Need help digitizing library vinyl collection

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Brian Kidd, Dec 15, 2003.

  1. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Hey all!

    I work at a university library and have been charged with the task of digitizing our rather large collection of vinyl. The idea is to eventually make the sound files available through some type of media server.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what type of equipment I should request? I'm figuring on a turntable, amp, computer workstation with decent sound card, headphones, and the needed cables.

    Have I missed anything? Any suggestions as to equipment brands? I wouldn't say that they sky is the limit, but I also don't have to go el cheapo either.

    Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Supporting Actor

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    I would think you'd want to invest in a good software package that can handle the editing I assume you're going to want to do.

    Also, I assume that you've already dealt with the copyright issues? Or are these items now public domain?
     
  3. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Well, according to our local copyright guru; since we're an acedemic library we are allowed to make copies under the Fair Use clause as long as we keep the original vinyl. It would be when we trash the vinyl that we'd run into problems. We also planning on using a digital format that has DRM of some sort. Possibly WM 9 if we can't find an alternative. Anyone know of any other cheap or free codecs we can use with built-in DRM?
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Take a look in the computer section here, use the search function on the word "vinyl" and see the plethora of options available.

    You're on the right track. You'll need a table, cartridge, phono preamp, computer CD-R workstation with pro sound card, and authoring software.

    For day-in-day-out heavy use for archiving, I'd recommend a Technics DJ turntable. Don't skimp on the sound card!

    For CD burning software I'd recommend Cakewalk Pyro. Very inexpensive and very high quality. For audio editing and recording, SoundForge, they have a "lite" version, I can't remember the name of it, that is inexpensive and will perform very well. Get a phono preamp from Radio Shack. Any stereo system including PC speakers and headphones will work for monitoring.
     
  5. Julian Reville

    Julian Reville Screenwriter

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    I'd also recommend a good record cleaning machine.
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I would also reccomend getting maybe at least a few replacement phono stylis for whatever phono cartrige your using, and weight them heavy. I own and operated a recording studio for many years, and this is how we did our digitizing when those jobs came in from large vinal library owners.

    Editing software can do wonders for pops and such, that is for sure. Even a downright scratchy CD can be made so the noise level is so low compared to the sound content, they come off virtually crystal clear when done.

    We used SAW Studio for everything, but that is because we already owned it. Probbaly way over kill for what your wanting to do though.
     
  7. PhilBoy

    PhilBoy Second Unit

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    I assume all the vinyl is 'Library Quality' ?? Pretty beat up from years of use ?
     
  8. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Look at Pinnacle Clean!

    It's a low cost but VERY powerful ripping, editing, and denoising software program. It's easy to use and can automate the denoising of old worn Lp's

    I suggest creating standard .wav files. Those have no compression and are compatible with all CD/DVD players

    Of course you'll need a turntable/cartridge/phono-preamp, and a reasonable quality sound card.
     
  9. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I found using a CD recorder as the easiest. As far as I know auto increment does not work on lps so either you sit next to the recorder and hit "next track" or else one side is one song.
    Easy CD creator as a Music editor that will break it up into songs that works like a champ
     
  10. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    Brian,

    You might want to look at a laser turntable - if, as Phil suggested, the vinyl is "library quality", this might help a bit. I think the CD-like track seek/pause will especially help during the digitizing process.

    A CD burner although useful is probably not needed if you want to serve these off a music server. Isn't Windows Media 9 Services (encoding, streaming etc) included free in Windows Server 2003 (Standard Edition)? You might want to check this out too. If not, I think Academic Editions from MS are v cheap.
     
  11. Andy Goldstein

    Andy Goldstein Stunt Coordinator

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    when you make your copies, save the first generation to disk without any processing. no hiss or scratch removal, etc. that way you have as pure an original copy as possible. then, if you need/want to remove noise, make second generation copies. but keep the first generations as faithful to the vinyl as possible. you cant go back and undo bad processing, and better de-noising algorithms come along all the time.

    sm.
     
  12. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  13. PhilBoy

    PhilBoy Second Unit

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    I couldn't agree with Andy and Philip more...[​IMG]

    I am digitizing my LP's right now, and to reinforce what Andy said; record at CD quality 16 bit using an audio program like Goldwave with no processing.

    Capture each track individually with a good saturation level, not too low, not too high, then 'normalize' the volume with Goldwave... DO NOT filter, declick, dehiss your original. Keep this as your 'master'.

    For historical content any filtering you impose will alter the original mix.

    Any sound card will work even an SB16. Get a good cartridge with 'heavier' tracking capabilities to prevent skipping... some of those disks are toast anyway and one good play won't make them much worse.

    A clean pre-amp (perhaps using an older receiver of good quality) is critical to give you an acurate signal.

    Save your masters as .wav files (you will need the largest HD you can afford), unless you want to be constantly writing CD's to make room for the next capture.

    After you have the 'masters' you can convert them to mp3, or clean them up for distribution through the library's server.

    It would be easiest to capture each song individually and clip the lead-in, lead-out with the audio editor.

    Grab some magazines from the periodicals section... you gonna be a while.[​IMG]
     
  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Look into Get It On CD, a piece of software that I got from Sam Ash. It allows you to convert and upload the analog sound onto your computer. After that you can convert it further to MP3 if you wish for saving space. You do need a good sound card for the line input from the stereo and record player.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  16. John S

    John S Producer

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    Oh yeah, inserting track points is the way to go, especially if there is a large volume of LP's to do.

    Once the track points are inserted, individual MP and individual wav files are pretty easy to create anyways.


    Or it was with SAW studio anyways.
     
  17. FeisalK

    FeisalK Screenwriter

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    as regards soundcards, there's a buzz about the Lynx cards (sample at 24/96)
     
  18. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Oh yeah, doing it a track at a time is out of the question. I have a low pain threshold.

    Thanks for all of the advice. I'm pretty sure that they're alread set on a Technics turntable. We have one that they just purchased and it's pretty solid.

    The one thing I'm really up in the air on is the sound card. Some people say any sound card is fine while others recommend high-end ones. To be honest, the Library Director has been a little less-than-clear about what kind of quality she wants for these files. Obviously if she wants "as-good-as-I-can-make-them" files, then an expensive card might be worthwhile.

    Which software do you all think is best? Adobe Audition or Soundforge? We can get a good deal on Audition, but if Soundforge will be easier to use then we can get that.
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Soundforge is the one to use IMO. If you are not going to be doing any heavy processing on the files, simply normalizing them and maybe removing huge aggregious ticks and pops, you don't need to spring for the SoundForge full version, the "Studio" version is all you need.

    Your end result will only be as good as the Analog-to-digital converter in the signal chain. DO NOT SKIMP on the sound card.
     
  20. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    As stated in an earlier post Pinnacle Clean! is the easiest to use, it's very powerful if you need the features and it only costs $50
     

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