Ripping Vinyl, what do I need for a great sounding rip?

Discussion in 'Digital Integration' started by Alobar, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I have recently been given quite a collection of vinyl including some 70s rock that is still sealed. I have 2 functional TT's, both vintage Technics. One is a linear tracker and the other not. I have a new audio Technica 440mlb on the non linear tracker (SL 1401). Currently I very occasionally play vinyl but to me the bother of cleaning vinyl and the stylus is more than I care about doing on a regular basis.

    I have almost all my music on my pc ripped from cd's lossless. I have a good base priced DAC, (Modi Multibit) and I do care about the source of the music to sound as good as practical. I have lots of questions about buying and using an ADC, so here they are, and the answers may spawn more questions too.

    What are the various price points for ADC's? What does a $200 or $500 model get you Sq wise that a $80 one doesn't?
    Realistically how good of an ADC does one need for ripping used vinyl?
    What resolution is the best? Will 24/96 gain you anything from a used lp?
    After hardware, what are the options for software, both free and purchased?
    What advantage is there in spending money on a good vinyl ripping software?
    I know how to get album cover pictures off the Web to show on my media software (JRiver) but how about all the metadata? Is that generated from JRiver? Or is that something that is downloaded as well?
    As for the turntable, LP's etc, what is the best way to set it up? More tracking force seeing how I am probably only going to play the vinyl on the TT once? Would the linear tracker have any advantage (it doesn't have a new stylus)? Is it easy enough to be selective on what tracks to rip or easier to rip complete sides of the LP's?

    Probably more questions but I'm drawing a blank.
    I thought about putting this thread in the Turntable forum but this is more about the digital conversion.
     
  2. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    $80 for an ADC? How about $30? <G>

    Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface

    That's what I use here. Plug 'n play, and does an admirable job if you're OK with CD Redbook resolution. Actually used the UCA202 linked as a DAC when I got started, but upgraded over time. Still use it for the occasional vinyl rip, but most of that's behind me now.

    I rip an entire side as WAV lossless using Audacity. EDIT METADATA to insert the artist and album name. Trim the lead in and lead out, then process the side using the CLICK REMOVAL and CLIP FIX. I also use NOISE REDUCTION with a sample taken from between tracks. Last step is to add labels to mark the tracks (don't forget the first one), and EXPORT MULTIPLE to save those tracks in FLAC format to a folder that jRiver is already set to import automatically. You've already got the important stuff (album name, artist, and track name) jRiver looks up the cover art and fills in the rest of the tags from the internet. Best to edit the track numbers when you rip the second side, but if you forget, you can do that in the RECENT IMPORTS playlist in jRiver.

    PS ... you can tweak all the Audacity filters, but best to just go with the default settings at first.

    Oh. Yeah. Bit rate.

    I save everything as FLAC, so that's not really a concern as it's lossless. Audacity does suggest you use the 32 BIT FLOAT QUALITY SETTING for internal processing - gives the computer extra head space to do it's thang, eh. jRiver upconverts to 96/24 for internal processing anyway, and output can be adjusted to whatever you prefer. I send 96/24 to the DAC. If you've got a slower computer, you may want to turn off monitoring during record, but that's not much of a problem with most recent gear.

     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
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  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    A couple things,

    Why don't you just sell the record albums and get CDs or buy files with the money?

    What this looks like, you'll open a sealed record to copy to digital at a cost to do it and the time it takes, then the record needs to be stored or sold at less value because it's opened now. Unless the title has never been converted it just begs the question Why?

    Question
    Do you want a way that's just like the old days with the ease working with recording to cassettes decks?

    I can record a side at a time, without a computer and the digital file without editing, playback sounds like I'm listening to a record. Of course each side without editing would be put into the computer and the side titled and would look like one track.
     
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  4. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    A few reasons. One, I am fairly ignorant about how to judge the condition of some of the used ones. Second, Shipping from my local is at times problematic. But the main reason is that these were gifted to me by family members and I would feel a little wrong selling stuff that they could have sold themselves. I know, silly..

    Yes when I opened one of the sealed LP's, The Dire Straits lp, I felt like I did a bad thing or something! But I wanted to hear it on my TT and I have to say it was a good experience, not just for the sound of a new vinyl recording, but the idea that that thing had been waiting in the cover for near 40 years to come out and rock my house! I have been saving the others until I get an ADS..
    Not really. I know it is a bit more work to it, more than the old days with the RtoR. Turning analog into digital is going to require more manual input unless I could be satisfied with album sides as a single track. I'm good with that on a one time basis but as it turns out I am, at age 61 a lazy bastard who likes sitting with a portable keyboard and playing anything I want, just one track for a playlist for instance. I have played loads of LP's back in the 70's so I am not really needing the whole vinyl experience so much. Doing the digital recording process one time each track individually (unless it is a side that needs to be hears in order) and then never needing to play the vinyl again would probably be a good tradeoff for me.
     

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  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    So you are saying this is all the quality I need? Isn't it like DAC's where you pay for the quality of the conversion of digital to analog, only in reverse? I know the process isn't the same but still I have invested in a $250 DAC in order to get a better sound than I got from my $99 one. I would be willing spend more if there is a compelling reason, but not without one..
     
  6. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Not silly at all, respectful.

    Well if it's your collection and your not selling it really doesn't matter, I have one like yours shrink and sticker.

    Well what I have it's just as easy to record, you record to a CF card, or directly to the computer. You do a side or track whatever, you could then take a recorded side and break the tracks up in a editing software. I skip that part as it's just easier and one selected to play you can move the scale to the track you want to hear.

    Marantz PMD580
     
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  7. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    As mentioned earlier, I did eventually upgrade to a better DAC as it can better handle the post processing. Still using the UCA202 for vinyl ripping though - that gives you full Redbook resolution at 44.1/16, which is the defacto CD standard. Your call though ... but if you try the UCA202 and don't like it, you're out $30 is all.

    And no, you don't have to rip individual tracks ... that would be a real PITA. Rip an entire side to a working file, then use Audacity to break it down as needed. Add the album name, artist, and track names before exporting to FLAC to a directory that jRiver is set to watch, and jRiver will fill in the rest of the tags and cover art when the new music gets added to your digital library. Only thing you gotta remember to do is change the track numbers Audacity automatically assigns to the second side so you don't end up with 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4, etc ...

    How much time would you estimate to list, package, ship, etc. the albums, and compare that to the time needed to do the digital rips? Not a whole lot of time invested really once you get the process locked down - mostly a lot of waiting for the real time spins when creating the raw side rips. I'll cue one up and set a 20 minute time, then go off and do other things. The actual breaking down and processing to tracks is maybe 5 minutes a side as I have all the filters I use daisy chained into a one click operation.

    Besides, just FINDING some of my vinyl in digital format would be nigh on impossible. This way too, you've also got the vinyl to spin if you're feeling "old school". :rockon:
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
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  8. SaSi

    SaSi Seriously Illogical Subscriber

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    I have an outboard USB Scarlet 2i2 sound board that I use in addition to the built in h/w of my motherboard. I know people say on board soundcards can be noisy but perhaps my Gigabyte X99 mobo has something above average as it sounds great both in playback and recording. But having two sound "cards" has benefits as I can monitor and post process a recording while another is being recorded.

    I would not put too much money in ADC for ripping. Really. The SL-1401 with the AT440 is an excellent setup for playing back your records. I would also get an integrated amplifier from that era, something in the 2x40-70WRMS that has a good phono input. If you want to go crazy about it, get a Technics SU-9070 preamp. It has excellent phono inputs (3) one of which is a high end MC input. Will cost you less than an average DAC (<$300) and will allow you to interconnect the PC, the TT's and perhaps any tape deck you may wish to integrate to the setup.

    You need to spend some thought, concern and money for a process to clean the vinyl before they get digitized. You can indeed do that (almost) in post processing but while digital filtering will remove almost all of the crackle, clicks and pops of an LP, it will take something away from the content as well. I use this option with 45s mostly as they are beyond cleaning most of the time.
     
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  9. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you have a line-in jack (blue) on your computer, you already have an ADC...

    My motherboard came with 5.1 sound, and include a line-in jack (for stereo).

    My rips sound just like playing the record. Use your best setup - TT, cart, phono preamp, of course.
     
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  10. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    This would seem to be quite handy being able to work on one rip while "capturing" the next.

    I have a vintage Kenwood 700 separate amp and preamp from the 70's era that has been rebuilt recently. The preamp has 2 different phono stages which seem to work quite well as well as tape monitoring. Would tape monitoring have any use for ripping vinyl to digital?

    I don't have a lot of vinyl cleaning options and not really wishing to invest hundreds into a better system. I will tell you what I do have. I was given a D3 Discwasher which although quite vintage seems to be in great shape. I also have something called a Vinylvac which attaches to a mini shop vac or household vac. I use the D3 and then run the vac over them. I have several bottles of stylus cleaner and brushes. One I have been using lately is one I just bought from Audio Technica which seems to work quite we... It seems if I use this cleaning process the new lps are satisfactorily quiet of pops and crackle.
     
  11. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I don't see a blue jack on my computer. It is a inexpensive HP Pavilion tower probably more suited for office work but it is what I have. It does have a Mic jack on the front. This would seem to be the only input for sound and I don't even know if that is set up for stereo.
    I have been looking for something like what 4-2-7 uses, the Marantz PMD 580 on Ebay. They are discontinued but are on EBay of course. There is a buy now one "untested" for $150, probably because it doesn't have the SD card and seller doesn't want to mess with it. But of course there it is in bold red letters "Does not ship to Alaska" .. :no: This is so often the case that I rarely look on EBay for anything anymore. To not even be given the option to pay more for shipping just.... oh here I go, crapping on my own thread!
     
  12. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The Tape Out jacks are a good place to take your signal from. That will skip the preamp's line stage, and should result in a cleaner signal. You will have no volume control, but you set the recording level in the software anyway. The signal should still be available for listening, if you wish.
     
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  13. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

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    I have an old stand alone CD burner . Work great and perfect copies .
     
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  14. markshan

    markshan Sir Thrift a Lot Subscriber

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    What are the various price points for ADC's? What does a $200 or $500 model get you Sq wise that a $80 one doesn't?
    I really like the Focusrite Scarlett i212. I think you have to spend a good bit to better it. But I am still using my old EMu 1212, but when it dies I will get the Focusrite.

    Realistically how good of an ADC does one need for ripping used vinyl?
    Used vinyl is a preferable source to CD.

    What resolution is the best? Will 24/96 gain you anything from a used lp?
    Yes 24/96 is strongly preferred, not because of the benefits in straight playback, but because level changes or other post processing are much more transparent at the higher rates.

    After hardware, what are the options for software, both free and purchased?

    Start with Audacity, free and useful. If you catch the bug move up to Adobe Audition. No matter your capture software, you will never spend a better $35 than on ClickRepair. It is the closest to transparent automated click removal tool you can buy at any price. It was invented by a fellow collector and is still to my knowledge privately published. It's awesome and has a 30 day free trial for you to see if you like it as much as I do, so there is nothing to lose. http://www.clickrepair.net/

    What advantage is there in spending money on a good vinyl ripping software?
    Audition has a great single click removal tool for the really big clicks that the automated program may miss. Plus spectral view and several repair filters for phase, DC offset, etc..

    I know how to get album cover pictures off the Web to show on my media software (JRiver) but how about all the metadata? Is that generated from JRiver? Or is that something that is downloaded as well?
    Mp3Tag is free and tags FLACs just as well as it does MP3s.

    As for the turntable, LP's etc, what is the best way to set it up? More tracking force seeing how I am probably only going to play the vinyl on the TT once? Would the linear tracker have any advantage (it doesn't have a new stylus)? Is it easy enough to be selective on what tracks to rip or easier to rip complete sides of the LP's?
    The advantages of the 440MLa (it's what I use, BTW) will outweigh the advantages of the linear tracker. When you do individual tracks, be sure you cut them at a sector boundary, especially if you save to CD (Google "Sector Boundary Error"). If your capture software of choice doesn't have a cut to boundary function (Au does, but I'm not sure about Audacity) get another free program called "Trader's Little Helper" http://tlh.easytree.org/ It is also free and has a wealth of tools to check the integrity of your finished files. Good luck and have fun.
     
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  15. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Thanks for some great ideas! Very helpful.. Looking forward to this..
     
  16. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    So after staying up and reading quite late I decided I still don't know enough to make a good choice for buying an ADC that meets my budget. However I do want to get started and by doing so maybe will start to figure it out, the lingo and the actual process.

    I hesitated on 3 different models. The Sound Blaster X-FI HD, the Behringer UCA 222 and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The X-FI seemed to be a bit dated, based on no drivers listed past win 7, and was $100. The Focusrite was the favorite but at $150 I felt I need to know more about ADC's in general and what (besides money) makes a great sounding ADC. So I am dipping my toe in with the Behringer @ $29. It clearly has L and R RCA inputs and outputs as well as a USB,and at a price that is pretty inconsequential to my audio budget The Scarlett I could only see an RCA connection that was clearly marked output which is a little confusing to me.. That and the price probably starts to put it up with other options I haven't explored yet.
    Hopefully by using the little Behringer I will see how much work this is going to be and see how the SQ is over the ripped cd's I now have. I will likely use this thread from time to time for some Q&A so maybe it will be useful as well for someone else.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  17. Kenny Brant

    Kenny Brant Kenny bugs Subscriber

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    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
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  18. for_p1

    for_p1 Addicted Member

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    This $29 unit is OK for digitizing pure quality LPs, or hard played 45s. If you really want best sound quality find DSD capable ADC. This will not be cheap though.
     
  19. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    My immediate choice was mainly something to use to learn more about the whole process. Don't want to spend hundreds (or thousands) on this until I know as much as I can. Thanks for your suggestion about DSD capable ADC's.
     
  20. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    My preference would be to find one that has RCA inputs and a USB output. That way I can use the Phono stages built into my pre amp and keep both turntables tied into the pre. That way I can use its tape monitor from either TT as an output to the ADC, just like recording to a tape deck.
     

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