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Pro-Ject Debut III USB Preamp Advice
Engelsstaub
post May 10 2012, 16:13
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I have the turntable mentioned in the title. I suppose it's no big news that the USB-out is sometimes too loud (no gain adjustment) with some vinyl (which results in clipping,) especially nearly every double-LP I own. Much to my dismay it also happens with a few regular ones like my mint original-pressing Black Sabbath "Mob Rules." For about 70% of my LPs it's fine, though "limited" to 16-bit resolution for recording.

My questions are these:

Would it be feasible to use something like the M-Audio Firewire Solo Amazon to record my needledrops from the preamp's RCA-outs to my Macintosh? (I'm using VinylStudio and it's pretty great IME.) If so, would I be able to effectively do so at 24-bit? (I don't imagine I hear any difference, but would like to do so for editing purposes.)

Any recommendations/good advice is greatly appreciated. (I wish I had researched this TT before I bought it. I'm considering trading it in later and getting a regular Debut III or something else in their line-up for under 800 USD...that's just not going to happen anytime really soon. I'm otherwise pleased with this TT's performance, so I wouldn't mind coming up with a good workaround. I get great results with many records and the hardware/software combingation.)

Pretty new to digitizing vinyl, so please forgive my ignorance.


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post May 14 2012, 12:59
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QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ May 10 2012, 11:13) *
I have the turntable mentioned in the title. I suppose it's no big news that the USB-out is sometimes too loud (no gain adjustment) with some vinyl (which results in clipping,) especially nearly every double-LP I own. Much to my dismay it also happens with a few regular ones like my mint original-pressing Black Sabbath "Mob Rules." For about 70% of my LPs it's fine, though "limited" to 16-bit resolution for recording.

My questions are these:

Would it be feasible to use something like the M-Audio Firewire Solo Amazon to record my needledrops from the preamp's RCA-outs to my Macintosh? (I'm using VinylStudio and it's pretty great IME.)


What you describe is of course feasible, but the more relevant question seems to be whether or not it will do you any good.

To summarize what's been said:

(1) How are you observing the clipping? The only reliable way to observe clipping is to base your observations on waveform distortion of known audio signals.

For example, the material on the source may be clipped, and there's nothing you can do about it. I use the loudest tracks on test records for setting levels. They are usually recorded with sine waves, which makes clipping obvious. They are generally the loudest tracks that can be reliably cut without distortion. BTW, they double check these tracks with a microscope so whether or not they are reasonably clean is known by other means than simply playing them back. LP cutting lathes can cut tracks that can't be possibly tracked by *anything*.

(2) Please be aware that once you identify true and genuine clipping you still don't know where it is coming from without more evidence. Cartridges can clip (mistracking), preamps can clip (too much gain or not enough rail voltage), audio interfaces can clip for the same reasons, and you can introduce clipping with software, either inadvertently or intentionally.

(3) The point of maximum flexibility is obtained by having both a preamp and an audio interface that both have effective gain controls.

For example, I have problems with too-loud video tapes causing clipping in my VHS ripping setup. The solution was to put in-line passive RCA attenuators in line with the inputs of my audio interface. Same thing can happen with vinyl or analog audio tape.


QUOTE
If so, would I be able to effectively do so at 24-bit? (I don't imagine I hear any difference, but would like to do so for editing purposes.)


There's no technical justification for using > 16 bits for digitizing vinyl or anything that is not already digtial, given that vinyl is inherently limited to about 12 bits worth of resolution and it is actually one of the best of the analog audio formats. Only high speed, wide track analog tape is better.

If your software has 3 bits or more extra resolution as compared to your source material, the losses in the digital domain are so far into vanishing that it is rediculous. Even one extra bit gives you a very useful dollop of additional headroom.

This post has been edited by Arnold B. Krueger: May 14 2012, 13:00
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Posts in this topic
- Engelsstaub   Pro-Ject Debut III USB Preamp Advice   May 10 2012, 16:13
- - Apesbrain   Absolutely, so long as you run the TT line level o...   May 10 2012, 20:30
- - mixminus1   @Apesbrain: The OP's turntable has a preamp bu...   May 10 2012, 20:35
- - Engelsstaub   Thanks for the replies. Apesbrain: yeah, this part...   May 10 2012, 22:46
- - AndyH-ha   Clipping via the USB connection is caused by the a...   May 11 2012, 01:54
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ May 10 2012, 19:54...   May 11 2012, 03:09
- - mixminus1   No, Andy's saying that the outputs of the inte...   May 11 2012, 03:42
- - AndyH-ha   "it would have to be a VERY hot phono pre...   May 11 2012, 04:55
- - Engelsstaub   mixminus1: my Mac is a late 2010 13" MacBook ...   May 11 2012, 16:45
- - AndyH-ha   I can be of only limited help here but you should ...   May 11 2012, 20:53
- - AndyH-ha   The possibility also exist that you might not have...   May 11 2012, 20:59
- - Apesbrain   @OP, I now understand and I'm sorry for the mi...   May 11 2012, 21:06
- - Engelsstaub   Well, I do have a RCA-to1/8" cable that I use...   May 12 2012, 02:28
- - AndyH-ha   "I adjusted the volume to max out at around 9...   May 12 2012, 03:18
- - Engelsstaub   Nah, I had it turned all the way up on the Mac...   May 12 2012, 04:09
- - AndyH-ha   It seems rather strange that a recording applicati...   May 12 2012, 06:55
- - punkrockdude   What cartridge is it on the turntable? Just asking...   May 12 2012, 14:39
- - Engelsstaub   punkrockdude: it's the stock Ortofon OM5e that...   May 12 2012, 14:57
- - AndyH-ha   QUOTE I'm gathering from everything you've...   May 12 2012, 20:52
- - Engelsstaub   Alright. Thanks for your reply and your patience, ...   May 12 2012, 21:39
- - AndyH-ha   Have you determined that you get clipping using yo...   May 12 2012, 23:16
- - Engelsstaub   Yes, this and a few other records seem to clip in ...   May 13 2012, 00:18
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Engelsstaub @ May 10 2012, 11:13) ...   May 14 2012, 12:59
|- - Engelsstaub   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ May 14 2012, 06...   May 14 2012, 15:18
- - dhromed   QUOTE Audacity has a clipping indicator. I'm w...   May 14 2012, 15:33
- - Engelsstaub   Oh, ok, Thanks, dhromed. I think I understand how...   May 14 2012, 16:27
- - AndyH-ha   If you were looking at music that had been mastere...   May 15 2012, 03:18
- - Engelsstaub   Hey, AndyH (or anybody else reading) ...as long as...   May 15 2012, 18:05
- - AndyH-ha   According to the manufacturer's literature, th...   May 15 2012, 21:36
- - Engelsstaub   Great. Thanks for your help, Andy (and also everyo...   May 16 2012, 01:19


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