Burning CD's from Vinyl?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Steeves, Apr 2, 2002.

  1. Brian Steeves

    Brian Steeves Second Unit

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    I have a buddy with a considerable vinyl collection that would like to be able to burn CD's from them for use in his car.

    Anyone have any experience with doing this? Any particular soundcards or software I should recommend?

    Thanks,

    Brian
     
  2. Rick Deschaine

    Rick Deschaine Stunt Coordinator

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    Roxio Easy CD Creator will do the trick. You just need to plug your music output directly into the soundcard.

    As for the best soundcard, someone else would have a better answer than me.

    Rick
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    This is very tricky, because the analog-to-digital conversion in mass-market sound cards usually are substandard with inferior audio paths and components. These machines are made for games and casual use, not serious listening and recording. In order to get good quality a good quality analog-to-digital conversion is required.
    There are many ways to accomplish this. One most obvious way would be to buy a hi-fi CD recorder instead of a computer. All the circuitry would be optimized for audio. Unfortunately the tracking and such would be a pain in the ass. It will be nearly impossible to track perfectly.
    Another more common way would be to get a pro quality sound card or external USB digital audio box. This will cost probably $200 or more but can theoretically yield great results. Then use CD mastering software to put the WAV files to CD.
    Alternately, you can use method (1) with a CD-RW, rip the CD-RW to a computer with a CD-Drive, modify the WAV files (normalize, remove pops and tickes, etc.), then write your CD. This is probably the easiest and most fool-proof solution, but will be time consuming.
    No matter what solution is decided on, I recommend Sonic Foundry SoundForge for the digital audio program on the PC. It is great. The "XP" version which is inexpensive should be sufficient for these needs.
    For CD Burning software I recommend the no longer supported or sold Sonic Foundry CD Architect software. I don't know where it can be found, but it is the best software for music CDs that I've ever experienced.
    Personally I use my hi-fi digital recorder, a Sony MiniDisc deck, connected through an optical SPDIF digital connection to my computer, where I record the WAV files in SoundForge. Then I create the CDs from those WAV files. My results are very good. This is functionally equivalent to using a hifi CD recorder then ripping the results to the PC.
     
  4. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I'd recommend a Soundblaster Live! card. There are many models, but any one will do. While Roxio is good for burning the CD's try using a shareware program called CD-Wave for recording from your vinyl to a wave file on your hard drive. CD-Wave is really great for manually splitting the wave file into tracks for each song. I find that Roxio's automatic splitting doesn't always sense each split correctly. Also, some songs run into each other without a space in between them, and Roxio misses these too. CD-Wave can be found at http://www.homepages.hetnet.nl/~mjmlooijmans/cdwave/
    If your vinyl has lots of clicks and pops you may want to experiment with Roxio's Spin Doctor program to clean them up.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    No offense to Rick, but if critical listening is desired I'd avoid anything from Creative Labs and do my sound card shopping at a music store for this application. In my not so limited experience anything not purpose-built for audio will yield substandard results for digital audio fomr analog sources.

    However, if your friend is only recording for casual listening in a car environment then Rick's recommendation is spot on. A SoundBlaster Live card will yield acceptible, yet far from optimal, results.
     
  6. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    I cannot go into software information because I am very limited in knowledge in that regard...thank goodness my partner is very smart on that.

    I have transferred a lot of my albums on to CD-R by ripping them and then cleaning them up like another suggested and honestly, I have no problems with the albums and the sound at all. If you take it from a reasonably good source, you will come out well. If the album has a lot of pops and scratchs and stuff, and just plain 'noise', you may encounter problems. What I did to make sure I had the best source available was for the albums that I had issues with, I searched old records stores or EBAY for mint records, and had the best luck.

    This is one of those reasons that I feel that music companies should get off their asses and release the stuff themselves...IT IS MONEY PEOPLE...and heaven knows the recording industry doesn't make enough :b !
     
  7. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I use a Phillips HI Fi Recorder and it does a great job. One little drawback is the auto track feature does not work with analog inputs. So if you dont sit there hitting the increment button after each track, you have a album side as one song.

    Just curious, are phono levels high enough to go directly in to a computer burner or do you need a preamp to lift the levels?

    Thanks

    Grant
     
  8. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    For what its worth, my results were pretty passable recording to minidisc on the hifi and then connecting the minidisc back to the PC in the other room. Not as good as I imagine Philip gets, but good enough for everyday use. Also, my minidisc player is a lot more portable than the PC, and no - a normal phono stage isn't loud enough to connect straight to the line in on a soundcard.
     
  9. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    "Just curious, are phono levels high enough to go directly in to a computer burner or do you need a preamp to lift the levels?"

    No, Grant, you will need a phono preamp, either in your receiver via a Phono input or bought separately.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  11. aeveritt

    aeveritt Agent

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    The Tascam CDRW-700 CD Recorder has the ability to adjust the sound level "floor" which triggers the auto-track feature that you guys are discussing. You can adjust it to compensate for tape hiss and other background noise. At one time I had a Philips CD recorder as well but I never used it for much more that digital-to-digital recordings so I never had the need for this adjustment. The Philips units may have this feature as well. It might be worth checking the user's manual to see, especially if you are doing a significant amount of recording from analog sources.
     
  12. DEAN DE FURIA

    DEAN DE FURIA Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm halfway through recording the Mobile Fidelity Beatles Boxset onto CD. I'm getting outstanding results using a stand-alone Pioneer recorder PDR-99. I'm amazed at the results. They sound better then the commercial CD's!
     
  13. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. Mikael Soderholm

    Mikael Soderholm Supporting Actor

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  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    It's not really that easy. The only reason I use this is that it was the cheapest way to go for me with the equipment that I had. [​IMG]
    It sounds a hell of a lot better than using analog into my sound card because the MD deck does really good A-D conversion. Nice thing is I can go from LD this way also. [​IMG]
    I belive that any Sony MD recorder with a digital out will work this way. The MDS-JB9x0 line is the best lower priced model for this. Note that you need a sound card with a digital "in" as well. Not sure that Sony intended their MD gear to be used as a Hi-Fi external Analog to Digital converter for a computer, but it works great in this capacity. [​IMG]
     
  18. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    I currently use a USB external audio device - the Edirol (Roland) UA-30 - it supports analogue RCA line levels, plus has an unbalanced (1/4") mic input and a direct guitar input. There are also 2 sets of digital inputs and outputs for optical and coax digital signals, at either 44.1 or 48kHz. A fabulous port. (I also have a phono preamp because my HT receiver doesn't have a phono input). The outputs include RCA stereo and 1/8" mini headphones.

    I use Steinberg's Get It On CD software for recording and importing. You can normalize your content (peak at 0db), reduce pops by highlighting wave portions and reducing the gain to match the remaining track (which goes a long way in bringing up the total volume when normalizing). It's also a great program for making a master live album, because you can insert track markers anywhere on the file to separate the tracks when the CD is created. It also writes to MP3 format, but I rarely use the feature because it takes far too long - I leave that to Audio Catalyst.
     

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