Music Resurrection

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by MeeMac, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. MeeMac macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2013
    I was asked to create MP3s from old records.

    What is your setup for converting vinyl records to MP3s?

    I just tried Audacity and it was easy enough to create “as is” MP3s, but the program seems basic. I also want to remix to improve sound quality of the final MP3 files; and clean up any snap, crackle, and pop as well.

    Best software and setups for the task?
  2. Drew017, Jan 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014

    Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    I personally don't transfer any of my vinyl collection to mp3, but I am familiar with the process...

    What are you using as an input? (i.e. are you using a USB turntable, or are you plugging in from the output of the turntable into your computer?) I would definitely recommend not plugging straight into the computer, and making sure the signal passes through a preamp.

    Audacity is an excellent program, but I do agree that it is on the basic side. As an alternative, Garageband might not even be a bad option as there is quite a nice array of effects, but if you are looking for a more advanced DAW to work with, you might have to end up spending a little money. This list can give you an idea of what to look for and expect.

    Also, this site can give you a few ideas of how to get started with the process of transferring vinyl to MP3.

    As for the snaps, crackle, static, etc, there is a built in click removal plugin in Audacity that may help.
  3. ChrisA, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The important factors are
    1) a QUALITY turntable and pickup. Nothing you can do will correct the sound of a low-end turn table.

    2) Either a good photo preamp or a good 24 bit audio interface and software RIAA equalization. Records are recorded with a so called "RIAA equalization" and this MUST be removed. In the old days this was done with an analog circuit inside the phono preamp. Today it can be done in software if you have a very good audio interface. People will argue which is best. But you need one of them.

    3) Some way to "deep clean" the vinyl record. This means a wet process and vacuum or at least some vacuum process. again people will argue which is best but you NEED one of them.

    4) a quality audio interface. You don't have to spend more then about $150 or $200 but you do need something that can record 24 bits at 96K samples per second. You may not save in this format but if you are going to edit and process you want 24/96.

    As for processing you are NOT going to "remix". You can't do that without access to the master tapes in the studio. You can edit out pops and clicks. This is mostly a manual process. Automated software like iZope can help but you have to look at the data and decide what to do. It takes time. I would only remove the worst noticeable ones.

    As for software, any reasonable DAW. I have Logic and use that. But even Gargeband will work. The de-noise software would be installed as a plug-in into the DAW and it does not care which DAW it lives in. All the DAW needs to do is allow you to scroll around, look at waveforms and host plug-ins.

    Yes Audicity is primitive, Logic or even GB or whatever as long as it supports AU type plugins.

    But #1 thing is good turn table system and CLEAN vinyl. No amount of post processing can fix the sound from a junk urn table and dirty records

    iZope RX3 is magic. As a test I once recorded a short interview in a bathroom with the blower fan going. It was a loud fan and the tile made a bad echo sound. I was able to just about make it sound good removing the fan noise that was so loud we have to make effort to talk over it and most of the echo too.

    The trick to noise removal is to record blanks that have nothing BUT the noise. Just let the recorder roll with no input but the noise source. Then you can characterize it. So be sure and record the space between the tracks of the record as this is very valuable for restoration. You want to study the frequencies of the his and clicks so you remove ONLY that narrow bit of noise.

    There are other products like RX3. Most big plug-in companies have a competing product
  4. MeeMac thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2013

    Thank you Chris. I checked out RX3. Looks Good. Now I need to find a fluid to go with an old Discwasher brush I bought that is in great shape.

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