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Converting LP to CD........

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Rocky3478, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    Not sure if this is the right forum for this.........if not, please let me know!!

    My dad has been wanting me to convert his 500+ LP's to CD. I've been Googling for the last hour now, and I'm officially stuck. :( Too many options.........

    What I need is a REALLY cheap way to do this with maximum possible sound quality, ideally with what I already have.....If I have to, maybe $100 max to spend....

    What I have access to-
    15" Powerbook w/line in
    25 ft Mini 1/8" cable
    1/8" adapter for stereo out

    Stereo setup -
    OLD turntable connected to an OLD stereo with all the usual outputs of 20 years ago.

    Thanks so much for your help....
  2. macrumors 65816


    If you want to do it the cheapest way possible, then you will need an RCA to 1/8" male cable, which will run from the Stereo to the Line in on the PB. GB will be fine for recording software. If you only have $100 to spend on another solution, save your $100 and just do it the way mentioned above.

    Make sure that the LP's are as clean as possible, and that the needle/cartridge on the turntable is in proper working order as you want the cleanest sound signal possible.

    Remember, 500 LPs, at lets say 40 mins each would take around 14 days of non-stop converting! Maybe take the $100 and buy lots of beer, as you will probably need it. ;)
  3. macrumors 65816


    A similar thread exists regarding this topic. You may find the answer there. It's not that expensive to do decent transfers, plus sometimes you can get the needle crackling which is always a plus for me.


  4. macrumors regular

    Ah, thanks!! :) I searched on the forum, but couldn't find it. So you get better sound by using the actual RCA ports on the back rather then the headphone out on the front?
  5. macrumors 65816


    Definitely. If I remember correctly, the headphone out only transfers things in Mono. I did everything with the $40 iMic, $30 turntable needle, $15 used turntable, $20 preamp and $10 worth of cables. Roughly $100, depending.

  6. macrumors regular

    Thanks!! :)
  7. macrumors 65816


    A waste of $100 IMHO. Try it the cheap way first, and if you are happy with the final product, do it the cheap way. Either way the final product is not going to be that great.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Well, most people (especially since he has records) already have a turntable and the proper cables. The only thing he'd need is the iMic, which he would have had to buy anyway (assuming his Mac doesn't have an audio-in jack). Sure he can test out the Headphone-out, but based on my tests, it was so shotty that it wasn't worth it.

  9. macrumors 68030


    Just make sure you clean those records, you can buy special vinyl cleaner, it makes a big differance.

  10. macrumors 6502a

    In case you are interested . . . I've converted about that many LPs to CD over the years. I started out doing it on my PM 8600. It was the easiest way because it has RCA jacks in and out. I bought a cheap Radio Shack amp to hook up to my turntable. I used to use Premiere as the software for recording.

    My current set-up is this: turntable > Radio Shack amp > M-Audio Audiophile USB > Mac Mini. I record using either GarageBand, Audacity or CD SpinDoctor -- it doesn't really matter. I prefer CD SpinDoctor (which comes free with Toast) because it is the simpliest in that it does not create a waveform while recording. Audacity is great (and free) because it can zoom into the waveform so that you can simply cut out those big pops on old vinyl. (No, you don't notice the cut because it is 100ths of a second that is being cut.) For the scratchy stuff you can try CD SpinDoctor -- though its filters are only OK.

    I also own an iMic -- though the upgrade to Audiophile USB was definitely worth it.

    Lastly, don't forget to buy inkjet printable CDs! No reason to spend all that time transferring those LPs and end up with a CD with a handwritten description. Forget those labels, too. Printing direct to CD using any number of Epson printers is the way to go. (And the cost of printable CDs is the same as non-printable, depending on the outlet.)
  11. macrumors regular


    Thanks!! :)
  12. macrumors newbie

  13. macrumors 6502a

    Two things you will need...

    * A turntable
    * A phono box to change MC or MM signal to line level. Check out Project, they make some decent phono preamps for a reasonable price.

    You may also need a phono twin pair to 3.5mm stereo adapter depending on your sound card.
  14. macrumors 65816


    if you're dead set on it...

    spend the extra $40 or so and have the cartridge on the tone arm replaced. I say $40 because you can spend anything up to $10,000 (I'm not kidding) on a replacement cartridge, but $40 will get you something nice that will do the job. Don't get ANYTHING from Radioshack...go to a decent stereo store, preferably someone local who knows what they're talking about.

    Here's a link...

    hope this helps
  15. macrumors newbie

    GarageBand not recording

    Computer:20" 1.25 GHz G4 iMac, 1 GB DDR SDRAM Superdrive
    RCA to 1/8" male cable
    stereo record player

    I attached RCA cables to aux. speakers ports on back of stereo and audio input on iMac. In GarageBand, I opened a new track and choose Real Instrument track on left side, and then "no effects" on right side. Started the record playing and pushed Record button. Worked one time;next time: nothing. Tried several times again: nothing. What's wrong? Is there a step or 2 I missed?
  16. macrumors G5


    The Aux line outs, or the speaker outputs?

    DONT plug anything from the speaker outputs of an amp or receiver into any line or Mic input. The amplified signal from speaker outputs may be high enough to burn out the input.
  17. macrumors newbie

    LP to CD

    What is an absolute cheepo way to digitize LPs? The first thing you need is a turntable and my suggestion is you start shopping the used record stores and thrift stores. But remember you have to get somewhat technical. There is no other way to do a good jopb on this project. Don’t expect to find a TT with a good stylus (needle). They are usually destroyed. Look for a preamp. You can get one on ebay. Also look on ebay for a half decent cartridge.

    Here is a suggested minimum price. :)
    Turntable $40.
    Preamp $80
    Cartridge $40
    Software $20.

    So you can figure $180 bare minimum to get into an acceptable system, that is if you make the effort to research and investigate. Note that the computer software is the cheapest thing on the list. Most Computers today have acceptable sound cards built in.

    If I may humbly suggest some of my web pages:

    Hints and ideas about LP to CD transfer.


    And some personal thoughts:


    And capturing old records:


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