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Numark TTUSB turntable volume problems, How to increase the volume of converting vinyl
chipdominator
post Feb 7 2010, 13:07
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Hello there,
I have converted some vinlys to my mac and then burnt them to a CD, but the sound volume on the CD is very low, different to a CD that you buy from the shop. Does anyone know how to increase the sound when you burn a CD or convert from vinly to the PC. THanks in advance regards.
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AndyH-ha
post Feb 7 2010, 23:41
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There are several different factors involved. If these are older phonograph records, they are not mastered to the same butchered standards as current pop and rock. You will need some significant skill (and the software wherein to use that skill) to approach those standards. Look up “the loudness war” if you are new to the topic.

The peak level of what you record into your computer may be quite low because of the nature of the your recording chain. A pre-amplifier in between RIAA phono preamp and soundcard might make a big difference.

Another way to get pretty much the same result is to apply amplification to the recorded file before writing it to CD-R. Most audio editors can do this easily. There are also a number of stand-alone utilities that will achieve the same result. Some people believe there is some magic in some of these utilities because they only change the result that is written to your CD-R, not the source file, but what ends up on the CD is the same either way.

The result of either of these two simple amplifications is the same as turning up the volume on your listening equipment, except that some small players may not have enough amplification power to achieve comparable results. The dynamic range of the audio will remain the same as on the analogue source.

In-between simple amplification, either pre-digital or after recording, and attempts at complete re-mastering (which you can’t fully accomplish because you don’t have the original source that went into making the LP) is applying some digital transformations such as compression, limiting, and selective EQing. For this, patience, experience, skill, decent software, and good studio-like monitoring are necessary. Since you are asking the question, you probably don’t have these, so the results you (may) want will only come from the determination to put in the time (and money) to become expert enough to suit your tastes.
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chipdominator
post Feb 8 2010, 00:23
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Hi AndyH-Ha

Thanks for the info, I will try at least to start with an audio editor and see how it goes. My brother mentioned a pre-amp to me last night as well. so will look into that as well.

I appreciate the time taken to get back to me
regards



QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Feb 8 2010, 08:41) *
There are several different factors involved. If these are older phonograph records, they are not mastered to the same butchered standards as current pop and rock. You will need some significant skill (and the software wherein to use that skill) to approach those standards. Look up “the loudness war” if you are new to the topic.

The peak level of what you record into your computer may be quite low because of the nature of the your recording chain. A pre-amplifier in between RIAA phono preamp and soundcard might make a big difference.

Another way to get pretty much the same result is to apply amplification to the recorded file before writing it to CD-R. Most audio editors can do this easily. There are also a number of stand-alone utilities that will achieve the same result. Some people believe there is some magic in some of these utilities because they only change the result that is written to your CD-R, not the source file, but what ends up on the CD is the same either way.

The result of either of these two simple amplifications is the same as turning up the volume on your listening equipment, except that some small players may not have enough amplification power to achieve comparable results. The dynamic range of the audio will remain the same as on the analogue source.

In-between simple amplification, either pre-digital or after recording, and attempts at complete re-mastering (which you can’t fully accomplish because you don’t have the original source that went into making the LP) is applying some digital transformations such as compression, limiting, and selective EQing. For this, patience, experience, skill, decent software, and good studio-like monitoring are necessary. Since you are asking the question, you probably don’t have these, so the results you (may) want will only come from the determination to put in the time (and money) to become expert enough to suit your tastes.

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cliveb
post Feb 8 2010, 10:13
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QUOTE (chipdominator @ Feb 7 2010, 23:23) *
Thanks for the info, I will try at least to start with an audio editor and see how it goes. My brother mentioned a pre-amp to me last night as well. so will look into that as well.

The thread title implies you're using a USB turntable. If that's the case, then you aren't in a position to insert a preamp in front of the A/D converter. If the TT has analogue outputs as well as USB, then you could use that to feed a normal soundcard (and insert a preamp if necessary).
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chipdominator
post Feb 8 2010, 10:54
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Hi thanks for that, yes i am using a USB. I just found a dial under the USB Turntable. Called a gain dial. Not sure why they called it Gain, rather than volume. I have turned that on to max and it is much louder. I tested it verse a normal CD purchased from the shop and the volume after i have the gain dial up to max. Once i burnt the CD i played it and it is marginally lower than the purchased Cd but good enough for what i need to do.

So thanks for the support and advice, i appreciate it sincerely. It has been a great help
Thanks again
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AndyH-ha
post Feb 8 2010, 13:04
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An amplifier (or pre-amp in this case) provides gain -- it amplifies the signal, it increases the voltage (or power) level. A gain control adjust how much the amplifier amplifies. Your built-in preamp apparently has variable gain, which is unusual for a phono preamp. Gain controls are most common in microphone preamps.

A volume control is a decrementing control. The signal level is reduced at anything less than the maximum setting of the control. Most amplifiers and preamps are fixed gain devices; 10 to 12 dB is common for line level preamps. The volume control reduces the input signal level so you can get less than the fixed gain out of the unit relative to the output of the device driving the amplifier.
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cliveb
post Feb 8 2010, 14:49
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QUOTE (chipdominator @ Feb 8 2010, 09:54) *
Hi thanks for that, yes i am using a USB. I just found a dial under the USB Turntable. Called a gain dial. Not sure why they called it Gain, rather than volume. I have turned that on to max and it is much louder.

It's quite unusual to find a gain control on a USB turntable - so kudos to Numark for including one.

I'm going to assume that the gain control on your TT is adjusting the signal level emerging from the built-in phono preamp. Turning it to max may not necessarily be the best thing in all cases, because on a vinyl record that is cut at a high level, it's possible that the signal level will be too high for the A/D converter and result in clipping. Digital clipping is the last thing you ever want when recording your LPs.

You should do some experiments by finding a fairly loud LP, and recording its loudest section with the TT's gain control set at various positions. For each test recording, use an audio editor to find the peak level of the file. What you should be aiming for is to set the gain control to a position where the peak level on a loud record is around the -3dB mark. That will leave a bit of headroom while still giving you a decent recording level.
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