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"ripping" LP's, how?
NogginJ
post Sep 22 2005, 22:32
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amen to all that.

but any insight onto this 'cda is just a wav with indexes' argument? i mean, if i rip from cd back to wav with eac, am i losing quality?

i suppose the answer is its negligible.

as for cd-rs, i am still using taiyo yuden, as i had always heard they were the best. does anyone know if this still holds true?
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 22 2005, 23:31
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cda is simply the extension Windows puts on the files (as with .zip or .wav). Therse are not native Windows files because the internal constructin is not similar to most computer data. Window's needs special drivers to read and reconstruct what is written on audio CDs. This is Digital Audio Extraction. Audio tracks can have indexes but that is not an essential part of them. Generally they do not.

Extracting from audio CD can be bit perfect or not. There are always errors when reading from optical disks (probably the same can also be said about reading from magnetic media) There are different kinds of errors and different severities or error. The majority can be corrected 100% with the built in error correction facilities but this is never guaranteed.

Because of the overall needs, especially considering that the disks were designed to be played by consumer audio equipment, not computers, error correction is different from, and not quite as good as, that on those media designed specifically for computer data. Errors can be many and sometime not correctable, but the disks will still produce some kind of music for you. Thus, it is possible for the extraction from CD-R to be significantly different than the original.

I have made a number of tests, writing audio tracks to CD-R, extracting them, then comparing the extractions to the original files on my hard drove. This is a very critical test. If the files are aligned off by only one bit at the beginning, the result isn't even similar.

My extraction tests were all bit perfect. I am sure there were read errors during the extraction but they were all handled in the normal course of things and correction was 100%, resulting in no loss or change. As said before, this is never guaranteed.

I always also back up my LP transfers as data. They are still being written to optical disk but as data, contradistinguished from audio, which has different, and better, error correction.

TY blanks have a very good reputation. There are many opinions about 'best.' Some preliminary test by a federal group to establish standards for federal data storage found the best results (in regard to the factors they tested, of course) to come with particular dyes and on a real gold background. The same dye on other substrate was still more durable than other dyes, but nowhere near as much so as when on gold. TY may make some gold backed disks, I don't know, but they use a different dye.

Kodak was one of several manufactures who made such blanks but Kodak stopped manufacturer a few years ago. Mitsui was another but they are now owned by MAM-A. This company still makes that type of blank and I've never seen any complaints about their product quality. The same dye is also used on silver or aluminum, but apparently gold's great resistence to corrosion figured into the test's results. Gold disks cost twice as much (or more).

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Sep 22 2005, 23:33
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cliveb
post Sep 23 2005, 11:20
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QUOTE (NogginJ @ Sep 22 2005, 03:28 PM)
im using a stanton str8-100 with the spdif digital coax output to my soundcard.
using a shure whitelabel cartridge, brand new (but broken in).
recording to wav file, then burning to audio cd.
*

Let me start off by pointing out that I don't have any personal experience with the Stanton turntable you're using, but I'll offer a few general observations.

Andy has already pointed out the possible issues with the quality of the A/D converter in the turntable versus using some other A/D converter (eg. in a soundcard).

There are some other issues to consider:

1. If you're using a Creative soundcard and recording at 44.1kHz through its SPDIF input, you're going to be the "victim" of Creative's sample rate converters, which shall we say don't exactly have the best reputation around here. You might actually be better off recording at 48kHz (if the Stanton offers that sample rate output) and sample rate converting in software later.

2. Decent A/D converter chips are actually quite cheap these days. It's quite likely that the quality of the A/D converter in the Stanton is perfectly adequate. Of far more concern to me would be the quality of the phono preamp in the Stanton. Good preamps are not free, and it would not surprise me if the one in the Stanton isn't that great.

3. Last but by no means least - in fact most important of all - is the quality of the turntable itself. The Stanton STR8-100 is a cheapish DJ type turntable. These type of turntables are built to provide facilities (eg. pitch control) and ruggedness rather than absolute sound quality. Unlike digital electronics, which can be built very cheaply due to large scale integration, turntables are mechnical devices, and as such good ones don't come cheap. I cannot believe that a $250 turntable that includes a phono preamp and an A/D converter is going to deliver anything other than average performance.

Anyone interested in doing a good job of ripping vinyl needs to think hard about acquiring a decent manual deck and a reasonable phono preamp (used ones if the budget makes it necessary). At the low end of the budget scale, belt drive is typically better than direct drive. Not because direct drive is no good, but because building *good* direct drive turntables is a significantly more expensive proposition than decent belt-drive.

(PS. The origins of the word "ripping". The original use of the word was definitely as a description for DAE from audio CDs, as Andy has already said, and it's then been applied to all other types of audio recording to computer. I suspect the term "rip" either referred to the fact that most DAE was part of the act of stealing the music (ie. "ripping it off"), or maybe because it happens faster than realtime and so one might say that DAE was a process whereby you set it up then "let it rip". Both are just guesses on my part).
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Axon
post Sep 23 2005, 11:44
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About the only thing that I would find unnatural to "rip" would be an MP3 player. Heck, even converting from a MiniDisk would arguably be called ripping, not to mention VHS or LaserDisc.

This post has been edited by Axon: Sep 23 2005, 11:44
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hujay
post Sep 23 2005, 13:08
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Ripping seems to have changed it's meaning slightly over time, and is often used to include an encoding process as well now. Probably the influence of 'ripping' CDs for use on iPods, Mp3 players and the net.

The jargon we use changes all the time I guess, there was a time when what we now call ripping was known as transcribing, though in those days that would have generally referred to analogue to analogue smile.gif

UJ

This post has been edited by hujay: Sep 23 2005, 13:10
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landy
post Sep 23 2005, 14:21
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i have tried to get feedback on my vinyl rips before without luck so i just made a new set of samples. if the link in this topic does not work the one in the upload forum should.

the rar contains
A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3

they were recorded using audacity using one of these decks. i dont declick/remove noise due to lazyness (i also dont mind a bit of light noise/clicking). all mp3's were transcoded from flac files but i could not find a freeware tool to cut samples from flac, atleast with this bunch of samples they dont seem to click at the start. thanks for any feedback, http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....pe=post&id=1733

This post has been edited by landy: Sep 23 2005, 14:35
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Axon
post Sep 23 2005, 19:29
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I do hear some clicking in that but it only seems to be in the right channel, which I'm not sure can be explained by any surface imperfections. I have the same problem, actually. Could that be a static issue?
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 23 2005, 20:15
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specific words for specific things makes for less fuzzy thinking

What does your fortune cookie say?
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 23 2005, 21:06
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Unless I’m missing something, these recording samples are provided in a proprietary format. Aside from the fact that compressing an already compressed file is generally not a worthwhile undertaking, the format you provide may be one significant reason you get few responses. I have no intention of purchasing a program for which I have no other use or interest, just to unpack your files. Otherwise I would look at them.
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Axon
post Sep 23 2005, 22:17
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Uh.... 7-zip? RAR support is generally available for free nowadays.

That said, I agree, collecting the mp3s into any sort of container is pointless.
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landy
post Sep 24 2005, 01:13
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i used store mode so no extra compression was done just an ease of use thing, as mentioned 7-zip is free and you can use foobars Archive reader component to read the files directly from the rar.
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 24 2005, 01:53
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It isn't clear to me what kind of feedback you want. Your post seems to suggest you don't care about what might be done with the recordings, in terms of what is frequently termed ‘audio restoration,' but rather want something said about the raw recordings as is. If you have some particular questions in mind, you may get better feedback by voicing them.

The content itself is outside my experience and doesn't have many easy references for me, like piano or trumpet or a female singing sweetly. There is strong percussion and voice that seem to have been clearly recorded, but not being familiar with the pieces I can't say much more than that. Asking some questions on the Audiomasters forum, where many people with extensive professional recording experience hang out, might bring you some insights http://www.audiomastersforum.org/amforum/index.php

The disk(s) these are from appear to be in reasonably good condition. There are clicks and pops but nothing major, and the particular audio itself tends to mask much of the impulse noise. There is strong sub-sonic content but that is to be expected; filtering it out would be good. Recording A1 has a skip 1.6 seconds from the beginning, due either to a disk defect or some interference while recording -- or someone has a rather peculiar idea about what makes good music.

There isn't enough to be certain in either case, but A1 and 01 have small lead-in ‘silences' that may be from between tracks. If this is so in either case, the background noise is rather high. If these too short intervals are actually somewhere within audio tracks, the import of the measurements is less easy to determine. Also, without some reference recordings made on your system, it is not possible to answer various questions. Is the noise due to the condition of the disk? Is a major component of it from your system, independent of what disk you are playing? Was it part of the original recording that went onto the disk? How clean was the disk(s)?

There isn't any major indication of the following condition in these recordings, but the previous comment about more noise or more clicks and pops on one channel than the other suggests one important possibility: the stylus's azimuth is off. This can be because either the stylus attachment to the cantilever or the cantilever itself are not properly aligned to the vertical axis of movement within the cartridge body, and/or because the entire cartridge is rotated off the proper angle to the disk at its attachment to the head shell.

In my not too extensive but very real experience this causes the channel from the groove wall that the stylus tip is rotated away from to produce more clicks and scuffing noise that is not due to the condition of the disk itself. This can be hard or impossible to judge on a well used disk because one probably doesn't know what has been done to distort and wear it prior to your test, but the result is quite apparent if one compares recordings from mis-alignment and after proper alignment. If the condition exists, most, but not all, disks will exhibit the symptoms and it tends to be most pronounced in the first minute of either side.

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Sep 24 2005, 01:56
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landy
post Sep 24 2005, 05:01
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thanks for the reply andy and axon, i did mean to include the condition of the vinyl in my original post but forgot. going from memory (as i cant get at them till morning) they are as follows

A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3 (possibly some slight surface damage and warping)
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3 (ebay purchase but sold as new and better condition than many records i have bought from online shops)
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3 (moderate warping when i ripped it, came free with a cd album by the same artist and sat in a draw until i had a record player)

the warping issue is something i have come up against in the last few months using online retailers, itseems by the time they get to my door its 50/50 if some of the records have warped depending on the weather that day (especially when there delivered on foot if by van its not so bad it seems but the package has to be large for the to deliver it that way). I hope as the year progresses and temperatures drop i will see less warped records arive i also plan to visit the sellers direct as the one i use most often is close enough.

The azimuth issue you mention is something i will look into although i think i might need to get someone with more experience to take a look. Regarding the cartridge itself, will a more expensive one still make a differance on what is more of a "utility" deck like mine? i was looking at the Shure M97xE but i dont know if its total overkill or not compared to say a cheaper Ortofon OM10 (its currently fitted with the stock OM5E)

sorry if i rambled on a bit in this post i have trouble writing what i want to say.
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AndyH-ha
post Sep 24 2005, 23:36
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Cartridges do differ but whether or not a more expensive cartridge will be important to you is value judgement. Being that you record, you have the means to make reasonable A/B comparisons but unfortunately you probably have to buy the other cartridge to get access. Do you actually have any complaints or reasonable doubts about your current results?

Whatever cartridge you use, proper alignment will make a difference. If you are not familiar with the process, there are a fair number of how-to write-ups on the web. Before you get too involved in any that rhapsodize about VTA adjustments, you might want to consider the expose on the TNT site.

Unfortunately azimuth adjustment isn't available on most tone arms. It can still be accomplished with shims at the cartridge attachment bolts but it isn't easy. My earlier comments were just to acquaint people with the possible source of a problem which is probably not extremely common. As I said, it was occasioned by the other comments about a concentration of clicks on only one channel, not by anything I observed in the samples.

I'm going to take this opportunity, for my own amusement, to continue on a little about normalization. I abandonment it earlier because the following aspect isn't too relevant when phonograph records, with their high intrinsic noise, are the source. However, if one is recording live with good equipment in a good environment there may be more to be gained than getting above the playback equipment noise, depending on the dynamic range of the performance.

There can be significant benefit to recording most things as dry as possible and applying effects and transformations afterwards. With good 24 bit convertors it is often possible to leave 18dB or more of headroom to capture dynamic peaks more faithfully, even if some are too extreme for the final mix.

In this case the recording may well have very useable music below the 16 bit floor. While you can never escape noise that is part of the recording, except to the limits of reasonable noise reduction, you may be able to utilize much more of that low level detail. When you normalize you bring those bits recorded below 16 up into the CD range.
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Pio2001
post Sep 25 2005, 14:39
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QUOTE (landy @ Sep 23 2005, 03:21 PM)
A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3

thanks for any feedback
*


Bong-Ra : sounds clean, no surface noise. The balance is too much on the left side.
DJ Wolfe : two clicks on the left side
Amen Andrews : surface noise on the right side.

There is no special distortion. But the sound is overall dull, with a narrow stereo. I think that you should benefit from a better cartridge, with a elliptical tip.
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Axon
post Sep 30 2005, 17:53
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FWIW, apparantly the common term in some circles for recording an LP to another medium (cassette, CD, computer) is "needle drop".
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landy
post Sep 30 2005, 20:07
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pio2001 thanks for the feedback, i have a cd version of that bong-ra track and iirc the balance is the same, i did mean to include a sample from it as well as it's good to compare the two, if you like it wouldnt take long to mp3 my flac file and cut 30 seconds from it.

if anyone knows of a free tool to cut flac files i could provide a flac sample. link to the cd sample is this

This post has been edited by landy: Sep 30 2005, 20:40
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mixminus1
post Sep 30 2005, 20:14
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QUOTE (landy @ Sep 30 2005, 12:07 PM)
if anyone knows of a free tool to cut flac files i could provide a flac sample.
*


1.) Decompress to WAV.
2.) Edit with Audacity.
3.) Recompress back to FLAC.

Goldwave is another option, as it has built-in FLAC import/export, although it's shareware - it's fully functional during its evaluation period, though, which is quite lengthy (3000 commands).

This post has been edited by mixminus1: Sep 30 2005, 20:47


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