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 How to record Auntie Alice?
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mike2jb
Lokahi

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  11:38:49 AM  Show Profile
To say I'm "tech-challenged" is an understatement, so I'm here looking for the best or simplest solution to a this recording challenge: I'd like to record a single LP record into digital format to store on my computer or on a CD.

Here's what happened: I bought Auntie Alice Namakelua's only music LP on eBay, thinking that I could easily borrow a phonograph and, if nothing else, hold a recorder up to the speakers.

No such luck. When I asked friends if they have a record player I can borrow, the nicest answer I've gotten was something like "Yeah, it's right in the drawer there with my carbon paper and my slide rule."

I know there are machines that do this conversion, but they seem to be intended for converting whole libraries of vinyl and they cost many times what I paid for this one LP. And I can't find any commercial provider that offers this vinyl-to-digital conversion service, such as there are for photos and films. (I suspect they would run afoul of the law if they started copying music commercially, even if I swore I owned the LP and that I only wanted it in digital format so I could at least play the darn thing.)

Any suggestions from the tech-savvy?

wcerto
Ahonui

USA
5052 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  1:23:55 PM  Show Profile
Mike - we have a turntable that plays regular records but you hook it up to a USB port on your computeer and can then copy from the turntable to hard drive of the computer. Then you could copy from the hard drive to a CD. It was not expensive when I bought it for Paul a couple years ago, and I have seen them advertised on the internet for well under $100, even about a week or so ago, I saw one for about $76, I think at Musician's Friend.. If you invested in one, maybe you could then digitize all your vinyl. But then again, maybe you are young enough not to have vinyl.

We found lots of vinyl records when we cleaned out Paul's Ma's house and some of the 45's have such wonderful songs, like Papa Ooom Mow Mow. Funny thing, no one in the family wanted those records, including 78's of Mario Lanza and the like. We even found phonograph needles!

Me ke aloha
Malama pono,
Wanda
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Konabob
`Olu`olu

USA
928 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  1:35:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Konabob's Homepage  Send Konabob an AOL message
You are going to have to get a phonograph with RCA output jacks. These are still found in Salvation Army Stores. Plug it into your computers Microphone Jack using the appropriate cable from Radio Shack. Record the song on your computer using Audacity or some other free recording program. These programs are not that easy to learn, so hire a high school kid to come in and teach you how to do it. Or do the easy thing and buy one of these from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Technica-AT-LP2DUSB-Digital-Recording-System/dp/B000UKUDSE/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238715158&sr=8-1

Aloha,
-Konabob


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cpatch
Ahonui

USA
2187 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  1:46:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit cpatch's Homepage  Send cpatch an AOL message
quote:
Originally posted by Konabob

You are going to have to get a phonograph with RCA output jacks. These are still found in Salvation Army Stores. Plug it into your computers Microphone Jack using the appropriate cable from Radio Shack. Record the song on your computer using Audacity or some other free recording program.

This may work in a pinch but it's not going to sound good, partially because the signal coming out of most turntables is really low and partially because there's a speciall EQ applied to the sound before recording onto vinyl and the reverse needs to be applied when you play it back to restore the original sound quality. (Known as RIAA EQ, this is usually handled by your stereo amplifier if it has "Phono" jacks.)

Craig
My goal is to be able to play as well as people think I can.

Edited by - cpatch on 04/02/2009 1:46:50 PM
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rendesvous1840
Ha`aha`a

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  2:52:34 PM  Show Profile
What cpatch is talking about is the difference between "low level" and "line level" signals. Short answer, phono cartriges produce low level signals which need to be boosted with a pre-amp before they are sent to the amplifier/computer/other line level inputs. Tape decks, CD's, VCR's all produce line level signals. Older stereo's had separate inputs labled phono which routed the signal through a pre amp stage to convert it to line level. If your home stereo has inputs labled phono, you could use the stereo between a turntable and your computer, if a turntable was available. Sounds like none of your friends has one. A unit like the one in KonaBob's link is probably the best way to go. There may also be enterprizing people who will do this for a fee. Not sure I would let a recording that rare out of my sight, though. Also not sure of the copywrite laws on the subject. It may not be legal for someone who doesn't own the vinyl to copy it. If you come to Ohio, Wanda & I have full phonograph capability, except for 78rpm. Can go from vinyl to tape or CD. If you have multiple rare records you would like to copy, it may be worth the expense of the USB turntable. For one album, maybe not. But once it's on CD, you don't wear out the record, and could sell it again. We have looked for copies of Auntie Alice's recording, but never found any. If I didn't already have the usb turntable, and I was able to buy that album, I would probably buy the turntabe, even though I still have a conventional one operating. Cheaper than moving to Cleveland, to listen to it at our house.
Paul

"A master banjo player isn't the person who can pick the most notes.It's the person who can touch the most hearts." Patrick Costello
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2368 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  3:16:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
You can do it yourself, for about $100 or so. There's a lot of different USB turntables on the market now; other reputable brands include Numark and Ion. Just connect a USB cable between the turntable and your computer. A free program like Audacity will work fine for you; most of these turntables come with a version of it, along with some other software, but you can download the latest version, and it's not hard to learn. Record it as a .wav file, though, not as an .mp3 file, for best quality (that's what you'll want to create the CD from - you can always transfer it to .mp3 for use on a portable device later).
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Lawrence
Ha`aha`a

USA
1597 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  4:36:42 PM  Show Profile
Mike -

If you are fairly close to Palo Alto you are willing to bring the record over to my place and I can digitize it for you. This will take an hour or two depending upon cleanup and editing (if any). Send me an email via Taropatch Private Mail and we can see if it will work. I have good equipment, but not lots of spare time.


Mahope Kākou...
...El Lorenzo de Ondas Sonoras
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mike2jb
Lokahi

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2009 :  7:00:33 PM  Show Profile
Thanks to all who answered for your advice. A friendly taropatcher here in California has come to my rescue. I look forward to hearing Auntie Alice sing to me after sitting mute for six months on my shelf.

Wanda and Paul, I would love to come visit Ohio, but I guess I won't need your full phonograph capability unless I make another impulse buy on eBay.

Wanda, you and I are the same age, but somehow I shed all my vinyl over the years. This one recently-purchased LP is all the vinyl I own. How things change. I used to own tons of it. For me, all my music is now on the computer. Even though I have shelves and shelves of CD's, I almost never use them--the computer's easier. (I'm looking at my CD player now and there are Christmas CD's still in it, including "Jingle Cats" --sorry.)

Maybe this was a side effect of us moving from a big house to a small city condo a few years back (empty-nest syndrome, dontcha know). Anyhow, I find I now actually like the feel of this one vinyl record in my hands and wish I could hear it played for real--needle, turntable and all. Ah, nostalgia ...
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1491 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2009 :  3:52:39 PM  Show Profile
So you are the guy that stole the LP from my eBay bid! I've been periodically checking eBay since then and none have come up. I have the USB turntable and can digitize as well -- I'm in SoCal.
Mike

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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