Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Moderator: Moderators

Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Deft »

I'm reaching the time in my life where all I have is nostalgia, so I've begun organising my records, buying digital copies of those which are available but reluctantly accepting I might have to physically record my favourites which only seem to exist on vinyl.
Anyone have any recommendations for a simple but good quality USB audio interface with phono pre-amp? Happy to spend a few hundred £.
Also, last time I recorded some vinyl about 10 years ago I convinced myself that 24-bit / 44.1 kHz was the way to go to avoid having to get the levels too perfect coming in. The idea of potentially generating 16-bit versions afterwards feels a bit annoying though. Maybe everything can play 24-bit lossless files nowadays. Any comments?
Also I've got a copy of Sound Forge Pro 11 and maybe some de-clicker / noise reduction plug-ins. I recall thinking these could be a bit overkill so might avoid. Anyone have any standard workflows or advice for tidying up recordings? I might hand-edit if major clicks etc. exist.
Thanks!
Deft
Poster
Posts: 28 Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Funkyflash5 »

I've not done it myself, but if I were going to, I'd pickup a Radial J33 DI/preamp and then just run that via xlr into my usual interface.
Funkyflash5
Regular
Posts: 148 Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:43 am Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by James Perrett »

I'm not sure that there are any good, affordable USB interfaces with a RIAA preamp incorporated although there may be something on the DJ market. A quick search brings up a cheap Behringer unit which (from personal experience of a very similar unit) I wouldn't recommend. There is also the ART Phono Plus which is an old unit and limited to 16 bit recording at 44.1 or 48kHz so I'd be worried about continued driver support for this one. The Rega Phono Mini also suffers from the same limitations as the ART. However, both the Rega and the ART can be used as stand-alone phono preamps so could be used with a more modern interface if their drivers are no longer supported.

My favourite software for processing vinyl is still Adobe Audition (I'm still on version 3.01). I find its automatic click reduction to be much more transparent than that in Izotope's RX which smooths things off too much for my taste. However, I prefer RX for noise reduction.

I tend to record everything to FLAC these days but have to translate it to .wav for Audition. I keep these processed files as .wav but also keep the original files - just in case some better processing software comes along in the future.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11246 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by ef37a »

Hi Deft, done a bit of this and hope to be doing more in the future, all for my personal collection.

I too ran at 24/44.1 mainly so that I could record down at -20, even -30dBfs in some cases to ensure clicks did not push the signal over the top and possibly cause other issues.

Can I assume you still have a turntable and amplifier? If so all you then need is an interface. Given the distortion and noise inherent in vinyl I would say one of the Behringer units would suffice? I had the UMC204HD and was very pleased with it. M-Audio also have a very cost effective two channel AI which received a thumbs up from SOS.

Software: I had Samplitude SE8 which can export to various formats and so directly to 16 bits. I then use (the old Sony) Sound Forge to clean up. Storage is now so cheap that, as said, the original 24 bit files can be kept as insurance. You could probably do the whole thing with Audacity but most AIs come with decent DAWs and there are plenty of freebies around.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13114 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by blinddrew »

Quite a lot of media players will handle 24bit wav files now, but a lot of mobile phones won't. So it's worth checking the specs on the programmes/hardware that you're likely to be using.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16148 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by ConcertinaChap »

ef37a wrote:Can I assume you still have a turntable and amplifier? If so all you then need is an interface. Given the distortion and noise inherent in vinyl I would say one of the Behringer units would suffice? I had the UMC204HD and was very pleased with it. M-Audio also have a very cost effective two channel AI which received a thumbs up from SOS.

This is almost exactly how I'm digitising my LP collection. The AI I'm using is the M-Audio Air 192 6 which is pretty similar to the one Dave is referring to only with a couple more inputs and for this use I'm very happy with it.

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10265 Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley
Recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
"Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls" - John Donne

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Deft »

Thanks all for the comments so far, it's definitely given me some food for thought.
My background is dj'ing and although I dabbled in production occasionally I don't have a dedicated audio production interface anymore (I used an Emu1820m and then an RME something or other back in the mists of time).
So I do have an audio interface in the form of a Rane One DJ controller, with its own phono pre-amp. My vinyl archiving duties will be using a Technics 1210GR turntable with an Ortofon Concorde Century cartridge.
The Rane One is a nice enough DJ controller but (without hard evidence admittedly) I thought if I'm recording these stupid records once and for all I could get a dedicated interface just for that job.
I'm not totally against a separate phono preamp and then a separate high quality two channel interface.
Of course you can tell me I should just save my cash and record through the Rane, but it's good for the economy for me to buy dedicated gear....or something.
Budget is flexible but I think I'd prefer to keep it < £500 as it just feels like the returns get small and the turntable or cartridge could be just as limiting.
My Googling got me to some Korg ds-dac-10r 1-bit thing and otherwise it's a lot of audiophile stuff which my internal bias tells me to avoid!
Deft
Poster
Posts: 28 Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 12:00 am

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Rich Hanson »

Another thing you might consider is a turntable with built in preamp and usb interface. (Not the cheap Crosley or Ion type crap of course!)

The Pro-Ject Elemental is one such, which is what I have, and can be picked up now for under £200. https://www.project-audio.com/en/product/elemental/

There are others, too.
User avatar
Rich Hanson
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2501 Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:00 am Location: Sort of near Rochester, Kent, UK

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by The Elf »

As long as you can get a good recording level you can recreate the RIAA EQ curve with a software EQ. One of the Waves plug-ins, and a Fabfilter one IIRC, had an RIAA preset.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 17108 Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by James Perrett »

The Elf wrote:As long as you can get a good recording level you can recreate the RIAA EQ curve with a software EQ. One of the Waves plug-ins, and a Fabfilter one IIRC, had an RIAA preset.

The big problem with using any old input and then doing the eq later is that a phono cartridge is designed to work correctly into a certain impedance (normally 47k ohms for a moving magnet cartridge) and a certain capacitance (normally around 3-400pF). If you are using a different impedance you will need to adjust the EQ curve and would need a test disc with a range of tones or a frequency sweep in order to achieve this accurately.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 11246 Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by ef37a »

James Perrett wrote:
The Elf wrote:As long as you can get a good recording level you can recreate the RIAA EQ curve with a software EQ. One of the Waves plug-ins, and a Fabfilter one IIRC, had an RIAA preset.

The big problem with using any old input and then doing the eq later is that a phono cartridge is designed to work correctly into a certain impedance (normally 47k ohms for a moving magnet cartridge) and a certain capacitance (normally around 3-400pF). If you are using a different impedance you will need to adjust the EQ curve and would need a test disc with a range of tones or a frequency sweep in order to achieve this accurately.

Yeah, knew there was something wrong there James but old brain not quick enough. The only input likely to have the required sensitivity is a mic input and they typically have an input resistance of 1k5...10k as a maximum in very rare cases. The input capacitance is usually 1nF+, way too big.

Might be worth checking Ebay or local charity shops for integrated amps? A Sony or Marantz or similar will have very serviceable phono inputs for £30-£40ish.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13114 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by blinddrew »

I'd just pick up a Project Phono Box and a cheap interface with 2 line inputs personally.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 16148 Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Exalted Wombat »

Just take a feed off whatever you currently use to play your vinyl.

When vinyl was all we had, the RIAA eq on our amplifiers was provided by a small handful of components costing a few pennies. Not rocket science.
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5700 Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:00 am Location: London UK
You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont bore us with beefing about it. Go fishing instead.

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by Martin Walker »

Exalted Wombat wrote:Just take a feed off whatever you currently use to play your vinyl.

When vinyl was all we had, the RIAA eq on our amplifiers was provided by a small handful of components costing a few pennies. Not rocket science.

Agreed - here's a typical example:

Image

Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 18173 Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Vinyl Recording - 24-bit, interface Q, processing

Post by ef37a »

Martin Walker wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:Just take a feed off whatever you currently use to play your vinyl.

When vinyl was all we had, the RIAA eq on our amplifiers was provided by a small handful of components costing a few pennies. Not rocket science.

Agreed - here's a typical example:

Image

Martin

If anyone was contemplating building an RIAA pre amp the best IC is the NE5534 single op amp. Gives about the best noise performance at MM cartridge impedances.

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13114 Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:00 am Location: northampton uk
Post Reply