Firstly, I gave the forum rules a quick scan and didn't see anything related to this but obviously, if it does breach the rules feel free to kill it (not that you need my permission anyway lol).
Basically my dad has just realised the inferiority of his LP collection and basically wants them backed up onto CD and also so that he (or rather, I) can put them on his MP3 player so he can listen to them on his travels.
I have read guides on converting LPs to digital and whatnot, and it all seems pretty straightforward, aside from one thing. The only easy way for us to do this (because as you'd expect we have a pretty big HiFi with active speakers, tuners and a turntable) is with a laptop. Problem with laptops is that they (or at least the two we have) have rubbish onboard sound solutions that don't have a Line in port.
So all I'm really asking, is whether it's possible and/or safe to use the microphone port? And also, while I'm at it, should we use the headphone output on the HiFi, or should we connect it to the rear of the amplifier via whatever outputs it uses (RCA or phono or whatever)? And again, would that be safe or would I end up frying a laptop?
As long as this thread stays within the realms of "fair use" (:rolleyes:) then it's fine.
It should be okay to use the headphone/line out port of the Hi-Fi. AFAIK the line signal it outputs is identical to what your soundcard generates/accepts anyway.
Yeah its fine. I recorded a lot of mine on to cds a while ago, into my desktop mic socket. just be sure to select the right one in your sound settings (line in) and youre off. Can i recommend Stienberg to do the job as well, there are free progs available but Stienberg Easy Clean has the added bonus of getting rid of all the crackles etc.
I'll do you all one better for a one-box home solution, though I can't speak for it's availability on your side of the pond: ADS Tech Instant Music.
It's basically an external ADC that supports a USB input. It's not the professional (or even prosumer) grade sort of thing a studio would use to archive vinyl, but it does a pretty damn good job for your typical home user. Yes, I own one and no I don't sell them.
It only samples up to 16-bit/48kHz (but hey, Redbook is only 16/44.1), but the USB-out allows you to bypass (most) of the laptop's really rather craptacular signal path.
Turntable -> phono stage -> IM -> USB on laptop -> recording program of choice. Pretty simple and pretty effective.
Regardless of how you go about the transfer, do not use the headphone out on your system; it's amped (possibly badly), and you really should be recording a line-level signal.
So what should I use? Our system is set up as Turntable > Amp > Speakers. As far as I know the signal from the turntable by itself will be too weak without an amp, and I don't much fancy hooking a laptop directly to the amp's speaker outputs...hence the headphone socket.
I know I didn't say this earlier but we don't really want to spend any money on this, if possible.
The idea came from one of these, http://www.firebox.com/index.html?dir=firebox&action=product&pid=1401&src_t=wnp (yeah...Firebox...bad place to buy stuff but it's the first Google result lol) and basically we want a cheap alternative. As in, properly cheap. Aside from anything else I somehow doubt that it's a very good product anyway.
The box I refer to is about $40. NFI what you consider to be "proper cheap."
Anyway, quick lesson in vinyl pressing: you can't fit the whole range of audible frequencies (say, 20Hz to 20kHz) into a record groove and still put any decent amount of music onto the disc; the groove would be much too wide. To get around this, early sound engineers essentially figured out how to "collapse" the lower frequencies prior to pressing, allowing for a narrow groove. This is why a phono stage is required with [most] turntables: it's basically an equiliser that restores the audio on the vinyl to RIAA standards (see, they didn't always suck) and outputs at line-level for use with a pre- or integrated amp.
So, two questions: 1) Do you have a discrete phono stage? 2) Does your amp have a line-out (check for a pair of RCA plugs on the back)?
1) Not as far as I'm aware. There's no mention of anything like that in the manual and the rest of the HiFi (amp, CD changer, cassette deck, tuner) is a single unit - the only things plugged into it are literally the seperate turntable and the speakers. My dad is hardly an audiophile so I doubt he'd have that kind of 'extra' anyway. And given we bought this system when cassettes were starting to die out, I also doubt the shop we bought it from would have something like that either. Hell, the reason we have a seperate turntable is because they stopped making them with them built-in lol.
2) Yeah, it has two pairs going in - one pair taken by the turntable - and one pair out.
Properly cheap = £5 for a cable. :p
Oh, and they cost more like $80 in the UK. Not that it's very relevant how much they're worth in $ here lol.
Would this do a similar job? It looks like it's pretty much the same as the other one specs wise. http://www.behringer.com/UCA202/index.cfm?lang=ENG
With respect to answer #1: It's obvious if there's a discrete phono stage. It looks like another box between the turntable and (pre)amp. You can also tell by what the turntable plugs into. If you've a pair of RCA jacks on the (pre)amp, it's probably got an internal phono stage. If that's the case, then you'd just go TT -> Amp -> line-out
#2: Use the line-out (RCA) jacks in that case and bypass the headphone amp signal path entirely. Those little ADC converters are designed to accept a line-level input.
And yes, that Behringer thing looks like it would do the same thing. Just go TT -> amp -> Behringer box (via amp's line-out) -> computer via USB. You can use something like Audacity to actually do the recording.
Cool, cheers mate.