Digitizing 300 LPs is a tedious, time consuming undertaking.
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Get a Bluesound Vault 2 and use your Sony as an ADC into the Vault! This has a 2TB HD, DAC and full streaming capability! And it doesn't cost much! EBay seller "jjrsellapalooza" has a new one for $825 with free shipping from Los Angeles. Once you have all your LPs in the Vault you can throw away that computer and make the Vault the center of your music system/streaming!
I think you should just bite the bullet and get Pure Vinyl. You get Pure Music along with it which will let you down load files and play them in the highest fidelity with up sampling and any plug in you want. You can get a trial period for several weeks. (copy all that vinyl in that time:()
It will do everything you want and is made just for Apple Computers.
If you have the budget, buy a Prism Sound Lyra 2. Prism Sound make some of the very best ADCs, which are used in recording studios across the world. The Lyra 2 has the same ADCs as their more expensive Atlas and Titan interfaces. The Lyra 2 also allows you to record directly from a MM cartridge.
I use a Lyra 2 to archive my collection of 15 IPS 2 track master tapes - fabulous transfers.
A word of caution:
Dgitizing vinyl takes waaay longer than you think. 300 LPs- lets say 45 minutes of music each- that´s 225 hours of music.
A good estimate is that one hour of digitised vinyl takes two hours to get right. Even if you don´t do any declicking, you might want to normalise levels, and at the least you have to divide every LP-side into individual songs and give them a title.
Your project is probably going to take you around 450 hours. Maybe you would be better off selling your LPs and buy the same music on CD.
I seriously doubt you are going to find anything affordable on the market which will allow you archive your LP’s and sound as they do on your VPI rig. About the best sounding alternative for eliminating the need of playing the actual LP which sounds as good or better than the original is old school recording to 1/4" or 1/2" 2 track open reel tape at 7 1/2 ips. At 7 1/2 ips you save tape and eliminate the need for bottom end compensation since at 15 and 30ips speeds head design tends to thin out bottom end response below 100hz.
If you can live with marginal losses in music quality with some noise, any of the digital methods previously discussed will get you there. Sweetvinyl had a demo at the audio show a year or so back which sounded and worked pretty well to my ears anyway. Not perfect sound, but what is when you are really into vinyl playback? Their components and software should cover all the bases you require, but it’l cost you a bit more than you may want to spend Here is the link: https://www.sweetvinyl.com/
Personally I’d bite the bullet , painful as it is, and ship my Lp’s and audio rig to wherever you are going, especially if you are going to be there a significant amount of time. Otherwise, save time and expense, download high res files from someplace like HD Tracks and deal with the difference of vinyl versus high resolution digital. You can run them from your laptop and a minimal system, decent DAC, pre-power amp, or maybe powered speakers with powered sub. Not ideal but functional.
I did this using a Technics turntable, Marantz 1152 DC amp into an audiophile 2496 PCI board in a desktop. You could get a Scarlet i4 from sweetwater which is what I am using now it works on the MAC. That old board is used for high quality encoding in the PC. Then I used Adobe Audition because of the great audio editing tools for noise reduction and especially click and pop elimination.
Audition also has the ability to let you easily cut and sequence the files and finally a burning option to master them as WMA files and CD quality for uniform volume, track spacing, and perish the thought ..to MP3 them if you choose .. I will probably be thrown off the forum for that one don’t bother unless there is a compelling reason.
It is a process that you have to pay attention to but is not hard. It seemed like I was changing sides on albums every few minutes for a long time. You can just about do one while the next side is being recorded.
I had fun doing it but I also do recording as hobby.
The quality of the A2D converter is crucial to obtain the best quality transfer. That's why I suggested the Prims Sound, as they are renowned for making some of the very best A2D converters for the studio market.
The Focusrite Scarletts are very much a starter A2D interface. I have one of those as well, but there is a big difference in SQ between the Scarlett and the Prism Sound.
@tkr - good point
but I was under the impression that it wouldn’t take 2x the time. I thought editing would be more fluid and automatic, and not having to watch the EAP-time (frequency) graphs as the vinyl spins, but rather, editing in the digital realm after both sides have played.
But perhaps it depends on the tools used and workflow. E.g., I started watching the Pure Vinyl intro vids online, they make it look so easy.
TKR- what tools do you use?
What is your workflow?
I think you are right about the quality issue
And yes, the Sweeteater is over my budget unfortunately ...
Buying replacement cd’s and or buying downloads is becoming more attractive sounding,
but Im still dedicated to recording the vinyl, but maybe not 300 discs now, maybe the top 150-200, will have to prioritize them ....
- I like your use of the sound card, I’ve read of them out there, just never used.
-i have a Mac laptop
i will check out the Adobe Audition software. But what exactly are you doing on your comp as the disc spins?? Taking out pops? Normalizing volume? Changing gain?
You said you’d edit one side while the other side is playing....
During the time while digitizing, I would separate the single wave file into the individual song wave files then save and rename them. I looked at each waveform and isolated the pops. If there was hiss or some kind of noise you could sample ( say between notes, during pauses, you could use that to clean up the audio. If you had a record that was was crappy or scratchy you can use a function in Audition to remove that noise on a track by track basis.
once both sides were done providing I had recorded them at the same level I would combine them to master on to the CD. Finally after about 50 albums I just sent my brother the wave file for each side and named it that way.. " Beatles - Revolver Side one" (I actually didn't copy the Beatles but you get the idea.
"...but I was under the impression that it wouldn’t take 2x the time."Depending on how picky and meticulous you are with metadata, it will take that much, if not more.
I used KORG DS DAC-10R to make DSD copies. I doubt it would be as good as your system now, but it did the trick quite nicely and I have no complaints. There is one "open box" on amazon right now for $299. I would do it again.
1) I digitize my LPs through a Metric Halo ULN 8 pro soundcard at 24/96, and use Audacity as DAW.
2) Workflow: I always clean my LPs before digitizing. IMO this is not optional, but an absolute necessity. After digitizing I usually normalise the recordings to -1 dB, each track independently. I don`t declick, as I never liked the results. After adding metadata, I save them as 24/96 rips to harddisk. (BTW, a 24/96 file takes a LOT of space!)
Thx @glupson and @tkr
Memory shouldn't be a problem, I have lots of memory on my Mac, and I can also offload onto ext. drives
Wow, that Metric Halo looks stellar, high quality at all the right parts-
-inputs, power supplies, filters, ULN: ultra low noise, options to add "gooey tube" sounds digitally if wanted . The only thing holding me back is the price, using it for 2 months, then having to sell for a substantial loss before I leave the US.
-I also find it interesting that the Metric Halo is used with Audacity rather than Pure Vinyl, which would auto-populate all the song titles and metadata, rather than the time and effort of inputting this manually.
- I guess Im looking for great ADC sound, but also ease of function and workflow.
- Right now Im experimenting with 3 different NOS quads of tubes in my Chinook Phono Pre: 60s Siemens 12AT7 variant with low noise and some tube warmth and relatively higher gain than the other 2 NOS quads of Amperex 60s 6922s- an all-around great tube, but lower gain than say the Siemens or an Amperex 7308. Last quad is a 60s Tungsram 7DJ8.
Im recording both an old album with a poor recording that has been remastered- Dylan- the Basement Tapes,
and a modern band with a clean, modern recording - Air, Moon Safari.
-im recording these combinations right out of the Chinook into the Sony PCM, and also out thru the Chinook through the Calypso tubed preamp. When Im done, will compare them all. Ive also got the Nordost Heimdall coming (2 RCA terms to one 1/8" termination).
Im spending the rest of the afternoon bringing myself more up to date with potential recording software:
GarageBand- LOL, IM a lil out of touch, Garageband is only for mobile iOS platforms now, not laptops.
I should’ve done this earlier, but just FYI, here is the Sony PCM I might use for its ADC. Sony Pics below
"This lightweight, yet rugged high-resolution recorder features two-position (X-Y or Wide) stereo microphones, 32GB of internal flash memory and a SD-XC Card slot. Recording formats include linear PCM (at 192, 176.4, 96, 88.2, 48, and 44.1kHz), DSD (2.8224 MHz) and MP3 (320 and128 kbps). It also boasts a long battery life.
Pics of the Sony: just click on links
... and FWIW,
i plan on running the digi files through my Astell n Kern DAP/Digital Audio Player then either into my headphones or an active speaker.
Here is is the link for the DAP if anyone is interested.
If you manage to sell the LPs, by far the best suggestion here is to then purchase CDs of the same music. First, as many others have noted, digitizing hundreds of LPs will take a ridiculous amount of time, effort, and, to do it at all well, money. The kit in my pro-quailty LP to CD transcription and mastering studio runs close to $30,000 all totaled. Unless the LPs are truly rare and have never been released on CD, it’s not worth it.
Second, and this is important, it is neither legal NOR ethical to make a copy of any recording in ANY format and then dispose of the original recording. That original recording is your license to own a copy under copyright and fair use laws. It’s not likely that you’ll ever go to jail for a violation, but you WILL be ripping off the artist and others. Think about it, then buy a CD instead, and KEEP it. Ripping a CD then disposing of it is just as bad.
Wow what a lot of effort just to change 250 hours of music from one format to another one, and as one member mentioned, with a slight loss in quality and then to loose all of those nice album covers. Then you have to sell all the analogue stuff!
Africa is not all that third world, we have electricity and water, and mud walls are an excellent sound absorbent, just joking!
Pack your analogue treasure and bring it along.
Re: Metric Halo ULN 8
This might be a little OT here in the analog forum, but why don`t you simply buy the MH ULN 8 and sell your other stuff instead? The conversion is great, and I use mine as DAC/ADC/Pre, among other things. It has headphone outs as well, so all you would need is a set of active speakers and a Mac.
Interesting to hear that most people just buy CDs, when buying and listening to vinyl - the whole point was to NOT have to listen to the quirks and just plain bad recordings on CDs with the loudness wars, etc.
I have a lot of 70s albums- first pressings. IOWs, its the gold standard of recording: straight from the original tape to vinyl. And what of my 45 LPM MOFI collection? There are no suitable CD replacements, not even close, not even the SACDs put out by the same producer- MoFi get close to the detail and balance of the 45 12" albums.
But I hear what you are suggesting, and that is what I asked for, suggestions. At this point, I still want to transpose some vinyl, but otherwiseI can use CDs, downloads, or Tidal will fill in the music from selling the LPs.
Don't get me wrong, I love the big artwork of the vinyl as well, but I don't have storage here, and I don't know when I will return to the states.
Thats why- @tkr - the Metric Halo will not work for me. But I agree, its an awesome piece of kit, and if I was landlocked in the states, I would seriously be considering it.
And- @lastdayperfectmusic - "mud walls are an excellent sound absorbent"- LOL, but only if it is audiophile mud!!!!
OK, you’ve obviously got some exceptional LPs there. And certainly many historical recording have been trashed for several reasons, not only as a result of the "loudness war," in the remastering for CD. But transcribing and converting those LPs to digital and retaining their quality will be a very real challenge. Without top quality software and gear, and lots of experience, you may very well go to a lot of time and effort and be disappointed.
The most critical step is the initial playback and, especially, the ADC. Any distortion or ADC jitter becomes hard-coded into the digital file and is difficult or impossible to remove. Jitter in the ADC is particularly insidious because it can’t be removed and will often be increased with every processing algorithm applied to the digital file. Jittery ADC was the unrecognized bane of digital for the first 25+ years of digital sound recording and mastering. The current generation of ADCs has at last all but eliminated it.
For what you want to do, if you decide to do it, a used Mytec Stereo96 ADC should work just fine for LP to digital conversions. It’s studio quality, has low enough jitter that it’s not much of an issue, and a used one can be had on eBay for ±$600. Beyond that, Audacity may be sufficient as a digital audio workstation/editor (DAW), but I’ve never worked with it. I use Adobe Audition with several add-ins by iZotope & others along with 20+ years experience. Expensive and a big learning curve.
But in any case, for those collector LPs, try to find someone who can store them for you. You’re unlikely to get anything like their value reselling them, and certainly won’t if you sell them as a lot to a dealer. Moreover, as I noted before, those LPs are your license to have a digital copy of them. So good luck; you just never know.
I have been monitoring this forum for a few days now, hesitating about putting my two cents in, but here it goes:
I speak as someone who has been digitizing records for about twenty years. Don't digitize records just to have the music on hand. It is neither cost nor time efficient. It takes real time and effort to digitize a record, about 2 hours or more, so if you don’t have lots of time it will be a real grind. If you have an especially rare record and it needs to be cleaned up, by all means do it. But really, it is easier just to buy a new copy in whatever format you want to listen to it in.
I didn’t see where you were moving, but moving records overseas runs the risk of loss, damage or eventual warping. Whenever I have moved overseas (Korea, England, Panama, Gabon) I have stored my vinyl in the US. If you plan on not returning, you might consider selling them. Just consider the risks.
if you do just want to digitize your records, I have had great luck with Wave Repair. You can do a lot with it, but it takes some skill and patience.
As for equipment, I have never fussed too much over it. An integrated amp with a REC OUT into my computer has worked fine.
Get a used PS Audio Nuwave Phono Converter. It's a high quality, highly configureable phono stage and ADC. It records in double dsd and will convert to any PCM rate you desire. It was made for this process. $700-$800 on the used market right now. It also has line level analog inputs so you can still use the Chinook as a phono stage and just use the ADC in the nuwave to record.
I have been experimenting with digitizing vinyl and found a not too pricey solution that I think provides very close to equivalent performance to the
original vinyl. I bought an RME ADI-2 Pro AD/DA. I am using Vinylstudio which is pretty reasonable and designed for ripping vinyl from a workflow point of view. I am ripping @ 24/352 (aka DXD). Yes the files are big. (5GB for an album)...storage is cheap. My analog front end is a refurbedTechnics SP10 MKII / Basis Vector IV arm / Soundsmith Paua cartridge/ Tom Tutay tube phono..My digital playback is Lumin A1 streaming from Synology NAS. I think you can do an album in about 80 minutes beginning to end. Yes it is a lot of time.
will check out vinyl studio, thank you, and for the other info- helps me gauge my time, which Im running out of.
I received the Nordost Heimdall double RCA to 1/8" terminator yesterday. Burning it in. This was part of the main plan before I even posted this forum topic. To run a double RCA from the preAmp into the Sony PCM D100 for ADC and recording onto a Mem stick. The Heimdall was expensive, but I can resell it in a couple months without too big a loss $$ (there were none on the used market). But the Heimdall cable seems to be head and shoulders above the others in terms of SQ and without going over $500 for a cable. In a quick test, it sounded much much better than the Belkin. I haven't been impressed with the Sony ADC until now. It just needed better cohorts to increase SQ.
I was getting too much "hum/low level distortion" when waiting for the needle to drop. the distortion appears to be constant, eg it doesn't go away after the needle drops.
So I reduced the gain in the Chinook tubed phonoAmp from 65 to 60, and reduced the gain in the Calypso tubed PreAmp from 29 toto 22. Made an obvious difference, but not substantial. Eg. I can still here the hum, made I have some RFI or something. Ive cleaned up my electricity as much as possible.
I live off-grid, so Im using an "audiophile" :) gas generator for power (rolls eyes) running into the cabin in an open circuit. - To mitigate this, Ive got a Richard Gray Power Co/RGPC Pole Pig, a RGPC 400 Pro conditioner, and a Shunyata Hydra 2. When I daisy-chained these 3 components together, it was overload from my audio gear, even tho Im using low-power Class D DAC and amps. So I removed the Hydra, and it sounded better. But it looks like I should do more tests.
Oh, the challenges continue
Cool, thx @peter_s
Ive always found the Benchmark stuff to be really neutral and clean, but the Ayre has a more sublime sound, the nuances and overall balance and musicality being strong points.
Can someone help me with this ????
So Im doing practice recordings from vinyl onto the Sony PCM D100 ADC portable recorder, and Im not a musician or sound guy.
I want to know the best gain setting to record my vinyl digitalization and for recording in general.
Ive read on the web, to use -12dB as a guide. That is also what the Sony manual says. But Ive also seen recs to record up to -6dB.
So what is the difference in SQ in recording up to -6dB versus -12dB??
What parameters should I use??
[There is a graphic display on the Sony that I can use to guide the gain setting- here is a link to see the Sony -dB scale:
Different albums/ CDs have different gain as well, so that is another factor. Ive made some test recordings of -12dB and up to -6dB, sometimes a difference in SQ, sometimes not.
I understand that the -6/-12dB choice partially depends on the actual recording, as most things do in audio, but what about specifically for vinyl? or in general?