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Vinyl to 24 bit FLAC - low budget


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53 minutes ago, ChuckM6421 said:

Thank you. I have Audacity. I dread Audacity.

To be honest, it’s an excellent program that does its job very, very well - it’s just a bit tedious to use for ripping vinyl.  Once you get used to it, set up as you want it, and learn the few manual steps required, it’s easy.  And while Vinyl Studio is great software, it too requires the step of splitting the captured record side into tracks by identifying the sonic lulls between them.  It’s not that much faster or easier than Audacity once you get the flow down, except for adding track names - but you have to be careful with tags to make sure your rips are recognized and indexed by your music management software if you use Vinyl Studio to name tracks from lists in internet dbs (which can be ordered differently from your pressing because there are so many digital versions of most vinyl out there now and they differ in the order and inclusion of tracks).

Vinyl Studio has a lot of features that you’ll find in Audacity as well, like normalization and EQ.  Its depopping/declicking  function seems no better to me than Audacity’s.  If what it adds over Audacity is worth $30 to you ($50 for the “pro” version), it does work well.  But for a dozen albums, it hardly seems worth its cost to me.

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2 hours ago, StephenJK said:

I've always had a much better than average turntable and cartridge and have all the tools to do a proper setup. 

That’s one of the keys to preserving the grooves.  Everything from basic arm and cartridge alignment to tracking errors to wrong stylus pressure to a worn or dirty tip will cause groove damage.  Using stylus pressure below the range recommended by the cartridge maker was a very common practice because of the erroneous belief (and associated bragging) that lower was always better.  But the minor tracking problems caused by slight bouncing of the stylus over heavily modulated areas caused damage even though most people didn’t hear the effect at the time or didn’t know what caused it.

Despite the widespread belief that properly cleaned records played on good equipment that’s well set up will remain exactly as pressed, there’s a lot of info on the basic science of vinyl record stock (which is actually a PVC) about how it ages and how it changes from repeated vibration, flexing etc.  These changes can and sometimes do affect SQ.  Read about the use of classic test records like the CBS Labs STRxxx series.  CBS and professional users would only use those discs about a dozen times because accuracy suffered measurably even on the best recording lab equipment. I still have my original STR100 - these are amazing tools, with the test frequencies recorded from sine wave generators direct to the mastering lathe to eliminate as much distortion and other artifacts as possible.


The material is incompletely viscoelastic - any deformation takes a little time to return incompletely to its pre-deformed state.  It work-hardens from vibration and other causes of flexing.  There are many different vinyls in records, and each formula contains different plasticizers, stabilizers, and other additives that affect how it ages.  I was a bit disappointed in the SQ when comparing several of my vinyl rips to good Redbook versions - not all records remain pristine at the level of the grooves if played a lot.  Colored vinyl is often more prone to wear because of the added pigments.  Translucent vinyl is similarly more prone to audible wear.  I have some translucent red LPs (eg Clare Fischer Pacific Jazz discs) that show this very clearly.


Viva vinyl!

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9 minutes ago, StephenJK said:

Why, I might even pull out the single malt instead of the everyday blended stuff.  

My wife & I also love amari for this purpose.  She prefers Montenegro on ice & I crave Strega.  Fine food and drink complement the joy of music by adding modes of sensory pleasure.  We put the hedonist in audiophile!

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