You are here

USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby JimmyNeutron » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:08 am

Hello all, first post here. I have been racking my head trying to find a few answers to a few questions. I hope I can find those answers here.

I am in the process of building a small rig for the sole purpose of transferring my 1000+ record collection over to my media library. Why? Well really not out of necessity since I already have most all my old school records as CD's or hi-rez formats already. And truth be told I may rarely listen to these copies. The reason is just for the hobby, for the experience, and for the love of the music. I am very technical about computers - it's the business I'm in, building custom media entertainment HTPC's. No stranger to dad's here. But my questions involve adc's that seem to be more akin to the pro world instead of the home audio world, and here my knowledge is nill.

The software I have is isotopes RX2 Advanced, Waveaudio LE, Audacity, a few Adobe products too. My turntable is a very capable Denon DP-62L with a Denon DL103r moving coil cart. The output runs into a Cambridge Audio 640p phono preamp. My search for a decent to very nice USB interface led me to purchase the Tascam US-144mkII. I wanted an external USB 2.0 device that could handle at least 24/96 recording. I was also thinking about the TD-07mkII portable unit, but I changed my mind because I read that it cannot stream 24/96 over the USB to the PC, it can only record in onto sdcards. The US-144mkII better fits my task since I will only use it at home. So what's my concerns? Well, the PC actually. I don't know how much processing power I need to rip my records and do some cleaning and declicking. Currently I have an old Dell E310 tower. It's a Pentium 4 2.8 ghz with 2 gigs RAM and USB 2.0 ports, running Windows XP or Windows 7 (I have both OS discs, which one would be better?). Obviously I will want a more "current and modern" computer, but will this one be sufficient enough to do the job until I have the funds to replace it? Remember, this PC is ONLY for ripping my records, nothing else will be done here. I won't receive my Tascam until this Wednesday, so I just want to learn about how much horse power something like this is going to take from a PC. I reckon that to rip all my lp's it will take me a few years since I have a full time job and a family, so the PC needs to do it's job for some time.

Does anyone here have any experience doing something like this? Does anyone know what the minimum PC specs I need to do this project are? I'm guessing that since I'm working with just audio and nothing else I shouldn't a quad core? Or do I? If anyone can help here I'd be greatly thankful.

Thanks in advance.

Jimmy
JimmyNeutron
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby BJG145 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:30 am

I can't see the minimum system requirements for RX2 Advanced listed on the website but I wouldn't guess they'd exceed what you've got. I guess you could just try it and see. On the other hand, I think it's time to think about picking up a new PC anyway. I haven't tried running Windows 7 on a P4 but I'm not in a hurry to.
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2985
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 11:00 pm
Location: Norwich UK

 


Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby adrian_k » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:31 am

Hi Jimmy,

I'm not terrifically PC literate, but FWIW in about 2000 I was recording using a bog standard Dell something tower, single core with I think Windows 2000 and only a half a gig of RAM. I had no problems recording up to 4 simultaneous tracks. That was at 24bit/44.1K. I put in a separate disk for the audio, and researched tweaks for the OS (google XP tweaks for audio).

Before that I used to record up to two simultaneous tracks using a 'Time' computer (remember them?). Recording wasn't a problem but playback of a project with a fair number of tracks in was.

You are looking at stereo (so two tracks only) albeit at 96K. But I would have thought that what you want to do is possible, with possibly a separate audio disk installed. RX doesn't tend to get used in 'real time' mode apart from auditioning your changes, so you shouldn't have many (if any) playback issues.

HTH
A
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 12:00 am
getting better all the time..

Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby JimmyNeutron » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:51 am

Thanks for the response. This machine is not my playback machine. I have 3 htpc's in my home and a 2 channel stereo only rig as well. All are connected to my home network and can access my 2 terrabyte drive filled with music (FLAC files up to 24/192 and about a hundred DSD rips). All my pc's are modern and capable. My media library is not just the 2 terrabyte music drive, but 8 terrabytes of full DVD and blu ray rips. All all touchscreen controlled. But back to the old Dell. I will monitor my recordings as I make and clean them on AKG headphones and a Little Dot tube headphone amp connected to the analog audio out on the Tascam. Once the LP has been cleaned and finished, I will then send it to my NAS music library that I mentioned. So, this Dell is just for importing my music and cleaning it up - nothing more. I know, and I will, get a better PC in the coming weeks, but after dropping $3k in software and various other hardware I cannot even get my wallet out of my back pocket. I'm just curious about if I made a good choice by buying the Tascam US-144mkII for this project or if anyone here knows of a better unit. Gotta keep in mind the source being brought in.....old vinyl, not original studio master tapes. I think anything over a $1000 ADC would be ridiculously overkill. I also am curious about the system specs of the PC for doing this kind of job. Like I said, it's only audio I'm working with. But then I could be wrong. I'm wondering if any members have done this before or are doing it currently that can give me pointers and such.

Jimmy
JimmyNeutron
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:00 pm

Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:30 am

A 66MHz 486 processor will handle 4 stereo channels (at 44.1kHz) so your computer will have no problems with acquiring the audio. For cleaning things up with RX2, you will need something more powerful but how much power you throw at it depends on how fast you want to work. I've only tried RX2 on really badly mangled audio so I'm not sure how fast it is on normal records but it didn't strike me as any more processor hungry than other cleaning software I use. Certainly the Core Duo laptop I tried it on wasn't painfully slow.

James.
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 5757
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The wilds of Hampshire

JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk


Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby adrian_k » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:47 am

JimmyNeutron wrote: This machine is not my playback machine...

Yeah sorry I was referring to playback during the restoration process..

My experience of the Tascam is it's a perfectly good recording input device. You could spend a lot more and not notice the difference.
User avatar
adrian_k
Frequent Poster
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 12:00 am
getting better all the time..

Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:09 am

If you're convinced that 96KKz sounds any different to 44.1KHz I don't suppose anything I say will make any difference! But this "cleaning" worries me. I suspect anything other than manually reducing the worst clicks in a wav editor is going to affect the sound much more than would choice of sample rate or of interface. Don't forget the people who made those "digitally enhanced" versions which gave CDs a bad name honestly thought they were IMPROVING the sound!
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5643
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 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. Go fishing instead.


Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby johnny h » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:19 pm

JimmyNeutron wrote:Hello all, first post here. I have been racking my head trying to find a few answers to a few questions. I hope I can find those answers here.

I am in the process of building a small rig for the sole purpose of transferring my 1000+ record collection over to my media library. Why? Well really not out of necessity since I already have most all my old school records as CD's or hi-rez formats already. And truth be told I may rarely listen to these copies. The reason is just for the hobby, for the experience, and for the love of the music. I am very technical about computers - it's the business I'm in, building custom media entertainment HTPC's. No stranger to dad's here. But my questions involve adc's that seem to be more akin to the pro world instead of the home audio world, and here my knowledge is nill.

The software I have is isotopes RX2 Advanced, Waveaudio LE, Audacity, a few Adobe products too. My turntable is a very capable Denon DP-62L with a Denon DL103r moving coil cart. The output runs into a Cambridge Audio 640p phono preamp. My search for a decent to very nice USB interface led me to purchase the Tascam US-144mkII. I wanted an external USB 2.0 device that could handle at least 24/96 recording. I was also thinking about the TD-07mkII portable unit, but I changed my mind because I read that it cannot stream 24/96 over the USB to the PC, it can only record in onto sdcards. The US-144mkII better fits my task since I will only use it at home. So what's my concerns? Well, the PC actually. I don't know how much processing power I need to rip my records and do some cleaning and declicking. Currently I have an old Dell E310 tower. It's a Pentium 4 2.8 ghz with 2 gigs RAM and USB 2.0 ports, running Windows XP or Windows 7 (I have both OS discs, which one would be better?). Obviously I will want a more "current and modern" computer, but will this one be sufficient enough to do the job until I have the funds to replace it? Remember, this PC is ONLY for ripping my records, nothing else will be done here. I won't receive my Tascam until this Wednesday, so I just want to learn about how much horse power something like this is going to take from a PC. I reckon that to rip all my lp's it will take me a few years since I have a full time job and a family, so the PC needs to do it's job for some time.

Does anyone here have any experience doing something like this? Does anyone know what the minimum PC specs I need to do this project are? I'm guessing that since I'm working with just audio and nothing else I shouldn't a quad core? Or do I? If anyone can help here I'd be greatly thankful.

Thanks in advance.

Jimmy

Don't maul your records with this noise reduction crap - it only makes things worse. Unless you are going to spend a long time on every single track tuning it by hand you will be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Automated systems don't work.

You have a decent turntable, cart and preamp - those are the main things. If your records have ever been played before there is unlikely to be any musical information over 20khz so a 44.1k sample rate is sufficient. As for converters, the more expensive the better so it really depends on your budget.
johnny h
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3088
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:32 pm

It is probably wise to be cautious about the audio cleanup. RX2 is one of the better programs around but the artefacts will still be slightly audible. When I'm doing a restoration job, I will always keep the original raw audio as I know that, in years to come, better restoration tools will appear.

James.
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 5757
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The wilds of Hampshire

JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration.
http://www.jrpmusic.co.uk


Re: USB interface for transferring LP's to PC?

Postby JimmyNeutron » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:13 pm

James Perrett wrote:It is probably wise to be cautious about the audio cleanup. RX2 is one of the better programs around but the artefacts will still be slightly audible. When I'm doing a restoration job, I will always keep the original raw audio as I know that, in years to come, better restoration tools will appear.

James.


This is very good advice. Thanks.

Jimmy
JimmyNeutron
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:00 pm


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mashedmitten and 3 guests