Your Vinyl Transfer Workflow (sharing best needledrop practices)*

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Vocalpoint, May 11, 2011.

  1. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    United States
    If your card is of quality, usually it doesn't need to be done at all. Some of us still do it out of habit.


    Oh, BTW all, software and hardware is up to the point where you can do quite a bit of processing and dumping from one program to another and maintain the sound of your source. Things have gotten that good for the home!

    It's really sad when you realize that many of us who do needledrops get such superior results so good you can use our work for record label masters! And then you hear something done at pro mastering from the sources and they can't seem to get it right.
    clip likes this.
  2. Lownote30

    Lownote30 Bass Clef Addict

    Nashville, TN, USA
    1. I go from my turntable (Technics SL1200 MK5) into an E-MU 1820 (has a phono input)

    2. Record directly into Cubase at 24/96 with one stereo track for each side of a record.

    3. Export the files in real time keeping the files at 24/96.

    4. Import into Wavelab 6 and normalize to -1db.

    5. Manually draw out large pops or clicks, and sporadically apply the Waves DeCrackler or DeClicker to areas I can't draw the clicks out of.

    6. Normalize to -.3 and split into individual songs which I save as 24/96.

    7. After I save each track in hi-rez, I dither them down to 16/44.1 with UV22 HR plug in in Wavelab and save those files for burning to CD.

    8. Listen to a fantastic needledrop! :)

    Frank R.
    stax o' wax likes this.
  3. Vocalpoint

    Vocalpoint Forum Resident Thread Starter

    As I figured. It's easy enough to do...but I have never understood it nor how it possibly could play a role in a transfer....

  4. floweringtoilet

    floweringtoilet Forum Resident

    I don't do this. I always get a reading of "0" for DC offset on my recordings anyway, so I wouldn't think there is any reason to do it. I could be wrong about that however....
  5. Ray Blend

    Ray Blend One and Two

    The Midwest
    Same here. That's usually the first thing I do after capturing.
    Tombby likes this.
  6. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    United States
    Well, mainly, it will reduce or eliminate any chance of electrical clicks due to DC offset. Second, It can eliminate sub-sonic frequencies that can play havoc with your speakers, waste energy, and muddy up your sound.

    Some lesser software can introduce DC offset when processing.

    I think declicking is probably best to do before removing DC offset, and removing the offset is better to do before any NR work.
  7. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    United States
    Then that means you have a good soundcard. Like I said, many of us do it just out of habit from the old days. No harm can come from not doing it, but it can't hurt, either.
  8. Ray Blend

    Ray Blend One and Two

    The Midwest
    On part of the process that I added recently was to apply a high pass EQ preset I created, as I've found some very low frequency content with some of my transfers - especially on warped disks.

    Something like this: [​IMG]
  9. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Montreal, Canada
    I've been doing this lately as well with some material. You have to be careful with how steep you go, however, because some EQs don't do a very good job of showing how much of a resonance boost they add around the center frequency.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
  10. Ray Blend

    Ray Blend One and Two

    The Midwest
    True. In my case, I edited the existing preset - making it less steep.
  11. Grant

    Grant In holiday HELL

    United States
    I choose 17Hz as my cutoff.
  12. jfall

    jfall Forum Resident

    Anyone using DeNoiseLF (from the same guy as Click Repair). I've been trying to create my own pre-sets in reaper, but thus far have always been able to ABX my resulting file from one using DeNoiseLF. I can't tell the DeNoiseLF file from unfiltered however so I'm not sure if its worth the 40$.
  13. Nobby

    Nobby Senior Member

    Birmingham, UK
    Well as we're all doing this...

    Technics SL1210 Mk2/turntable mat from Sound HiFi/timestep motor/timestep bearing/Isonoe isolation feet/SME 309/Ortofon 2M Bronze/Graham Slee Gram Amp 2/Transit USB A/D converter (laptop)/Marian Marc 4 Digi (main PC)


    a) Clean records with Disco Antistat and L'art Du Son mixture and allow to air dry. I normally leave discs to dry overnight.

    b) Record single, 12" or album side as required with Cool Edit Pro 2.1 32bit/96kHz. Recorded direct into computer from phono amp.

    c) Run through DeNoise LF (noise floor -60dB, limit 20Hz)

    d) Check record for clicks etc - if only a few go to f)

    e) Process with Click Repair X2 reverse setting at 1 or 2 at most.

    f) Take out the few remaining clicks manually with Cool Edit Pro.

    (Occasionally I'll sum to mono under 100Hz if groove noise is a problem.)

    g) Top and tail to taste. Sum left and right if a mono song. Save as 32/96.

    h) Convert to 32bit/48kHz as my Squeezebox 3 can't handle 96kHz playback.

    32/96 files saved though for future reference - or if I upgrade my Squeezebox!

    Sit back and enjoy.
  14. numanoid

    numanoid Forum Resident

    Valparaiso, IN
    It's crazy how many people run declicking software. I understand that it is a lot better these days, I have IzotopeRX myself, but still, I try to fix a few errant clicks manually and leave the rest be, if there even are any. I definitely use it on a per needed basis, which has only been once so far. And that was for a mono recording of something I can't find on CD.

    Maybe my records are in better shape...?

    As for my set up:

    -Pre clean records with MoFi enzyme, deep cleaner, and wash. Vacuum on Nitty Gritty.
    -Pro-Ject RM5 with Speedbox
    -Pro-Ject Tube Box
    -Ortofon Rondo Red
    -Apogee Duet 24/96 (I think I record at 32bit floating point, actually)
    -Audacity (save to 24/96 wav)
    -Wave Editor (split tracks, noise removal if necessary, apply gain if necessary, dither, resample)
    -Max (flac, alac, and/or mp3)

    I was aiming to have my meters peak at about -3dbs, but I may go lower as per Barry's recommendation.
  15. floweringtoilet

    floweringtoilet Forum Resident

    I think mine goes something like this:

    1) Clean record on VPI HW 16.5 vacuum (unless it has been cleaned already), dust with Hundt carbon fiber brush, use Zerostat to discharge static if necessary. Verify turntable speed using KAB speed strobe.

    2) Record to Adobe Soundbooth at 96kHz/24 bits (32 bit float setting). I aim for -6 dB peaks. You can see the gear I use in my profile, but it includes; MMF-7 TT, Shure M97xE w/ Jico SAS stylus, Grado PH-1 phono preamp, KAB Rumble filter and Edirol UA EX1 USB Audio Interface.

    3) Trim beginning and end of album sides and remove any obvious clicks and pops (any big ones that stand out on the waveform).

    4) Run files through Click Repair. I determine the de-click setting by listening to input, output and noise and set to where I think it's right and I'm removing the majority of small clicks and pops without affecting transients. If used properly, I find there is almost always very little to no audible cost to running Click Repair, and the benefits in terms of reduction of small clicks and surface noise are enormous. This is absolutely the one program that I would recommend without the slightest hesitation. Even if you are against click and pop removal programs (as I was before I tried Click Repair), I recommend trying the free demo and giving it an honest try. (No affiliation, etc., just a very happy user).

    5) Reopen files in either Adobe Soundbooth or Audition for volume adjustment/normalization. As I mentioned in a previous post, I only normalize album sides together (not individual tracks) in order to maintain dynamic contrasts between songs.

    6) Run files through Audiofile SampleManager for iZotope SRC and dither. Settings depend on what I plan to do with the files, but I usually convert to 44.1/16.

    7) Open files in Amadeus Pro and join sides together, then add song markers and split tracks, exporting to Apple Lossless.

    8) Import tracks into iTunes where I add metadata, artwork, etc. I usually put a note in the comments field indicating the gear I used and date of needledrop, so that if I want to do some comparison at a later date, I can be sure of what I used when I recorded the file.

    9) Enjoy (usually) great sounding music in the car, at the gym, etc.

    While this sounds like a lot of work, in reality most of the steps take very little time.
    Whay likes this.
  16. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Rock 'n Roll !!!

    Maryland, U.S.A.
    Jeez, I'm just amazed at all the stuff some people do to listen to some vinyl from a .wav file. I just plop the needle down on a clean record and hit record on my cd recorder, and it makes a perfect recording of my record. What is all this other stuff? Is it going to make me sit up in my seat and think it is actually BETTER than just playing the freakin' record? I'm sorry, I got other things to do with my time... (It's summer, my yard is calling me!)
    stax o' wax and Coypu like this.
  17. Stefan

    Stefan Forum Resident

    Montreal, Canada
    IIRC, every time we discuss this, you come along with the same sort of statement. How long before you stop getting amazed and tell us where you get all these "perfect" records? :)
    goodiesguy, Whay and Thrakintosh like this.
  18. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Bristol, England
    I have to say I've also wondered why people put so much effort into making recordings of records sound like they aren't recordings of records.

    Personally I have no interest in cutting the starts and finishes, what's a little vinyl noise, likewise if your record has all these pops and clicks buy a better copy, I want my recordings to sound like my records playing on my record deck, not a processed digital file.
  19. mpayan

    mpayan Forum Resident

    Cool thread and informative. Thanks!
  20. vinyldoneright

    vinyldoneright "THE" Maestro

    Perfect recording? something, I really want to hear a perfect recording. I have my process because I love doing this and the end result is not some piece of garbage that would be the result of plopping the needle down on a clean record. As for MY time, I have better things to do with my time than yard work.
  21. floweringtoilet

    floweringtoilet Forum Resident

    Personally, I have no interest in what you have no interest in. To each their own, I say.

    Exactly what are you doing with your time that is so much more worthwhile than other members here, and who are you to pass judgement on how others spend their time? If you want to spend your time listening to crappy sounding needledrops, I'm not going to pass judgement on you for it. It's your life, live it how you want.
  22. Vocalpoint

    Vocalpoint Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Wow...great responses to this thread. I am getting some excellent ideas on where to go with my process....will get right to it tonight!

    Keep the great info coming...and hey - let's try to be civil and stay on topic. It's obvious that some don't see the value in digitizing vinyl....but it's not for you...that's need to derail this for those that are into it...


    stax o' wax likes this.
  23. Bill Camarata

    Bill Camarata Listening When Possible

    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Hear, hear! I don't rip every LP I have, just the ones I need in a portable format. My stepson (who doesn't have a turntable and can't really operate one, has issues) bought a bunch of Techno 12" singles and I dubbed them to CDs for him and now he listens to those and looks at the sleeves. Sometimes there's a reason to do this. Hey, I used to make cassettes of my LPs years ago for the car...
    Take your time for the first ones you rip and do what works best for you. Before you know it you'll have a routine down and it will be easy.
  24. jfall

    jfall Forum Resident

    Stanton 681 EEE MKIII
    Sansui XR-Q7
    ADL GT40 (USB phono pre/analog-digital converter)
    record with Reaper @ 96/24 one side per track *

    at this point I have been splitting tracks and rendering to WAV before running through ClickRepair, but I think I'll start running the whole side through. I'm testing DeNoiseLF to remove rumble but not sure if it's worth it.

    Back into Reaper to normalize (I drop the level 0.7dB upon rendering).

    Then into Foobar where I do SRC to 44.1 (with SOX), dither down to 16, and convert to FLAC in one step.

    Then Mp3tag for tagging.

    Foobar again to convert to Vorbis for the Sansa Clip (keeping the original FLAC as well).

    * I've currently got a problem here as my signal is coming in too hot. I'm having to drop the gain in the digital domain to about 40 to 50 percent before recording or I get clipping. Looking into some sort of attenuation while still in analog.
  25. DaveN

    DaveN Music Glutton

    Apex, NC
    One other difference in my flow that I've noticed here is the handling of tracks. I import all of my CDs into iTunes for use in my Squeezebox systems. The only way to do this is to burn the cd. I don't need to separate out the tracks into files because I have to burn the whole album. The step is to mark the tracks in Audition before burning.

    My entire workflow is as follows:

    Equipment: Music Hall MMF7, Dynavector 17d3 cart, Lehmann Black Cube SE phonostage, EMU-0404 external USB sound card

    Clean records if necessary
    Get input levels even by doing a recording of a mono track. Adjust inputs until both channel meters are even. Discard the recording.
    Record single-disc vinyl into a single 96/32 file using Adobe Audition
    Record double-disc into two files at 96/32
    Assess the result and decide whether Clickrepair is necessary. Run at reverse, x2, 20 if so
    Open in Audition and then do a save-as. This preserves the raw imported file.
    If this is a double-disc album, append the second file so that there is only one file
    Listen to the entire file in Audition with headphones using spectral view
    Cut off lead-in to first track
    Mark first track
    Manually remove any clicks or pops that survived Clickrepair
    Clean up inter-track spaces if necessary
    Mark each subsequent track
    Save the file
    Evaluate file to see if there are any outlier peaks. Cut them off with limiter if it doesn't hurt the music
    Normalize the entire file to -.5db.
    Convert track markers to 'track' and then merge them to get the final tracks.
    Save the file. This is the finalized 96-32 file for future use.
    Save as, identifying the new file as 44-16.
    Downrez and convert sample type to 44-16
    Save the file
    Burn a cd
    Open iTunes on my music server machine and import the new cd
    Get album art from the best source available and attach it in iTunes
    Archive the raw, 96-32, and 44-16 files to a backup external drive.

    For the person who asks how long this takes, I would say that each album is a 3-6 hour process. Since I have two small children, I engage in recording sessions whenever time allows. This gives me a backlog of raw files to work with whenever time permits.

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