Digitising LPs - cheap option?

I have a number of old LP’s from my youth that are not available digitally and I’m looking at digitising them on the cheap. Most people seem to recommend going through an ADC then into the PC but I can’t understand why you can’t go direct to a microphone input on the motherboard. (with appropriate 5 din to stereo jack lead). I appreciate the quality may be an issue but I’m tight and the LP’s don’t get an outing that often anyway.

Anybody want to put me right??

Mike, why don’t they get an outing very often?

Couple of good tracks and the rest is filler basically

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What are the albums - I managed to track down pretty all my old vinyl as digital downloads.

I’d give your internal sound card method a try and see what you think. Only you can make the decision as to whether more money spent here would be worthwhile.

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Various but generally early 80’s new wave.

couple of examples - Hambi and the dance, Gee Mr Tracy (found mp3 quality at best).

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I take your point.

Has the turntable a phono pre-amp build in? If not how do you achieve the RIAA correction? Or am I missing something?

I also don’t get it, you run a LP12? Are you looking to get rid of your vinyl front end? Not that it’s any of our business :slight_smile:

If it’s a one off, why not just use a vinyl digitising service?

I’ll take a 5 pin din from the tape out on the preamp to the microphone jack on my PC. I already have a 5 din to 4 phono, so I’ve ordered a 2 female phono to stereo jack to give it a try. Hopefully this negates the need for RIAA correction, although as I recall Audacity does also do a rudimentary correction if required

Not get rid of, just don’t want to spend the money on replacing my aging Troika. I find the convenience of streaming plus suffering from hand tremors reasons for not using the LP12 so much.

Understood. I googled vinyl digitising service on the off chance before suggesting it, they do exist, if it’s a small number of LPs might just be worth getting someone else to do it and moving swiftly on?

How do you currently have your LP12 connected, there most be a phono stage somewhere in there!?

And could you not better used the line-in of the soundcard instead of mic-in? Mic input is made for a very low signal and will be massive overloaded with the output signal from your pre-amp. Also, not sure if the mic input is stereo or just mono.

The internal sound card of your computer will probably work ok. You’ll get better results with a dedicated hi res unit though. Use Audscity which is very good, easy to use and, best of all, free…

I currently don’t have a soundcard, but the motherboard has mic in. Interesting about the levels. If it’s a problem I was eying up second hand esi Maya 44xt as a cheapish option

Just been checking motherboard spec. Mic in is stereo in this case but it also looks like one of the other jack ports can be configured as line in. Sounds promising

You’ll have some kind of sound card even if it’s integrated on the main board. Stick to 16 bit and it’ll probably be just fine.

I have done this. Sondek to NAC 82, then tape output to the line input on my Creative Labs Soundblaster Z-fi Elite, and captured with Audacity. It works very well, but the 50th Anniversary remixed CD I subsequently bought does sound better. And the LP? “It was twenty years ago today……” :grin:

I.e. using the computer’s ADC instead of a specialist one.

A decent stand-alone one is highly likely to have better analogue circuitry, though how significant that would be may well depend on the level of signal you use. More about this below.

In fact using the computer’s ADC is what I did when I digitised all my LPs. I did that because I hadn’t bought any LPs for years, only buying CDs, my cartridge would need have needed replacing before long, and wear was continuing to take its toll, especially on favourites which by definition were well played. It is 13 -14 years ago now since I did it, so I’m a little hazy on the precise setup I settled on, but I think it was this:

First of all, I decided to listen to every album at the same time, it being a perfect opportunity to go through my collection from A-Z, identifying if there were any that I no longer wanted to keep (there were, but only a handful), and identifying any so badly worn that it would be better to simply replace with a CD if available.

I deemed that the best approach would be to use the preamp’s tape out to provide the signal for digitising, thereby using the normal moving coil input, and leaving listening unaffected. I connected the tape out to the computer input socket, using a decent quality stereo pHono(RCA)-ended cable, with a double phono to 3.5mm adaptor at the computer end. IIRC I tried the soundcard’s mic level and line level settings, however the digitised recording didn’t sound too great (too hazy to recall detail, but possibly too much noise), though line level better… I had a spare preamp - a Musical Fidelity The Preamp 2A - that I had retired from use because an unexplained fault on one occasion when playing loud, with the MC input going into oscillation, destroying the speakers’ bass drivers. i fed the main preamp’s tape output into a line level input of the MF, and connected the main output of the MF to the MF preamp to the computer (set to line level). That allowed a higher level signal, with level controllable by the MF’s volume control. The result when burnt to a CD sounded pretty much the same as the original vinyl, at least, close enough to be acceptable.

I did the ripping using software called Audacity. It is a powerful program, and as well as purely digitising it can be used for all manner of tweaking - but I felt wary of changes. I played with a few, and settled on manual removal of clicks and pops. The auto de-click was OK up to a point, set to only do the worst ones. I then looked for pops and clicks manually (literally, viewing the waveform on the screen), and removed them. I can detail of how I did that if wanted, but this post is long enough already!

The files saved to .wav, from which I burnt CDs, and later when I switched to streaming I converted those same .wav files to flac. One thing to be aware of for streaming is the need for metadata with most playing software. I simply named files with a track number (with leading zero for single digit numbers), followed by track name, the added the track number making it essy to list in correct order. I saved the tracks in folders named according to the album. However with no otger metadata quite a few library/playing software packages don’t respond well, some not even recognising as music files to play. Other metadata would need to be added - I don’t know if Audacity enables that, or if you’d then have to use a separate tag editor.

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To add metadata the MIML-package included with a Melco music-server can use the AcoustID database plus an audio-thumbprint to find the correct metadata. This database is not complete (about 16 million songs). The Jaikoz Audio Tagger (by the same author) can also do this on a personal computer.

Apple has made API:s to the Shazaam database (belieived as bigger than AcoustoID) available - but no taker yet.

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