDs. More money yields better sound, but one must be reasonable.
Thanks Craig c i am checking out analog to digital converters now along with a second hard drive. I have been procrastinating on doing this for a long time going to get all thats necessary and get it done.
I used the attached with my Sonata MC-101 with great success it is simple to use and works well with a windows machine

Roland UA-1EX
I use a dedicated hard drive/CD recorder, high-end, the Alesis Masterlink. It is a dream. I record album sides (or tapes) from my TT/preamp setup to hard drive at 24bits, normalize, separate tracks, (takes 5 mins or so) and burn to CD. If you do it right, you look at the CD in your PC/Mac with iTunes, and the CDDB database will automatically identify the track names/album, like magic. After that you can use Audacity for click/pop removal or other editing. The Masterlink is pricey but the rest is free. BTW, nobody has talked about normalizing here, but if you don't want to blast your speakers because some recordings are louder than others, it is a mandatory step.
I use a Roland Edirol FA-101 10 in 10 out firewire interfance and capture at 24/96k then downsample for cd.
Hockeydoodle, I checked out the ML 9600 - very neat item, as per the review in Stereophile " at 24/96 the masterlink delivered sound surprisingly close to the original LP " So are you recording at 24/96? I am using a Imac and want to set this up as a server and have a large collection of LP's I would like to record. Any other comments on the learning curve etc would be helpful.
I had read that if you are going to truncate down to 16 bits from a higher bit/sample rate, it is better to use 88.2, because the algorithm involved in going from 88.2 to 44.1 is simple and direct, whereas going from 96 to 44.1 is more likely to create errors. Any experience with this out there? btw, I don't know of any company that can beat the cost-effectiveness of M-audio converters.
I record at 24 bits with the ML-9600 in case I want to archive (stellar recordings) but make a redbook CD normally which is 16-bits. That is how CDDB can recognize the track titles, etc, since it is in redbook format. 96 or 88.1 sample rate doesn't seem to matter, up to user I think.
Note that in the gap since my last post I discovered ClickRepair software as well which works fantastic, now I burn CD-RW and clean up on the PC, then burn a final CD.
DAK 2800 PC is the cheapest way. For "Audiophile quality" transfers, it is necessary to rebuild it utilizeng premium capacitors. I used Nichicon capacitors with good results.
I have just started playing around using the Korg MR-2000S and I have experienced a friend who has the same machine too, against a top end TT and the Tape project. very very hard to distinguish the Korg recording playback from the original, when recorded in 2xDSD.
You can find a free "How To' guide about transferring LP to CD at LP to CD

Very good posts, and helpful. Might I ask a question or two? I am interested in transferring some or all of my vinyl collection to digital for archival and convenience reasons. So I would prefer to archive them at 24 bit, 88.2 or 96kHz minimum. Since I only want to do this once, I would like to feel comfortable that the quality is quite good.

I have an Oracle Delphi table running through a Cary phono pre. However, I have an HP laptop which has no analogue inputs. Even if it did I understand I would be better served using an outboard A/D converter. Then I assume I would need a more audio friendly soundcard, yes?

Can you advise me about:
1. A good A/D converter for this purpose. This seems to be the difficult thing to find, at least from a good audio perspective.
2. A good sound card for taking the digital signal from the A/D converter
3. Anything else I might need to know, such as better audio grade software (Pure Vinyl is out since they only serve Apple computers, which is well and good except for those of us that don't own one). I see some recommendations above for software to perform the needed admin duties. Seems that FLAC files are all the rage, so that would be a plus, but WAV would be acceptable.

Thank you for any detailed information you might want to provide!!
I have a business doing this and can make 24/192 recordings as well as removing any noise.

There are many excellent ways to do this, and I'm sure all have given you good advice. After I transferred my LP's to digital, I discovered the only short coming was in my analog rig. After I upgraded the cartridge I decided to do it all over again, which is what I'm doing right now.
Just get a 56 Chrysler and you are all set.
I've developed a pretty efficient and good sounding procedure in recent months.   

I use line out from pre-amp to an Art USB Phono + converter then USB in to laptop making sure high res stereo recording is enabled on the USB microphone device.  I use Audacity software on the laptop to record, edit and process.   Audacity is freeware and the ART device can be had on Amazon for <$100.  It also functions as a phono pre-amp as needed.  Very functional and flexible device.   I then use Picard freeware and db Poweramp software to tag as needed.

I set levels and record in Audacity once the needle drops on side 1 then continue recording until side 2 is complete.    Next in Audacity I delete out extra data between sides for a smooth transition between last track on side 1 and first on side two.   Then I play the tracks to add labels to designate breaks between  tracks at proper locations.  

Then comes click removal followed by normalization to complete the processing.  Next I export many to export each labeled track to a file in the target library directory.    The files are loaded into Picard to autotag or if no  suitable matches for tags can be found there  I tag manually using dbpoweramp.   Finally I run my Seagate backup software to get  a backup of the new files right away and rescan my Squeeze Server library to pick up the new files in that library.   Plex autoscans and picks up new files automatically.     It takes me 20-30 minutes in general to complete the processing once recording is done.   Results are quite good with a little practice and I think the results would suit most here.

Tascam has superseded the Alesis Masterlink as best bang for the buck, but not just best bang for the buck; pretty darn excellent against any comparator.  Look for posts on vinyl asylum by John Ellison and Dave Garretson.  If I were at all interested in doing this, I would buy the Tascam in a heartbeat.