LP Recording ideas
(Sorry, this is rambling on a bit....)
I am thinking of starting over recording my LP's. (I am only 10 or 15 albums in.)
I had been feeding the (analog) output of my old (1979 vintage) receiver into my PC.
I was just not totally happy with the results. 🤨
It may be that the receiver is very old and probably needs some service, or it could be the (presumably) low quality of the ADC on the built-in sound card of the PC. Or maybe a combination of the two.
1/ Find a new phono preamp and feed the analog out into the PC soundcard and record with Audacity.
2/ Feed the turntable into a preamp (not a phono preamp) then into the PC soundcard. Apply the RIAA EQ settings in Audacity to the saved track/album.
3/ Find a new Phono Preamp/ADC that can send the data stream into a USB port on the PC to Audacity.
Has anybody ever done item #2 with the EQ settings in Audacity?
Does anybody have any suggestions for a new #3 option that will bee seen by the PC as a soundcard or by Audacity?
Thanks for any input!
I'll start with, I haven't done this, but was thinking about the process myself =)
It sort of depends on your budget and if you have any desire to keep playing your records as records.
I'd recommend sort of #1 if you want to listen as records and can afford it. If you can get a better receiver with a phono input that would allow you to listen to the records, as well as likely have a line output to go to the pc.
If you just want a good digitization I think #3 might work. A usb preamp sounds like a good idea for example this one https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-U-Phono-UFO202-Audiophile-Interface/dp/B002GHBYZ0 (I haven't used it to have a recommendation, it just seemed like a brand I've heard of and decent price)
I was thinking of the eq after, but from my understanding the RIAA curve seems to work better in hardware than software so i'd recommend agains #2 as an option as you'd have to buy a preamp anyway. If you wanted to try this you might be able to use the Behringer preamp and just not enable phono and see how the EQ works.
Hope this helps, or at least gets the discussion going =)
Thanks for your input!
RE: #2, good point about hardware vs. software filter. I will probably drop that method.
I will take a look at that link for the Berhringer phono/line preamp. I wonder if you have it in the "line" position if you would have enough gain for a phono cartridge, probably not would be my guess. 🙁
I started to a bit of digging and found this ART USB phono preamp, quite a bit more money, but a lot more features.
I am also not opposed to building a phono preamp. I have been wanting to learn KiCAD. I'm sure there are a pile of schematics for good phono preamps.
Also, one other thing I should mention is I am migrating to Linux (from Windows), which can be problematic with sound/sound cards. So, we shall see how this will pans out.
What set of inputs are you using, front of the computer or the rear of the computer (assuming it's a desktop/tower)?
The preferred set is the one on the rear. They are usually on the mobo, while the front jacks have to run through a cable back to a socket on the mobo. That's where most of the noise or degradation comes from. If that's the case switch them and try it out.
Also, does your receiver's phono input have a selector switch to change between cartridge type? If so, try switching it while playing a record. You'll know immediately which one is right.
Last thing to ask is are the jacks clean and how good is the cord? Jacks from 1979 have the very good possibility of having oxidation on or in them.
One of the main audio media formats was vinyl in '79 and even the low end units had very respectable phono stages. The caps and resistors that go into them don't usually go bad, and the parts that would, transistors or ICs, would be self revealing - they either work or they don't. Very rarely do they degrade slowly.
Keep us informed of what you find and do. Good luck on your quest.
I have not had the time/money to make my purchase yet. But I am leaning toward the "ART USB Phono Preamp" I mentioned in a previous post.
My previous setup was TT -> Scott 330R (Phono input) -> PC Line input.
I suspect that the builtin sound card was just "okay" and nothing great. Probably not the best ADC in the world 😉
I have retired that PC, currently nothing is connected.
My new setup (after I purchase it) will be: TT -> ART USB -> Rear USB 3.0
My thought is to get into a digital format ASAP, that will be done in the ART unit.
And if I don't like that I can still come out of the ART unit via an analog connection to the PC.
More later as I progress with my project....
My ART Phono Preamp showed up the other day. Apparently it is only USB 2.0 compliant, no big deal, that keeps a 3.0 port open. I also opted to power it via a wall wart rather than just USB from the PC. One nice option there is it will accept either AC or DC over a decent voltage range and the DC tip polarity can be + or -. Nice! Just about any 9-12 volt adapter will do.
I am still experimenting with all the (TONS) of input/output, Analog/Digital options that are showing up in Audacity.
I am using Linux Mint (19.3) and the way sound is handled in Linux is way different than Windows.
So, I have a lot of learning to do!
I was able to spin a few LP's and have the audio delivered to Audacity via the USB connection from the Phono Preamp. So, that is a good thing 😉
As far as sound quality / first impressions go, it seems fine to me. I am no audiophile, I don't have golden ears. Mostly shot from running FOH sound and being just plain old. LOL!