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Big_J
11th August 2005, 10:10 AM
Hi everyone,

I would like to start converting some LP's into digital format... Apple Lossess would be great but even mp3 would be fine.

Anyone here done this on their Mac? If so, what do I need (i.e. software/hardware?) and how hard is it to do?

Cheers!

emacmark
11th August 2005, 10:23 AM
As I type this my wife, who is having a day off to enjoy the snow down here is digitising some LPs.

We use the griffin powerwave, which i picked up on ebay for $100 and the griffin software Final Vinyl.

We have recorded about 30 albums. We save as AIFF ( you can choose between AIFF or WAV ) then copy to DVD.
We then save to itunes and convert to AAC.

Hope this helps

Mark

deadants
11th August 2005, 10:39 AM
You can get a turntable from Dick Smith that you can connect to your line in. Or you could copy your LP to tape then use a lead from the headphone jack on the cassette player to your line in. To capture the sound you could try Sound Studio or the software that comes with Toast, Peak express

mwot
11th August 2005, 11:12 AM
I also use Sound Studio, and have been for about 3 years now. Have only used it for cassette (don't have an LP player and for the few vinyls I have, don't think I'd buy one) and I'm happy with the results. Sound Studio will save as an AIFF (as a default). There are a couple of other formats (probably WAV and MP3).

marc
11th August 2005, 11:41 AM
GarageBand should be able to do this, right?

All you need is a way of getting the signal in.

MacNut
11th August 2005, 12:51 PM
I used a turntable I bought from Dick Smith and Spin Doctor 2 which comes with Toast 6 and it worked fine. I have just done my last LP so no longer need the turntable :P

EDIT: Spelling

MidnightMan
11th August 2005, 02:09 PM
I use Audacity (which is free) on the Mac to record and edit the side of an LP into single tracks. I don't know if Audacity is specifically designed for this and there are other products out there that are probably better but it works for me. I always record at 16-bit and 44100 Hz and export the file as an 'aiff' file. I then import the aiff file into iTunes and burn a CD from there.

It is also better to connect your turntable to a pre-amp (or integrated amp) hrough the phono stage on the amp (if it has one) and connect the pre-amp to your Mac.

Squozen
11th August 2005, 03:40 PM
Yes, phono level is significantly lower than line level, so you should be using a preamp unless you know for sure that the turntable has a line output (which is very uncommon on good quality hardware - I have a Michell Focus One myself :P ).

emacmark
11th August 2005, 03:46 PM
The griffin powerwave takes care of all pre amp stuff and Final Vinyl takes care of all other audio settings and editing is a breeze.

http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info....roducts_id=1205 (http://www.streetwise.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=1205)

Also, Final Vinyl is a free download to Griffin owners

froggy
11th August 2005, 04:21 PM
Big J,

Thanks for starting this topic/thread. I am about to start doing the same job, but I can't say that I am looking forward to the challenge!

I was advised to get an iMic (Griffin) to connect my Hi-Fi system with turntable and other components and then use any of the software available. I downloaded Audacity and have done one trial recording. The results are just average, I would say.

emacmark, I had heaps of trouble getting Final Vinyl to do anything useful.

I'm interested in seeing what others have done and any other comments that follow, too. When you decide which way you will go, I would be interested in hearing about your experiences.

emacmark
11th August 2005, 05:04 PM
Froggy,
I was last in grenfell back in 1983 when my gliding club paid a visit there for Easter.
We use Final Vinyl with the Powerwave and have no problems at all. We too were advised to buy an iMic but I read on other Forums to avoid it as the powerwave was far more useful.
What seems to be troubling you with Final Vinyl?
Mark

SecretWorld
12th August 2005, 04:52 PM
I bought a Stanton DJ turntable (unfortunately with no preamp) a few months ago, and have done a lot of experimentation with transferring vinyl to digital files.

I have an iMac G4, the aforementioned Stanton turntable, a Griffin iMic and the Griffin Turntable Cable (with grounding wire).

I have found Final Vinyl to be useful, but highly unstable. I used FV because it came with the iMic, and was the only software I could find which claimed to boost the gain of the signal using the RIAA curve (the standard amplification for vinyl LPs). It has worked perfectly about 20% of the time, producing great sounding files with only a bit of tweaking and cleaning. 80% of the time however, Final Vinyl will either crash, or even with the same connections and settings produce an ungodly howling noise, or it will suddenly only record in low bitrate mono sound.

I ended up using CD Spin Doctor (which came with my copy of Toast 6) to do the recording. It worked eventually and the iMic somehow seemed to provide enough boosting of the signal to make a reasonable capture. It doesn't sound quite right though, and I suspect it's an RIAA curve issue. I used Bias Peak Express and SoundSoap to fill out some of the missing frequencies and clean up the noise and crackles, but I'm hoping to buy a better interface soon (the PowerWave or the Terratec Phono PreAmp Studio USB).

froggy
12th August 2005, 05:44 PM
Hi emacmarc

I'm really not sure what it was doing. Maybe the problem(s) that I was having were related to the iMic rather than FInal Vinyl. As Audacity is not giving me good results either, maybe the iMic is thr problem.

Hang around here in case I need more help, though, please!

Cheers
Andrew

emacmark
12th August 2005, 06:00 PM
Hi Andrew,

When I was researching this topic, all the forums I went to said to keep right away from the imic. They all recommended the powerwave. I bought it from honolulu and the bloke I bought it from said he used it for 100s of LPs withFV. Final Vinal works for us 99% of the time and I think the other 1% is user error.
My wife and daughter have hundreds of the songs on their ipods, and whilst the quality is not perfect like a cd, its good enough for them.
Mark

dann
12th August 2005, 08:58 PM
I use the line in on my powerbook and sound studio. Using technics 1200 turntable and vestax mixer. sounds pretty good. Make sure the records and stylus are clean (dust free!), use a new stylus if you can. I have used garageband, but found it became unstable if the track was more than 5 minutes long (probably due to my g4 with 512 mb ram).
I have also recorded stuff using Amadeus. Good for recording radio - because you can record directly to file - so if the program crashes (or your GF closes the lid on your notebook mid-recording (!)) you still get the what you recorded up to that point. Not sure if sound studio can do this.

morpheme2004
12th August 2005, 11:07 PM
Bumping it up because this seems like a really interesting topic.

Please... continue...

marc
13th August 2005, 12:13 AM
I honestly can't believe some of you are getting decent results without a preamp (or mixer) or some kind.

In terms of software, it really doesn't matter as all you're doing is 2 track recording and top/tailing. Better A/D converters will make a big difference (ie. not using the Mac's input).

paulearl
13th August 2005, 06:02 AM
I use the tape record output from the back of my amplifier and plug into the line in of my PB. I use the system preferences to set the input volume and source then use a program called Spark LE, which was a free version of the expensive program. Not sure if this version is still available. I record the whole album then separate it into its various tracks directly from Spark. You can also send these tracks directly to Toast from Spark and burn them to CD. I have done over a hundred this way. I have also played around with removing severe cracks and pops by zooming in on the sound wave and editing it. Other programs like Audacity and Sound Studio are quite good too.

I did try using the iMic but the volume input was too high and difficult to set but that was on the old Powerbook which didn't have a dedicated line in. My current one does.

Johnny Appleseed
13th August 2005, 08:26 AM
It would be quicker and better quality if you downloaded the albums from All of MP3 (http://www.allofmp3.com). I know the legality is questionable, but you do already own the albums and the end result - having the songs in digital format - will be the same.

emacmark
13th August 2005, 08:45 AM
[quote]
Johnny Appleseed Posted on Aug 13 2005, 08:26 AM
It would be quicker and better quality if you downloaded..........

I just did a quick search for "The Goons", as my wife was digitising some old LPs for a friend & nope, no such luck on that website. Thats why we are doing what were doing.

Mark

marc
13th August 2005, 02:34 PM
emacmark :: I found The Goons on CD for my dad (he's a huge fan). I think they were $10!! Bargain.

marc
13th August 2005, 02:41 PM
Spark LE (http://www.tcelectronic.com/SparkLE) looks great.

Seriously though, the most important components for a good quality recording are:
- Deck / stylus
- Preamp
- A/D converter used (Mac input or 3rd party interface)

The software is pretty much just acting as a tape deck. You should be able to use QuickTime to record and iTunes to burn.

dann
13th August 2005, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by Johnny Appleseed@Aug 13 2005, 08:26 AM
It would be quicker and better quality if you downloaded the albums from All of MP3 (http://www.allofmp3.com). I know the legality is questionable, but you do already own the albums and the end result - having the songs in digital format - will be the same.
I have quite a lot of vinyl, and quite strange tastes. I searched allofmp3 for the next 5 things i am going to record. none of them are available.

SKP
13th August 2005, 07:15 PM
I am also TRYING to use Spin Doctor on a G3 iBook........
The problem I am having is to select the sound input device. The ONLY options I am given in System Pref. is the INTERNAL MIC. and I can't seem to get any other options available.
Any ideas?

dann
13th August 2005, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by SKP@Aug 13 2005, 07:15 PM
I am also TRYING to use Spin Doctor on a G3 iBook........
The problem I am having is to select the sound input device. The ONLY options I am given in System Pref. is the INTERNAL MIC. and I can't seem to get any other options available.
Any ideas?
what sort of input are you using?

Ibooks (all of them) do not have audio inputs, you need an external adapter (powerwave, imic etc).

Powerbooks have a line-in.

SKP
14th August 2005, 11:57 AM
Hmm... thought that might be the problem.....

Thanks

Johnny Appleseed
17th August 2005, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by dann@Aug 13 2005, 06:56 PM
I have quite a lot of vinyl, and quite strange tastes. I searched allofmp3 for the next 5 things i am going to record. none of them are available.
Shame. My tastes are fairly mainstream so I've had quite a lot of luck there.

Also, here are a couple (http://www.macworld.com/2005/01/features/tapetocd/index.php) of tutorials (http://playlistmag.com/features/2005/05/digitize/index.php) on the digitizing process (I think one is an expansion of the other).

Mikey
17th August 2005, 09:09 AM
Like others who have posted, I have put heaps of vinyl onto CD with a line out of the back of the amp direct into my 1ghz PB and recorded with Spin Doctor from Toast 6. Results are certainly listenable. Old vinyl cleans up very well using the hiss, pop and crackle filters, and you can even pump up the bass if that sort of thing floats your boat. Spin Doctor also has an 'excite' filter that basically tries to put back some of the lost frequencies taken out by the scratch filters. Grouse!

Divide up the recording into tracks, name them, export the track listing to CD artwork to print a cover (I find you can often find a decent resolution jpeg of the album cover on the net too!). Burn as a music CD and save as an MP3 in iTunes. Fab!

I would recommend giving the records a gentle wash with warm water and mild dishwashing detergent, and drying with a lint free cloth, if they are very dirty. The less mucking around with scratch filters the better. Don't let the label get too wet!

Mike

SKP
3rd September 2005, 11:19 PM
Having 'sorted' my August 13 problem by getting an iMic........... I now have trouble with the Final Vinyl program quitting while trying to edit a recording. It has also taken to deleting recordings of it's own volition !! Any suggestions?
SKP

spargo
4th September 2005, 12:24 AM
This has been bumped before because it was proving interesting and informative, and it has continued to do so.. :thumbup:

Any chance of it being pinned by the Creative FL's?

thebag
4th September 2005, 07:44 AM
Originally posted by Johnny Appleseed@Aug 13 2005, 08:26 AM
It would be quicker and better quality if you downloaded the albums from All of MP3 (http://www.allofmp3.com). I know the legality is questionable, but you do already own the albums and the end result - having the songs in digital format - will be the same.
Johnny Appleseed,

I don't know if this is getting off topic, but how do you find the site with regard to security?.

I'm a little bit wary about giving credit card details etc. to a Russian site, have you had any problems worth mentioning?.

I found some obscure stuff that fits my music taste and is currently in my LP collection, and would be interested in downloading. With the exception of the fact the site is Russian(no offence to our Eastern Bloc members)it doesn't look too bad.

Thanks

Mark

marc
4th September 2005, 05:29 PM
All of MP3 = very dodgy. (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/07/1137212&tid=141&tid=17)

They're certainly not endorsed by the music industry.

SKP
4th September 2005, 10:21 PM
Further to my comments / queries above........
FinalVinyl appears to be very erratic - doing its job on one attempt, then quiting on another..

The disappearing data act of my previous comment has been 'sorted'..... the Quick Edit button fields REMAIN active even when hidden !!! I accidentally clicked on the Track Delete button area when it was hidden. 'Nice' touch. !
The program still quits at the 'completion of making the wave form - prior to its' being displayed in the visual editor. The data is still there........ you just can't edit it !!

Altogether, a less than satisfactory program from Griffin. Why do Apple stores stock it??

SKP

emacmark
4th September 2005, 10:35 PM
Because it works every time for us. We have now recorded 46 LPs, and apart from some early mistakes by us learning the program, it has not missed a beat for us.
Mark :thumbup: Griffin.

Johnny Appleseed
5th September 2005, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by thebag@Sep 4 2005, 07:44 AM
I don't know if this is getting off topic, but how do you find the site with regard to security?.

I'm a little bit wary about giving credit card details etc. to a Russian site, have you had any problems worth mentioning?.

I did a little research before I used it, and found nothing but positive comments from users about credit card security. I've used it four times without issue.

Of course, that's not to say there won't be isolated problems, but from what I can gather the system is quite secure.

As I said earlier, it's just another way of digitizing an album I already own, only quicker and better-quality.

marc
5th September 2005, 10:09 AM
I guess it's up to you whether you support a site that clearly breaches copyright, but is unstoppable due to Russian law loopholes.

Personally, I'd feel better about downloading a song illegally than using AllofMP3.

Johnny Appleseed
5th September 2005, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by marc@Sep 5 2005, 10:09 AM
Personally, I'd feel better about downloading a song illegally than using AllofMP3.
Isn't it the same thing?

At least with All of MP3 (http://www.allofmp3.com) you get guaranteed quality, and the format and bitrate of your choice.

marc
5th September 2005, 02:58 PM
But you're paying someone who is doing the wrong thing, so they're profiting from their activities. That's much worse than not paying anyone. Although, both are bad.

Johnny Appleseed
5th September 2005, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by marc@Sep 5 2005, 02:58 PM
But you're paying someone who is doing the wrong thing, so they're profiting from their activities. That's much worse than not paying anyone. Although, both are bad.
Fair point. Though All of MP3 charges by the kilobit, and the prices are so low you'd think they were only covering costs. They also claim to pay royalties to a copyright foundation, but it can't be much.

Squozen
5th September 2005, 03:33 PM
Best bet: use AllofMP3, then contact the artist directly and send them a couple of dollars, which you can guarantee is more than their label would be paying them per album.

Legally this is still dodgy, but I'm past caring about record labels. They screw the artist and deserve to die.

emacmark
9th October 2005, 03:25 PM
If anyone was after a cheap powerwave, there is one on ebay atm :
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Griffin-PowerWave-L...1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Griffin-PowerWave-LNIB-Free-Shipping_W0QQitemZ6807632314QQcategoryZ3701QQssPag eNameZWD2VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
Mark

froggy
28th December 2005, 11:17 PM
Time to resurrect an old thread

I got my brother, using his windoze laptop, to download Audacity and do some LP conversions for me. I've tried three Macs - one iMac and two iBooks - and can't get any decent sound transfer.

Why does windoze do this and the Mac not? :thumbdn:

hawker
28th December 2005, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by froggy@Dec 28 2005, 10:47 PM
Why does windoze do this and the Mac not? :thumbdn:
Because ten to one they can download the songs from the ITMS :P

In all seriousness but, I have no reason... However, I think if you looked into some Pro recording audio programs/ gear you might find something.. who knows!

froggy
28th December 2005, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by hawker@Dec 28 2005, 11:20 PM
Because ten to one they can download the songs from the ITMS :P
Most of what I have on LP will never be seen on ITMS. Anywhere!

hawker
28th December 2005, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by froggy@Dec 28 2005, 10:57 PM
Most of what I have on LP will never be seen on ITMS. Anywhere!
They'll get ABBA on at some point :P

Nah, I know what you mean. I am sure Dad will want to move some of his LP collection over one day... He has boxes and boxes of the crap!

marc
29th December 2005, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by froggy@Dec 28 2005, 11:17 PM
Why does windoze do this and the Mac not? :thumbdn:
What's the PC doing that the macs aren't?

Honestly, almost all audio pros use macs, so if it can't be done on a mac, it can't be done.

MidnightMan
29th December 2005, 09:15 AM
I got my brother, using his windoze laptop, to download Audacity and do some LP conversions for me. I've tried three Macs - one iMac and two iBooks - and can't get any decent sound transfer.

Why does windoze do this and the Mac not

I am using my powerbook to do LP transfers at the moment. I have used Audacity with excellent results. I have also used a trial version of Amadeus II with equally good results.

What do you mean by can't get decent sound transfer? Is the quality a problem, or can't you get a signal through? If it's quality, then the other equipment you are using will affect that, ie turntable and pre-amp. If it's a lack of signal then look in system preferences under sound or Audacity's preferences to change the input and signal strength.

hawker
29th December 2005, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by marc@Dec 29 2005, 07:11 AM
Honestly, almost all audio pros use macs, so if it can't be done on a mac, it can't be done.
marc. Macs are not the end of the world.

Macs suck for gaming :P

emacmark
29th December 2005, 10:13 AM
Originally posted by hawker@Dec 29 2005, 09:25 AM
Macs suck for gaming :P
Well, I am playing WoW atm and have had no end of problems setting up my PC (P4, 128mb Winfast Ti 4200, xp home). So much so that I have abondoned it.
Absoloutly no problems with my iBook and eMac.

Generalising is dangerous :P

marc
29th December 2005, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by hawker@Dec 29 2005, 09:25 AM
marc. Macs are not the end of the world.

Macs suck for gaming :P
Agreed!

But... in the world of audio, OS X is KING!

hawker
29th December 2005, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by marc@Dec 29 2005, 10:37 AM
Agreed!

But... in the world of audio, OS X is KING!
High end they are good. low end the are shit :P

marc
29th December 2005, 11:26 AM
Well... if you already have the mac, then the software and peripherals cost the same. So they are definitely aren't bad for low end either, especially in the context of this thread.

Kwak
29th December 2005, 11:46 AM
We transfer our vinyl onto CDRWs using a Philips CDR 765 which permits track splitting on the fly; however, as that feature requires manual internvention for accurate results all final editing is now done on the Mac (PB17 and iMac G5 2G).

Track editing is done with Sound Studio 3

http://www.freeverse.com/soundstudio/

as the package possesses an adequate range of formats, most especially aiff, aac, mp3 and wav, into which the final version can be converted and is also compatible (mostly) with Automator (useful for bulk conversions). Track splitting of one long recording (i.e. one side of a disc) is easily accomplished with marker inserts (the marker list can in turn be edited).

For particularly noisy vinyl, ClickRepair

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/27231

has been the most successful Declicking solution, with less impressive results from both SoundSoap and RayGun Pro

http://www.macmusic.org/news/view.php/lang/EN/id/3610/ (a plug-in for HyperEngine AV).

For bulk audio file conversion, SoundConverter is extremely useful

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/18047

although some other purchasers don't seem to have had much success with the package.

Finally, for direct audio input I use an M-Audio Quattro (USB) audio/MIDI interface which allows 4 in/out analog audio channels and have found this works well with the likes of Logic and Sound Studio.

flexmartin
26th April 2006, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by Kwak@Dec 29 2005, 11:46 AM
Track splitting of one long recording (i.e. one side of a disc) is easily accomplished with marker inserts (the marker list can in turn be edited).

Kwak,

Track splitting! Interesting.
I like to fool around making mix CD's but end up with one long track and Track Splitting sounds like the solution. Am i right to say that this allows me to put markers into the raw recorded material so that I can burn them all to CD, with 0 seconds between tracks, to get continuous music, but still use a CD players track skip button to skip to each track?

I kinda know that it's possible but have never investigated it until now. Does anyone know if there's free SW that offers this feature? Can Audacity do this 'Track Splitting' kind of thing?

Cheers,
M

MidnightMan
26th April 2006, 04:28 PM
You are right to say that track splitting allows you to put markers in to burn a CD with continuous music but also with the ability to skip songs like on a purchased CD.

These programs work by analysing the music file for silent or quieter sections and placing markers at those points. You can fiddle with them yourself too. Once you are happy with where the markers are placed the software saves each song as a separate music file which can then be burnt to a CD using iTunes or Toast.

I don't know of any free software (for Mac) that will do this. I use CD Spin Doctor which comes bundled with Toast Titanium. I have version 7 of Toast. CD Spin Doctor will enable you to record and split the music. I find the user interface of Toast to be the best and quickest for me to do the track splitting. Other programs I have used are Amadeus II, which is also quite good, and it is cheaper than Toast (but then you don't get all the other benefits that Toast has). A program I used on my PC days was LP Ripper, which was free but also very clunky and not user friendly.

The downside of CD Spin Doctor is that I have found it to be the most unstable program I have used, that is, it often crashes meaning that you have to save after every change you make in case it crashes and you lose what you have done. It still works OK overall though, and I am still happy to use it over the other programs simply because of the user interface. I guess it just works well with the way I like to do it. As you get to know it you learn how to treat the program gently thereby avoiding crashes.

Audacity can do track splitting, but only in a round about way. You have to use the editing features to edit everything else out apart from the song that you want and then save/export that file as an .aiff file. Audacity is very stable and very acurate, meaning that in the large file you are splitting, you can pinpoint a spot in the music file to 6 decimal places (from memory), that is hours, minutes, seconds, then fractions of seconds to 6 decimal places. It is by remembering that 6 decimal figure that you keep track of where the next song is to begin.

I hope this makes sense!! I can go into more detail on how I used Audacity if you like, but overall Audacity is not really designed for the purpose of track splitting and as a consequence it is time consuming.

Sonically, I have noticed no difference in using any of these programs mentioned above, but it's not something I have specially tested. I use a refurbished Thorens TD 160 MkII as my turntable with a re-wired Rega 3 arm and Ortofon cartridge. My phono stage is home built (not by me, but by somebody who knows what they are doing!). I plug the phono stage directly into the audio in on my Powerbook.

Interestingly I saw another Thorens TD 160 MkII in a second hand shop on Unley Road (Adelaide) today, with a Rega arm and cartridge. It was only $399! I would recommend a turntable like that to anybody who is doing vinyl transfers becuase they are good value for money and much better than those Technics etc rubbish. The results you get with a properly set up turntable that is in good working order, with a good arm and cartridge, will be very good. I would rather have a Linn turntable, but unfortunately I don't have that kind of money, and I'd have to upgrade the rest of my system too!

I hope this has helped you.
R

flexmartin
27th April 2006, 09:08 AM
Hey MidnightMan,

Thanks for the detailed response. Yes, it did all make sense.

I'm a little embarrassed as I actually own Toast Titanium 7 so I have CD SpinDoctor already! I clearly don't have enough time to see what's right under my nose ;) Thanks for the tips about it's stability too.

M