Convert LP to CD

 

Below is basic information on how to convert lp to cd

How to Transfer Your Vinyl LP's to CD

By David Grant

If you want to transfer your 45’s, EP's, and LP's to CD, reasonable results with cheap and even free software can be achieved. Not quite the standards of the professionals, but reasonable never the less. So here’s a guide on how you can proceed.

If your turntable is connected to a Hi-Fi amplifier with a dedicated phono turntable) input, then connect a stereo phono lead (sometimes referred to as RCA leads) from the 'line out' or 'record out' from your amplifier to the 'line in' on your computer. The socket on your computer should be labelled 'Line In,' very often colour coded Blue and may have a symbol by it which looks like four or five curves in a line and an arrow running through the middle pointing away from the smallest curve.

If however you have a turntable, but no amplifier or don't have access to one (ie. beg, borrow, steal - well maybe not steal!) or your amplifier has no dedicated phono/turntable input, then you will need a 'phono pre-amp'. This piece of kit amplifies the very small signal coming from the turntable to match the input of your soundcard (ie. the 'line in' on your computer) and also changes the frequency response of the signal so the sound is acceptable to listen to.

If you are going to use a pre-amp, then connect the phono (RCA) lead from your turntable to the input of the pre-amp and the output of the pre-amp to the 'Line In' on your computer soundcard, so you will need another stereo 'phono to phono' (RCA to RCA) lead to run from the pre-amp to your computer.

This pre-amp will work fine for LP's EP's and 45's, but technically the match should be different for 78 rpm records, and even different 'matches' for different types/labels of 78's - however unless you are wanting a professional result then a standard phono pre-amp should be fine. If you are going to use an audio editor, or dedicated software then you can use their built in graphic equalizer to 'tweak' the sound anyway.

Now you are connected, you need some software to record your audio. The first thing to do is decide what end result you would like. Here are some options:

If you just want a simple way to transfer your LP to CD with no restoration, splitting the audio into tracks isn't a priority, and you have some software to burn the file to CD then try Audiotouch Lite. It has the simplest interface ever. Once a couple of settings are made it's a 'one button' operation. You can also use this software to record any audio running through your PC, like Internet Radio or a microphone. Another piece of software is ‘Audacity’ which is a very good audio editor and is free. It’s rather more complicated to use though, so expect a bit of a learning curve to begin with.

The other option is a dedicated Software Package that will Record your LP, Restore, split your recording into tracks, and Burn to CD. You may even find you can save your audio in MP3 format so you can transfer your audio to a portable player. This is definitely the way to go especially if you have quite a few LP’s to transfer, and of course these packages include an option to clean up the audio to remove crackles, pops, and other unwanted noises. It is surprising how long it can take to transfer your LP’s so a small investment in dedicated software to begin with makes the process so much easier and quicker.

There are quite a few software packages to choose from. I've never come across free software in this category and some are quite good but some are awful! So beware. I’ve tried quite a number so here are a few which make a good job and don’t cost very much.

Steinberg Clean is very good, if you can get hold of a copy, but I think it has been dropped. Some suppliers were still advertising it at the time of writing this, plus of course there is always ebay.

Acondigital.com’s Acoustica 3.3 is very good as is Acoustica’s Software ‘Spin it again’ (Don’t be confused by the two ‘Acoustica’s – they are different companies). If you would like more information on these packages then visit our website where you can see the results of my tests on both packages.

Setting up the software is straight forward and ‘wizards’ take you through this process, so it doesn’t take long at all, plus it’s well explained in the ‘help’ files. All these software packages will burn your transferred audio file to CD in a format that will play both on your computer and a normal home CD player. The process is all included in the wizards and is very easy to do.

I hope this has given you an understanding on how you can transfer your LP’s to CD and you enjoy the end results.

David Grant is an audio electronics engineer and owner of http://www.soundabout.net which is a professional format transfer service. Transferring Vinyl LP's to CD, 78 to CD, Tape to CD and even removing unwanted noises from ‘live’ recordings. For more information on Professional Services or understanding more on how you can transfer your own LP’s to CD visit our websitehttp://www.soundabout.net

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