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Recording LPs to MP3

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Anonymous
January 16, 2005 10:30:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I'm finally getting around to converting my many LP records to digital media
and I'm looking for suggestions on software that would make it easier.

What I would like to do is send a signal from my lineout on my stereo to the
line in on my computer. I'm looking for opinions on software that would
then capture that signal and ultimately save it to MP3. Along the way, it
would be best if the software would automatically detect the different
tracks and split the audio into multiple files; crackle and other filters
would be good as well. Really great would be to have the software also talk
to the online databases to get tag information and then store that
information with the new file.

Also, what are your experiences with using a microphone instead of an actual
line in?

I have looked at Polderbits and it does the capture, has some nice
filtering, and can split things to multiple files. Unfortunately I need to
record with my laptop and then process on my desktop and Polderbits would
require two copies of the software to accomplish this.

The LP Recorder/LP Ripper seems to pop up a lot on google but this stuff
seems quite pricey. It looks like it does the same type of things that
Polderbits does but costs more. Opinions?

I also see DAK has a low end solution full of the normal Drew sales talk.
Not sure how well this stuff would work but it is the low price contender
that does capture, split, and some type of filtering. Opinions?

Tag & Rename looks like a good program for adding tag information but that
is all it does. Are there other programs that do Tag&Rename functionality
but also record, split, and filter?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Jeff

More about : recording lps mp3

Anonymous
January 17, 2005 8:43:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 19:30:12 +0000, Jeff Miller wrote:

> I'm finally getting around to converting my many LP records to digital media
> and I'm looking for suggestions on software that would make it easier.

I use Adobe Audition for recording and processing LP to digital. (I was
originally a Cool Edit user, but Adobe bought them and offered an
upgrade.) The post conversion processing available on Audition is simply
amazing; click and hiss reduction, filters of all stripes, amplitude,
delay, time/pitch editing and so on, up to and including multichannel
capability.

My procedures are not very "automatic" as I strongly prefer prefer
cutting the LP into tracks myself. With the tools available, it is
stunning the level of restoration that can be achieved with an old LP.

I would suggest also keeping a copy of any converted LP in CD format to
preserve the WAV format. Uncompressed WAV files are much more amenable to
future improvement than MP3 files. MP3s are great in their own way, but
you can end up with some weird sounding effects and distortion if you
attempt to open an MP3, process further and re-save.




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Anonymous
January 17, 2005 10:33:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 19:30:12 GMT, "Jeff Miller" <jeffmiller@mn.rr.com>
wrote:

>I'm finally getting around to converting my many LP records to digital media
>and I'm looking for suggestions on software that would make it easier.
>
>What I would like to do is send a signal from my lineout on my stereo to the
>line in on my computer. I'm looking for opinions on software that would
>then capture that signal and ultimately save it to MP3. Along the way, it
>would be best if the software would automatically detect the different
>tracks and split the audio into multiple files; crackle and other filters
>would be good as well. Really great would be to have the software also talk
>to the online databases to get tag information and then store that
>information with the new file.

From the above paragraph, it looks like you're hoping to make this
task as automatic and painless as possible. There *are* packages out
there that do some of what you want, but I suspect you may not be too
happy with the results. If you want to transfer LP to a digital format
and do it *well*, you need to be prepared to put in some effort and
take each stage separately.

1. Recording the LP to hard disk. Don't encode it straight to MP3, or
any other compressed format. Record to uncompressed WAV format. There
are two reasons for this:
(i) Lots of useful processing tools you might want to utilise only
work on WAV files. Some others will work on MP3, but they just decode
it to WAV on the fly. So just stick with WAV.
(ii) Some other better encoder might come along in the future (who
knows, you might decide to switch to Ogg Vorbis, or Musepack, or MP4,
etc). You'll want the original uncompressed audio available.
Transcoding from MP3 will lose you quality, and you *really* don't
want to transfer again from the LPs.
Even if you eventually encode the WAVs to MP3 for day-to-day playback,
keep uncompressed (or lossless compressed, such as FLAC or APE) copies
as an archive.

2. Splitting into tracks. Any automatic splitter *will* make mistakes
some of the time, and once the tracks are split, it's a pain to try
and stitch them back together so you can manually split them in the
right place. So record the LP sides as single large WAV files, and
split them later, using a tool that allows you to correct any errors
it makes.

3. De-crackling, de-clicking, other filters, etc. There are a host of
audio restoration programs out there you might want to try out, and
each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. None of them can be
trusted to do a good job automatically, all the time. So you need the
ability to try things out, undo them, try other things, etc.

4. Looking up album info in online databases (eg. FreeDB). A recording
of an LP has a fairly limited chance of getting a match, since the
track layout signature rarely matches the commercial CD release. I
have had the odd cases where a match is made, but it's the exception
rather than the rule.

>Also, what are your experiences with using a microphone instead of an actual
>line in?

Avoid it. Mic inputs are usually much noisier, and a line level signal
will overload a mic input anyway.

>I have looked at Polderbits and it does the capture, has some nice
>filtering, and can split things to multiple files. Unfortunately I need to
>record with my laptop and then process on my desktop and Polderbits would
>require two copies of the software to accomplish this.
>
>The LP Recorder/LP Ripper seems to pop up a lot on google but this stuff
>seems quite pricey. It looks like it does the same type of things that
>Polderbits does but costs more. Opinions?

I don't have first hand experience of these packages, so can't really
comment.

>I also see DAK has a low end solution full of the normal Drew sales talk.
>Not sure how well this stuff would work but it is the low price contender
>that does capture, split, and some type of filtering. Opinions?

Their website smacks of snake oil, and appears to be peddling hardware
that *must* be of poor quality. Unlike digital electronics, analogue
and mechanical stuff like this simply cannot be made well at these
prices. I can also pass on to you that I had an email discussion about
this stuff with someone a few weeks ago. He ended up buying it just to
see what it was like, and reported back to me that it's pretty trashy
stuff.

I've written up a page of notes about LP transfer, which has some more
in depth discussion and lots of links to software packages you might
want to check out. It's at http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm
--
Clive Backham
Related resources
Anonymous
January 17, 2005 10:54:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Jeff Miller" <jeffmiller@mn.rr.com> wrote in message
news:8hzGd.221301$T02.69259@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com

> I'm finally getting around to converting my many LP records to
> digital media and I'm looking for suggestions on software that would
> make it easier.

http://www.a-reny.com/iexplorer/restauration.html

http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm

> What I would like to do is send a signal from my lineout on my stereo
> to the line in on my computer.

That takes an inexpensive and commonly available jumper cable. It can also
work a treat.

> I'm looking for opinions on software
> that would then capture that signal and ultimately save it to MP3.

There's a ton of it, given that there is lots of MP3 coding software that is
free for the downloading.

As far as recording software, the cost/function champ is arguably audacity
which is arguably a well-functioned freeware package that even does
multitrack (not required here).

> Along the way, it would be best if the software would automatically
> detect the different tracks and split the audio into multiple files;

It exists, see my references, above.

> crackle and other filters would be good as well.

Ditto

> Really great would
> be to have the software also talk to the online databases to get tag
> information and then store that information with the new file.

You can access CDDB databases manually, for that. There may be some
automated packages, but the CDDB database technology is based on a fairly
precise knowlege of track length, which is not exactly reliable for LP
captures. This technology was developed for CD ripping which is far more
precise.

> Also, what are your experiences with using a microphone instead of an
> actual line in?

Yecch!

> I have looked at Polderbits and it does the capture, has some nice
> filtering, and can split things to multiple files. Unfortunately I
> need to record with my laptop and then process on my desktop and
> Polderbits would require two copies of the software to accomplish
> this.

Look, if $29.95 is causing you a heartbreak, well you and I have slightly
different value systems...


> The LP Recorder/LP Ripper seems to pop up a lot on google but this
> stuff seems quite pricey. It looks like it does the same type of
> things that Polderbits does but costs more. Opinions?

See former comments.

> I also see DAK has a low end solution full of the normal Drew sales
> talk. Not sure how well this stuff would work but it is the low price
> contender that does capture, split, and some type of filtering. Opinions?

The associated hardware struck me as being a bit interesting, but to be
really hot, it should really have a USB interface.
Anonymous
January 18, 2005 6:28:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Clive Backham wrote:

> If you want to transfer LP to a digital format
> and do it *well*, you need to be prepared to put in some effort and
> take each stage separately.

Agreed. You need to record the raw WAVs somewhere first, then do the
other processing.

I'm in the middle of digitizing my LPs right now. (Cassettes are on
hold because my deck died.) I'm not going for super-audiophile results
-- there'd be no point unless I first bought an expensive new turntable
and then did some kind of expensive special cleaning process on all the
LPs. I'm using a Soundblaster for digitization, and it may be
considered pretty bad by CD standards, but its noise and distortion
levels are way better than the quality of the LP input I'm getting.

I do the recording, cleanup, and track splitting all separately. Most
albums have not been cleaned up; I'm just recording them to hard drive
and leaving them for later. I can get away with this because I have a
250 gigabyte disk.

I record at a somewhat low level, because the Soundblaster has more
trouble with distortion near its top input level than it has at lower
ones. My typical recordings rarely use the top bit... I like to have
the highest peak of a recording at about -4 db, and if it's as low as
-8 I don't worry. My plan is to normalize the volume levels after I
get all the clicks out -- the grit introduced by this process is dozens
of decibels below the LP surface noise. I've never seen a noise level
more than 40 or 45 db below the peak signal, but maybe that's because
my turntable isn't smooth-running enough, I don't know.

I use an old copy of Sound Forge that came with the soundblaster to do
the recording and the simpler editing. It's nothing fancy but I'm
finding it entirely adequate. You can manually draw over big pops.

I do the recording on an old slow computer which sits next to the
stereo and is currently used for nothing else, and then copy the files
over to my real computer for all further processing, even just trimming
off the needle-drops from the ends of sides.

For declicking, I've downloaded a couple of programs but haven't yet
tried any of them.

For MP3 encoding I use LAME from the command line, and batch scripts
can automate doing all the tracks of an album. Cheap MP3 encoders not
based on LAME often produce dramatically inferior sound quality. I
haven't decided what bit rate to use... for most purposes I like to use
192 KBPS, since I find 128 (the most commonly used rate) not quite good
enough, but with an LP source 192 may be overkill. With some old lo-fi
records reducing to 22 KHz sampling speed, or even to 8 bit resolution,
may be quite harmless.

For CD burning, it helps to make all your track splits at points that
are multiples of 588 samples. Otherwise the CD burner has to insert
tiny gaps of silence between tracks, because it can only put track
boundaries at these positions.

Watch out for the cheap CD-Maker software that comes with most burner
hardware. Some versions of it (I have v5) can't remove WAV file
metadata, and it ends up as noise on the disc. I had to make sure to
make all my track-split WAV files free of any metadata (author, etc).
It would be nice to get a better burner program that can split a single
wav into tracks at burn time.
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 8:19:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

w_oland wrote:
> On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 19:30:12 +0000, Jeff Miller wrote:
>
>
>>I'm finally getting around to converting my many LP records to digital media
>>and I'm looking for suggestions on software that would make it easier.
>
>
> I use Adobe Audition for recording and processing LP to digital. (I was
> originally a Cool Edit user, but Adobe bought them and offered an
> upgrade.) The post conversion processing available on Audition is simply
> amazing; click and hiss reduction, filters of all stripes, amplitude,
> delay, time/pitch editing and so on, up to and including multichannel
> capability.
>
> My procedures are not very "automatic" as I strongly prefer prefer
> cutting the LP into tracks myself. With the tools available, it is
> stunning the level of restoration that can be achieved with an old LP.
>
> I would suggest also keeping a copy of any converted LP in CD format to
> preserve the WAV format. Uncompressed WAV files are much more amenable to
> future improvement than MP3 files. MP3s are great in their own way, but
> you can end up with some weird sounding effects and distortion if you
> attempt to open an MP3, process further and re-save.
>
>
>
>
> ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
> http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups
> ---= East/West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
. . . . in other words, treat an MP3 file as you would a cassette
recording of your favorite album. The quality is good enough and it's
very convenient. Treat the CDs just as you treated your LPs.

CD
Anonymous
January 19, 2005 8:33:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 17:19:12 -0500, Codifus wrote:
>
> . . . . in other words, treat an MP3 file as you would a cassette
> recording of your favorite album. The quality is good enough and it's
> very convenient. Treat the CDs just as you treated your LPs.
>
> CD

Yes, that is a good analogy.



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Anonymous
January 26, 2005 11:52:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Yeah! Thanks for the tips. I suppose I'll get around to doing this
someday too. Get out my Atom Heart Mother album...



Neil Young was right. CDs are too digitally clean! :wink:
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