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Help Ripping Vinyl Collection
incass
post May 1 2008, 21:49
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Hi There

This is my first post here. This forum was very recommended by a friend and looking at the posts it seems there is lots to learn here as I am a bit of a novice still. I need to put this question forward so I can complete the job ahead which is ripping my old record collection to my hard drive which is very time consuming as you all know. I would like to run a few things here to get advice on getting the best sound/seeing if I am doiing the right thing where maybe I could improve. I will start of with the Turntable which is a Pro Ject Audio belt drive, then into a Cambridge Audio Phono Stage, into a Cambridge Audio Amplifier, out of there into a M-Audio Fast Track Pro Sound Card into my Laptop/external Hard Drive

I know there is a lot better bits of equipment out there however I fairly happy to date with the equipment, the thing which I need to pay attention to is the recording process on the laptop. I am running Sound Forge and it says the recording Attributes are 44100hz 16bit however I am saving the wav file at 96hz 24bit now my question is I am going in the right direction to get good results re my sound.

Some may ask why am I putting my records onto a hard drive. Its because I would like to have my whole collection on one hard drive so I can travel with all my records.

Thanks for you help
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AndyH-ha
post May 1 2008, 22:10
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Saving the recording at 24 bit can be advantageous if you are going to do a lot of post-recording processing, but converting to 96kHz (1) uses up more than twice as much disk space (2) adds artifacts (3) improves nothing.
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incass
post May 1 2008, 22:33
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ May 1 2008, 15:10) *
Saving the recording at 24 bit can be advantageous if you are going to do a lot of post-recording processing, but converting to 96kHz (1) uses up more than twice as much disk space (2) adds artifacts (3) improves nothing.


What would you suggest?
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DVDdoug
post May 2 2008, 00:11
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QUOTE
What would you suggest?
I think he's suggesting 44.1kHz at 16 or 24 bits.

QUOTE
I am running Sound Forge and it says the recording Attributes are 44100hz 16bit however I am saving the wav file at 96hz 24bit
I think your M-Audio device can record directly to 24-bits, and if-so, Sound Forge should allow those settings. Like Andy said, converting-up from 16 bits after recording doesn't do much for you.

The main advantage with 24-bit recording is that you have more dynamic range. You can use some of the dynamic range for headroom to prevent clipping (overload distortion). This isn't a big problem with vinyl records... It is much more important when you are recording real-live music, where the peak levels are less predictible.

QUOTE
into a Cambridge Audio Phono Stage, into a Cambridge Audio Amplifier, out of there into a M-Audio Fast Track Pro Sound Card
You should be able to eliminate the Cambridge Audio Amplifer from the chain, and connect the phono preamp directly to the M-Audio card. ...You may need a couple of Y-Adapters if you want to keep the amp hooked-up as-is and listen to it while you record... It depends on if/how the soundcard output is connected... Most people use the computer's speakers to monitor what they are recording.

QUOTE
Some may ask why am I putting my records onto a hard drive. Its because I would like to have my whole collection on one hard drive so I can travel with all my records.
Make sure to keep a back-up/archive copy at home! For your "final format" there is no-need to go above 44.1kHz, 16-bit (CD quality). And, you might want to consider MP3 (or another compressed format). With a high-enough bitrate, the sound will be identical* to the uncompressed version, but about 1/5th the size. Many people make a "portable" MP3 file, and keep an archive copy in a uncmompressed format or in a lossless-compression format, On the other hand, if you have plenty of hard disk space, or a small music collection, there is no point in using compression.

* Some audiophiles will disagree with that statement, so feel-free to try it yourself and do some ABX test if you wish.

Here are my "standard" comments about recording LPs: wink.gif
QUOTE ("DVDdoug")
There is lots of information about LP to DC transfer on this web site (Clive's website).

If the CD is available, I'll buy it! My LP-to-CD transfers almost never turn-out quite "CD quality". (It's sometimes impossible to remove all of the noise.)


I will almost always do the following:

I always check for clipping. (I simply check the peak level, and if it's 0dB I assume it's clipped and I re-record.)

I use Wave Repair (Clive's software) to remove "ticks", "clicks", and "pops". It does an amazing job by replacing the defect with the just-preceding or just-following few milliseconds of sound (or a couple of other methods). WARNING - This can be very time consuming. Wave Repair seems to work best when used manually. It usually takes me a day (or a weekend) to fix-up an LP.

I try some noise reduction and/or noisegate. Sometimes there can be artifacts (side effects), so I don't always apply these "filters".

If it's an old "dull sounding" recording, I'll add some high-end boost.

After I'm done with any other processing, I always normalize (or GoldWave's MaxMatch). This sets the level so that the peaks are exactly 0dB, giving the best signal-to-noise ratio at playback time. It's generally best to normalize the whole album as a single WAV file to retain the relative level between the tracks... Some songs are supposed to be louder or softer than others.

Whenever I burn a CD, I always make an extra archive/back-up copy. If I'm doing lots of processing, I make an un-processed archive CD too.


This post has been edited by DVDdoug: May 2 2008, 00:39
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incass
post May 2 2008, 07:21
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ May 1 2008, 17:11) *
QUOTE
What would you suggest?
I think he's suggesting 44.1kHz at 16 or 24 bits.

QUOTE
I am running Sound Forge and it says the recording Attributes are 44100hz 16bit however I am saving the wav file at 96hz 24bit
I think your M-Audio device can record directly to 24-bits, and if-so, Sound Forge should allow those settings. Like Andy said, converting-up from 16 bits after recording doesn't do much for you.

The main advantage with 24-bit recording is that you have more dynamic range. You can use some of the dynamic range for headroom to prevent clipping (overload distortion). This isn't a big problem with vinyl records... It is much more important when you are recording real-live music, where the peak levels are less predictible.

QUOTE
into a Cambridge Audio Phono Stage, into a Cambridge Audio Amplifier, out of there into a M-Audio Fast Track Pro Sound Card
You should be able to eliminate the Cambridge Audio Amplifer from the chain, and connect the phono preamp directly to the M-Audio card. ...You may need a couple of Y-Adapters if you want to keep the amp hooked-up as-is and listen to it while you record... It depends on if/how the soundcard output is connected... Most people use the computer's speakers to monitor what they are recording.

QUOTE
Some may ask why am I putting my records onto a hard drive. Its because I would like to have my whole collection on one hard drive so I can travel with all my records.
Make sure to keep a back-up/archive copy at home! For your "final format" there is no-need to go above 44.1kHz, 16-bit (CD quality). And, you might want to consider MP3 (or another compressed format). With a high-enough bitrate, the sound will be identical* to the uncompressed version, but about 1/5th the size. Many people make a "portable" MP3 file, and keep an archive copy in a uncmompressed format or in a lossless-compression format, On the other hand, if you have plenty of hard disk space, or a small music collection, there is no point in using compression.

* Some audiophiles will disagree with that statement, so feel-free to try it yourself and do some ABX test if you wish.

Here are my "standard" comments about recording LPs: wink.gif
QUOTE ("DVDdoug")
There is lots of information about LP to DC transfer on this web site (Clive's website).

If the CD is available, I'll buy it! My LP-to-CD transfers almost never turn-out quite "CD quality". (It's sometimes impossible to remove all of the noise.)


I will almost always do the following:

I always check for clipping. (I simply check the peak level, and if it's 0dB I assume it's clipped and I re-record.)

I use Wave Repair (Clive's software) to remove "ticks", "clicks", and "pops". It does an amazing job by replacing the defect with the just-preceding or just-following few milliseconds of sound (or a couple of other methods). WARNING - This can be very time consuming. Wave Repair seems to work best when used manually. It usually takes me a day (or a weekend) to fix-up an LP.

I try some noise reduction and/or noisegate. Sometimes there can be artifacts (side effects), so I don't always apply these "filters".

If it's an old "dull sounding" recording, I'll add some high-end boost.

After I'm done with any other processing, I always normalize (or GoldWave's MaxMatch). This sets the level so that the peaks are exactly 0dB, giving the best signal-to-noise ratio at playback time. It's generally best to normalize the whole album as a single WAV file to retain the relative level between the tracks... Some songs are supposed to be louder or softer than others.

Whenever I burn a CD, I always make an extra archive/back-up copy. If I'm doing lots of processing, I make an un-processed archive CD too.

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cliveb
post May 2 2008, 08:54
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QUOTE (DVDdoug @ May 2 2008, 00:11) *
The main advantage with 24-bit recording is that you have more dynamic range. You can use some of the dynamic range for headroom to prevent clipping (overload distortion). This isn't a big problem with vinyl records... It is much more important when you are recording real-live music, where the peak levels are less predictible.

In the context of doing LP transfers, dynamic range has little to do with it. 16 bits is more than enough to capture whatever dynamic range is on any LP. Even the finest audiophile grade LP pressed on the purest vinyl will struggle to achieve a DN of 70dB. So 16 bit recording has about 26dB in reserve.

There is a reason to save the recordings in 24 bit, which is to reduce the danger of rounding errors accumulating as you perform DSP operations on the recording. Therefore *in the context of LP transfers*, it's perfectly fine to record at 16 bit and save at 24 bit. Doing the initial recording at 24 bit isn't going to buy you anything.

The previous paragraph is what I understand Andy's position to be - I'm sure he will correct me if I've misrepresented him. My own personal view is that even if you save your recordings at "only" 16 bit, you need to do a heck of a lot of DSP operations before the rounding errors build up sufficiently to become audible against the enormously higher background noise level from the LP itself. So my view is that working at 16 bit throughout is fine. And an advantage of doing this is that there are some useful restoration tools around which only work at 16 bit. If you work at 24 bit, you deny yourself access to these tools.

QUOTE (DVDdoug @ May 2 2008, 00:11) *
You may need a couple of Y-Adapters if you want to keep the amp hooked-up as-is and listen to it while you record... It depends on if/how the soundcard output is connected... Most people use the computer's speakers to monitor what they are recording.

I strongly recommend that you do NOT monitor through speakers as you record. Turntables are mechanical devices and are subject to interference by airborne feedback. Even the finest turntables are vulnerable. (For example, I use a Linn LP12 and am convinced that it produces better recordings when there is no monitoring). If you must monitor while recording, use headphones.
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incass
post May 2 2008, 13:10
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Wow. There has been some great information to use moving forward now..
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