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halledise
5th March 2008, 08:38 PM
can't find anything in forum search on this - that's not say there isn't a previous post - but ....

is it possible to use GarageBand to import off old vinyl records given the correct cabling connections?

if so - how? :confused:

decryption
5th March 2008, 08:45 PM
Sure is!
You buy a device that has USB or FireWire on one end, and stereo RCA inputs on the other. Plug the record player into the USB sound input device, fire up Garageband, in the preferences, select your input device as the USB device.

In Garageband, create a new track, select the input on the track the same as the input of the device (if it has more than one input), then press play on your record player, press record in Garageband and look for the waveforms to appear, stop it, listen back, see if it worked then go back to the start and let the record play :)

Something like this is what you need:
Roland U.S. - UA-1EX: USB Audio Interface (http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.aspx?ObjectId=743&ParentId=104)

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6996/ua1exgalfh0.jpg

There are loads of other similar devices, the Edirol is just what I'm familiar with. The UA-1EX is approx $180.

If there's anyone in Melbourne who wants to convert some cassettes or LP's, let me know as I have an Edirol UA-1EX that's gathering dust that you can borrow :)

I should really write a tutorial on how to convert ye olde analog media into digital formats (cassettes, LP and VHS), its' really easy, but a lot of people just don't know how to do it properly.

Currawong
5th March 2008, 08:51 PM
Slight problem, you need a phono stage or your volume will be close to zero.

decryption
5th March 2008, 08:54 PM
Slight problem, you need a phono stage or your volume will be close to zero.

Interesting, so you'd need a pre-amp? What about a mic pre-amp?

halledise
5th March 2008, 08:58 PM
thank you kind sirs

Brains
5th March 2008, 09:05 PM
Curra's right -- you can't just plug a normal turntable into a Mac's audio interface and expect it to work, because it won't. Not only is the output from a normal turntable very low, the frequencies coming off the needle are not 'flat', and need an RIAA phono filter to restore the frequency response to normal. You also would need a pre-amp to boost the signals up to 'line level' so that your Mac's audio interface can use it properly.

If your turntable is part of a component stereo system, and/or is plugged into a normal amplifier, you can use the amplifier's built-in RIAA phono filter and pre-amp, and you can hook the Mac's audio interface up to the amplifier's "Tape Out" sockets.

GarageBand is not the best software to use, however -- it is not an audio editor, and you're going to need an editor to top-and-tail your recordings and remove the occasional scratch or pop before you send them off to be burnt to CD or ripped into something for your iPod. Instead, I would suggest using the free Audacity program, or investing a few dollars in a good shareware audio editor such as Amadeus II (very powerful) or FeltTip Sound Studio.

decryption
5th March 2008, 09:17 PM
So if I had a mic-preamp and plugged a record player into it, would that get enough level, or do I still need an RIAA phono filter? I thought most turntables have a phono stage in it, or part of a system (you had to listen to the records somehow)?

Brains
6th March 2008, 09:03 AM
No, you would have impedance problems as well as the frequency response being still out of whacko.

Turntables output what is technically known as an 'RIAA compliant phono signal' which can be mono or stereo, depending on the cartridge and pickup on the tone-arm. Re-equalisation, needed to correct the RIAA encoding that is put into every vinyl during the master-cutting process, is usually accomplished in the main amplifier, or in a special 'phono stage' input amplifier on a mixer's channel-strip.

Griffin's iMic, as well as a couple of similar products for Windows, let you perform the amplification and RIAA-EQ trick in software, but that software will only work with the hardware interface it is bundled with.

Brewster
6th March 2008, 09:54 AM
As Brains mostly has said already, an IMic is a good cheap solution.

I use a Griffin PowerWave for importing LPs. It comes with software Final Vinyl that it designed for just what you are doing. It allows you to set the input from turntables (applies the RIAA adjustment) without a pre amp and does a good job. You don't need to use Garageband.

The PowerWave is discontinued (look on eBay) but a an iMic < Griffin Technology: iMic (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/imic) >can do the same thing because it also comes with Final Vinyl. You just need a cable to get the RCA leads from the turntable linked to a 3.5 stereo jack to get it into the iMic. My PowerWave came with various cables to do all this so hopefully the iMic does too.

After I have the songs as files from Final Vinyl I put them through CD Spindoctor (comes with Toast) to clean the sound up a bit ("de pop", " de crackle" and tweak the eq).

We used the PowerWave for vocals and guitars into Garageband for a few years until we moved to an M Box. It is OK quality for music but you need to spend more if you get serious.

stevejay
6th March 2008, 10:19 AM
You don't only need a gain stage, you need an RIAA filter. Vinyl is recorded with a predictable bass removal and played back with the reverse equalisation to put it back in.

Rather than Garage Band (my personal fave app for everything else audio) I use Audacity because the EQ plugin has an RIAA preset built-in. It's free, 32 bit (like the pixel depth in a photo) and handles sample rates way beyond CD at up to 192k (both bit-depth and sample-rate features being useful for getting really clean equalisation before resampling back to 44k1 for CD.)

The few vinyls I've recorded, I've done using a Sony Singstar USB adapter for audio in (it's got digital control of its analogue gain and is designed for mic level input) I use it at 48k sample rate. Get 'em off eBay for 25 bucks or there abouts.

The other factor to consider is, this is as "illegal" as downloading the CD versions of your albums from bit torrent, and the quality isn't always as good as a CD rip, nor is it quicker than pirating a CD rip. You really shouldn't do either, record or download.

stevejay
6th March 2008, 10:26 AM
So if I had a mic-preamp and plugged a record player into it, would that get enough level, or do I still need an RIAA phono filter? I thought most turntables have a phono stage in it, or part of a system (you had to listen to the records somehow)?

The turntables that have phono stages are line level out and the iMic will be fine.

Not all turntables have phono stages. The dead giveaway is an earth cable attached to the stereo cable out. A raw feed from the cartridge requires a common earth feed. A deck with the line amp and RIAA built-in probably doesn't need common earthing to the amplifier.

rpjallan
6th March 2008, 10:57 AM
What about USB turntables? Has anyone tried one?

Brains
6th March 2008, 09:04 PM
The other factor to consider is, this is as "illegal" as downloading the CD versions of your albums ...

Not any more.

Australian copyright law allows the end-user to change the format-space (ie, what media types) of a licensed or permitted copy of a copyrighted work to be changed, for the express purpose of creating a backup of said work. This is one area where Australian legislation supercedes those parts of the copyright rulings imposed by the US on Australia by the FreeTrade Agreement.

In other words. you can make a backup of your vinyl records to CD or MP3 or whatever with impugnity. The normal subclause pertaining to transferance of copyrighted work applies to any backups (said backup copies are to be included with the original on transfer of the work to the new owner, or destroyed, and may not be redistributed).

rpjallan: Most standalone USB based turntables are reasonable quality for general use -- for someone who wants to transfer their old Slim Whitman or Count Down vinyls into a format their iPod can play, they are perfect. If you're an audiophile, using a proper direct-drive turntable with RIAA-EQ filter and associated pre-amp is the preferred course of action, because any vinyl purist wouldn't dream of letting their precious Deutsche Grammophon pressings anywhere near a belt-drive turntable (all USB turntables are belt-drive, which can add a rumble discernable to the trained ear, and give a less-than-perfect rotation speed ofthe platter).

NORMANDY
31st August 2008, 12:14 PM
Has anyone used these? are they any good. I have just discovered some very rare, albums doing a garage clean-out, (including the ULTRA RARE Game Over, Album by Player One, a very rare Aussie band that did a whole album devoted to Space Invaders in 1979, apparently now worth 1000s of dollars, as only a few 1000 albums were made, and none now exist but a rare few...) and would like to transfer the songs on them, only about 3 albums. Thus have looked on e-bay, but paying 100 bucks to transfer 3 records to AAC doesn't seem value for money for me.

Anyways if anyone has one to sell, let me know.. not looking at spending any more than 50 bucks max...

Brains
31st August 2008, 08:17 PM
Most USB-oriented turntables are pretty decent these days, but because they are built to a price and use belt drive, you can be up for a little bit of noise or 'flutter'. Considering a professional turntable is still well over $1,000 (and that's just the big spinny bit, the cartridge and stylus cost extra), then $100 is essentially chicken-scratchings by comparison.

Anyway, once word spreads amongst your friends and family that you have a way of turning old LPs into CDs, you will be inundated with bags of old rekkids and phone calls asking "My nan wants her old Perry Como albums on CD, can you help?" You can either make a few shekels doing a vinyl-to-CD service for your relations, or very quickly find a new home for the turntable itself.

antechinus55
31st August 2008, 08:30 PM
I vote for an imic attached to aux/tape on an amplifier, with audacity as the software of choice. Easy to use, great price. I have tried a few others and I always seem to come back to audacity. The imic is both input and output device, so you can also play your itunes through your stereo (definitely better than any desktop speakers).
Just remember, that if you select it as your output device (in system preferences) and you don't have aux/tape selected on your amplifier, you will not get any system sounds (a small point, but it has caught me on a few occassions).

NORMANDY
1st September 2008, 08:48 AM
Cool, thanks.

I already have an imac.. so now off to find a turntable with a pre amp..

Angsty
1st September 2008, 09:18 AM
What about USB turntables? Has anyone tried one?

Yep, I bought the ION turntable and it has been easy to use.

I decided to go with Roxio's CD Spin Doctor to capture the audio (Audacity is included in the box).

It does take a while though to convert, done in real time. Of course, lots of re-doing due to jumps and scratches that stuff up the playback.

then the fun and games as you play with the filters to reduce static, pops, crackle and other background noise, without losing the "feel" of the audio.

I have deliberately left the familiar pops and crackles in most of my album sides - more authentic and "sounds" right :)

Ang

Brains
1st September 2008, 10:06 AM
I already have an imac ...

Do you mean you already have an iMic, as in the Griffin iMic audio adaptor?


... so now off to find a turntable with a pre amp.

Methinks you may be a tad confused about what you need.

If you already have a Griffin iMic, all you need is an ordinary turntable -- the iMic has its own software controlled pre-amp and can do the RIAA equalisation in software.

If you already have a line-in (sound input port) on your Mac, then you need either:
- a normal turntable and a normal domestic amplifier witha "phono" input and tape-out RCA jacks; you plug the turntable into the phono input and run a cable from the tape-out jacks to your sound input
- a normal turntable and a self-contained phono pre-amp such as the Behringer Micro Phono (it so happens someone has one for sale here on the forums for $20 and they're in Melbourne too)
- a turntable with a built-in phono pre-amp and standard line-level outputs (Dick Smiths and Tandy sell such a unit for under $100)

The ION USB turntable is a self-contained unit with built-in RIAA pre-amp, line-level outputs, and a built-in digitiser to pump the signal via USB, which is handy for computers that don't have a normal sound input or for when you don't feel buying a separate $100+ audio interface is necessary.

Hope that clears things up!

NORMANDY
1st September 2008, 10:11 AM
Do you mean you already have an iMic, as in the Griffin iMic audio adaptor?



Methinks you may be a tad confused about what you need.

If you already have a Griffin iMic, all you need is an ordinary turntable -- the iMic has its own software controlled pre-amp and can do the RIAA equalisation in software.

If you already have a line-in (sound input port) on your Mac, then you need either:
- a normal turntable and a normal domestic amplifier witha "phono" input and tape-out RCA jacks; you plug the turntable into the phono input and run a cable from the tape-out jacks to your sound input
- a normal turntable and a self-contained phono pre-amp such as the Behringer Micro Phono (it so happens someone has one for sale here on the forums for $20 and they're in Melbourne too)
- a turntable with a built-in phono pre-amp and standard line-level outputs (Dick Smiths and Tandy sell such a unit for under $100)

The ION USB turntable is a self-contained unit with built-in RIAA pre-amp, line-level outputs, and a built-in digitiser to pump the signal via USB, which is handy for computers that don't have a normal sound input or for when you don't feel buying a separate $100+ audio interface is necessary.

Hope that clears things up!


Hey thanks.... I was confused about what I need... a few people at work have standard turntables, so I may be able to borrow that, I have used the griffin imic before for AUDIO Tapes, so familiar with its operation. Failing everything I will just go to dick smith.