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JimF-LowBari

Hardware/Software for burning to disc?

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Might as well ask here as most action is on this forum. Note: this will be for personal use only as trying to save waaaaay old recordings of all types.

Years back bought a system that can record vinyl and cassettes to CD. Works OK but real time killer as have to hit a button to set when next track starts. Only about 5 years old but it’s already overcome by new technology. Haven’t tried yet but not sure it will handle DVDs with their different format from ye olde CDs. Also burns files with the format (wave?) that makes a large file. Main reason why regular CDs only handle about 80 minutes. Plus no software to smooth out static, etc from old recordings. WYHIWYG what you HEAR is what you get. 

Any suggestions on what to use to burn a ton of old format vinyl/cassettes to DVDs using the laptop? Figure copy to laptop, clean the sound and burn to DVD with an mp or other format that doesn’t take a ton of space.

 

Thanks in advance

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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EDIT:  Sorry, Jim, I double-clicked my Enter key by mistake too soon. I'll finish and repost the whole thing.

Edited by Peel Paint
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On 7/15/2018 at 6:09 PM, JimF-LowBari said:

Might as well ask here as most action is on this forum. Note: this will be for personal use only as trying to save waaaaay old recordings of all types.

Years back bought a system that can record vinyl and cassettes to CD. Works OK but real time killer as have to hit a button to set when next track starts. Only about 5 years old but it’s already overcome by new technology. Haven’t tried yet but not sure it will handle DVDs with their different format from ye olde CDs. Also burns files with the format (wave?) that makes a large file. Main reason why regular CDs only handle about 80 minutes. Plus no software to smooth out static, etc from old recordings. WYHIWYG what you HEAR is what you get. 

Any suggestions on what to use to burn a ton of old format vinyl/cassettes to DVDs using the laptop? Figure copy to laptop, clean the sound and burn to DVD with an mp or other format that doesn’t take a ton of space.

 

Thanks in advance

Make high quality masters that you keep for archives before making MP3. Like FLAC files. 

You'll lose significant quality going to small files like mp3. If you ever want high quality again, you'll have those FLAC files.

 

A nice lightweight free burner that I frequently use is img burn. But I work with a lot of other disc needs in addition to audio.

http://www.imgburn.com

 

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My answer was getting too long without input from you which would make parts of my answer moot. Let’s try it this way:

Personally I don’t recommend the all-in-one solutions like you’ll see in a Hammacher Schlemmer catalog or wherever for converting records or tapes to digital. I don’t think they do a great job. If those work for you, fine, go for it. They will save you time.

There’s no way around recording the analog material in real time—you don’t have to listen—you can do something else while recording, but you wouldn’t know if the record skipped. After it's recorded, you have to listen to it to find the problems--maybe not the whole recording though. Checking the results after editing has to be done in real time. Right there you’re up to a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio, 2 or 3 hours of listening to digitally record and check one hour of analog material. It’s the editing, though, that *really* takes time. If you want every tick and pop from the record gone so it sounds clean, just consider that it will take about a minute to precisely locate, remove, and check your work for each click you can hear, and even a very good-condition record probably has dozens. A worn out record will have many hundreds of clicks. Yes software can globally remove many minor ones, but the louder ones need to be surgically excised one at a time. It is painstaking work. So the condition of the records is critical. On the other hand, once you learn how, removing turntable rumble, applying equalization (adjusting bass-mid-treble etc.) and normalizing (bringing the loudest part of the recording to the proper peak while leaving softer passages soft) is relatively quick, because each of those is one mouse click and maybe 15 second wait for the whole record side, before you crop it into tracks. If that's all you want to do, and if like Frank Barrone on Everybody Loves Raymond, you prefer that scratchy record sound, then maybe 2:1 or 3:1 is all you need.

What equipment do you already have for this?

Do you have a turntable and cartridge that still work well and can connect to an amplifier? Do you also have a way to play the tapes?

Do you still have an AV receiver with phono inputs and tape monitor inputs (these ports will take 2 pairs of red-white RCA audio cables, plus a tape monitor switch) that you can connect the turntable and tape deck to?

I think the best way to buy this gear, if you don’t have it, is in a local thrift shop or garage sale which sells old stereo gear, but it’s a gamble, as your purchases may die quickly. Old transistors and belts and wheels tend to quickly develop problems 30 years later.  You can get it on eBay, but the old heavy gear is expensive to ship and must be packed with great care.

Do you have a computer sound card, or a USB accessory, that you can connect the amplifier’s outputs to, to get the sound into your computer? Do you have audio editing software that can process old recordings and the will to learn how to use it?

Does your computer have a CD or DVD burner drive, and do you have blank disks or another digital playback method, even an iOS or Android smartphone?

Personally, I weeded out most of the analog material I had because it takes so long to convert and because I knew I wouldn’t listen to it again often enough in digital to make it worth my time. And if you can buy it digitally, just do it. Your time is valuable. But I did digitally record some analog recordings, drum corps and otherwise.

Edited by Peel Paint
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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 5:09 PM, JimF-LowBari said:

Any suggestions on what to use to burn a ton of old format vinyl/cassettes to DVDs using the laptop?

Audacity is freeware that comes with USB turntables but can be used without by activating the RCA plug ins. Google "Audacity" you will get to a free (shareware) download site. If you are real serious get yourself a USB turntable Music Hall USB-1 goes for around $250.00 but other non-usb turntables work as well. Audacity renders a 32bit file and with hard drive space so cheap I kick my self for down resing to 16 bit which is the CD wav format. Lets you encode the entire record then you can go in and remove pops & cracks and smooth out the space between tracks then name each track and download separately to most any format including MP3, FLAC & WAV. Magic Audio Cleaning Lab costs about $40.00 and automates some of the features but must be careful with auto pop & click software because it can affect the dynamic range, I painstakingly remove them manually. I help out some record stores downtown with digital record restoration, sort of a hobby lead to a huge music collection outside of drum corps. I also evaluate stereo equipment for the stores that folks are trying to pawn.

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As Bluzes is suggesting, audio editing software like Audacity or Adobe Audition will have ways to globally edit clicks and pops out the way I suggest noise removal, equalization, and normalization can relatively quickly be done, one mouse click per record side. But set it high enough to get any annoying audible click or pop, and you'll hear the sound dip at that point. Your adjustment will create a new problem. Set your noise removal (such as for getting rumble out) too aggressively, and you'll muffle your recording, or add wind chimes! This software has a learning curve. Expect to take a lot longer with your first few records, retrying things many times, to get to the point where you can do it faster with later records. But manually removing clicks and pops, as we're both warning, without adversely affecting the resulting digital recording, is a slow and mentally challenging process even when you learn to do it right. If I was determined to do with this a record I owned in fair condition, I couldn't buy it digitally, and I saw the same record on eBay for $20 that really was in VG condition and the seller warrants he's listened, it sounds pretty clean, I'm spending the $20 rather than trying to digitally edit the recording I own that needs hours of work!

Edited by Peel Paint
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38 minutes ago, Bluzes said:

Any suggestions on what to use to burn a ton of old format vinyl/cassettes to DVDs using the laptop?

As for DVDs it can get a little tricky available rendering software varies greatly on capabilities or type of files eligible for VOB (DVD) creation some only want basic avi, some can render mpeg 4, h264. Need to know your source materials format, FLV, MOV, AVI or custom mpg then make sure the software you use handles such. Like Peel Paint points out it takes a lot of trial and error especially for DVD's. The end result may be way off in lip sync on FLV sources but better for AVI then you need to convert the source to AVI should set everything to 16 by 9 to fit the big screens. I like Cyber Link Power Director but Movavi Video Suite 15 works well to. Enjoy

Edited by Bluzes
typo

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Thanks for pointing me in the right direction guys. Of all things the instructions walked off but checked the system itself and sales info. No USB ports just ports for auxiliary input and output jacks. Paperwork says record to CD and given the age of the system (older than I remembered) doubt if DVD an option. Good news is able to buy needle cartridges but that's about it. At least turntables coming back so can check those for connecting to pc via USB as I check the software listed above.

Oh yeah system is a Crosley with record player/radio/cassette player and play/burn cds. The previous system with a record player crapped out and thought I'd have more time to convert to up to date CDs. Lol now Cds are a bugger to find blanks where I usually shop and dvds would be cheaper with the amount of vinyl on hand. 

Edited by JimF-LowBari

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Think your equipment will work OK for CD's, DVD's need a lot of ram for faster rendering or one disk could take for 4 hours and not come out right, frustrating. Audacity has a setting for right/left input but never tried that. Would be curious what the bit rate is for RCA it is 32 bit on usb. Another tip is to make MP3 -320kbps discs on your CD disks. Then you get close to 3 hours on one disc. MP3's play on current car stereos and most other equipment. 320kbps is if there is such a thing "lossless compression' FLAC files are also lossless and a good storage option but not to compatible with devices outside your computer but do now play on Windows 10.

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