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MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

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MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:25 pm

I'm new to the forum, and a novice : )
Years ago I converted my uncle's sweet reggae vinyl collection to Minidisks.
And then MD fell out of favor.
I'd like to convert them all to MP3.
I have a decent MD player with optical outs.
It was suggested to me to get Soundforge Audio Studio, and a good Sound card with optical in/out.
So my question is this:
Is it a good idea for what I want to do?
And what would be some recommended sound cards with optical - that will work with my HP Elitebook 1050 G1?

Thanks in advance :!:
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:15 am

Sorry - this is one of those "I wouldn't start here" responses!

Since MiniDisc uses a form of lossy data compression system, in recording to MP3 you would be adding another layer of lossy data compression. In other words, you are gradually reducing the quality of the audio with each of these steps.

If possible I would go back to the source from which you recorded to MiniDisc and re-record, this time to WAV files for uncompressed storage, and then convert to a compressed format (my preference for compression is FLAC, since it is lossless and possible to reverse FLAC back to uncompressed WAV, if need be).
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:30 am

I'd echo the Elf's comments. When you recorded onto MD the ATRAC compression algorithm threw away parts of the sound that it thought you wouldn't hear. When you record to mp3 the mp3 compression will throw away different parts of the sound that it thinks you won't hear. On their own, each type of compression is almost inaudible but if you chain them together, you'll start to hear issues with the sound like bubbly cymbals or slightly metallic vocals.

So it would be best to start again but, if you no longer have access to the original vinyl, it would be best to record to .wav or flac format which won't degrade the sound any further.

And to answer your original question - I don't know any good cheap interfaces with optical inputs (although there are plenty with optical outputs) but the Zoom U-44 will certainly do the job.
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby ef37a » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:44 am

Whilst I tremble to argue slightly with the above 'sperts!
If you find the ananlogue replay qualty good (and I have 2 MD recorders and they sound ok to me) Just record the analogue line output.

Because storage is so cheap these day, record as .wav, 44.1kHz 16 bits.

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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:22 pm

Very helpful. I can’t go back to the original vinyl, so I will convert to wav. or flac.
Any point to find a quality sound card with optical in, or should I just do into my headphone jack on laptop?
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:38 pm

James Perrett wrote:
And to answer your original question - I don't know any good cheap interfaces with optical inputs (although there are plenty with optical outputs) but the Zoom U-44 will certainly do the job.

Oops I didn't read carefully. I checked out the Zoom U-44 and it has Optical input. So do you suggest I go with the optical, or do you suggest I just use the rca out/in?
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby The Elf » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:36 pm

In this case I'd go digital - no point going through a layer of D-A/A-D conversion as well as the additional compression.
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:59 pm

Ok and with the Zoom U-44 for example, how does it connect with my HP laptop?

Thanks
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:10 pm

InTheMarket wrote:Ok and with the Zoom U-44 for example, how does it connect with my HP laptop?

Thanks

A type A to type B USB cable, according to the website, and they have pictures also:

Image

Image
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:58 pm

Ok I’m buying the Soundforge and Zoom. Finally after 15 years it’s alive again. Thanks to all for your patience and advice
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby James Perrett » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:56 pm

Before you go buying any software be aware that the Zoom comes with a download code for the basic version of Protools which might be enough to get you started - though I must admit that I downloaded it but have never used it.
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:29 am

James Perrett wrote:Before you go buying any software be aware that the Zoom comes with a download code for the basic version of Protools which might be enough to get you started - though I must admit that I downloaded it but have never used it.

Part of the Soundforge Audio Studio suggestion was that it has a "monitor" mode to adjust levels before recording to the computer. Does the included Protools version have the same? And is it an important function for this project?
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby The Elf » Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:03 am

If you're recording digitally you don't need to (and shouldn't) adjust levels.

There's no need for any clever software. Whatever recorder the bundle comes with will be fine.
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby InTheMarket » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:09 pm

The Elf wrote:If you're recording digitally you don't need to (and shouldn't) adjust levels.

There's no need for any clever software. Whatever recorder the bundle comes with will be fine.
I just noticed on Amazon.ca for the Zoom U-44 that it comes with a download code for Ableton Live 9 Lite (not ProTools as other post mentioned)
Will this be ok for what I'm doing? Or should I try to get a different program?

Thanks
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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:37 pm

Ok, since you have found an interface with an optical input do that.

You don't need any clever software. Audacity is free forever or you could download a month's trial of Samplitude.

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Re: MiniDisk to MP3 - Sounds cards with Optical in/out?

Postby The Korff » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:16 pm

InTheMarket wrote:I just noticed on Amazon.ca for the Zoom U-44 that it comes with a download code for Ableton Live 9 Lite ... Will this be ok for what I'm doing?

Yep!
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