1) You should use Line input instead of MIC input, the impedance and signal strength not match2) I suggest if your budget allow, use an external sound card (I'm using M-Audio FireWire Audiophile)3) Use audio grade cables for analog connection to minimize the signal lost4) For best result, you need a "good" phono amplifier, though Audacity have "Reversed RIAA" process, but I doubt very much your MC/MM cartridge can supply enough gain for the sound cardI make a DIY phono VSPS, with the proper OP-AMP I.C. it sounds good:http://www.geocities.com/rjm003.geo/rjmaudio/diy_pho5.htmlI may not have the best tools, but for your reference (ignore the garbage on screen, it's Chinese):http://johnson.tmfc.net/vinylP.S. You should use 48KHz or higher (if disk space not a problem) because Vinyl really sound better than ordinary CD.Hope this help.
Even if the laptop had a very good microphone preamp, it would be a very poor way to record a regular line level signal (the output from your phono preamp). As it happens, however, the microphone preamps in laptops are extra poor quality, so you are 16 strikes down using it. If your laptop has a line level input, you need to use that. However, laptops soundcards, even at line level, are mediocre at best. If, like some laptops, your's only has microphone input, quality is doomed to be very poor.
It is almost certainly the case that the laptop soundcard actually records at 48kHz and resamples to 44.1 before passing the input to CoolEdit. CoolEdit will do a much better job of resampling, so recording at 48kHz and letting CoolEdit produce 441.kHz is superior. With all the other problems, its a toss-up as to whether or not you can hear the difference, but the difference is there. An external soundcard, unless it is a multi-media/gaming card, won't have this problem.
thanks all for your helpful replies. i'm pretty sure that my laptop doesn't have a line-in (all i can see is an icon for mic and one for headphones), so it looks like i will be in the market for a USB external soundcard. any suggestions?
I use M-Audio products and found this USB interface ,if it works as well as the 24/96 product I use everyday, you should be all set and make nice recordings.
The M-Audio micro is only one channel. It is not suitable for cassette or phono