Ripping Vinyl...

Discussion in 'Software & Electronica' started by tictactux, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    ...or speaking of Zooms...

    Tonight I thought about ripping my old vinyl records and idly window-shopped for an USB turntable when I suddenly remembered my old turntable in the attic. So I blew the dust off it, grabbed cables and all and plugged it into the Mic/Line-In of my Zoom H1, pressed the record butten et voilà, it works! I was somewhat surprised and thought I had inadvertedly engaged the preamp in the turntable (it's an old Panasonic SL-N5 w/ built-in preamp and "line out" signal levels) but no, preamp off.

    Before I could do some more in-depth research, the belt of the turntable broke (hey, it's 25+ years old) and left me in silence. (at least that part is cheaper than a whole new apparatus)

    But the prospect of letting the Zoom do the dirty work (with its presumably better A/D converter than the average laptop) makes me looking forward to the next rainy weekend...

    Now I wonder if I'm just lucky or if the Zoom is indeed capable of recording vinyl without a preamp in between... :?:
     
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  2. Ed

    Ed Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Interesting experiment. I have some old reel to reel that I need to get into my audio program but I don't have a reel to reel. :)
     
  3. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    How much fidelity do you think you lost. I luv my Zoom, but it isn't as good a what I hear with my ears for a live band. I'd say the recording is 80% or less of the whole sound spectrum. But I'd be hard pressed to prove it.
     
  4. tictactux

    tictactux Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Yeah, but you got your noggin on a tilt and swivel mount, with a ton of built-in filters (acoustical and opto-acoustical, just think of that gorgeous blonde with the thin tone but the water-blue eyes...but I digress), so that's somewhat difficult for a recording device of any breed to compete. :cool:

    I do expect some loss, but it'd probably still be miles ahead of those thin-and-transparent-played tapes we used to "burn" (cough) back then...
     
  5. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    What are "vinyl records"?

    :p
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I learned to love my Mac. The audio in plug plus I have a left/right old type stereo channel to an audio plug cable. I have some old Gershwin vinyl records, high school audio tapes and UM jazz band audio tapes which I easily rip.

    My PC laptop though is a horrible audio / video recording device. audio-wise it records very choppy .. guess that's what i get with a 64bit dual core processor and Vista. Even my iPod touch records better than the laptop, which ironically also cost more.
     
  7. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    It's really the audio card/chipset you have, not necessarily the speed of the processor. If you've got an 8-bit sound card, it's not going to sound good unless you're recording a 4-bit synth. Get a 24-bit or higher sound card. However, if you wanna use that as an excuse to get a new computer, I'm all for it.

    I also mentioned, elsewhere, that one of the other problems is getting the audio from a good source. Cassette and vinyl are problems because, while the audio out may sound OK through your speakers, is it in tune? you need pitch control or some music editing software.

    Oh. final thought. When you do capture the audio, make sure you've used a lossless format, like FLAC or ALAC (that's what you can choose on your ipod). If you're capturing it as MP3, you might get a nice, small file, but you've lost a lot of audio quality.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Yup, mac and laptop were both $350. The mac can do sound and video fantastically, whereas the laptops video buffering etc is non-existent and provide nice big gaps in audio and video recording. The cooling fan stinks too, but hey, it was cheap.
     
  9. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    You get what you pay for :p.

    I have done quite a bit private consulting. A lot of my jobs were, "What kind of computer should I get?"-based. It's a bit more difficult than you think. For example, when the users are, say, graphics artists, when they say "cheap computer," it really means "a computer that's better than what 99% of folks use and must have all these extras -- but try to make it somewhat inexpensive"

    Amusingly, we've also been "auditioning" new make/model computers where I work. I could easily look at the machines and determine which ones we were going to end up buying just by looking at their specs. They decided to buy test units, anyhow, and ended up going with the machine I thought they would. Well, that means the test units are going to become my toys. I'll find appropriate uses for 'em.
     

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