Teaching the Grandson About Vinyl
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    Teaching the Grandson About Vinyl

    I settled into cleaning a few old vinyl records to record into the computer this morning. My grandson was amazed at the idea that the sound was in those grooves. Nothing quite like setting the stylus onto an old LP.

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    glc, etcallhome, Gizmo2 and 5 others like this.
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    I am still amazed that the sound was in those grooves!

    I have a large collection of old 33, 45 and even some 78rpm vinyl, and would love to know more about how to transfer it to a computer!

    I think it is great that your grandson is getting the experience that he is, with your project!
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    It's quite simple to record vinyl or cassettes into the computer. The nice thing is it takes time, you get to sit back with the headphones on and groove to the tunes. Here is the way I do it although there might be a more simple way:

    1. I set up an old stereo with a cassette deck and turntable next to the computer.
    2. The stereo must have a "Phono" input for the turntable.
    3. Connect the "Tape Out" jacks on the back of the stereo to a 1/8" jack and plug it into the "line In" jack on the computer.
    4. I use a Roxio software to capture the audio into the computer. There is an Auto Recording Level feature that works good. There are other software that work good too such as Audacity but I like the Roxio product the best.
    5. I record the entire album or cassette in .wav format for maximum quality. Recording directly to .mp3 is not as good, it sounds slightly muddy.
    6. I make sure the filters on the stereo such as Loudness and Hi Filter are off and the bass and treble are in a fairly neutral position. I like the music to come off as original as possible but sometimes I have to slightly condition it a little, usually adding a little treble.
    7. I use the Edit Audio feature in Roxio to import the entire recording to clean up a little of the clicks and pops, not too much though because I like the sound of a few clicks and pops. It is nice though to take out the hiss from cassette tapes.
    8. Then I split the recording into individual clips for each song and export them to a folder in the computer converting them to .mp3 while exporting. (.wav format is needed for CD's but .mp3 works best on the iPod)
    9. After exporting I edit the audio tags with the names of the songs, the track numbers, and album name, artist, year recorded, etc.
    10. Then I import the folder of the entire album into iTunes, plug in my iPod Classic to copy them onto the iPod for use on the house stereo or for travelling.
    11. I back up all the folders onto an external hard drive also. When you have close to 10,000 tunes you don't want to lose them. This leaves me with three digital copies plus the vinyl or cassette.


    I did try one of those USB digital turntables some time ago but I took it back after the first couple of albums, it just didn't sound right to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    It's quite simple to record vinyl or cassettes into the computer. The nice thing is it takes time, you get to sit back with the headphones on and groove to the tunes. Here is the way I do it although there might be a more simple way:
    1. I set up an old stereo with a cassette deck and turntable next to the computer.
    2. The stereo must have a "Phono" input for the turntable.
    3. Connect the "Tape Out" jacks on the back of the stereo to a 1/8" jack and plug it into the "line In" jack on the computer.
    4. I use a Roxio software to capture the audio into the computer. There is an Auto Recording Level feature that works good. There are other software that work good too such as Audacity but I like the Roxio product the best.
    5. I record the entire album or cassette in .wav format for maximum quality. Recording directly to .mp3 is not as good, it sounds slightly muddy.
    6. I make sure the filters on the stereo such as Loudness and Hi Filter are off and the bass and treble are in a fairly neutral position. I like the music to come off as original as possible but sometimes I have to slightly condition it a little, usually adding a little treble.
    7. I use the Edit Audio feature in Roxio to import the entire recording to clean up a little of the clicks and pops, not too much though because I like the sound of a few clicks and pops. It is nice though to take out the hiss from cassette tapes.
    8. Then I split the recording into individual clips for each song and export them to a folder in the computer converting them to .mp3 while exporting. (.wav format is needed for CD's but .mp3 works best on the iPod)
    9. After exporting I edit the audio tags with the names of the songs, the track numbers, and album name, artist, year recorded, etc.
    10. Then I import the folder of the entire album into iTunes, plug in my iPod Classic to copy them onto the iPod for use on the house stereo or for travelling.
    11. I back up all the folders onto an external hard drive also. When you have close to 10,000 tunes you don't want to lose them. This leaves me with three digital copies plus the vinyl or cassette.

    I did try one of those USB digital turntables some time ago but I took it back after the first couple of albums, it just didn't sound right to me.
    Never thought about backing them up, great IDEA. I don't want to lose what we have either. easy to hide a backup, not as easy to hide an entire collection from a thief.
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    felixm22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    It's quite simple to record vinyl or cassettes into the computer. The nice thing is it takes time, you get to sit back with the headphones on and groove to the tunes. Here is the way I do it although there might be a more simple way:

    1. I set up an old stereo with a cassette deck and turntable next to the computer.
    2. The stereo must have a "Phono" input for the turntable.
    3. Connect the "Tape Out" jacks on the back of the stereo to a 1/8" jack and plug it into the "line In" jack on the computer.
    4. I use a Roxio software to capture the audio into the computer. There is an Auto Recording Level feature that works good. There are other software that work good too such as Audacity but I like the Roxio product the best.
    5. I record the entire album or cassette in .wav format for maximum quality. Recording directly to .mp3 is not as good, it sounds slightly muddy.
    6. I make sure the filters on the stereo such as Loudness and Hi Filter are off and the bass and treble are in a fairly neutral position. I like the music to come off as original as possible but sometimes I have to slightly condition it a little, usually adding a little treble.
    7. I use the Edit Audio feature in Roxio to import the entire recording to clean up a little of the clicks and pops, not too much though because I like the sound of a few clicks and pops. It is nice though to take out the hiss from cassette tapes.
    8. Then I split the recording into individual clips for each song and export them to a folder in the computer converting them to .mp3 while exporting. (.wav format is needed for CD's but .mp3 works best on the iPod)
    9. After exporting I edit the audio tags with the names of the songs, the track numbers, and album name, artist, year recorded, etc.
    10. Then I import the folder of the entire album into iTunes, plug in my iPod Classic to copy them onto the iPod for use on the house stereo or for travelling.
    11. I back up all the folders onto an external hard drive also. When you have close to 10,000 tunes you don't want to lose them. This leaves me with three digital copies plus the vinyl or cassette.


    I did try one of those USB digital turntables some time ago but I took it back after the first couple of albums, it just didn't sound right to me.
    Though that is one means to an end I would recommend using an external audio interface(sound card). Computers are extremely noisy electronically speaking, so doing the conversion in an external USB or FireWire device is optimal. Also most of the sound cards that are built into computers use low level analog to digital converters and digital to analog converters, you can think of as the difference between your point and shoot camera and the high end Canon or Nikon you see on the sidelines of an NFL foot ball game.
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    I heard something like that before Felixm22 about the sound card, I'll have to look into that for sure. I recently connected to a vinyl forum and there seems to be a lot of similar good ideas there.
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    felixm22's Avatar
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    I sold audio recording equipment for over a decade. The quality of the converters makes all of the difference in the world. I had a customer that spent $800 on a DAC/headphone amp.
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    Carvel Loafer's Avatar
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    $800 might be a little steep but I'll definitely look into this part of it. This is just a cold weather hobby for me and the quality of recording is getting better with each new thing I learn.
    Workin hard at loafing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carvel Loafer View Post
    $800 might be a little steep but I'll definitely look into this part of it. This is just a cold weather hobby for me and the quality of recording is getting better with each new thing I learn.
    A decent interface will run about $99.99. I was just saying some audiophiles will drop tractor kind of money in the pursuit of quality audio.
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