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Old 2005-03-14, 06:15 PM
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AAR.oner AAR.oner is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Re: More on vinyl transfer/lineage questions

Originally Posted by h_vargas
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] makes sense though, as the studio-quality A/D devices [bit-accurate] i've dealt with are in the thousands-of-dollars range, not 300 buckz...thanks for the clarification on to my post...


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! ].
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 [belt drives, for the most part, should be avoided]. 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:
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 [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
TTD's Gear Lust Forum -- info & reviews on taping gear
The Basics of EQing

Last edited by AAR.oner; 2005-03-14 at 06:22 PM.
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