Converting your Vinyl / LP’s to CDPosted: August 19, 2007
I recently had some LP’s lying around of which no ‘remastered’ CD version I could find in the local stores. Since neither a LP nor a record player is very portable and also subject to degradation like wear after several times playing, I decided to digitalize them in order to burn them on a CD and even MP3.Some would argue that the analogue sound of vinyl has a broader frequency range and subjectively a ‘warmer’ sound which gets lost in the digitalizing (sampling). This may be true but I can not hear the difference and that may be because my hifi equipment isn’t that expensive as the ones audiophiles have.
So now that I have created the background and considerations this is how I converted my LP’s to CD:
Step 1: Equipment
I used a debut Pro-ject Debut III with build in pre-amplifier. The sound quality of the debut is very good especially for the price at which is offered. If you want better sound quality you would have to exponentially increase your budget.
For digitalization I used my laptop with an external USB sound card, in this case the Imic, but any external card would suffice. The reason its external is because my line-in of my laptop performed very poor and was subject to internal electronic interference.
The LP’s itself I cleaned with using a micro fibre cleaning cloth wetted with an mixture of 25% Isopropyl alcohol and 75% distilled water which you can acquire separately at your local drugstore or supermarket. Make sure to go over the LP in a circular motion. This worked well since my LP’s were relatively in good condition. If they are really dirty you should consider submersing the LP and playing them wet.
Step 2:The software
For recording I used the open source program Audacity, recording to WAV 16bit PCM. Be sure to set the record level (windows/configuration/sound) of the line-in just high enough without peaking (hitting 0 dB) which results in distorted sound.
You will notice some hiss and clicking in your record. If you can live with it or even like the authentic sound you should leave it since any tampering with the sound will always be at best an approximation and at worst degradation or deletion of sounds. However I decided to put a mild reduction of hiss and click with a minimal trade off of reduction in sound fidelity/quality.
After saving the recorded wav file I used Click Repair to remove the clicks and pops. Of all the programs I tried this one was the best in removing pops and clicks while maintaining sound quality. After removing the pops and clicks I opened the .wav file in Audacity which has a nice feature called Effect/Noise Removal. First select a part with noise/hiss in it, the best is to take the transition part between two tracks. Then go to Effect/Noise Removal and click ‘Get Noise Profile’. Then select the complete recording (select all) and adjust the slide bar to the lowest ‘less’ as shown in the picture:
Any higher will to my opinion ruin the quality significantly. Be sure to first remove the pops and clicks and then remove the hiss/noise. The other way around will result in lower sound quality.
After that you can split the recorded LP and export to multiple tracks as explained >here<.
If you have any comments or recommendations please leave a comment below!