iMac audio in really suck!! Really?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by brewno, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. brewno macrumors 6502

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    #1
    My aunt has an iMac - recommended by me - but now she regrets her purchase because she used to record audio from old vinyl records into Audacity using her old PC. Now with the iMac the sound is wimpy and sounds like a small radio. The audio in on the iMac sucks! Is that right? Whats going on, I thought people used Macs for audio recording? Im frustrated, I tried changing a few things here and there, but it stills sounds very crappy. I need urgent help. What do you suggest I should do? Tell her to return her iMac? Or there is a solution? Thanks!
     
  2. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #2
    i've always converted vinyls onto computers, back when i used a PC and now on my mac.

    i cant hear any difference in sound quality from either.

    i presume she's using garageband? the only thing i can think of it is changing the recording level control on the track. make sure its as close to red as you can possible get, if it peaks it'll start distorting, but if it's too low it'll sound weak as you described.

    thats all i can think of, hope it helps.
     
  3. brewno thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    She's tried Garageband and Audacity, but they both sound wimpy. Levels are up. I even tried installing Windows on her machine, but it sounds just as bad.
     
  4. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    sounds like a bad port then. i get pretty good sounds from my 1/8" in. maybe try ringing applecare up or something.
     
  5. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

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    #5
    You actually want the levels down. Are you aware you need a phono stage if your not putting the decks through an amp/mixer?
     
  6. brewno thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    The fact remains that with the old Dell she had, she didn't need anything else but the cables directly to the audio in of her motherboard's sound card. Im guessing her sound card is defective, as her output is wimpy too.
     
  7. Tarkovsky macrumors 6502

    Tarkovsky

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    #7
    Doubt it, if you know a thing or too about vinyl you'll know that what comes out of a deck is bass reduced to save space on the disc which is then eqed back in afterwards.
     
  8. sabocat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #8
    A good sound card is what she needs. I have an imac and have been researching the possibility of recording my vinyl onto hard drive, and ppl I've spoken with say the mac sound card is mediocre. I'm considering the sound card below. Check out this review:

    http://stereophile.com/computeraudio/1104echo/
     
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #9
    Please clarify -- is she going from turntable to iMac, or from turntable to stereo receiver to iMac?
     
  10. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #10
    except the imac doesnt have a cardslot... you're going to have to use USB or Firewire ...

    and i wouldn't trust anything by echo ...

    EDIT:
    Take that back, echo is a decent brand, but there are better out there...
     
  11. sabocat macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2008
    #11
    Fill me in. The more choices I have the better. I'll probably go usb. That would be ok, right?
     
  12. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    #12
    that would be fine... what's your price range ...
     
  13. sabocat macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2008
    #13
    oh I don't know. That echo was $180 in 2004, so I imagine anything below $400 should give me something hifi.
     
  14. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    Location:
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    #14
    http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Transit-main.html

    probably something like this would do you well. There are better sound cards out there, but they have a lot more I/O than you need ... and i can tell you about some great 2 channel converters ... but they're all going to be 1k and up ...
     
  15. sabocat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #15
    $100 for that one. not bad. I'll be running line out from the preamp and into the sound card, and then into the imac. Here's my set up:

    VPI Scout Turntable with clearaudio wood virtuoso cart;
    Conrad Johnson PV-15 pre-amp with tube phono section.

    Do you think that little item will match the quality of info. coming from the pre-amp?
     
  16. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    Oct 7, 2007
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    DFW, TX
    #16
    it has 104db dynamic range, and a pretty low THD .... (for a $100 unit) ... again, like i said , there are a lot better converters out there.. but you'll be spending 1k+ ...
     
  17. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #17
    There may be issues in other areas too, but this is unlikely as you stated that the system worked fine with a Dell.

    The sound from a record deck is very very quiet and has massive amounts of treble and not much bass (this is characteristic referred to as the RIAA curve).

    To fix this, and also to boost the signal to a useable volume, an RIAA amplifier is required (sometimes referred to as a phono preamp). Pro-Ject make a good one which doesn't cost much.

    As I said though, this may not be an issue, but it's worth checking out anyway. It's possible her record deck has an RIAA amplifier built in anyway...
     
  18. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #18
    ^ Yes, or simply take a line out from a stereo receiver -- like from a Tape Rec L & R jack pair.

    Waiting for the OP to reply what the actual configuration in use is.
     
  19. JeanE macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    #19
    Use the application "Vinyl" over an USB Audio-interface

    Turntables have an special equalization at the recording that must be "reset" at the playback: RIAA de-equalization.

    Or you can purchase an separate RIAA-Equalization preamp (DJ-equip) and then plug via Minijack to the Audio-in of your new Mac. (only newer models)
     
  20. sabocat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    #20
    I think I finally found the answer to my prayers, and this might be helpful to others seeking an audiophile interface between their turntable and computer. It's a cheap (under $200) phono-pre-amp with an adc and usb port:

    http://www.musicdirect.com/product/80652

    It's a Pro-ject phono pre-amp. Better than a sound card by far.
     

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