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Ripping from Vinyl, Simplified 415

An anonymous reader writes "In a short article at John Murray brings Gramofile to our attention, just the thing to help you bring all those LPs in the cupboard into your MP3 collection. One more example of the analog hole in action, I guess ;)" It may not be CEDAR, but it sounds like a lot of utility for a 76kB program.
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Ripping from Vinyl, Simplified

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  • Why do this? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Michael's a Jerk! ( 668185 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:33AM (#6104160) Homepage Journal
    Just remember - a new record will sound far, far better then a CD.

    Records only get crappy after much use. If they could make them out of a more robust material, I'd be first in line to buy.
    • Re:Why do this? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by 3.5 stripes ( 578410 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:40AM (#6104176)
      Not really.

      Only to audiophiles who use worthless and unquantifiable terms like "warmth" and "roundness".

      A good quality cd in a good quality system is more than adequate for any normal human being who doesn't base their life's worth on the amount of vacuum (sp) tubes in their living room.
      • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Michael's a Jerk! ( 668185 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:47AM (#6104194) Homepage Journal
        Only to audiophiles who use worthless and unquantifiable terms like "warmth" and "roundness".

        Those guys are wankers - but valves do have a different sound. When valve amps clip, they have a nicer sound then transistor amps. This is thought to be caused by a more 'rounded' curve, caused by even order harmonics. see this page [] for more information.

        A good quality cd in a good quality system is more than adequate for any normal human being who doesn't base their life's worth on the amount of vacuum (sp) tubes in their living room.

        Remember when 256 colour graphics cards came out? I bet you thought 'Wow! I'll never need more then those'. When high colour came out 'This is great - more won't make a difference, since the eye can't see any more'. as technology improved, so did our desire for more quality.
        • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AlecC ( 512609 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:14AM (#6104279)
          Long, long ago, I set up a really cheap and crappy stereo system in a really perfect room - the library of a stately home. The wallw sere lined with books - acoustically absorbing but not dead. The wall behind was coverd with curtains. teh room was large (say 50 ft by 40) and exactly symmetrical, and with a sofa at the optimum listening position.

          This cheap stereo system (high street retailers cheapest "got everything" model) sounded absolutely marvellous. Like kit costing fity times as much.

          Ever since then, I have been of the opinion that it is not worth spending a fortune on hi-fi kit if you intend to install it in a room in which you intend to Have a Life. The necessary compromises to live in a room - particularly if you share with other people - will cancel out all the advantages of super-duper kit. If you are prepared to set up a special listeneing room, it might be worth investing in this kit. Until then, buy more music or more beer.
          • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ketamine-bp ( 586203 )
            I agree with you for most part, yet please do note that different people may have different taste on music and different requirements in music, that is, you may well be satisified with 40-15kHz, but many may not even be satisified with 20-20kHz, like me, Well, I still demand the harmonics.

            Moreover, different speakers do have different response to different sources, I believe that you will changge your mind saying 'absolutely marvellous' if you try listen to more hi-fi models, for example, alchemist amp wit
            • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by prockcore ( 543967 )
              , I believe that you will changge your mind saying 'absolutely marvellous' if you try listen to more hi-fi models, for example, alchemist amp with a marantz cdplayer, etc.

              I think you're dead on. Many of the people who are like "you can't tell the difference" say that because they've never been exposed to a good system.

              When I was younger, every 3 years I would go to get my prescription updated.
              Every 3 years I would swear up and down that my prescription hasn't changed, and I can still see just fine.
          • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by swb ( 14022 )
            You're so right.

            Another impossible-to-live-with arrangement that I found made for excellent sound out of a pair of cheap speakers was hanging them from the the pipes in my basement room ceiling with some twine.

            I can only guess that the lack of mechanical connection between the speakers and a hard surface allowed for better bass resonance.

            I think the basement helped as well, since the ceiling was some kind of cheap cardboard-like material (harder than cardboard, softer than masonite) and the fact that tha
          • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by panxerox ( 575545 ) *
            Hmmm... so if you have the money to have a good room buy a cheap kit... so if you have the money for a good kit get a cheap room. Images of millionaires staying at motel 6 with 100lbs of stereo equipment.
          • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @11:27AM (#6105832) Homepage Journal
            It's very worthwhile investing in good hi-fi equipment if you listen on headphones, as many (if not most) audiophiles do.

            You certainly can get a worthwhile improvement from spending moderately serious amounts on equipment, but you're right in a way--the place to spend the money isn't always obvious, and a lot of expensive kit is wank that's beaten handily by stuff a fraction of the price.

            For example, you can spend $1000 on a set of incredible audiophile speakers... or you can spend $300 on a pair of good headphones and a headphone amp. Unlike with speakers, you can put an audiophile headphone system in a shared apartment and not have to compromise. In fact, you can build a portable headphone listening setup that'll sound better than anything with speakers that you might plausibly set up in the communal living room.

            Even cheap equipment can often be improved greatly by add-ons. I just upgraded to some Sennheisers for my Sony Walkman, and the difference is incredible. I have a better headphone amp on the way too...

            Last time I auditioned CD players, one thing that surprised me was the amount of difference in sound quality in half a dozen big-name players at around the same price. If you're serious about sound quality, you really have to audition the stuff.
        • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by VCAGuy ( 660954 )
          When valve amps clip, they have a nicer sound then transistor amps.

          I agree with you 100% there. Over these past few years, I've mixed on full analog, solid-state, and digital audio boards. Analogs (like a certain Trident) are my favorite for rock because when they clip, you don't get hit by it.
          Solid-state boards are what I grew up with, so the clip isn't that bad...but not nearly as "nice as analog." The new digital boards suck in this regard--when they clip, they clip, generally leaving the technician

          • Clippy (Score:3, Informative)

            by leonbrooks ( 8043 )

            I see you're overdriving your amplifier. Would you like me to

            [ clip horribly ] [ clip mushily ] [ catch fire ] [ blow a filament ]

            The soft clipping effect can be obtained in most amplifiers with a single FET and a few resistors - cunningly wired - per channel. In real valve amps with valve rectifiers in the PSU, the clipping was so soft it was almost compression. Adding the correct hum, noise and slow turn-on is harder. Power consumption and heat is just a matter of wiring thumping great resis

        • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dmaxwell ( 43234 )
          Those guys are wankers - but valves do have a different sound. When valve amps clip, they have a nicer sound then transistor amps. This is thought to be caused by a more 'rounded' curve, caused by even order harmonics. see this page for more information.

          Ok, so a tube amp sounds more pleasant when operated out of spec. The real problem is that headroom is expensive. A well designed tube amp that isn't clipping isn't going to sound any different from a well designed transistor amp. By well designed, I me
        • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Informative)

          by StarFace ( 13336 )
          Not to be pedantic, but even 24bpp has fewer colours than the eye can see. A practical example of this is setting up Photoshop in the Lab colourspace, and then drawing a gradient from black to a primary the width of the screen and noting the "banding" that appears. If you work with digital media all of the time, you can notice the limitations in more complex images as well.

          Actually, in some cases the software can handle more colour depth than you can view on any digital output devices. It requires a lot of

      • A cheap portable radio seems to be adequate for most people. That still doesn't change that many people like the vinyl sound better than they like the cd dound.
      • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alienw ( 585907 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @09:45AM (#6105035)
        Remember, "scientific" measurements only go so far. "Warmth" may not be quantifiable (yet), but only because not enough research has been done in the area of psychoacoustics. I am sure that 10 years down the road, we may very well find out what exactly is responsible for it.

        For example, when transistor amps came out in the 60s, everyone thought they would sound far better than tubes because they did not produce as much distortion (on the analyzer, at least). That turned out to be extremely wrong. The early transistor amps may not have produced as much distortion, but they sounded far worse than tube amps. It was later found out that this occurred due to intermodulation distortion, a particularly nasty-sounding type of distortion.

        I will not agree that a CD is "more than adequate". That's like saying that 640K of RAM, 256 colors, or 56Kbps is more than anyone will ever need. A CD is mastered to an extremely shitty set of parameters. 44KHz is not enough to go up to even 22KHz (and humans can hear that rather well), and 16 bits is not nearly enough for a wide dynamic range. Remember, this technology was designed in the early 80s and was supposed to be cheap even then. Even the audio industry is now switching to new formats, such as SACD and DVD Audio.

        Unlike records, you can't extract any "extra" quality from the CD. It's digitized, and you can't get what's not already on the disc. With LPs, better equipment makes a world of difference. With CDs, a better transport will at best reduce jitter but will not improve the quality significantly. That's why audiophiles prefer LPs -- that's currently the only way to get better-than-CD sound.

        Finally, please listen to a truly good-quality audio system (no, I don't mean a trashy Bose or Infinity 5.1) at least once in your lifetime before posting such idiotic comments. You would be surprised.
    • Ok, there's something here I don't understand. Aren't records made from digital sources? Aren't CDs digital sources?

      I've listened to both brand new records and brand new CDs. The only conclusion I could draw is that records sound like crap on the bass (relatively speaking).

      • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Mr Smidge ( 668120 )
        Records are pressed from master pressings, metal discs that make the grooves on each bit of PVC they want to make into a vinyl.

        The master pressing can be made from maybe a high quality tape (also analogue), or maybe a digital source with a very high sample rate / sample depth. So not necessarily made from a digital source.
      • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LizardKing ( 5245 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:05AM (#6104249)

        Aren't records made from digital sources?

        Depends. Many studios still use magnetic tape, although others use Pro-Tools and their ilk for everything. Once the multi track recordings are done, then the mastering might be to magnetic tape, DAT or Exabyte (amongst others). Then comes the mastering at the pressing plant, which is where any recording will go digital (if it's being pressed onto CD) at the glass mastering stage. Vinyl mastering produces a die, and this is still an "analog" process.

        And yes, bass frequencies are limited on vinyl, I remember an early acid house track called "Oochy Koochy" which had such a massive kick sound that it trashed the mastering studios cutting head, something they weren't insured for. That reminds me - I'll have to extract that record from my brothers grubby mitts next time I see him ...


      • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Informative)

        by cpoch ( 673846 )
        Almost all music is mastered in the digital domain today. Even the music that you can still buy on vinyl. Professional audio editing is much easier using nonlinear editing tools, which are all digital. If you don't think the sound of the CD is up to par with other sources, maybe you need the newer formats of SACD or DVD-A. Personally, I can hear the difference between those formats and standard CD, but the difference is minimal. I'd rather have a 5.1 channel format than a higher sampling rate.
      • Aren't records made from digital sources?

        Sure, all of them! (kind of)

        Aren't CDs digital sources?

        But of course!

        And aren't all digital sources the exact same?

        Naturellement, that's the very definition of 'digital'! All that talk about bitrates, samplerates, bit depth, channels, DACs and codecs is pure poppycock, intended to confuse pure customers and talk them into upgrading from the perfectly good record players they bought from their pocket money as a child!

    • So what? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by n3k5 ( 606163 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:04AM (#6104246) Journal
      Just remember - a new record will sound far, far better then a CD.
      A digital file with a high enough bitrate will also sound far, far better than a CD, no matter how old it is. Just remember -- you don't have to restrict yourself to 44.1KHz, 16bit on-board sound. In fact, many people buy good soundcards for the sole purpose of digitising their records the very first time they play them back, to have a non-degrading copy before using them for DJing or just normal playback.
      • you don't have to restrict yourself to 44.1KHz

        Actually even 44.1kHz is overkill for audio recordings. The highest frequency that someone with excellent hearing can pick up is closer to 14kHz. CDs are capable of digitising frequencies up to ~22kHz. Increasing the bandwidth of the recording will not make it sound any better at all.

        • Re:So what? (Score:3, Informative)

          by admbws ( 600017 )
          With all due respect, you are completely wrong.

          Hertz (Hz) is a unit that in all practicalities measures "times per second".

          The number 44.1kHz used to signify sample rate means that the sound is sampled 44,100 times per second. It has nothing to do with frequency of the sound - which is how many sound waves per second.

          You should read the HowStuffWorks [] question, Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs or DVDs? [].
          • Re:So what? (Score:5, Informative)

            by alanh ( 29068 ) * on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:29AM (#6105348) Homepage
            That HowStuffWorks article is wrong. It completely ignores the reconstruction filter in CD/DVD or D/A converter. Any well engineered D/A system will capture ALL of the information up to 1/2 the Nyquist frequency assuming you don't exceed the dynamic range. The reconstruction filter turns the stairstep output into a smooth analog representation and is a necessary step in any good D/A.

            Even though PCM is limited to 65536 discrete steps, this amounts to over 90 Db of dynamic range in a properly dithered recording. Although a record does have a continous representation, it is limited to something on the order of 50-60 Db of dynamic range because of background noise and the physical limitations of the vinyl, the cutter, and the playback medium.

            Continuous does not equal infinite!
            • Re:So what? (Score:3, Informative)

              I think that one of the reasons that many consumers of popular music do not appreciate the inherent (potential) audio superiority of the CD medium versus the LP is that the industry has been negating the advantages of increased dynamic range by compressing everything to death and even allowing clipping to occur. I've posted these before, but they're a worthwhile read:

              The Death of Dynamic Range []

              CD "Hypercompression" Caught in the Act []

              I'm old enough to give this to you first hand: When CD's first came

        • Re:So what? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by clifyt ( 11768 ) *
          Any you just discribed why we use 44khz. Have ya ever looked at Nyquest? Ya double the rate of sampling to get an accurate response. Meaning that a human that has had their ears perfectly trained, had the right genes, and just came out of an ear cleaning session can hear a 22khz (and seldomly -- just a bit higher).

          Then again, what happens in pratice is to be debated. High quality FFTs show that 44khz with most consumer crap aliases at the high end...thus you have folks claiming 96khz is MUCH better --
    • Re:Why do this? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fruey ( 563914 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:06AM (#6104252) Homepage Journal
      One of the reasons that LPs have a different sound is to do with the mastering process. The lower frequencies (bass) cannot be mastered at full volume and cut onto a record, because they'd cause the grooves to be too wide and literally make the needle jump out of the groove. So, the bass frequencies are attenuated or reduced in order to get "as much sound" in the grooves as possible (referred to as pre-emphasis). Then, the levels are all set to as high as they will go while bearing in mind that a groove will be wider as amplitude increases, so if a side of a record is going to be over 20 minutes or so long, then the grooves need to be narrower to fit all the tracks on one side, so the levels are adjusted accordingly.

      Now, the equalisation curve [] was specified by our good friends, the RIAA... all amplifiers that have a "Phono" input use an RIAA EQ curve in the pre-amp stage to boost/reduce the frequencies to get back to a flat response that should sound like the studio mix off the (pre vinyl mastering) master tape.

      Often these days all mastering is done at a flat EQ curve, because CDs can handle this, and then mastering happens *again* for the vinyl stage. It used to be the other way round, so early CDs were replaced with "digitally remastered" cuts - Brothers in Arms, Pink Floyd catalogue, that sort of stuff - and had a sound that was more faithful to the original, pristine LPs without sounding "tinny" like the first released CDs.

      Digital to Analogue converters and preamps are so good these days that there is little difference between vinyl and CD. A lot of the "warmth" that supposed audiophiles go on about is probably "rumble" anyway (that is, the 50 or 60Hz drone that comes from the platter's electric motor and is passed to the needle, and other artifacts created by the rotation of the record in slightly less than perfect circles, etc).

      What I like about LPs is the bigger artwork, the physical effort required to play a recording, and the soothing 33 and one third RPM of the disc as it spins on my old JVC turntable. Also, records which are well kept - as they generally are in my collection - sound pretty good too. However, they're not *better* than CDs. Just different. Old analogue stuff has afficionados everywhere, but please stop bleating that it's because it's better. It's just different.

      One interesting argument though - a big thing in digital audio is to keep a fully digital path all the way to the very last, then have a top D to A converter right in the amp and straight to the speakers, some people even sending a digital feed to speakers which have reference D to A converters or even some system to use the digital signal to generate an analogue wave which goes beyond normal D to A electronics (can't remember too much about that, Google around if you feel so inclined). With my vinyl setup, however, I have a signal path that is fully analogue, and no need of a DtoA stage at all ;-) - although I do have solid state electronics in the system... which old wind up 78rpm players didn't have. I bet some people claimed they sounded better than the newer 33rpm records with electric motors and all that, too.

      • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Derwen ( 219179 )

        A lot of the "warmth" that supposed audiophiles go on about is probably "rumble" anyway (that is, the 50 or 60Hz drone that comes from the platter's electric motor and is passed to the needle, and other artifacts created by the rotation of the record in slightly less than perfect circles, etc).

        This wouldn't produce 'warmth', but pitch variation :o(
        The best thing about good analogue recordings is the 'air' around the instruments. The soi-disant clean sound of solo string instruments on many CDs bears li

      • Re:Why do this? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by McWilde ( 643703 )
        some people even sending a digital feed to speakers which have reference D to A converters

        Best is to have a digital crossover filter and then two DACs to feed two amps per speaker. One for the woofer, one for the tweeter. This will minimize phase problems in your speaker. Some studio monitor speakers do just that.
        You could extend to three- or four-way systems, but that's overkill.
      • analog (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vistic ( 556838 )
        People will pay for what sounds the most comfortable to their ears.

        People all have a certain type of music that sounds the best to their ears and is the most comfortable to listen to... likewise, people have a certain type of audio gear that is most comfortable.

        For me, I prefer using my analog vacuum tube amp (an Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT with Svetlana KT88 power tubes and Electro-Harmonix 12AX7 preamp tubes... if you're interested). It sounds much different than my Sony receiver... anyone can tell th
    • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If your LPs are getting worn that rapidly, it could mean that:

      1. Your turntable is crappy (spend a couple of hundred dollars fer chrissake).

      2. Your turntable is not configured correctly in the arm/pickup/tracking department. Really, extremly fine tolerances are involved, and you should get a professional to set it up.

      LPs...decades of use...bla bla.
      • Re:Why do this? (Score:3, Informative)

        by admbws ( 600017 )
        Mod parent up, parent is quite correct.

        Turntables on the top of cheap stereos usually have cartridges with diamond stylii, that (being one of the hardest substances on Earth) will naturally damage the record as it plays. All good carts will have sapphire stylii, which are much nicer to the record.

        Generally most good cartridges/stylii have a recommended weight of 3-4g. It is very important to make sure the weight does not exceed the recommended weight, or you'll end up damaging your records and wearing dow
  • by tamnir ( 230394 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:35AM (#6104165)
    to scan it []?
  • Other possibility (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:35AM (#6104166) Journal
    I personnally enjoyed the way this guy rips vinyls: by scanning [] them !
    • Yeah, but did you hear the ripped mp3? You can barely tell what it is.
      • Re:Other possibility (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Derwen ( 219179 )
        Yeah, but did you hear the ripped mp3? You can barely tell what it is.

        Back before CDs came along, a UK childrens TV programme (Blue Peter) had on a guest who could 'read' the music between the grooves.
        The presenters handed him a bunch of LPs (with the labels covered) and he proceded to correctly hum or sing all of the tunes on them.
        Try doing that with your HD full of MP3s ;-P

        - Derwen

  • by krystal_blade ( 188089 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:36AM (#6104167)
    just the thing to help you bring all those LPs in the cupboard

    Did I somehow miss something when I was growing up? Other than the occasional "Loose Plate", or "Little Platter" I've never seen any kind of LP in someone's cupboards.

    (And I check... I'm weird like that.)

    Not really hip on this whole LP scene, I guess. Can someone shed some light on this?

    • LP's can sound incredible, especially new ones (you might be suprised by how many bands you like produce LP's, go check out eBay or Also, they're just more fun to play, and have a "different", usually discribed as warmer, sound.

      I think the goal here though is to save those old Pink Floyd/The Who records you still want to play every other day, but don't want to wear out from constant use. And who wants to go out and buy a whole new set of CD's?
      • It's just the whole storing them in the cupboard thing that's got me...

        I mean, on a bad hangover day, I might just wind up piling on some eggs and bacon on top of ole Pink Floyd, and that just wouldn't do...

        (It would probably make the eggs taste bad...)

    • Re:In Your Cupboard? (Score:3, Informative)

      by tolan-b ( 230077 )
      i have over 300 lps, all bought since 1995. have you not noticed 'dance music' (i think it's called electronica in the states, both are shit names). 99% of house, jungle, breakbeat, drum & bass, techno, trance, booty bass etc etc etc is released on vinyl first for djs.

      with the advent of tools like final scratch [], people are starting to switch, which means that there's a hell of a lot of vinyl to rip. Also, there's a lot of rare tunes, dubplates and white labels that have been deleted, and are only ava
    • Re:In Your Cupboard? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:49AM (#6104397)
      Vinyl is highly reccomended if you have kids as far as demonstrating how sound works. You really don't get that positive feedback system, nor can you use a catas needle in a styrophome mug to demonstrate the whole gramaphone concept. Ok, this will definatly cause your record to degrade.

      Dispite the fact that I was born in the 70s... I only recently gained an apprication for vinyl. As a kid, when I bought records, it was cause I didn't have a tape player, and I treeted my vinyl poorly. I went with cassettes cause they were so much more portable, I could play them on my TI-99/4a data recorder, and they didn't get damaged too much if I didn't put them back in their cases.

      But I was missing something actually. Amazingly enough vinyl is actually a really good standard. Part of my prejustice was the fact that I was a kid and was listening to the stuff on my folks record player, some wooden cabinate deal with cheepo tv tweaters, stereo that was screwy from date of purchace, and an 8track that the program button was screwy. And plus the fact that all the records I had at the time were hand me downs from family members, played to death.

      When CDs came out, I was instently impressed... vast sound improvement vs cassettes I noticed right off the bat, no background hiss, and vs the vinyl players *I've experenced* no background 60 cycle hum. So I went for one of those, I was older and could afford one, at first a simple boom box, eventualy a dedicate amp and a multi-disk changer with remote, and then I had something resembling a servicable sound system.

      While I'm not a true audiophile, there are those who believe that vinyl is a superior standard to CD. Recent experiments have show me personaly that it's good, it's pretty damn good. If you are lucky enough to have a decent turntable, with a decent cartrage, a new needle, proper alignment, and kick ass wires that don't pickup that annoying 60 cycle hum that most turn tables seem to be a victim of, they sound great, in fact, they do kick ass. Wether or not they have a more natural sound due to the fact that they are analog and have more descrete values between their max and minium range, or if the better cartrage / styluses pickup more noise giving it a warmer feel rather then accurate, I don't know.

      Before I get too off the mark, it's reasonable to believe that an analog vinyl record can more accuratly produce natural sounds due to it's analog nature, that whole issue with descrete values in the human percieved range is easy enough to believe. I've never seen it personaly, but i'm willing to believe this. However, in order to achive maxium effect, you need a virgin pressing, virgin record, kick ass turn table, etc... etc... and ya know... I am not going to spend that sorta money on a sound system, nor am I going to spend hours tweeking with my stylus alignment. Forget that. CDs sound pretty damn good, mp3s at a high enough bitrate are adquate for portable audio. Even an old goodwill CD-rom drive will proved *great* audio at sub $20.00.

      So to answer your question, no you are not weird like that. While some will argue that the vinyl standard is superior in quality, you can't argue about the entry level cost of CD vs vinyl. CD provides damn good sound for few bucks. CDs are damn cheep to produce dispite the phohographs simple technology to extract sounds from a disk.

      But now we are getting stanards for digital audio that more then double the sample rate and 33% the bit width... it would be interesting to see how phonophiles feel about sound quality vs ye old snap crackle hiss humm.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:43AM (#6104184) Journal
    One more example of the analog hole in action, I guess ;)

    I don't want to sound picky, but I REALLY think we need a new name to replace "analog hole". Something about it just doesn't sound right.
  • Digital (Score:4, Informative)

    by billy_troll ( 567434 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:47AM (#6104196) Homepage
    if you want better quality when you are recording vinyl, a high end pro turntable such as Numark ttx1, ( stanton str8-150 ( 50.asp) does onboard digital, so you can get digital straight out into your computer. better than your onboard soundcard. (although you need a digital in....)
    • What the hell is trollish abot this?

      Is some moderator on an ego trip or what?
      • Is some moderator on an ego trip or what?

        I agree... I mean the thread concept is a software application to record vinyl. I would *think* that a reference to the following links... stanton str8-150 / tt_str8-1 50.asp .... would be informative my self, given the nature of the software product is vinyl ripping, why ever both ripping if you have a budget for a digital turn table. Hell, some of these pro units sample at 96kHz at 24bit though I'm too
    • Re:Digital (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )
      does onboard digital, so you can get digital straight out into your computer. better than your onboard soundcard.

      as soon as you can show me ANY home audio "digital" anything that can beat my Santa-Cruz in recording an analog signal to digital, I'll be amazed. NOTHING other than a $1000.00 pro recording sound card can beat it.

      and yes, I do have the full testing results to prove it.


      (Note, the origional website seems to be down... so the google cache will have to do until it comes back...)
  • by SkArcher ( 676201 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:48AM (#6104198) Journal
    was the results of the poll linked from the left hand side of the page. These indicate that the vast majority of people want either Hard copy of music only, or freebies only - indicating very little interest in Pay-per-Play and other forms of chargeable online music.

    The results of the poll can be found here []
  • Weird (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kieckerjan ( 38971 )

    > though it's interesting to note that even now
    > some indie bands (notably the White Stripes with
    > their recent Elephant album) are still releasing
    > stuff on vinyl.

    This sentence strikes me as slightly weird: why would I buy the latest White Stripes on vinyl if I was intending to convert it into mp3? Maybe because of the artwork? *shrugs*

    Cool record btw, although De Stijl remains their best.
    • Why buy something on vinyl when you want an mp3 version?

      Probably because you're like me in that you like having vinyl for playing at home in the living room, but its not such a great band that you're prepared to give them double the cash for a CD or Mindisc as well just to be able to listen to it while you're on the move. My car just doesn't have a 6-disc LP changer, oddly enough.

      Of course, there are times that I end up doing just that. The new Blur just had to be bought in the lovely book CD, normal CD f
      • The new Blur just had to be bought in the lovely book CD, normal CD for the other artwork and the gatefold double vinyl as well for instance, and I'll end up with every format that the new Radiohead comes out in too.
        I'll bet the RIAA just loves you :^)

  • iMic and Final Vinyl (Score:5, Informative)

    by Davidge ( 71204 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @06:59AM (#6104228) Homepage Journal
    A similar, but non-linux solution is to use the extremely useful Griffon Technology iMic [] (USB audio) and their software, Final Vinyl [] on MacOS X (not everyone runs x86 hardware).

    F.V. allows you to rip to wav or aiff and allows you to split tracks based on cue marks. It includes built in RIAA filtering and auto or manual gain and equalisation.

    You just plug the iMic into you USB port on your Mac, plug the turntable directly into the iMic's input socket (well, ok, with an RCA to 3.5mm plug adapter), setup your preferred gain in F.V. and off you go.
  • by tres3 ( 594716 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:02AM (#6104233) Homepage
    This could actually be the program that gets me to dig out the hundred plus albums and my old turn-table from storage and start to work. Now I either need a really long patch cord or I'll have to find one of those old Radio-Shack pre-amps that allows you to hook up a turn-table to a standard Line-In plug. The impendance is not the same on a decent turn-table as it is on other things that you plug into stereos (like CD players, tape decks, etc.) and if I remember correctly you can barely hear the music without one. Hell, I'm not even sure that my current pre-amp (my system has seperate components: pre-amp, tuner, and three power amps for the front, center, and rear speakers) in the other room (yes I'm too lazy to get up and check right now) has a Phono connection. I know finding one of the old pre-amps from Radio Shack is probably out of the question - does anyone else remember the little black boxes with RCA in and RCA out jacks, a screw terminal for the ground wire that also comes out of turn-tables and a power cord? They didn't even have any knobs or switches!!! If I can't find my old one and my current system doesn't have a Phono in then I'll have to find an old stereo at Goodwill to plug the turn-table into. If my component pre-amp does then how much sound quality will I lose with a 30 foot patch cord? I've never plugged my computer and stereo together. How many other Slashdotters are going to have to figure out some creative wiring to make this work? For that matter how many other Slashdotters still have vinyl? I wonder if this trip down memory lane will induce any flashbacks! ;-)
    • by lateralus ( 582425 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:01AM (#6104443) Journal

      I buy at least as much vinyl as I do CDs. I used Baudline [] to tune the setup before creating a digital representation of the music on my hard disk in the form of an OGG file.

      I have a number of artists; old and new on heavy vinyl. Stunning.

      Try this interesting experiment. Play a CD and a vinyl record of the exact same track into Baudline's spectrum analyzer and notice the average DB across the high frequencies. Doing so with Fugazi's "End Hits" album showed me that the CD cuts off above 16Khz while the vinyl continues to reproduce the signal up to 20khz.

      Most people can't hear above 16Khz but such signals create harmonics that extent down into the audible range.

    • I bought one of those Radio Shack pre-amps a couple of years ago. It was about $40 Canadian, I think. I little expensive for what it is, but ohwell.... I *had* to have my turntable hooked up, and I didn't want to spend hundreds on one of the fancy pre-amps either.

      Oh...the Radio Shack pre-amps now use a 9V battery, which is somewhat annoying if you forget to turn it off after using it. Battery drainage...

    • by James Youngman ( 3732 ) <> on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:19AM (#6104525) Homepage
      I know finding one of the old pre-amps from Radio Shack is probably out of the question - does anyone else remember the little black boxes with RCA in and RCA out jacks, a screw terminal for the ground wire that also comes out of turn-tables and a power cord?
      I always use one with my amp, because it's better than the phono stage in my amp. They're called "phono stages" or "phono amplifiers" usually.

      The one I use is a Musical Fidelity X-LPS [], which I find works very well. You can plug it into your amplifier (which is how I use it for normal listening) and then connect your PC to the tape or MD output jacks of the amp to do the recording, or you could do it the other way and plug the X-LPS line-level outputs directly into the PC (I do it this way).

      The critical thing when using Gramofile is to get the recording level right (this is the "igain" control in your audio mixer). If you get it wrong, you will saturate the A/D converter's input. This only needs to happen very occasionally to ruin the recording, and it normally happens at sractches. However, Gramofile, while it does a good job with scratches generally, can't deal so effectively with the aftereffects of saturating the soundcard's input (you tend to get a kind of echo of the crackle). So, even if it tells you that "0.0%" of the samples were at full-scale, check the actual number of full-scale samples.

      The best way to do this in my opinion is to launch the ReZound [] audio editor. This will colour-code the full-scale regions of the sample file, enabling you to identify at a glance if you need to re-record.

      Lastly, I suppose this is a rather obvious point, but the result of doing this will never be as good as the results you get listening to the original record. You can only lose information, not recover it. So, if you really care about those LPs, invest in a good turntable and cartridge! This doesn't have to be so expensive. I bought a second-hand LP12 earlier this year for less than 1/3 the price of a new one (obviously to do justice to it I will need to get a much better sound card than the one that comes on my PC's motherboard).

  • I did (Score:5, Informative)

    by Konster ( 252488 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:08AM (#6104257)
    I did this last November using a trial edition of Sound Forge and their lp restoral plug in.

    It took a few hours' worth of fiddling (even with the plug in), but I finally constructed a digitized version of a recording made in the late 40's and it sounded excellent, save for the last disk which had an off center hole. It had varying pitch, which I was still able to tone down a bit.

    The rest of the lps in the collection were in very good condition, but still had poor sound attributed to its 50+ year age.

    I am unfamiliar with the results that the professionals produce, but even a simple trial version of Sound Forge can work wonders on old LP's for merely the cost of electricity and a blank cd.
    • Re:I did (Score:2, Informative) for the last disk which had an off center hole. It had varying pitch, which I was still able to tone down a bit.

      If the center spindle of the turntable is removable, position the record so that the pressing is centered. It's easy to check this visually by spinning the record fast with the turntable switched off.

      This'll also help with the occasional record which is pressed off-center.

  • Be sure to give your vinyl a good cleaning, that often helps tremendously. I just use warm soapy water and a new, clean toothbrush, and try not to get the label wet. Esp the ones you pick up at the Salvation Army store usually need crap cleaned out of the grooves.

  • At least my vinyl will be playable in 100 years, can we say the same about harddrives [] and compact discs [] ?

    personally when i buy music it will always be on vinyl, i get a fairly robust product,no DRM, great artwork and will last with good care [] forever
    (having already 20,000 from 20years of dj'ing might sway my opinion somewhat ;)
    • Whoa. Down, boy. Isn't the point of this software that you can rip you vinyl to a digital file, thus having both formats to enjoy? I don't know about you, but I love having music on my iPod.

      My take on this software (since I can't read the article) isn't that mp3's are better than vinyl. It's that if you have vinyl, you can make mp3's.

      Reliability? Since you have vinyl records, you're in an excellent position to rip them to mp3 and see which is still around in 100 years. Not arguing for one or the other, ju
      • don't get me wrong im all for using mp3 as a backup for the vinyl but doesn't software like this does encourage the user to replace the wax for the mp3 ?, in some peoples eyes if i have a digi copy there is no need for me to keep the vinyl any longer therefore discarding a potentially more reliable medium for a less reliable one (if CD rot ,magnetic reliability) etc is

        using both ie backing up the vinyl onto mp3 so i do not need to wear out the vinyl is a great idea but alas i fear people will choose to rep
    • You're probably right, but once you have the data in digital format, the reliability of the media is not so important - just make sure you shift it to new media before the old wears out.
  • by SIGBUS ( 8236 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:29AM (#6104324) Homepage
    Last fall, I used "Gnome Wave Cleaner to clean up the sound from a bunch of LP's that I had recorded. I was quite happy with the results.
  • What I do... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tronster ( 25566 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:34AM (#6104335) Homepage
    I DJ on both vinyl and CD, but prefer spinning CDs. The problem is that all the "good tracks" can still only be purchased on vinyl.

    After reading the Tom's Hardware guide on the TerraTec DMX 6 Fire [] I knew that would be the next sound card to purchase. It has a phono-in as two RCA jacks, and comes with decent* software to clean up scratchy vinyl (*- Yet doesn't clean up RIAA filter artifacts. See below.)

    Ripping vinyl is not intuitive though. I made a few rips via Sound Forge and wondered why all my bass wasn't coming through. The card had on-board RIAA filtering, which caused other problems. The solution: Download the RIAA Direct-X plug-in and run the filter on the WAV after it has been captured.

    The RIAA filter itself works most of the time, but about one in every 6 records I rip, the filter creates very loud, 1 to 2 sample, "popping" artifacts, that need to be manually removed. I don't know if it's the filter itself or the implementation...either way I just wish it wasn't it didn't have that effect.

    Once that is done, normalize to a good level and you're done. The process takes about 20-45 minutes per record. It's a pain, but spinning the end result on CDJ-1000 [] makes it all worth it.
  • Interestin (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sebi ( 152185 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @07:41AM (#6104367)
    I would like to check out the page, but the Slashdot effect was faster. I actually went back to buying records instead of CDs a while ago. With all the copy protection schemes on new CDs I have to rip them via line in anyway. With a record it's basically the same amount of work, but I don't support copy protected discs this way.

    A nice side effect is that buying music became fun again. Browsing records and then putting them on the store's listening turntable is somehow a nicer experience than pressing a couple of buttons on a CD player. I now have a couple of albums that I didn't buy because of copy protection and couldn't be happier. Of course CDs are easier to handle, and there is none of the static and other little noises you can get with a record. But for me music never was about the highest possible sound quality.
  • There's lots of (quality) music released today that's released only on vinyl. DIY punk/noise, techno, electro and house, to name a few.

    Personally (as a wannabe-DJ) I buy vinyl instead of CD (as a form of protest?), and preferably from small labels. And I've got a collection really old 7" artifacts and oddities. It's a big plus to get the tracks in mp3 (or ogg), for archival and sharing purposes (which I almost consider the same). After all, one day, you might not find a working turntable anymore...

    Yes, I believe it's okay to share stuff that's limited to 500 pressings, sold out and almost impossible to find. There are actually labels that release their music on vinyl and free mp3 download.

    The point of this post? Not really any, just wanted to let you know what this software might be used for.

    • The point of this post? Not really any, just wanted to let you know what this software might be used for

      Chances are, the software would be used by people who own vinyl, but don't want to deal with the fact that the media is bulky, the player is bulky, and the simple mater of the media degrading with each use. Not to speak of those who own vinyl who would enjoy getting it on CD to play in their car, rather like we did back in the 1980's with cassettes in the car.

      As far as rare stuff... chances are it's o
  • I don't understand your concept of ripping directly to PC. All my music I rip using a kareoke machine, 10 friends and a microphone and Windows recorder. The quality just never comes out the same as the original.
    Wow.Your idea is phenomenal!
  • Great news for Jazz (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moc.tfosorcimgllib ( 602636 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:34AM (#6104599) Journal
    This is great news. Now we just need to get people with older record collections to rip them to MP3 so we can properly archive music before it's lost forever.
    Just think of all the music produced in the 20's, 30's and 40's that was never remastered and released on CD. Big Band Swing, Jazz, Blue Grass, tons of music that still has a copyright on it (thank you disney), but the copyright owner doesn't want to keep current in their catalog (too expensive). Get this music out on Kazaa, and introduce yourself to a generation of music that is slowly being lost.
    • by Aetrix ( 258562 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:51AM (#6105512) Homepage
      I agree - And old friend, has over 10,000 VERY unique albums dating back to the first pressings of vinyl. (He's been collecting AVIDLY since he was a child - he's in his 80s now.) Through him I learned that the first vinyl was actually pressed into the medium LIVE (Not drums of wax, actual vinyl). The artist would play, and that unique original recording would go onto the disk. If he wanted to make 10,000 albums to distribute, he would have to perform the song 10,000 times! There's albums of these types of albums that are worth $50 and others that are worth thousands of dollars - just because someone sneezed in the background, or the artist did something unique or original in that individual recording.

      I highly agree in saving very old recordings. Frankly, I think they're much better than the "digitally remastered" versions (Read: Guido shot first).
    • by kstumpf ( 218897 )
      Becaue CD production has gotten so cheap, a staggering amount of jazz is being remastered from the original recordings and reissued on CD lately. Alot of it hasn't been available since the original vinyl release. Even better, alot of previously unheard tunes (and alternate takes) are being included on reissues that were part of the original session but were eliminated due to space limitations of vinyl. I think reissues are alot more important than people ripping their home vinyl collections. Purchasing
  • ripvinyl (Score:3, Informative)

    by woogieoogieboogie ( 598162 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @08:37AM (#6104614)
    I have used this Rip Vinyl [] with much success on audio tapes and it works pretty much the same with lp's. You can also use EZ-CD Creator's SoundStream to record from cassette or lp.
  • by C R Johnson ( 141 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @09:38AM (#6104998) Homepage
    There are updated versions of gramofile with new and improved filters available here [].
    my own project, xmcd2make [] abuses the make program to automate gramofile and the mundane and redundant file naming and encoding tasks using xmcd files from [].
    There is a HOWTO [] as well
  • blind test (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2003 @10:04AM (#6105166)
    This is a bit off the topic... but only a touch.

    Basicly I was getting annoyed at some audiophile dj friends of mine. Ones who will quote stats and specifics yet not really give you a decent answer to the question, "does this sound good".

    What I did was I was demonstrating turn table vs CD. I actually had a few things that were made most recently, like pearl jam for example. What I did was I played the CD, and when I told them I was playing the vinyl, I secretly replaced the sound they usually hear with literaly what I filtered out of an entirely diffrent album. I call the track crack pop fizzle and hum.

    And sure enough... I was told that the second play, with the added snap pop crackle and 60 cycle hum was indeed had a warmer feel to it, and was the superior recording.

    Needless to say after revieling to them that it was a wave file with just vinyl noise, otherwise it was the same thing.

    While I appricate a good audio file who can put terms too annoying aspects of my sound setup that I can't place my finger on... I have little tolerance for idiots who are making a judgement based on feeling. I'll be the first to agree that a CD's clean sound may sound artifical to ears who were raised listening to vinyl. So the solution for this market is clear, create a turntable noise generator and those few vinyl psuddo-elitists will be happy.

    This is not to say that there are not people out there who trully have an ear to pickup the diffrences between analog and something sampled 44.1kHz. But should you be bothered with such folk, do your own blind test and see what happens.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!