1. Technology

How To Transfer Vinyl To CD

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Most audiophiles agree: Vinyl just sounds better. Not only do vinyl records offer out-of-print titles that you can't find on CD already, but the sound quality is preferable for a number of reasons. Transferring your vinyl records to CD is an easy process; follow these easy steps and you'll be on your way in no time!
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1 Hour

Here's How:

  1. Choose Your Turntable. You'll want a high-quality turntable, something with a high-quality stylus and a good, clean output. You don't need to spend a lot of money, but going the cheap route might not be the best idea. Going middle of the road price-wise is your best bet.
  2. Choose Your Preamp. You'll also need a preamp to go between your turntable and your audio interface. A lot of really good turntables, even middle-priced ones, have preamps with RCA outputs on them. If you don't, you can purchase one like the inexpensive and high-quality offerings from PhonoPreamps.com.
  3. Choose Your Recording Medium. You can do two things: one, go with a stand-alone CD recorder, if you'd rather not go the computer route. This allows you to simply connect a turntable to the CD recorder, start the record, and press record on the CD recorder. Second, you can go the computer route - recording into a computer. For this, you'll need an interface - or you can go straight from your preamp to the inputs on your sound card, but beware, it'll be way noisier than a high quality interface.
  4. Edit Your CD. Once recorded on your computer (or input from a CD burnt on an external recorder), you can easily edit; use something like the Waves Restoration Bundle to remove click, hiss, and pops from the vinyl. You can then use a program like CDWave (PC) or DSP Quattro (Mac) to split up the tracks and edit fades.
  5. Enjoy Your Vinyl, Now On CD!

Tips:

  1. Remember to dust off your vinyl before you go to convert! Dust can be a factor in keeping vinyl from sounding its best.
  2. Remember, you'll still lose some of the analog warmth from the vinyl recording. Your recording will be very true to the original vinyl, close enough that most people wouldn't be able to tell.
  3. Using an internal sound card will give you acceptable results, but using a dedicated interface is preferable. For good external interfaces, consider some of the offerings from Edirol or Digidesign.

What You Need:

  • A Good Turntable
  • Integrated or External Turntable Preamp
  • Audio Interface For Computer Or External CD Writer
  • Computer (For editing, if necessary.)
  • Patience!

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