Digitalizing vinyl to computer question

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by User1122, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. User1122

    User1122 Well-Known Member

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    Is there a best method to do for quality results? I've been reading that you can digitalize using a USB audio interface, or just setting up your turntable through a line-in input on your stereo amplifier, which is then hooked up to the audio in on your computer. Is one of these methods better than the other, or will they produce the same results? I have a decent amp - a yamaha rn500 and a stand alone preamp that my turntable connects to.
     
  2. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    What sort of turntable do you use? I'd say it's better to use the line out as you have more control over it.
     
  3. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    If your computer has a line in mode (stereo) I would go that route from your receiver otherwise I suggest you something like this especially if you have a tape out on the receiver (that is what I do because I listened through may speakers while recording on my computer)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  4. User1122

    User1122 Well-Known Member

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    I have a pro-ject debut carbon. My computer has a single line-in jack. How do I know if that is stereo?
     
  5. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    If you know your computer model number you should be able to look it up, if it is a dedicated line-in chances are it is, if it is a combo line (headphones out/line in) it probably isn't
     
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  6. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    Alternately you could look in your computer's settings. I don't know how it'd work on a Mac, but for Windows Sound -> Recording -> Microphone/Line In -> Properties -> General -> Jack Information, or Properties -> Advanced with which you should be able to see how many channels as well as bit depth and rate the input's capable of.

    The thing about using an automatic USB device is that you're at the mercy of whatever analog to digital converter (ADC) and pre-amp is in it, and moreover different records are cut at different gains, so a record cut too loud could clip whereas a record cut too quiet would have to be amplified to a reasonable level. Thus it's useful to have some sort of gain control between pre-amp and input.
     
  7. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    that's why I recommended
     
  8. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    That didn't link to anything for me…?
     
  9. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    Do you have an AD blocker?
     
  10. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    anyways it is a Pyle PAD10MXU
     
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  11. User1122

    User1122 Well-Known Member

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    So that device that is linked above, I would use this how? Connect the turntable via it to the stereo and then to the computer or from the turntable directly to the computer?
     
  12. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    I have that device connected to my receiver and then to my computer - so in my setup it is TT, Amp, Receiver, Pyle, Computer; if you have a stereo line in on your computer you could just use the headphones out on your receiver to the computer and save the money
     
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  13. wgb113

    wgb113 Well-Known Member

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    What phono preamp are you using?

    I'd recommend keeping the signal chain as short and simple as possible. I wanted USB out as a feature of my phono preamp for just this reason. Combined with Audacity it does a great job of capturing needledrops for streaming around the house or loading onto my iPhone.
     
  14. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    Though I agree with keeping the signal chain short, inside the pre-amp it's going to be fed to the ADC anyways,and probably some sort of amplification circuit as well. Moreoever, I wonder how/if it levels it. I would agree, but outside a professional setting and as it's only the addition of one extra component, I'd rather have the control for all of me.
     
  15. wgb113

    wgb113 Well-Known Member

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    Adjustable gain is definitely important - both for basic vinyl playback as well as recording of it - which is why it was also a must-have for me when choosing a phono preamp.

    For the OP, not sure how married you are to your phono pre but when I had a Debut Carbon I got good results using Pro-Ject's PhonoBox V USB.
     
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  16. User1122

    User1122 Well-Known Member

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    I use a pro-ject tube box.

    So what is the shortest and most simple signal chain? With either the stereo or the audio interface route, do you need to connect through the pre-amp? Yes I know I sound dumb with this.
     
  17. Enoch

    Enoch Well-Known Member

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    I personally would do the headphones out (or an rca to aux cable) on your receiver to the computer line in (if stereo)
     
  18. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    The pre-amp, on top of bringing the tiny voltages produced by the cartridge up to line level, also fixes equalization applied to the record to help reduce surface noise and increase the amount of material that can fit on one side of the record. Audacity can apply this EQ curve, but if you just stick the output from the turntable straight into the line in on you computer you'll get terrible signal-to-noise ratio because even digital has some sort of noise associated with it, so at the very least you'd want turntable -> pre-amp -> computer. But as @Enoch and I do, it's useful to have at least amplifier so that you can fine-tune what level the record comes into the computer, as it will probably have negligible effect on the signal quality since it would be part of your normal listening anyways. This would be turntable -> pre-amp -> amp/reciever -> computer.
     
  19. User1122

    User1122 Well-Known Member

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    Ah ok. So is there any advantage in recording quality to use an audio interface as opposed to just connecting through my stereo receiver? I'm looking at a Behringer audio interface UMC204HD. THis would be Behringer instead of using the stereo amp. THe Behringer has a USB that connects to the computer
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  20. Phaneronic

    Phaneronic Well-Known Member

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    A cursory glance says that that would be preferable actually; chances are the ADC in that would be higher quality than whatever's in your computer, unless you've upgraded it at some point.
     

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