Jump to content
IGNORED

Digitizing my vinyl collection


MikeD
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone - first time poster, I visit the website daily and appreciate the group. I just picked up a used 1st generation Well Tempered Labs Amadeus TT with new WTL TLC moving magnet cartridge (big upgrade from my first TT 11+ years ago). I'm so happy with the purchase, got lucky to have called my local Cleveland audio dealer and got it before he had a chance to post it for sale. I took a vacation day to work on the house, needless to say I haven't been nearly as productive as I hoped (took the dogs for a run in the park, made some food and coffee, started pulling out records...) So I'm pulling a bunch of records i want to hear on the new table (Talk Talk Laughing Stock reissue, DJ Shadow Endtroducing mainly because it could never track on my first record player, Tricky Maxinquaye, Slint Spiderland Remaster from AAA source, Wu Tang Enter the 36 Chambers, A Tribe called Quest Low End Theory to hear that Ron Carter double bass, Shellac 1000 Hurts & At Action Park, Jesus Lizard Goat remaster by Bob Weston, Cocteau Twins re-release of Blue Bell Knoll, some Miles and Coltrane...) and I see my old hand-me-down copies of Led Zeppelin (my 1st love), Cream, Blind Faith. It turns out that I have an Atlantic Robert Ludwig pressing of Zeppelin II in VG+ condition (insane! John Bonham is in my living room destroys 2014 Jimmy Page remaster which sounds sterile in comparison), Robert Ludwig Houses of the Holy NM condition (same comment as LZII), 1st press Blind Faith US ATCO in NM+ (I bought this for $3 at Square Records in Akron, love this album, best i've heard, it sounds ALIVE!, beats the pants off HD tracks) and VG+ stereo ATCO Disraeli Gears (again beats HD tracks IMO).

On the same topic, I was scrolling through Album list - Dynamic Range Database and saw someone upload some vinyl rips with HIGH DR values (Mahavishnu Orchestra Apocalypse, some excellent jazz albums). The poster had a link to his site, here: Experience Pure Vinyl - Pure Vinyl Club

So now I see the light, I'm interested in digitizing my vinyl collection so I can have it with me when I'm not home. I've read the excellent guide Chris posted from 2013 and this AnalogPlanet A/D shootout article Analog To Digital Converter Files Identified, Converters Profiled | Analog Planet. I'm curious if anyone here is doing the same and could recommend ripping software and equipment? I'm interested in Rob Robinson's ChannelD PureVinyl software, his Seta Phono preamps (big $$$$ in my world but if it lives up to the hype I would get one), and an A/D converter that would deliver on the same level as the ChannelD Seta if thats what I went with.

Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can spend a fortune on hardware/software to do this but it can also be done very inexpensively (as in FREE).

Download the free software Audicity to your computer.

Audacity®

There's a ton of excellent documentation on how to record vinyl with it. Do a little reading, plug your phono amp's output into the line input of your computer and rip a few albums at the data rate of your choice.

Then play it back on your system and judge the resulting SQ for yourself. I ripped about 500 LP's using this software and using both a highly resolving HiFi system or direct into Sennheiser HD650 headphones and the rips were indistinguishable from the originals to me.

YMMV but it doesn't cost a cent to find out.

Good Luck

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Audacity is great and free but there was quite a learning curve (for me at least).

 

For 30$ VinylStudio is a truly amazing ripping software and super easy to learn/use. Will make your life so much easier. Plus you get the discogs.com library search. A non-brainer at this price. IMHO of course.

 

Record LPs and Tapes to CD and MP3 on your PC or Macintosh

 

Also, the Michael Fremer ADC test was quite an eye opener for me as to how subtle the differences were (If any) between all those great components.

 

Have fun!

Arcam rDAC / Oppo BDP-83 / NAD 315BEE / Totem Arro

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Audacity is great and free but there was quite a learning curve (for me at least).

For 30$ VinylStudio is a truly amazing ripping software and super easy to learn/use. Will make your life so much easier. Plus you get the discogs.com library search. A non-brainer at this price. IMHO of course.

Record LPs and Tapes to CD and MP3 on your PC or Macintosh

Also, the Michael Fremer ADC test was quite an eye opener for me as to how subtle the differences were (If any) between all those great components.

Have fun!

That looks like a very interesting piece of software and very user friendly. Free to demo and only $30 for a license, how can ya go wrong.

I did my ripping a number of years back when alternatives were slim to none. Specially since I run Linux.

Another option for ya MikeD, it's not necessary to spend thousands to do quality rips, don't get suckered. ;)

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate the feedback, agreed that Fremer's A/D shootout displayed very little difference to my ear but my system is modest, glad you listened. Any other vinyl rippers out there with recommendations I'd love to hear them. To be clear, I'm interested in ripping 24/96 minimum, possibly 24/192 or even dsd if the equipment allows.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ripping records can result in files that are anywhere from mediocre, to fantastic. Of course, it depends so much on everything in the playback system but provided that some attention is paid to getting the knack before starting you can make files that will be indistinguishable from the LP playback.

 

My experience doing this suggested that an ADC was going to give me more control over the creation process. Mainly I wanted more gain control than sound card input afforded me. I did use Audacity but settled on a similar but somewhat different capture tool. I did find though that one thing Audacity really excelled at was revealing clipping events so in the end I did use it for that purpose, but not for capturing.

 

I chose to use a Tascam US-366 ADC which is a reasonably good device available for a modest cost. It offers a good selection of inputs and outputs although some configuring of patch chords may be required as this device is intended for pro-use. It connects to a PC using USB and comes with stable drivers, it integrated into my system quite well. The point of using a box is manual level controls. This allowed me to "ride the gain" and make recordings with more gain and no clipping events. Well, maybe not "no" clipping events because with high gain this can be very difficult to do.

 

Perhaps clipping events are less of a problem than I think, IDK. In the capture software you will assert the bitrate and frequency that you wish to capture at. My experience suggested that more always was better so while 16/44 sounds quite nice, 24/96 is better and 24/192 better still. This does depend largely on the record, how clean you have managed to get it and the turntable/tonearm/cartridge combination that you will use. Very thorough and careful cleaning is absolutely necessary. Indeed I found my results depended significantly on this record cleaning process. But care produced rewarding results, often quite beyond expectation.

 

I found that the Hi-Fi should not be on when doing this job. It's not needed either as connections should be Analog Phono output --> ADC --> Digital to PC via USB. Nothing else is required as the US-366 has an adequate headphone/monitoring connection which is what I use. Do understand that this capture process involves capturing the output from a playing record so you must play the entire record. I chose to capture 1 song at a time which was not so tedious, but does require user intervention. Some software will offer to split a large "all-in-one" output file but I did not go down that road. Your files will be best created initially as WAVE files, they will be devoid of all meta-data however, dbPowerAmp will embed tag data into wave files if you chose to do that, and even some players will recognize the data and show it. But that is not normal wave file operation so a conversion to FLAC for library playback will be required at some point.

 

So from this you should be pointed in the right direction, still lots of details to work out and absorb, but trial and error will guide you and in the end, the results can be very rewarding. Often today, this can be the only way to obtain digital files for long lost and obscure music that has never been commercially digitized.

 

 

One aspect of doing this is that it does lend itself more to certain music styles. Song oriented music was easy, classical or "gapless" music usually resulted in a per side process. Oh, and you will make many rather large files so some extra drives will go a long way towards protecting your efforts. A song @ 24/192 = 65MB/minute.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks audguy! Agreed on the A/DC with gain control and chain recommendations, the goal is high quality since vinyl has more to offer (even if the vinyl is digitally sourced, agreed again on cleaning the records, was thinking of MacGyver-ing a record cleaning setup with a 160w ultrasonic cleaner and a modified suction nozzle attached to a shop vac (those records cleaning machines are really just these two things in one fancy package). Based on Fremers shootout, a decent A/DC could suffice while a better phono preamplifier & phono cartridge would improve the digital capture. I'll look into some A/DC's and download the Audacity and vinyl studio software. Thanks again, any further advice is welcome.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Vinyl Studio is the go to software for a large number of people. It has great tools for doing click, hum, hiss removal. It also uses discogs and other sources for album information including track names and timing. No other package that I know of has this capability.

 

As to A to D converters, there are plenty of options depending on your price range and the rest of your systems. At $100, the Tascam DR-05 is a great option for 24/96 digitizing. The DR-100mkIII steps up to 24/192. The $900 Tascam DA-3000 is a very fine option. The Korg DS-DAC-100 is also a fine option ($700). The Tascom units record to a disk whereas the Korg goes directly to a PC via USB.

 

Be careful of DSD. You cannot do any corrections to it. Removing clicks, hum, hiss, etc. is not an option.

 

There are lots of threads on A to D converters. Do some searching and you will find lots of discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi MikeD, I have been using a Spin-Clean for years. The simple yellow plastic tub does require a little technique but does a great job without any technology. The cleaning solution used will find rather a lot more grunge in those grooves than one might suspect ... even new records seem to need cleaning. The final polishing with cheese-cloth does seem kind of crude but has worked very well for me. Comparison with $commercial$ cleaning machines suggests the Spin-Clean to be quite effective.

 

As to the ADC, I like the unit I have and it does the job, I did consider the Tascam DA-3000 but that hasn't happened yet which suggests I like the US-366 enough to stay with it. When it comes to gear, there is always something better for a price, but sometimes it's not so obvious that it is better.

 

I find ripping records happens on an as I feel like it basis. It can be somewhat tedious and does require setup and preparation. So when the urge strikes, I get all the gear in place, select a bunch of records then clean them and start playing and ripping. Sometimes it will take me a day or so, and sometimes it's a more sporadic week or so.

 

My record collection is not so huge being about 800 albums and my ambitions don't include ripping every album I have. But I have been grinding away at this and done about a couple hundred so I still have a ways to go. But winter is upon us now so some more will get done over the next few months ... I hope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Digitized my albums long ago, using something called Diamond Cut software with Audiomentor UI which allows for all sorts of audio forensics and DSP. Has all the usual declickers and de-hissers, but allows total control over them, and also the ability to alter sounds with DSP such as adding "tube" sound - even choices of what kind of tube and tube amp. But it costs bucks.

 

None of that is really necessary, as noted above. As far as "cleaning up" various noise on LP recordings, I recommend going with a very light hand. I didn't even try to totally eliminate clicks and noise, just to reduce their volume if it was really bad. Too heavy a hand with those tools ruins the sound.

 

The biggest downer with digitizing LPs is separating tracks and tagging. And don't fool yourself, you really do need to do that with each LP. If you don't you will regret it afterwards, I think. Programs that help you tag and separate tracks help. Even though none of the "track separating" programs work perfectly, they often do a good enough job that just one or two adjustments gets the job done. I recommend using one.

 

I think you may be amazed how good the rips sound. Good ones sound like you are playing back vinyl.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doubt if anything will do a noticeably better SQ job than the Tascam DA-3000.

 

It would probably be a slightly slower process than direct to computer with software, but it saves onto SD and CF cards, so the recordings are easily transferrable to your computer afterwards.

 

Just my 2p (I use one as the master recorder in my studio)

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The biggest downer with digitizing LPs is separating tracks and tagging. And don't fool yourself, you really do need to do that with each LP. If you don't you will regret it afterwards, I think. Programs that help you tag and separate tracks help. Even though none of the "track separating" programs work perfectly, they often do a good enough job that just one or two adjustments gets the job done. I recommend using one.

I was way too lazy for all that. But I'm a dinosaur and never listen to just tracks in any case, grew up on vinyl and always just played a whole side minimum. All my rips are just that way, just Side 1 and Side 2 files.

I did save all the original Audacity files thinking someday I might want to go back and slice up the tracks, never have.

But that's just me. :)

"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was way too lazy for all that. But I'm a dinosaur and never listen to just tracks in any case, grew up on vinyl and always just played a whole side minimum. All my rips are just that way, just Side 1 and Side 2 files.

I did save all the original Audacity files thinking someday I might want to go back and slice up the tracks, never have.

But that's just me. :)

 

Sure, if you know you are always going to listen to whole album sides it doesn't matter. But if you think you will want separate tracks part of the time, it's important to take care of it at the time you record. Once a person gets a large number of recordings that haven't had that done in the HD inventory, it's unlikely that they will be able to go back and take care of them. A lot more likely you will take a few minutes as part of the original process than it is that you will go back and do it once 20, or 50, or 100 albums pile up.

 

Oh, and one more bit of advice: get a second HD (external) and back up your finished rips at the same time you make them. Takes just a click, and WILL at some point save you some heartache - either from HD crash and loss of all your rips, or accidental deletion of something from your collection of rips. That shit happens to everyone at some point.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

+9999

 

Actually have at least two separately stored backups, preferably one offsite.

 

 

Oh, and one more bit of advice: get a second HD (external) and back up your finished rips at the same time you make them. Takes just a click, and WILL at some point save you some heartache - either from HD crash and loss of all your rips, or accidental deletion of something from your collection of rips. That shit happens to everyone at some point.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I undertake this task several times with different hardware and software. As the time spent for a LP is about 2,5h it is better to do the good choice from the beginning.

Now I'm satisfied of my setup which lead to digital files that keep the good analogue sound of my discs.

Here is:

CARTRIDGE: Benz Micro ACE SL

TONEARM: Dynavector DV505

PRE-AMP PHONO: Ray Samuels F-117 Nighthawk

These three components produce the line level signal. For digitizing my setup is:

A/D CONVERTER: Apogee Duet 2

SOFTWARE FOR RECORDING: Izotope RX5 (the base version is OK, value=249$)

Izotope RX5 allows for click and pops cleaning up (default settings for vinyl are provided). Also noise reduction and equalization is possible for advanced users.

The batch processing function in Izotope RX5 allows to perform the cleaning overnight (it is a processing consuming task) on several recordings.

Then the less automated tasks: cutting the file in files corresponding to disc tracks and adding names to the files and meta-data. Just now I didn't find a better process than the one I will describe below. If someone has an idea .....

TRACK SPLITTING: Wavecorrector; a PC only software that I use on the mac through Windows 7 on Parallels. This is the only PC-based task. You could put names on track here, but I prefer to do that latter. Wavecorrector support files with a maximum resolution of 24 bits/96 kHz. Think to save in this resolution after recording in RX5 (Save as file format=WAVE; Set Output options = 24 bits, Dithering=Noise shaping (MBIT+))

TRACK PROCESSING: I use the Media Rage software Tools/"Media Converter" to convert WAVE files into AIFF files because AIFF support meta-data. I use Media Rage to add meta-data using Tools/"Quick edit multiple files".

If you named the file with the disc track name ex: "Bach - BWV 639 Prelude de Choral.aiff" then the meta-data title of the track will be "Bach - BWV 639 Prelude de Choral".

 

Sorry for the long post but it is not a simple process to digitize.

I requested the cut feature in RX5 as this feature would simplify the process. Perhaps a day ....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

abraxas - You might want to look at Vinyl Studio. From breaking up the tracks, it does lookup in several databases including Discogs and Music Benz. It imports the track names and timings which greatly simplifies the process. Discogs is great because it is a datbase of records, not CDS. You still need to select the exact track breaks to account for different lead in times and the length of breaks between tracks, but all you need to do is put your cursor on the line and move it where you want. Hold down the control key and you can cut out as much of the track break as you want to. Fades are available if you want. It also declicks an album in just a minute or two. RX5 is a nice tool, but VS does a real good job on cleanup. I can do track beaks, tagging and cleanup in 15 to 30 minutes, unless the record is really damaged. It handles PCM up to 192 KHz and DSD up to 4x. It support AIFF and FLAC. Its a great program that is way under priced. I suggest you take a look.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...