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e6003
2005-03-05, 08:48 AM
I've read and participated in some of the other threads on this topic, and I believe that external conversion from analog to digital is the way forward for me to seed a vinyl boot or two I have acquired. A couple of questions:

- Can consumer standalone hi-fi CD recorders typically be used as A/D converters without needing to re-rip the CD recorded? In other words, can you connect a turntable and hit record, but get a digital stream out of the recorder?

- I take it that vinyl > CD-R (hifi standalone recorder) > EAC > WAV > compress is NOT a legal lineage here, because of the prohibition on unnecessary CD-R generations?

- If I'm correct with my previous point, what about the following idea for conversion: record from the records onto a CD-R using a standalone recorder, then play the resulting CD back and stream the digital output of a CD player into the digital in of a PC soundcard? Would this be permitted by the rules here?

I ask, because I recently bought a DAT recorder off eBay but when I got it home, it refused to work. The seller is understanding and I hope to get my money back. I could take my chance on other eBay DAT recorders, but "once bitten"...!

Five
2005-03-05, 03:12 PM
- Can consumer standalone hi-fi CD recorders typically be used as A/D converters without needing to re-rip the CD recorded? In other words, can you connect a turntable and hit record, but get a digital stream out of the recorder?
look on the back, check the manual. does your standalone even have digital outputs? you'll also need a soundcard that can take digital inputs.

- I take it that vinyl > CD-R (hifi standalone recorder) > EAC > WAV > compress is NOT a legal lineage here, because of the prohibition on unnecessary CD-R generations?
The rule concerning unnecessary CDR generations mainly applies to Silver CDs (i.e. pressed bootlegs). You lineage would be legal, if you are sure this is your best option then it is necessary.

- If I'm correct with my previous point, what about the following idea for conversion: record from the records onto a CD-R using a standalone recorder, then play the resulting CD back and stream the digital output of a CD player into the digital in of a PC soundcard? Would this be permitted by the rules here?
I don't think this is explicitly prohibited, but it is not the best choice. Extracting the CDR using EAC will provide an error log whereas playing it back from the standalone is more haphazard.

I ask, because I recently bought a DAT recorder off eBay but when I got it home, it refused to work. The seller is understanding and I hope to get my money back. I could take my chance on other eBay DAT recorders, but "once bitten"...!
I don't understand what the DAT has to do with this... If the DAT has functional preamps and a digital output you could pipe that into your computer if you find it to be cleaner than the digital inputs on your soundcard (as often is the case).

e6003
2005-03-05, 08:13 PM
Thanks for the reply, Five. I guess I was a bit vague and should clarify a few things:

look on the back, check the manual. does your standalone even have digital outputs? you'll also need a soundcard that can take digital inputs.

I don't actually have a standalone recorder now, it was just one option I was considering to achieve A-D conversion outside the noisy environment of a computer.

The rule concerning unnecessary CDR generations mainly applies to Silver CDs (i.e. pressed bootlegs). You lineage would be legal, if you are sure this is your best option then it is necessary.

OK - I understand now.

I don't understand what the DAT has to do with this... If the DAT has functional preamps and a digital output you could pipe that into your computer if you find it to be cleaner than the digital inputs on your soundcard (as often is the case).

I was thinking in terms of LPs > external A-D converter > WAV as a general lineage, and I was checking different ideas for the external A-D converter bit. As it happens, there may be life in the DAT recorder after all, so I'd record the analogue sources to DAT and then digitally transfer to my PC. Hope I've clarified everything and thanks again for the answer!

h_vargas
2005-03-05, 09:47 PM
e6003 - what brand/model DAT player do you have? on the Sony home models (e.g. PCM-R300, PCM-R500, etc.), you can actually do the following, which works quite well and will save you time:

turntable (output) -> amp (if necessary, to get a good input level) -> DAT player in *pause*/'monitor' mode -> digital input on soundcard

that will give you a clean signal, you only have to capture the audio once in realtime, and no wasted/used DAT tapes. if your DAT player will power on, then you can likely use it safely as the A/D converter with this process. (most problems i've ever read or come across myself with DAT players are inability to either play/record/RW/FF tapes, never usually an issue with incoming or outgoing signals being distorted/hampered).

do you have a decent soundcard (read: a soundcard that is bit-accurate doesn't resample the incoming digital signal)? as a side note, most (if not all) Creative Labs soundcards - the SoundBlaster stuff - DO resample incoming digital signals (and are much less desirable as a result).

another aside note, if your DAT player needs to be repaired, a good place to get that done is at prodigitalinc.com. most DATheads swear by their work, and i've had things repaired there and only had good experiences. and no, i do not work for nor am i affiliated with ProDigital.

lastly, some consumer standalone CD recorders have a louse noise floor (above -75 dB, which is about the maximum acceptable amount). this means that a lot of these standalone CD recorders (when you use them to convert analog sources to CDR) actually ADD IN noise to the recording. it's like adding in another analog generation to the source. of course, if you were to use something like an HHB 880 CD recorder (a 'pro' model that costs a boatload of money), you likely will not run into this problem.

if your soundcard isn't bit-accurate for digital transfers, have no fears. there are cheap reliable options out there to remedy this, e.g. the Zoltrix Nightingale soundcard. it costs about $30, and has a bit-accurate digital input.

hope this info is useful.

Five
2005-03-06, 01:45 AM
:clap: this is the more elaborate version of what I was going to post. thanks vargas

h_vargas
2005-03-06, 05:29 AM
thanks, Five!

i try to provide useful (or useless) info and factoids whenever possible. i'm a geek that way. :D

e6003 - although it's easy to "get burned" by buying gear on ebay, it's not always a bad way to find equipment. one just needs to be smart when purchasing.

years ago, i bought a non-functional D7 off ebay so i could start taping concerts. included in the auction was a digital converter box; it had a 7-pin connector to the D7 as well as digital coax and optical toslink connectors for input/output. it cost me $100 (the digital converter box, at the time, was worth $50-100 by itself). no one bid on the item because it was being sold as a non-functional unit. so, i snagged it for $100 shipped with the digital converter box. i sent it to ProDigital, and paid $150 to get the D7 refurbished to new specs (turns out the unit would not power on, someone soldered in a wrong part electrical part). so i ended up paying $250 for a D7 and digital converter box, which at the time was a GREAT deal. point being, it's sometimes good to buy electronics like DAT players/recorders on ebay, when you can get them dirt cheap.

also, regarding using a DAT player as a "preamp," another nice thing about this method is that most "home" DAT decks have an analog volume input knob. this can help a GREAT deal in getting a nice input level while recording to the PC. btw, when doing analog > CDR conversions, it's always a good idea to go to the loudest part of the source material, and have it play to your soundcard/PC, and watch the levels. this way, you can adjust the input levels (on the DAT player analog input volume knob, for instance, and on the analog deck volume output knob if applicable). remember, you want a good signal... if possible, have the peaks hitting around -2 dB (this will give you a little headroom and help prevent any distortion), and the average peaks hitting around -12 dB to -6 dB. with input levels in those areas, the signal is hot enough to retain the dynamics of the original recording, but not so loud as to cause distortion.

another aside note (yes, i'm a wealth of useless info, at times). some Sony consumer standalone CD recorders have noise floors at -74 dB. although this isn't "great," it's enough to use for a decent quality analog-to-CDR transfer. but if possible, i'd advise against any transfer method that requires DAE (Digital Audio Extraction). there's just something nice about having DAE-free sources in lossless format. :)

oh, and since you're converting vinyl > CDR, it's probably a good idea to check out your needle. if it's in "so-so" condition, it's worth it to get a new one for your transfers. for more info on doing vinyl > CDR transfers, such as using the "play wet method," check out http://www.cdrfaq.org/faq03.html#S3-12 .

AAR.oner
2005-03-06, 11:05 AM
e6003:
why not buy an A/D converter that has firewire/usb instead of spending a bunch of money on a standalone cd recorder? after looking up my old converter [ i see its discontinued], the site recommended the Canopus ADVC110 as a comparable product--most of the pro-sumer Canopus/Sony/etc models fall in the $200-$300 range...but these will transfer both VIDEO & AUDIO...

another option--i just picked up a Edirol UA5 for field recording, but it will also be used for studio work [as well as transferring a stack of old vinyl for my girl's folks]...i got it from the Oade Bros. modified for field use for around 300 bucks...NICE little piece of equipment...for AUDIO conversion only

just a few thoughts on yer situation...

i also want to reiterate what h_vargas said re: your needle...i can't stress enough the importance of quality turntables/needles if you plan on seeding this vinyl transfer [if its just for personal listening, do whatever ya want]...for really good prices on needles [assuming you have the removable cartridge hubs], check out turntablelab.com for quality needles/turntables...

hope that helps a little...
slainte!
aar.onerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

e6003
2005-03-11, 03:43 PM
Thanks to everyone for their answers: this has been MEGA useful! I was planning on doing DAT > Creative SB Live digital daughter card > WAV; is this one that resamples (and could someone clarify the meaning of this - I figure it means it ignores the incoming digital frequency and reconverts to either 44.1 or 48 kHz?) I got a nice Technics turntable, also off eBay, fully automatic and fitted with an Audio Technica cartridge (don't know what model). It sounds good to my ears, the only trouble being that my amp doesn't have a phono stage, so I'm using a pre-amp, and I have not found to best way to earth the turntable. Is it OK to run a cable from its earth lead, into the earth pin of a mains plug? Thanks as well to everyone for the DAT recorder repair suggestions, however I am in the UK and could really do with a decent recommendation. The DAT recorder is a Sony DTC-ZE700; right now it won't even record or play, and has broken/eaten a DAT tape, so I think there's something wrong with the mechanism - the seller claims it was working when posted and we are working on a claim on the postal insurance.

ssamadhi97
2005-03-11, 04:51 PM
"resamples" means it converts all input to 48kHz and then down to the frequency dictated by recording software (and vice versa for output)

h_vargas
2005-03-12, 06:07 PM
btw - no offense to AAR.oner - but i'd avoid using an Edirol UA-5 or the like (any Edirol devices), if possible. reason being: like the majority of Creative Labs soundcards, the Edirol units are NOT bit accurate. now, if that isn't an issue for you and you aren't looking for the best possible transfer, then you may as well get the cheapest USB/Firewire Edirol device you can find... like a UA-1D or something. just my two cents on that.

there are *some* USB/Firewire devices that will give a bit accurate signal, but the majority of them are a lot more costly than an intenral *bit-accurate* soundcard. for instance, the Zoltrix Nighingale soundcard has the CM8738 chipset, which is bit-accurate... they have either a toslink or S/PDIF coax digital input. you can get those brand spanking new on ebay for $30. talk about a bargain.

now, if you want a USB/Firewire device that's bit-accurate, look for a Nomad Jukebox 3... then you can make some audio recordings of concerts as well. :D

62v8
2005-03-12, 09:26 PM
Is it OK to run a cable from its earth lead, into the earth pin of a mains plug?
_______________________________________________________________

I gather you're talking about the earth lead, normally in the RCA plugs / audio cable bundle. Under no circumstances connect to the mains earth!
This is meant to be attached to the amp or pre-amp chassis or other device (eg sound card).

Go near the mains and you'll have more problems than leaving the unit with a floating earth. Mains earths can be noisy and let's not go near the subject of ground loops.

OK, if you don't have a ground post on the chassis that you want to attach to ....
The next best thing is to drill a hole in said chassis and wrap the turntable earth wire under a tightened screw etc.

If you just want to experiment .... try the turntable earth wire jammed in the RCA male plugs outer (which is common or earth) when you connect it to the RCA female socket on the amp / SD etc. On 99% of equipment the RCA outer will end on the ground plane of the chassis.

You now have your turntable buzzing and extraneous noise dissappear.

GT

AAR.oner
2005-03-14, 07:15 PM
btw - no offense to AAR.oner - but i'd avoid using an Edirol UA-5 or the like (any Edirol devices), if possible. reason being: like the majority of Creative Labs soundcards, the Edirol units are NOT bit accurate.

offense taken h_v! ;)

nah, i actually didn't know the UA5 wasn't bit-accurate...just bought it a few weeks ago for field recording on films [and the occasional show hopefully]...it makes sense though, as the studio-quality A/D devices i've dealt with are in the thousands-of-dollars range, not 300 buckz...thanks for the clarification though...now on to my post...

[B]TO ANYONE TRANSFERING VINYL:

as an avid record collector & basement beat-producer, i thought i'd post a quick "Beginners Vinyl" breakdown [for anyone who's not-that-familiar with the greatest listening format in audio history]. This is by no means an in-depth look, nor am I claiming to be "the expert". But I have spent ALOT of time/money on records and equipment, and have done a bit of vinyl-to-computer transfers [my last transfers were a stack of 80-yr old Armenian 78s in poor condition--a f*ckin nightmare!]. One thing I've learned, you MUST consider ALL "factors" when dealing with vinyl transfers. Here's the basics:

1. Condition of the Record -- especially if yer planning on seeding, make sure the record has been cleaned thoroughly. This does NOT mean wiping it off with an papertowel, kleenex, towel, old t-shirt or sock [and especially not the yellow sock! :D ].
Vinyl Cleaning Bare Essentials: record brush, a cleaning agent, lint-free cloth. I personally recommend Groovy cleaner for deep-cleaning and D4 for regular cleaning. You can get the D4 Kit which has cleaner and brush. Also, word on the streets is that a product called Gruv Glide is the top shit, but i've yet to try it out.

2. Turntable -- If you listen to records very often, invest in a decent direct-drive turntable . Everyone'll tell you that the Technics 1200s are the only great turntables...but honestly, Stanton makes a few decent direct-drive turntables for under $200. So if yer not gonna be DJing clubs or scratchin records, don't waste yer money on a $500 record player!

3. Needle Cartridge -- For seedin a vinyl boot, this is probably the single most important & over-looked factor. There are a hundred different needles for various applications. They range from RS-shite for a few bucks to audiophile & mastering cartridges that start at $300-$400 and go up. For simple "higher-end" listening/recording usage, you want one that has wide/accurate sound reproduction and a flat freq. response [note: most DJ/scratch needles do not fall into this category]. Personally, I like Ortofon cartridges [$120-$150]...but for the under-$100 range, they say the Shure M97xE's are the best. Also, make sure to clean yer stylus before transfers [cleaning kits are cheap].

4. Amp & A/D Converter -- all turntables need their signal "boosted" before reaching the computer. As my knowlege is limited to the DJ arena, all i really know about are battle mixers [which is unnecessary for this discussion]. So, I will leave this "section" to some of the more knowlegable people here at TTD regarding A/D conversion. Possibilities range from "home-stereo-amp to mini-mic-input-on-the-back-of-yer-computer" all the way to Pro-level I/O devices. Some comments re: these options are in previous posts [scroll up...]

5. Recording Device/Software -- Here's where everyone is going to have their own opinion, as there are a thousand and one programs which'll do this. Given that, I will simply list a few program possibilities:
[B]CHEAP--CoolEditPro [PC], SoundForge [PC], Wavelab [PC] & Peak [MAC]...and i believe Nero [PC] and Roxio [PC/MAC] are both bundled with a recording device, but i'd be wary. I read somewhere on TTD that EAC also has recording capabilities, which was news to me--might be something you should consider.
EXPENSIVE--Any multitrack recording program...i.e. Cubase, Sonar, Live, ProTools, Logic, etc........
Personally, I have only used SoundForge & CoolEditPro on PC [both were very basic, but for simple recording seemed to be fine]. As a Mac user, I am currently running Ableton Live [great program for the price!] but also find Peak to be just as good for vinyl transfers.

As a general rule, the less expensive the program, the crappier the filters [i.e. noise reduction, compression, etc.]. As tempting as it is to "clean up" the record's sound, I would be EXTREMELY careful when using things such as noise/hiss reduction...unless yer an audio engineer or have spent alot of time researching and "practicing" these techniques. If yer using one of the "cheap" programs listed above, I wouldn't do anything to the file at all, as the filters in these programs are not up-to-par.

Hope this quick breakdown helps somebody. You can find vinyl-related products all over the net, but the one place i know and trust is turntablelab.com [its the only place i order from anymore]...great prices, quick & accurate shipping, and product reviews you can actually trust...for what its worth...

slainte! aar.onerrrrrrrrrrrrrr

h_vargas
2005-03-15, 05:17 PM
thanks for not taking offense, AAR.oner. :D

a program i like to use when i'm doing analog > WAV transfers, i.e. times when i have to watch the incoming signal volume, is Samplitude 2496. it has the "classic" looking level meter - with the colors to help you watch the levels (green is low, yellow is better, and red means you're in the "keep a close eye on it and adjust as necessary" range). when i'm transferring DATs (where the incoming signal is the same volume as the recording has), i just use CDWave to record.

as far as #4 in the above post, i know Terratec makes some photo preamps. i cannot attest to their quality as i've never used one, but it could be worth looking into. i think they're "standard" model is something like $99. not too pricey for someone with box(es) of vinyl they want to convert to CDR, IMO.

oh, one other general piece of advice for doing analog > WAV conversions, use GOOD quality cables (especially from turntable > preamp).

AAR.oner
2005-03-15, 07:36 PM
oh, one other general piece of advice for doing analog > WAV conversions, use GOOD quality cables (especially from turntable > preamp).
damn i knew i forgot something important! vargas is on top of his game!

speaking from experience, skimping on quality cables will blow up in yer face [figuratively speaking...]

h_vargas
2005-03-15, 10:41 PM
damn i knew i forgot something important! vargas is on top of his game!

speaking from experience, skimping on quality cables will blow up in yer face [figuratively speaking...]


what are you talking about, AAR.oner? wait a second, you mean to tell me the $5 cables from Rat-Shack aren't top notch? i thought the best possible transfer is taking an analog source -> $5 cables -> $5 ESS internal soundcard (Line In). :lol

btw, there are good quality cables out there that cost a good bit less than Monster brand cables.

p.s. no one ever said doing conversions the *best* way is a cheap or quick endevour. hehe.

AAR.oner
2005-03-16, 12:56 PM
what are you talking about, AAR.oner? wait a second, you mean to tell me the $5 cables from Rat-Shack aren't top notch? i thought the best possible transfer is taking an analog source -> $5 cables -> $5 ESS internal soundcard (Line In). :lol

Nah bro...i'm sayin the $5 RatShites ARE the best cable...just ask the guy at the counter for the Audiophile section...its in the back...the special handshake should do the trick! :lol

BoldCaptain
2005-03-16, 01:00 PM
While not quick, and not necessarily cheap, there are DIY alternatives to the hi-priced consumer cabling.
check these links for resouces

http://search.netscape.com/ns/boomframe.jsp?query=DIY+interconnects&page=1&offset=0&result_url=redir%3Fsrc%3Dwebsearch%26requestId%3Dfb9cc632ca1a1ce1%26clickedItemRank%3D8%26userQuery%3DDIY%2Binterconnects%26clickedItemURN%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Faudiokarma.org%252Fforums%252Farchive%252Findex.php%252Ft-10113.html%26invocationType%3D-%26fromPage%3DNSCPTop%26amp%3BampTest%3D1&remove_url=http%3A%2F%2Faudiokarma.org%2Fforums%2Farchive%2Findex.php%2Ft-10113.html
http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/diycables.html