Hydrogenaudio Forums

CD-R and Audio Hardware => Vinyl => Topic started by: Woodinville on 15 September, 2005, 03:35:40 PM

Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 15 September, 2005, 03:35:40 PM
( I think this is the right forum, I'm trying, at least, to get this right. )

Like some other old folks here, I have a lot of LP's that I would like to move over to my computer.

There are several issues.
First, it has to happen in real time, no faster. This is quite profoundly annoying.
Second, I'd like to be able to get things like album art, etc, by entering the catalog number or something like that, or searching CD databases, perhaps, for the info, although often tracks are different, moved, or present/missing.
Third, I'd like to process the stuff on the fly, using the sound card's analog level adjustment to keep me in a decent dynamic range, but providing some space for overloads.
Fourth, I'd like to be able to run things like de-clicking, de-noising, etc.
Fifth, I'd like to stuff that all into .wma Q90

Does anybody make anything like this?

You may assume I own:
A good turntable
A good record cleaner
A good cartridge and stylus
A good phono preamp/general preamp

So I can get line level signals that are properly equalized into my sound card, in fact using balanced lines so that I can even get some noise rejection.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: skelly831 on 15 September, 2005, 04:52:26 PM
Audiograbber mentions Line-In recording as a feature, i haven't tried it but Audiograbber itself is a pretty good program.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 15 September, 2005, 05:02:01 PM
It is very hard to run a rip faster than realtime. First of all, no commercial LP table will spin faster than 45rpm; 78 players are generally more expensive. Second, the RIAA curve gets messed up quite a bit when you play faster, and you'll need to manually compensate.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 15 September, 2005, 06:00:17 PM
There exist a number of sites with album art that can be downloaded. I looked at some a couple years ago but the only address I have handy is
http://www.recordlabels.smugmug.com/ (http://www.recordlabels.smugmug.com/)
The password was labels some time ago, but I haven't tried any access lately.

While it isn't organized for downloading into some database, you can find out quite a bit about many albums at  http://www.allmusic.com/ (http://www.allmusic.com/)  CD data bases exist, of course, and information about using them is no doubt readily available. Try reading in EAC or one of the other DAE programs.

I would say it isn't worth while to try to record to computer at faster than real time. Using a 78RPM turntable would make for problems with the equalization, at the very least. If you want to do a decent job of cleaning up the audio, that is going to take quite a bit more time than recording anyway.

If you are at all serious about the quality of the finished product, you need to start right. Recording should be in PCM 32 bit floating point to avoid problems with processing. Audition is the best bet, but if you don't want to spend money, Kristal and Audacity will let you get the file created in a reasonable format.

Various less expensive programs have declicking and noise reduction abilities but I only know the quality of the ones I use. There are a number of inexpensive programs that satisfy some people but from what I've seen they really don't approach what can be done with the right software.

I'm not sure what you mean about "process the stuff on the fly" but are you sure your soundcard has an analog level adjustment. Most don't, they just reduce the bit depth. It does depend on the phono preamp, and the cartridge, but for most setups there is no need to adjust the level; just record what comes out of the phono preamp. And you certainly don't want to be adjusting levels dynamically, as thought orchestrating a live recording. The result would be strange.

I don't think there is any reasonable way, which is to say quality oriented way, to do something additional while recording. Record, then process. When everything is as you want in the .wav file, declicked and clean, then you can consider encoding into some compressed format.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 15 September, 2005, 06:41:46 PM
Quote
I would say it isn't worth while to try to record to computer at faster than real time. Using a 78RPM turntable would make for problems with the equalization, at the very least. If you want to do a decent job of cleaning up the audio, that is going to take quite a bit more time than recording anyway.

Yes, yes, I know. I'm not considering it. I did say "it has to happen in real time, no faster" after all.

The biggest problem isn't even RIAA compensation, that can be reversed with some loss of dynamic range after the ADC.

The biggest problem is the response of the pre-amp and cartridge, and how heavy you'd have to track to keep the stylus down in the groove.
Quote
If you are at all serious about the quality of the finished product, you need to start right. Recording should be in PCM 32 bit floating point to avoid problems with processing.


Well, given that I can provide a clean line-level signal in I think that storing in 32 float is a bit of an overkill.  int 20 is more than the table and preamp can muster, and they are quite good, actually. (not very new, but good)

I would think that one could quickly go, after some simple gain ranging, to int16 without any real issues.

Processing, of course, has to happen in at least 32 int (8.16.8) if not float, of course.

I guess I'll have to think about automatic recording myself, then.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 15 September, 2005, 07:35:59 PM
It is true that a good 16 bit DAC will capture all that the LP can give you, but that isn't terribly relevant to using or not using a floating point file if you intend to do more than just record. Processing in integer produces rounding errors at every operation, every time the program makes calculations. Digital audio is all math. The errors are of course cumulative.

Also, assuming you have floating point at any particular time, converting to integer means either simple truncating or dithering. Neither is something you want to do multiple times; they are cumulative too. Therefore the reasonable thing is to capture in floating point (or integer, if you are so inclined, then do the extra step and convert to floating point). Maintain floating point until you have the final polish done and accepted, then convert to integer as your last step (or at least the last step as PCM). Of course no one forces this upon you, but you cannot beat the math with alternate choices.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: boojum on 15 September, 2005, 08:39:05 PM
Stylus weights:  usually magnetics tracked at 1 gram.  That is pretty light.  You can check yours to be sure by doing a Google search.  The company or two which still stock stylii will have tables showing the correct tracking weight for your cartridge.  Use it.

Your amp will make no difference: you will be using the pre-amp out as input to your computer sound card.  Use RIAA.  Everything after about '60 was on that compensation curve.  Clean the records well (http://www.loc.gov/preserv/care/record.html).

Enjoy each and every LP as you play it.  You will probably never hear it that way again.

FWIW - years ago folks would copy their LP's to cassettes on the first play to preserve the LP's surface as pristine as possible.  Every play degrades it a bit more.

Happy Trails   
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 15 September, 2005, 09:27:28 PM
It's not the end of the world if all you can record at is 16/22. If you're planning on encoding to WMA lossy it definitely doesn't matter. It is probably useful for forensic or archival purposes to record at 24/96 if you can, as vinyl is quite capable of going to 30khz (admittedly with a very strong headwind). Just be sure to upsample to 32-bit float when doing processing.

There are no particularly good ways to do automatic level control of vinyl rips, unless you have an external compressor handy. Just dial the music peaks in to -10dBFS or something and forget about it. Right now I'm recording at -20dbFS peak volume for most music, due to some clipping issues with the higher gain setting on my RME, and I don't ever anticipate it ever being an issue. (Of course, if you're recording at 16 bits then it could be an issue.)
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: boojum on 16 September, 2005, 12:27:46 AM
Quote
as vinyl is quite capable of going to 30khz (admittedly with a very strong headwind).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327145"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



I would sure like to see a demonstration of this capability.  Have you one??   
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 16 September, 2005, 12:34:11 AM
The Cardas Sweep Record has sweeps to 30Khz. Although I have not tried it, I would suspect that such sweeps have been experimentally verified to do something useful at 30khz.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 16 September, 2005, 01:40:44 AM
Quote
It is true that a good 16 bit DAC will capture all that the LP can give you, but that isn't terribly relevant to using or not using a floating point file if you intend to do more than just record. Processing in integer produces rounding errors at every operation, every time the program makes calculations. Digital audio is all math. The errors are of course cumulative.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327124"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Quote
Processing, of course, has to happen in at least 32 int (8.16.8) if not float, of course


Yes, yes, of course, that's elementary.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 16 September, 2005, 01:43:53 AM
Quote
Stylus weights:  usually magnetics tracked at 1 gram. [a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327137"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well personally, my cartridge tracks at 1.25 grams, including the little damper brush that Shure conveniently built into it.  Yes, I'm aware of the setup for my turntable.

I asked about software for the COMPUTER that would take the properly played, processed, and EQ'ed signal from my preamp. I know I don't need an amp. I know what RIAA EQ is, I'm OLD, man, I've built them, for 4 ohm moving magnet cartridges, with reactive input to keep down the Johnson noise.

I guess I'll just write my own. Sheesh.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 16 September, 2005, 01:44:53 AM
Quote
Quote
as vinyl is quite capable of going to 30khz (admittedly with a very strong headwind).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327145"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



I would sure like to see a demonstration of this capability.  Have you one??   
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327167"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


SQ Quad on an LP goes to above 40kHz.

Of course, it does so using a carrier for a second pair of channels.

Does it work well? I don't know. Never played with Quad.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 16 September, 2005, 03:51:08 AM
You want a recommendation for recording software? There are many programs that will do the job of creating a file on your hard drive. I recommend Audition. It also contains tools to clean out the noise, transient and broadband, and do just about anything else you could want with LP recordings. There are also less expensive programs for recording, including some freeware like Kristal and Audacity.

Actually, I think you are getting so many answers that you don't care for because what you want isn't at all clear. Of course that might just be vis a vis me, but I suspect everyone is making up their own mind about an appropriate answer for a fundamental reason.

Quote
I would sure like to see a demonstration of this capability. Have you one??
I didn't keep it and I'm not in mind to set up and repeat right now, so you'll have to either accept or reject as you are inclined. I recorded the Cardas Sweep tones at 96kHz. It did indeed go up to the frequency claimed. My recording level declined somewhat at higher frequencies but I have no idea how much of that was due to my equipment and how much was simply because the LP recording itself had less energy at the extreme high end.

In addition, there were four very distinct higher harmonics, which were of course also swept from low to high. They were very distinctly visible to their upper limit, which for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th meant they went to the Nyquist limit of the 96kHz space, i.e. 48kHz.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 16 September, 2005, 04:45:46 AM
To keep thing truthful, I looked at my miscellaneous recordings folder and found a Cardas LP recording. In my own defense, I point out that I made the recording two and a half years ago.

I recorded only at 88.2kHz, not 96. This is where I do all my regular LP recording so I'm sure I just followed procedure on this. This means, of course that the upper frequency limit of the recording is 44.1kHz, not 48kHz.

Looking at a frequency analysis plot of the fundamental, or 1st harmonic, I see a sharp cutoff at 31,300Hz.

Zooming in to the section of interest, in spectral view, I see that there are only three upper harmonics that I would really call "very distinct." These all definitely reach the maximum frequency limit for the 88.2kHz sampling rate. There is one additional faint trace that I can also see reaching the upper frequency limit, making the four I previously mentioned, and two more that fade into invisibility before reaching it.

I suppose I could post a screen shot (is that supported?) if anyone is truly interested, but the thing itself isn't especially fascinating.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: cliveb on 16 September, 2005, 05:04:28 AM
Well, there have been lots of replies in this thread with varying opinions. As someone who's been transferring LPs to digital since 1994, I have a fair amount of experience and would like to make a few observations:

1. Bit depth of recordings. In principle, using long word lengths makes sense, primarily to guard against rounding errors during processing operations. But there comes a point where increasing it beyond a certain depth is completely pointless. A *really* good LP, played on the very best turntable available, might achieve a dynamic range of 70dB with a following wind. That equates to a bit depth of less than 12 bits. 16 bit recording is more than adequate. You'd have to do enormous amounts of processing to accumulate enough rounding errors to get anywhere close to compromising the noise floor. (This assumes, of course, that the processing itself doesn't use 16 bit integer arithmetic - as far as I know there are *no* packages out there stupid enough to do that). And if you do so much processing to reach that threshold, you'll have destroyed the music signal in far more damaging ways than adding a little bit of quantisation noise.

2. Sampling frequency. While it is true that a lot of LPs have some kind of signal above 20kHz, in most cases it bears virtually no relation to the programme material - ie. it's noise, and isn't worth recording. 44.1kHz sampling is fine for recording LPs. Someone mentioned that SQ quad records go up to 40kHz. This isn't true: SQ (and QS) quad is based on phase manipulations. I think you're getting it mixed up with CD4 quad, which does indeed use a carrier signal for the rear channels. I can't recall the exact frequency, but I think the carrier is around 35kHz. But CD4 records have to be played with special cartridges using Shibata stylii, otherwise the carrier is destroyed.

3. The most important aspect of transferring LPs to digital is to get the best possible analogue replay in the first place. If you record to hard disk in a slap-dash fashion, you won't be able to recover things in software. The turntable/arm/cartridge must be set up correctly, and the record should be cleaned properly. Ideally use a vacuum cleaner such as a Nitty-Gritty, VPI or Moth. A Keith Monks machine is even better if you have access to one.

I've written up a quite lengthy page of notes that might be helpful: Here's a link (http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm).
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: toot on 16 September, 2005, 05:21:23 AM
Does it make sense to do a normalise on the recording? since the volume on vinyl can vary a lot from record to record, you can't always get it perfectly set at the source..

I'm just curious.. and I'm aware normalisation isn't a popular word here
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Garf on 16 September, 2005, 05:23:20 AM
Quote
Does it make sense to do a normalise on the recording? since the volume on vinyl can vary a lot from record to record, you can't always get it perfectly set at the source..

I'm just curious.. and I'm aware normalisation isn't a popular word here
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327223"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The question is the same as always: "what would it gain?"
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 16 September, 2005, 06:32:04 AM
One general reason for normalizing is to make optimum use of whatever bit depth you have. Rasing the signal up near maximum means that the lower order bits are more above the equipment noise floors, so yes, normalizing is always a good thing, never a bad thing.

I have no idea why "normalisation isn't a popular word here" but unless it has something to do with processing in some lossy format, any unpopularity is based on a misunderstanding. Normalizing is simply amplifying every bit by some calculated amount that brings the peaks to any particular desired value. Normalizing in the digital realm is equivalent to turning up the volume control in the analogue realm -- a volume control that is absolutely linear and absolutely distortion and noise free.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: cliveb on 16 September, 2005, 07:03:52 AM
Quote
One general reason for normalizing is to make optimum use of whatever bit depth you have. Rasing the signal up near maximum means that the lower order bits are more above the equipment noise floors, so yes, normalizing is always a good thing, never a bad thing.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327238"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The bit depth used depends on the original recording level. Anything under the quantisation noise remains so after normalisation - you amplify the noise floor along with the signal. This is why it's fairly important to achieve decent recording levels (especially when recording at 16 bit resolution - if you record at 24 bit, *and* your soundcard has a sufficiently low noise floor and linear performance in the lower order bits, then you can get away with being a bit sloppier).

Quote
I have no idea why "normalisation isn't a popular word here" but unless it has something to do with processing in some lossy format, any unpopularity is based on a misunderstanding. Normalizing is simply amplifying every bit by some calculated amount that brings the peaks to any particular desired value. Normalizing in the digital realm is equivalent to turning up the volume control in the analogue realm -- a volume control that is absolutely linear and absolutely distortion and noise free.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327238"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Normalisation does introduce some rounding errors, so it's not perfectly linear. But the errors are so insignificant there is nothing to worry about. I personally don't believe these errors are audible at all.

As a matter of course I normalise my LP recordings just prior to burning them to CD (ie. as the last step after all other processing has been completed), simply to avoid having CDs that are even quieter than they need be.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 16 September, 2005, 05:12:56 PM
Of course the recording's noise is amplified by normalizing, it is all of one piece, but I did specify ‘the equipment noise floor." You move the audio further above the noise of any playback system.

It's true that rounding errors always occur. That's part of the beauty of 32 bit float (or 64 bit in some programs) -- the rounding errors are really far down where they can never effect the music. As a demo I amplified a 55 minute LP recording by 6dB, then I amplified it by -6dB. The peak differences between the result and the original came out at -150dB and the average differences at -190dB. I could have had the same results by amplifying it 100dB, then -100dB. Anyway, that's so far down that it doesn't exist in human terms or even hardware terms.

With 16 bit files the effects are going to be greater, but not relatively greater than doing decrackling or NR or other clean-up operations, I should think. With 32 bit these errors just can't ever be a consideration, they occur below the theoretical 24 bits of the hardware. I concur that the artifacts of rounding are unlikely to be heard in 16 bit files of LP recordings, but if one has a choice, why not go for the sure thing?

I also agree that normalizing is best done as the last step. A normalized file can easily go above 0dBFS through other following operations. That doesn't present any serious problem when working in 32 bit float but it means permanent clipping in 16 bit files; in floating point files you will have created the necessity of re-normalizing to get back down to the proper level.

One thing that might give normalizing a bad name is insisting on 0dB. It is best to normalized to -0.2 or -0.3dB to avoid potential clipping problems in the DAC, even though the kind of signals that can do that are not supposed to be very common in music. I've read claims that some CD players have such a problem. Also, my slow memory retrieval finally reminds me that many Creative cards have some kind of built in limiter that really squashes things unpleasantly at the upper signal level limits. I think that starts somewhere around -3dB, so a normalized file could sound significantly off if one is blessed with one of those cards.

It must be admitted that the following is not likely to be very significant in music because there isn't much music with content above the 44.1kHz sampling rate Nyquist limit, but it is real and quite obvious in the several soundcards I've been able to test. Feed a sweep signal that goes well into higher frequencies into the analogue input and record at 44.1kz sample rate. Look at the recording in spectral mode and the aliasing image will be very visible. It is quite strong for the first few thousand hertz back down from the limit and can be seen to go essentially (but very faintly) back down to the noise floor if the input continues to sweep to a high enough frequency. This is true in spite of the ADC's anti-aliasing filters and 64X over sampling.

By recording at a high sampling rate, such as the 88.2kHz I use, then software converting to 44.1, the strong part of that image is up near 44kHz (where, to start with, it is certain to be much weaker than if recording at 44.1) and quite missing from the 22kHz final result. Once again, I agree, with real music instead of test signals, it isn't very likely to really matter.

With LPs as the source there is often significant signal above 22kHz . That may not contribute anything to one's listening enjoyment if, for instance, you record and playback at 24/96 (it is most likely only harmonic distortion anyway), but it does present more HF signal, and that signal definitely will be reflected back into the 44.1kHz space. I guess one could say that the reasons for recording at a higher sampling rate are comparable to the reasons for working with 32 bit float. If one has the choice, why not go for the better option, even if you are not sure you will ever hear the difference? There isn't much down side.

This aliasing test really shows the reasons for recording at 48kHz with SoundBlaster cards, then converting to 44.1kHz in software. SoundBlasters are messy either way but the 44.1kHz recording really shows off the effects of its poor internal resampling (remember, resample in 32 bit float  )
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: slangtruth on 16 September, 2005, 05:20:59 PM
And while cliveb rightly won't mention it. as a satisfied user I'd like to mention that his Shareware program WaveRepair is an excellent software choice for all aspects of the process, having been designed from the start for this purpose.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 16 September, 2005, 05:31:22 PM
One criticism of the "LPs only have 70db of dynamic range" argument is that humans can often detect signals well under the noise floor, sometimes 20 or 30db down. 70db is a peak measurement. So it would not surprise me if one could actually hear quantization noise from a normalized recording of vinyl surface noise at 16/48. There are some other cases that could get even more sensitive, that are not especially pathological - ie, a 3khz signal, perhaps from singing, could definitely be audible 30-40db down from the noise floor.

In the most pathological of cases, dedicated instrumentation hardware can recover certain signals 160db down from noise floors, but that's not really pertinent.

EDIT: I just realized that if the quantization noise is of similar spectral content as the surface noise, it may not be audible even at -10db.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 17 September, 2005, 06:50:49 AM
Quote
Well, there have been lots of replies in this thread with varying opinions. As someone who's been transferring LPs to digital since 1994, I have a fair amount of experience and would like to make a few observations:

1.  But there comes a point where increasing it beyond a certain depth is completely pointless.

My thoughts exactly. I have, after all, played a "sine wave" record into a digital analyzer.
Quote
2. Sampling frequency. While it is true that a lot of LPs have some kind of signal above 20kHz, in most cases it bears virtually no relation to the programme material - ie. it's noise, and isn't worth recording.

Again, my thoughts exactly.
Quote
I think you're getting it mixed up with CD4 quad, which does indeed use a carrier signal for the rear channels. I can't recall the exact frequency, but I think the carrier is around 35kHz. But CD4 records have to be played with special cartridges using Shibata stylii, otherwise the carrier is destroyed.

Yep, you're right, that's what I was thinking of. It's been a while, sorry.
Quote
3. The most important aspect of transferring LPs to digital is to get the best possible analogue replay in the first place.

Of course. I use a bit of a different, home-cobbled setup, but the only meaningful difference is the lack of a label on the front.

This is what makes the whole thing such a bleeping bother, too, of course.
Quote
I've written up a quite lengthy page of notes that might be helpful: Here's a link (http://www.delback.co.uk/lp-cdr.htm).
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327218"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Why, thank you. I'll go read that.

What I asked about here was software to at least somewhat automate the issue, say something that can recognize impulses every 33.3/60 th of a second.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 17 September, 2005, 06:59:22 AM
Quote
One criticism of the "LPs only have 70db of dynamic range" argument is that humans can often detect signals well under the noise floor, sometimes 20 or 30db down. 70db is a peak measurement.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327398"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, 70dB is the best you get from an LP.

Even if we ignore rumble, I suspect, eh?

Now consider, in noise one critical bandwidth wide, we can detect a tone down about 5.5 or 6 dB in energy from that noise, as long as both are above absolute threshold.

On the other hand, this is just as true of digital recordings as analog recordings, so I don't really understand why you mention this. The noise from the LP will dominate the noise from 16 bit uniform, TPD quantization at all frequencies, I suspect. I even suspect most pre-amps won't do any better than that.

Now, your statement about noise floor is true, but it applies to both analog and digital noise floors equally, unless somebody forgot to dither (oops), at least.  Say for 24kHz bandwidth (48khz sampling rate), the noise in a critical band at 1kHz will be at about -22dB re: the total noise, for anything with a white noise floor.

This puts the total "hear down into the noise" at about -28dB, give or take, relative to the wideband noise level.  This is all well and good and all that, but it really doesn't matter because it works the same for analog and digital (except that the analog noise floor won't be quite flat, even if we ignore rumble), so you might get another 10dB out of that, making the 70dB into 80dB.  that's still 16dB of headroom/tailroom, isn't it, now?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 17 September, 2005, 02:53:22 PM
Quote
Well, 70dB is the best you get from an LP.

Even if we ignore rumble, I suspect, eh?

I think you're right here, but there isn't a whole lot of data out there that shows it is. It seems logical that rumble would be of a fairly large magnitude, because it needs to be pretty massive to hear it, and it's a well known noise characteristic of LPs. But there's plenty of other noise in the preamp and the groove itself to mitigate it a lot, and I personally have never heard it or seen it in my rips.

Quote
Now consider, in noise one critical bandwidth wide, we can detect a tone down about 5.5 or 6 dB in energy from that noise, as long as both are above absolute threshold.

Wait. Are you saying that the audible SNR in a critical band can be no less in amplitude than -3dB (being -6db/2)? That seems awfully conservative to me, since level differences of 1dB are ABXable.

Quote
On the other hand, this is just as true of digital recordings as analog recordings, so I don't really understand why you mention this. The noise from the LP will dominate the noise from 16 bit uniform, TPD quantization at all frequencies, I suspect. I even suspect most pre-amps won't do any better than that.


Yeah, you're right; I admit my post is a little semantic. In fact, right now my preamp (phonopreamps.com TC-750 with an upgraded power supply) is punching 80-90dB SNR, so you're pretty spot on in saying that the preamps can make this point somewhat moot. However, there's no reason why a preamp couldn't have 110dB of SNR.

I just get the impression that a lot of people think that because vinyl's noise floor is 70dB that absolutely no signal is useful below that level, when the math doesn't support it.

Quote
Now, your statement about noise floor is true, but it applies to both analog and digital noise floors equally, unless somebody forgot to dither (oops), at least.  Say for 24kHz bandwidth (48khz sampling rate), the noise in a critical band at 1kHz will be at about -22dB re: the total noise, for anything with a white noise floor.

This puts the total "hear down into the noise" at about -28dB, give or take, relative to the wideband noise level.  This is all well and good and all that, but it really doesn't matter because it works the same for analog and digital (except that the analog noise floor won't be quite flat, even if we ignore rumble), so you might get another 10dB out of that, making the 70dB into 80dB.  that's still 16dB of headroom/tailroom, isn't it, now?

Yeah. It is.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: cliveb on 18 September, 2005, 08:48:19 AM
Quote
I just get the impression that a lot of people think that because vinyl's noise floor is 70dB that absolutely no signal is useful below that level, when the math doesn't support it.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327595"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I suspect your maths is rather more advanced than mine. I can only go by what I've experienced in over a decade of LP-to-digital transfers.

Vinyl with a noise floor at -70dB is *extremely* rare. If you find such an LP, it's worthy of a little jig in celebration. The noise floor of typical vinyl (ie. the LPs you'd buy in an ordinary record shop) is more like -45dB. But spectrally it's mainly at low frequencies - this is why it's nowhere near as noticable (and hence objectionable) as the more broadband noise you get from cassette tape. So although my knowledge is empirical rather than rigorous, I frankly find it hard to believe that any vinyl LP will have discernable signal much below about -80dB.

The most obvious test I can think of to check for the audibility of quantisation noise when recording vinyl would be to try recording the end of Neptune from The Planets Suite at both 16 and 24 bit resolution, then try to ABX the results. Unfortunately I don't have this work on vinyl, so I can't try it. Perhaps someone else here would be prepared to give it a go.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 18 September, 2005, 05:01:50 PM
Quote
would be to try recording the end of Neptune from The Planets Suite at both 16 and 24 bit resolution, then try to ABX the results
This might be interesting but you forgot to add that the LP must be of the highest quality vinyl, in pristine condition, properly cleaned, on the best playback equipment. And both recordings done simultaneously, since two separate playings will give slightly different outputs. Then one should be able to more confidently state 'yep, there isn't any difference to be heard'

There is also the complication of how to do manage the 16 bit recording. You don't want to do it on a different, 16 bit only, soundcard or you have already compromised the comparison conditions. Will you get the 16 bits from the 24 bit recording by truncating? or by converting with dithering and noise shaping?

I don't know all the ends and outs of this but the recording software partly controls the soundcard. An obvious example is selecting the sample rate frequency. Recording at 16 bits with a 24 bit card can be with or without dither on some soundcards, via the card's mixer panel, but I'm not sure what happens if the mixer application doesn't provide that option. One should probably expect a difference between a dithered and non-dithered recording -- except that the vinyl noise is likely to make that moot to begin with (but one could simply ABX that as a starting point and find out if it is audible or if the background noise totally obscures any difference).
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 18 September, 2005, 05:14:05 PM
I'd like to interject here to say that so far, over the last few days, I haven't seen a vinyl rip that had an inter-track noise level lower than 40db from the track peaks, on mostly rock LPs, and the noise itself is surprisingly wideband. Granted a lot of the vinyl is 30 years old, and I do not have a proper cleaning machine, but one LP I bought 3 months ago and never played up until now. So I stand corrected.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: legg on 18 September, 2005, 05:54:13 PM
Quote
It's true that rounding errors always occur. That's part of the beauty of 32 bit float (or 64 bit in some programs) -- the rounding errors are really far down where they can never effect the music. As a demo I amplified a 55 minute LP recording by 6dB, then I amplified it by -6dB. The peak differences between the result and the original came out at -150dB and the average differences at -190dB. I could have had the same results by amplifying it 100dB, then -100dB. Anyway, that's so far down that it doesn't exist in human terms or even hardware terms.


No, as the numbers become larger the rounding errors of float numbers also become larger.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 18 September, 2005, 09:28:21 PM
Unless I missed it, there has not been any discussion here about the subsonic contribution. I've been able to examine about a half dozen recordings made on other systems and they were all similar to my own results. The subsonic level, measured between tracks, is always higher than any of the other background noise. It is often higher than moderate level audio.

The LP recording I'm currently working on is a bit worse than average in most respect, being a well abused 50's recording that I rescued from a thrift shop, but I don't know why the subsonics would be much different. The raw recording (not normalized)  measures Average RMS -50dB between tracks. Running nothing but a subsonic filter over it drops that 9.4dB. Another recording from a much better condition LP, awaiting its turn for processing, measures initially -57dB and then -68dB after the subsonic filter This is an even larger difference.

In general the highest measured lowest frequency levels vary from about 2Hz to 12Hz. One can't exactly hear the difference directly, but that is a lot of wasted amplifier power and cone flapping for nothing good. So, to add another maximum to my collection: filtering out the subsonics is always desirable. Noise reduction by itself does not accomplish this to an adequate extent.

Quote
No, as the numbers become larger the rounding errors of float numbers also become larger.
I concede that, but I think the difference is insignificant when we are talking about music. Making a test on my currently in-process recording, I get an RMS average difference of -195dB using 6dB as the factor and -178dB with 100dB. That certainly is a larger error but no one will ever hear the difference. I guess my pronouncement was more or less equivalent to my other statement about normalization being "absolutely distortion and noise free." Neither is absolutely true, but the difference is absolutely undetectable by human senses.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 19 September, 2005, 12:15:59 AM
Quote
Quote
Now consider, in noise one critical bandwidth wide, we can detect a tone down about 5.5 or 6 dB in energy from that noise, as long as both are above absolute threshold.

Wait. Are you saying that the audible SNR in a critical band can be no less in amplitude than -3dB (being -6db/2)? That seems awfully conservative to me, since level differences of 1dB are ABXable.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327595"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm not sure what you're saying here, or what 6/2 is supposed to mean.

I'm referring to the well-known noise-masking-tone results from Hellman, etc, that have been tested quite a few times.

I'm saying that you havea tone energy -6dB relative to noise energy (for noise in one critical bandwidth), and then it's inaudible.  That's for a tone and narrowband noise centered on the tone, of course.  That's when the TONE disappears.

If you use a tone to mask noise, you need more like +30dB on the tone to make the same noise disappear.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 19 September, 2005, 12:17:40 AM
Quote
The subsonic level, measured between tracks, is always higher than any of the other background noise. It is often higher than moderate level audio.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327959"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Indeed, that would be the "rumble" of a few posts ago, and yes, it is quite large in many cases, due both to pressing as well as playback issues. (and cutter lathe, etc, etc, etc)

As an aside, I wonder how the subsonic filter you use is implimented.  Highpass IIR filters at low frequencies can be quite a pain to impliment, especially in fixed point.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 19 September, 2005, 02:53:36 AM
Since I don't do anything in fixed point, none of those issues are relevant to me. CoolEdit (now Audition) has a variety of flter types. Its recommended rumble filter is IIR, a Bessel filter, but there are other choices available that can do the job.

I most often use the filter in the Sonic Foundry NR pluggin. Its construction is not revealed. It seems to go a good job, except in those exceedingly rare cases where there is anything significant at 30Hz. Its cutoff slope is too gentle to fully preserve that frequency.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: cliveb on 19 September, 2005, 04:21:23 AM
Quote
Quote
would be to try recording the end of Neptune from The Planets Suite at both 16 and 24 bit resolution, then try to ABX the results
This might be interesting but you forgot to add that the LP must be of the highest quality vinyl, in pristine condition, properly cleaned, on the best playback equipment. And both recordings done simultaneously, since two separate playings will give slightly different outputs. Then one should be able to more confidently state 'yep, there isn't any difference to be heard'[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327896"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
The point about getting the best quality vinyl/playback equipment is fair enough, in order to demonstrate whether greater than 16 bit recording is *theoretically* necessary. But to a certain extent those who claim that it isn't are in a no-win situation: no matter what vinyl is used to show that 16 bits is enough, the opponents can always claim that there might be better vinyl out there that wouldn't pass the test. The bottom line is that this is a practical issue: what's required for transparent transfer of real-world LPs in someone's record collection?

Quote
There is also the complication of how to do manage the 16 bit recording. You don't want to do it on a different, 16 bit only, soundcard or you have already compromised the comparison conditions. Will you get the 16 bits from the 24 bit recording by truncating? or by converting with dithering and noise shaping?[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=327896"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It seems to me that the thing which is most likely to demonstrate a real, audible difference would be to simply make a single 24 bit recording, then truncate it to 16 bits without dithering. Are we agreed on this? In that case, it is my personal belief based on experience that the noise level of vinyl is sufficiently high that even this rather brutal approach will still yield inaudible differences. In effect, vinyl surface noise is high enough that it auto-dithers any digital recording way above the 16 bit threshold.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 19 September, 2005, 06:25:10 AM
I think yes, if there is some difference to be heard, it should be demonstrated under that condition.

I don't suppose it will ever happen, but I would be quite interested to play with a 'laser' turntable. While it has problems of its own, its output is supposed to be completly free of surface noise and rumble. That should make quite a difference on 78s and could also be a more critical test of 16 bit vs 24 bit capture.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: DonP on 19 September, 2005, 07:08:29 AM
One thing I didn't see mentioned about normalization is that if you are going to do it, you should do it before track splitting so you maintain the "as produced" difference in volume between tracks.

My personal results on s/n are up to 72 dB as reported by Cooledit.  I use an Adcom 710 preamp and the on-motherboard sound (some analog devices ADC.)
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 19 September, 2005, 12:55:18 PM
Quote
One thing I didn't see mentioned about normalization is that if you are going to do it, you should do it before track splitting so you maintain the "as produced" difference in volume between tracks.

My personal results on s/n are up to 72 dB as reported by Cooledit.  I use an Adcom 710 preamp and the on-motherboard sound (some analog devices ADC.)
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328063"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


How do you separate signal from noise with this measurement?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 19 September, 2005, 02:55:27 PM
What filter settings are recommended for a rumble filter? I'm trying to get one working using Nyquist in Audacity. A cutoff frequency of 20hz seems quite reasonable, but given that bass is attenuated in the difference signal, I was wondering if a higher cutoff (say 60hz; some say 140hz is ok) would be useful for it, and 20hz for the mono signal.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 19 September, 2005, 06:14:54 PM
EDIT: Got confused by my waveform plots. There is something in one of my vinyl rips which correlates somewhat to sub-20hz signal in the CD version, but I'm not sure if it means anything.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 19 September, 2005, 11:56:53 PM
There are a number of filters in CoolEdit that can function for rumble removal. The preset for the Bessel filter I mentioned earlier is actually on the Butterworth tab. It has a 28Hz cutoff and is 18th order, very steep. A frequency analysis plot shows its effect somewhat visible up to about 40Hz. There are several other filters in that set that also seem to work adequately given similar cutoffs.

There is an FFT filter that produces a slope downward from 30Hz when I set its cutoff at 20Hz.

The 30 band Graphic Equalizer does a reasonable job if one just pulls down the first band (31Hz) the full 15dB. Its results looks to slope downward from about 60Hz.

The unspecified filter in the Sonic Foundry NR package produces a somewhat less steep slope starting about 80Hz.

Any of these works well in general. The Sonic Foundry filter especially must be considered in terms of the recording. Most LPs have no music to lose at those lower frequencies, but I recall one recordings in particular with some 30Hz tones that were largely eliminated when I tried the Sonic Foundry filter.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: krabapple on 20 September, 2005, 12:57:22 PM
Quote
g?

I also agree that normalizing is best done as the last step. A normalized file can easily go above 0dBFS through other following operations. That doesn't present any serious problem when working in 32 bit float but it means permanent clipping in 16 bit files; in floating point files you will have created the necessity of re-normalizing to get back down to the proper level.

One thing that might give normalizing a bad name is insisting on 0dB. It is best to normalized to -0.2 or -0.3dB to avoid potential clipping problems in the DAC, even though the kind of signals that can do that are not supposed to be very common in music. I've read claims that some CD players have such a problem. Also, my slow memory retrieval finally reminds me that many Creative cards have some kind of built in limiter that really squashes things unpleasantly at the upper signal level limits. I think that starts somewhere around -3dB, so a normalized file could sound significantly off if one is blessed with one of those cards.



More info on this phenomenon here (distortion of intersample peaks -- it's got to do with digital metering as well as D/A reconstruction)

http://www.cadenzarecording.com/papers/Digitaldistortion.pdf (http://www.cadenzarecording.com/papers/Digitaldistortion.pdf)

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php...aa06e677aa7a9ee (http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/4918/0/64/2578/?SQ=ea89e28feba096b78aa06e677aa7a9ee)

http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/specsf...ngtrendsP12.php (http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/specsformats/currentrecordingtrendsP12.php)


If you record 'hot' you might end up with some nasties even if the digital 'VU meter' shows you've stayed below 0 db.


.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 20 September, 2005, 04:22:43 PM
Quote
What filter settings are recommended for a rumble filter? I'm trying to get one working using Nyquist in Audacity. A cutoff frequency of 20hz seems quite reasonable, but given that bass is attenuated in the difference signal, I was wondering if a higher cutoff (say 60hz; some say 140hz is ok) would be useful for it, and 20hz for the mono signal.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328167"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



I would set Hp filter for L+R at 16Hz.

I would set Hp filter for L-R at perhaps 80Hz, perhaps even higher.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 20 September, 2005, 04:24:19 PM
Quote
EDIT: Got confused by my waveform plots. There is something in one of my vinyl rips which correlates somewhat to sub-20hz signal in the CD version, but I'm not sure if it means anything.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328255"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



Train? Plane? A/C?

I've been able to observe planes flying overhead in the .1 to 10Hz range, inside an interior office in a large office building.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 20 September, 2005, 04:25:14 PM
Quote
The preset for the Bessel filter I mentioned earlier is actually on the Butterworth tab. It has a 28Hz cutoff and is 18th order, very steep.

[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328299"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I would use a 3rd order Butterworth HP myself.  18th order is way overboard.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 20 September, 2005, 05:30:04 PM
Quote
Quote
EDIT: Got confused by my waveform plots. There is something in one of my vinyl rips which correlates somewhat to sub-20hz signal in the CD version, but I'm not sure if it means anything.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328255"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



Train? Plane? A/C?

I've been able to observe planes flying overhead in the .1 to 10Hz range, inside an interior office in a large office building.
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328440"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

An honest-to-god album, actually. I took a 30-second clip of a track from Autechre's Untilted, in FLAC format. There was a clearly identifiable noise floor from DC up to about 4 Hz. Then it increased by roughly over 20db/decade before jumping up to peak at 20-30hz. I have reason to believe that the LP version is from the same digital master as the FLAC version (clear lowpass at around 22 khz) and so I would guess that the same subsonics might exist in the LP version. However I don't have evidence that the subsonics in the LP version actually correlate well to the FLAC version. Some intertrack silence on the LP peaks around 10hz, and the same section of music that was tested in the FLAC version loses coherence in its frequency response around that point.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 20 September, 2005, 09:12:41 PM
Just curious. Ripping is a term often applied to digital audio extraction. I don't know its origin, whether it has any logic to it or is just a word someone came up with as easier to say. Here people are applying it to recording from analogue, which is a very different process. I have seen the word in the context of audio CDs often enough, but recording seems to be called recording most other places. Is this an ‘in' joke, or some such, around here?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Woodinville on 20 September, 2005, 11:20:29 PM
Quote
An honest-to-god album, actually. [a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328452"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, yeah, but the question is from what did the signal arise?

Especially with good condenser mikes, a solidstate preamp, and digital recording, one can be very surprised by the low-frequency content in a room.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: NogginJ on 22 September, 2005, 10:28:38 AM
something tells me autechre werent using mics and/or preamps ;]. too passe for those guys.

as for ripping, i always say im ripping records, ripping cds, ripping tapes. putting media into digital form i consider 'ripping'.

i think this discussion rules...coincidentaly i have over the past few days been ripping my vinyl to my harddrive and burning to cd. id like some feedback on the pros/cons of my process:

im using a stanton str8-100 with the spdif digital coax output to my soundcard.
using a shure whitelabel cartridge, brand new (but broken in).
recording to wav file, then burning to audio cd.

does anyone have any experience with the digital tables? I know that alot of quality now depends on the a/d converter within the table, but i am loving the results. a friend of mine said a digital turntable was like a digital wooden spoon :].

does anyone know do i lose any quality by burning to audio cd? i have heard that cda files are just wav files with indexes or something. i would rip back to my comptuer if needed using eac.

love yall

edit: realise this aint the most audiophile friendly way to do things, but just fyi, as far as i can tell, i get pretty damn near amazing results, based on shear listening enjoyment.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 22 September, 2005, 02:31:13 PM
Writing your recordings to CD-R does not involve any change in quality from what you have on hard disk if the .wav file is 16 bit 44.1kHz. You are writing them to a different media, which in this case involves a change of format, but the data is not being changed.

The only potential downside is data loss. If the CD-R blanks are not decent quality, it may be harder to read back from them than from hard drives. Errors in the data can result. Some errors are readily corrected perfectly, some more serious ones result in 'guesses' about what is correct. For the most part there isn't any problem.

The only definition I can find for 'ripping' is DAE. This does not involved 'putting' anything into digital form since the data is already digital. Audio data on optical disk is encoded in a different way that when on other digital media. It must therefore not only be read from the optical media but also converted to the 'normal' format for computers -- DAE. This is just a little bit different mechanically from copying from one hard drive to another.

I suspect 'to rip' is pretty much a slang term anyway, so the dictionary police probably won't be knocking on your door anytime soon. You might look at it as similar to the people who insist on calling their automobile engine a 'motor' when in fact there are clear definitions of engines and motors and they are not the same things.

Having the DAC in the turntable or in a box on the equipment rack or inside the computer is more or less irrelevant. It is the quality of the parts and the implementation that is important. If your results satisfy you they do. Could you tell any difference with a more expensive setup? It costs a pretty penny to find out.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: NogginJ on 22 September, 2005, 05:32:35 PM
amen to all that.

but any insight onto this 'cda is just a wav with indexes' argument? i mean, if i rip from cd back to wav with eac, am i losing quality?

i suppose the answer is its negligible.

as for cd-rs, i am still using taiyo yuden, as i had always heard they were the best. does anyone know if this still holds true?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 22 September, 2005, 06:31:51 PM
cda is simply the extension Windows puts on the files (as with .zip or .wav). Therse are not native Windows files because the internal constructin is not similar to most computer data. Window's needs special drivers to read and reconstruct what is written on audio CDs. This is Digital Audio Extraction. Audio tracks can have indexes but that is not an essential part of them. Generally they do not.

Extracting from audio CD can be bit perfect or not. There are always errors when reading from optical disks (probably the same can also be said about reading from magnetic media) There are different kinds of errors and different severities or error. The majority can be corrected 100% with the built in error correction facilities but this is never guaranteed.

Because of the overall needs, especially considering that the disks were designed to be played by consumer audio equipment, not computers, error correction is different from, and not quite as good as, that on those media designed specifically for computer data. Errors can be many and sometime not correctable, but the disks will still produce some kind of music for you. Thus, it is possible for the extraction from CD-R to be significantly different than the original.

I have made a number of tests, writing audio tracks to CD-R, extracting them, then comparing the extractions to the original files on my hard drove. This is a very critical test. If the files are aligned off by only one bit at the beginning, the result isn't even similar.

My extraction tests were all bit perfect. I am sure there were read errors during the extraction but they were all handled in the normal course of things and correction was 100%, resulting in no loss or change. As said before, this is never guaranteed.

I always also back up my LP transfers as data. They are still being written to optical disk but as data, contradistinguished from audio, which has different, and better, error correction.

TY blanks have a very good reputation. There are many opinions about 'best.' Some preliminary test by a federal group to establish standards for federal data storage found the best results (in regard to the factors they tested, of course) to come with particular dyes and on a real gold background. The same dye on other substrate was still more durable than other dyes, but nowhere near as much so as when on gold. TY may make some gold backed disks, I don't know, but they use a different dye.

Kodak was one of several manufactures who made such blanks but Kodak stopped manufacturer a few years ago. Mitsui was another but they are now owned by MAM-A. This company still makes that type of blank and I've never seen any complaints about their product quality. The same dye is also used on silver or aluminum, but apparently gold's great resistence to corrosion figured into the test's results. Gold disks cost twice as much (or more).
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: cliveb on 23 September, 2005, 06:20:27 AM
Quote
im using a stanton str8-100 with the spdif digital coax output to my soundcard.
using a shure whitelabel cartridge, brand new (but broken in).
recording to wav file, then burning to audio cd.[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=328830"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Let me start off by pointing out that I don't have any personal experience with the Stanton turntable you're using, but I'll offer a few general observations.

Andy has already pointed out the possible issues with the quality of the A/D converter in the turntable versus using some other A/D converter (eg. in a soundcard).

There are some other issues to consider:

1. If you're using a Creative soundcard and recording at 44.1kHz through its SPDIF input, you're going to be the "victim" of Creative's sample rate converters, which shall we say don't exactly have the best reputation around here. You might actually be better off recording at 48kHz (if the Stanton offers that sample rate output) and sample rate converting in software later.

2. Decent A/D converter chips are actually quite cheap these days. It's quite likely that the quality of the A/D converter in the Stanton is perfectly adequate. Of far more concern to me would be the quality of the phono preamp in the Stanton. Good preamps are not free, and it would not surprise me if the one in the Stanton isn't that great.

3. Last but by no means least - in fact most important of all - is the quality of the turntable itself. The Stanton STR8-100 is a cheapish DJ type turntable. These type of turntables are built to provide facilities (eg. pitch control) and ruggedness rather than absolute sound quality. Unlike digital electronics, which can be built very cheaply due to large scale integration, turntables are mechnical devices, and as such good ones don't come cheap. I cannot believe that a $250 turntable that includes a phono preamp and an A/D converter is going to deliver anything other than average performance.

Anyone interested in doing a good job of ripping vinyl needs to think hard about acquiring a decent manual deck and a reasonable phono preamp (used ones if the budget makes it necessary). At the low end of the budget scale, belt drive is typically better than direct drive. Not because direct drive is no good, but because building *good* direct drive turntables is a significantly more expensive proposition than decent belt-drive.

(PS. The origins of the word "ripping". The original use of the word was definitely as a description  for DAE from audio CDs, as Andy has already said, and it's then been applied to all other types of audio recording to computer. I suspect the term "rip" either referred to the fact that most DAE was part of the act of stealing the music (ie. "ripping it off"), or maybe because it happens faster than realtime and so one might say that DAE was a process whereby you set it up then "let it rip". Both are just guesses on my part).
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 23 September, 2005, 06:44:31 AM
About the only thing that I would find unnatural to "rip" would be an MP3 player. Heck, even converting from a MiniDisk would arguably be called ripping, not to mention VHS or LaserDisc.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: hujay on 23 September, 2005, 08:08:46 AM
Ripping seems to have changed it's meaning slightly over time, and is often used to include an encoding process as well now. Probably the influence of 'ripping' CDs for use on iPods, Mp3 players and the net.

The jargon we use changes all the time I guess, there was a time when what we now call ripping was known as transcribing, though in those days that would have generally referred to analogue to analogue

UJ
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: landy on 23 September, 2005, 09:21:31 AM
i have tried to get feedback on my vinyl rips before without luck so i just made a new set of samples. if the link in this topic does not work the one in the upload forum should.

the rar contains
A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3

they were recorded using audacity using one of these (http://www.project-audio.com/en/debphsb.html) decks. i dont declick/remove noise due to lazyness (i also dont mind a bit of light noise/clicking). all mp3's were transcoded from flac files but i could not find a freeware tool to cut samples from flac, atleast with this bunch of samples they dont seem to click at the start. thanks for any feedback, http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....pe=post&id=1733 (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=1733)
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 23 September, 2005, 02:29:09 PM
I do hear some clicking in that but it only seems to be in the right channel, which I'm not sure can be explained by any surface imperfections. I have the same problem, actually. Could that be a static issue?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 23 September, 2005, 03:15:39 PM
specific words for specific things makes for less fuzzy thinking

What does your fortune cookie say?
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 23 September, 2005, 04:06:44 PM
Unless I’m missing something, these recording samples are provided in a proprietary format. Aside from the fact that compressing an already compressed file is generally not a worthwhile undertaking, the format you provide may be one significant reason you get few responses. I have no intention of purchasing a program for which I have no other use or interest, just to unpack your files. Otherwise I would look at them.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 23 September, 2005, 05:17:26 PM
Uh.... 7-zip (http://www.7-zip.org/)? RAR support is generally available for free nowadays.

That said, I agree, collecting the mp3s into any sort of container is pointless.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: landy on 23 September, 2005, 08:13:36 PM
i used store mode so no extra compression was done just an ease of use thing, as mentioned 7-zip is free and you can use foobars Archive reader component (http://www.foobar2000.org/components.html#foo_unpack) to read the files directly from the rar.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 23 September, 2005, 08:53:42 PM
It isn't clear to me what kind of feedback you want. Your post seems to suggest you don't care about what might be done with the recordings, in terms of what is frequently termed ‘audio restoration,' but rather want something said about the raw recordings as is. If you have some particular questions in mind, you may get better feedback by voicing them.

The content itself is outside my experience and doesn't have many easy references for me, like piano or trumpet or a female singing sweetly. There is strong percussion and voice that seem to have been clearly recorded, but not being familiar with the pieces I can't say much more than that. Asking some questions on the Audiomasters forum, where many people with extensive professional recording experience hang out, might bring you some insights http://www.audiomastersforum.org/amforum/index.php (http://www.audiomastersforum.org/amforum/index.php)

The disk(s) these are from appear to be in reasonably good condition. There are clicks and pops but nothing major, and the particular audio itself tends to mask much of the impulse noise. There is strong sub-sonic content but that is to be expected; filtering it out would be good. Recording A1 has a skip 1.6 seconds from the beginning, due either to a disk defect or some interference while recording -- or someone has a rather peculiar idea about what makes good music.

There isn't enough to be certain in either case, but A1 and 01 have small lead-in ‘silences' that may be from between tracks. If this is so in either case, the background noise is rather high. If these too short intervals are actually somewhere within audio tracks, the import of the measurements is less easy to determine. Also, without some reference recordings made on your system, it is not possible to answer various questions. Is the noise due to the condition of the disk? Is a major component of it from your system, independent of what disk you are playing? Was it part of the original recording that went onto the disk? How clean was the disk(s)?

There isn't any major indication of the following condition in these recordings, but the previous comment about more noise or more clicks and pops on one channel than the other suggests one important possibility: the stylus's azimuth is off. This can be because either the stylus attachment to the cantilever or the cantilever itself are not properly aligned to the vertical axis of movement within the cartridge body, and/or because the entire cartridge is rotated off the proper angle to the disk at its attachment to the head shell.

In my not too extensive but very real experience this causes the channel from the groove wall that the stylus tip is rotated away from to produce more clicks and scuffing noise that is not due to the condition of the disk itself. This can be hard or impossible to judge on a well used disk because one probably doesn't know what has been done to distort and wear it prior to your test, but the result is quite apparent if one compares recordings from mis-alignment and after proper alignment. If the condition exists, most, but not all, disks will exhibit the symptoms and it tends to be most pronounced in the first minute of either side.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: landy on 24 September, 2005, 12:01:22 AM
thanks for the reply andy and axon, i did mean to include the condition of the vinyl in my original post but forgot. going from memory (as i cant get at them till morning) they are as follows

A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3 (possibly some slight surface damage and warping)
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3 (ebay purchase but sold as new and better condition than many records i have bought from online shops)
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3 (moderate warping when i ripped it, came free with a cd album by the same artist and sat in a draw until i had a record player)

the warping issue is something i have come up against in the last few months using online retailers, itseems by the time they get to my door its 50/50 if some of the records have warped depending on the weather that day (especially when there delivered on foot if by van its not so bad it seems but the package has to be large for the to deliver it that way). I hope as the year progresses and temperatures drop i will see less warped records arive i also plan to visit the sellers direct as the one i use most often is close enough.

The azimuth issue you mention is something i will look into although i think i might need to get someone with more experience to take a look. Regarding the cartridge itself, will a more expensive one still make a differance on what is more of a "utility" deck like mine? i was looking at the Shure M97xE but i dont know if its total overkill or not compared to say a cheaper Ortofon OM10 (its currently fitted with the stock OM5E)

sorry if i rambled on a bit in this post i have trouble writing what i want to say.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: AndyH-ha on 24 September, 2005, 06:36:08 PM
Cartridges do differ but whether or not a more expensive cartridge will be important to you is value judgement. Being that you record, you have the means to make reasonable A/B comparisons but unfortunately you probably have to buy the other cartridge to get access. Do you actually have any complaints or reasonable doubts about your current results?

Whatever cartridge you use, proper alignment will make a difference. If you are not familiar with the process, there are a fair number of how-to write-ups on the web. Before you get too involved in any that rhapsodize about VTA adjustments, you might want to consider the expose on the TNT site.

Unfortunately azimuth adjustment isn't available on most tone arms. It can still be accomplished with shims at the cartridge attachment bolts but it isn't easy. My earlier comments were just to acquaint people with the possible source of a problem which is probably not extremely common. As I said, it was occasioned by the other comments about a concentration of clicks on only one channel, not by anything I observed in the samples.

I'm going to take this opportunity, for my own amusement, to continue on a little about normalization. I abandonment it earlier because the following aspect isn't too relevant when phonograph records, with their high intrinsic noise, are the source. However, if one is recording live with good equipment in a good environment there may be more to be gained than getting above the playback equipment noise, depending on the dynamic range of the performance.

There can be significant benefit to recording most things as dry as possible and applying effects and transformations afterwards. With good 24 bit convertors it is often possible to leave 18dB or more of headroom to capture dynamic peaks more faithfully, even if some are too extreme for the final mix.

In this case the recording may well have very useable music below the 16 bit floor. While you can never escape noise that is part of the recording, except to the limits of reasonable noise reduction, you may be able to utilize much more of that low level detail. When you normalize you bring those bits recorded below 16 up into the CD range.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Pio2001 on 25 September, 2005, 09:39:06 AM
Quote
A1 - DJ Wolfe Feat Mic Man (0m 30s).mp3
B1 - 1000001 Style (0m 30s).mp3
01 A - Blood & Fire Vocal (0m 30s).mp3

thanks for any feedback
[a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=329047"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Bong-Ra : sounds clean, no surface noise. The balance is too much on the left side.
DJ Wolfe : two clicks on the left side
Amen Andrews : surface noise on the right side.

There is no special distortion. But the sound is overall dull, with a narrow stereo. I think that you should benefit from a better cartridge, with a elliptical tip.
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: Axon on 30 September, 2005, 12:53:09 PM
FWIW, apparantly the common term in some circles for recording an LP to another medium (cassette, CD, computer) is "needle drop".
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: landy on 30 September, 2005, 03:07:21 PM
pio2001 thanks for the feedback, i have a cd version of that bong-ra track and iirc the balance is the same, i did mean to include a sample from it as well as it's good to compare the two, if you like it wouldnt take long to mp3 my flac file and cut 30 seconds from it.

if anyone knows of a free tool to cut flac files i could provide a flac sample. link to the cd sample is this (http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=1738)
Title: "ripping" LP's
Post by: mixminus1 on 30 September, 2005, 03:14:04 PM
Quote
if anyone knows of a free tool to cut flac files i could provide a flac sample.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=330676")


1.) Decompress to WAV.
2.) Edit with [a href="http://audacity.sourceforge.net]Audacity[/url].
3.) Recompress back to FLAC.

Goldwave (http://www.goldwave.com) is another option, as it has built-in FLAC import/export, although it's shareware - it's fully functional during its evaluation period, though, which is quite lengthy (3000 commands).