Burn your records to a CD
With technology moving at lightning speed, making vast improvements and changes every day, many devices are quickly becoming obsolete. While most people have jumped onboard the techno train and own CD players and burners, many don't know what to do with their prized collections of vinyl records. Vinyl's aren't convenient and are not compatible with today's equipment. As a result, they usually sit useless and gathering dust. In addition, analogue music is easily damaged and tends to have a lower sound quality than digital. The good news is that its possible to burn your records to a CD using the following easy steps and the necessary equipment. THE EQUIPMENT YOU NEED
- A PC with a sound card and a CD writer
- A turntable with "an audio out"
- A recording lead – 2 phono plugs to one stereo 3.5 mm jack
- Recording software (if not already installed)
- CD burning software (if not already installed)
- Crackle removing software (optional)
THE STEPS TO FOLLOW
- Connect the stereo (turntable) or A/V receiver to the PCs sound cards' stereo input via a minijack to RCA adapter cable. These cables are inexpensive to buy and are available anywhere you buy computers or music equipment.
- Download and install a software encoder (if this hasn't already been installed) to convert the audio from albums into MP3 or WMA files. Options such as Audio Record Wizard can be purchased however; there are some free ones, such as Real Player, which will do the job as well. If you do use one of the free types of software, make sure to select "line-in" as your recording source. Note that many people prefer to save as MP3 files because it reduces file sizes with minimal sound quality loss. This allows for even large music collections to be saved to just a few CD's.
- Make sure to set the line input volume to a satisfactory level. The ideal setting is just before the left and right channels start to clip. Any louder and there will be sound distortion.
- Play the LP and record it to the hard drive. Hit the record button on your recording software. If everything is set up correctly, you should hear the music coming out of your computer speakers. Note that if you wish the tracks on the LP to be saved separately, you need to save each as a separate file.
- Once the record is digitized, burn it to a CD just as you would any other digital audio file. Although you may only want a few tracks saved to a CD, it is prudent to save all the music files from your hard drive onto CD's. It takes work to burn records to CD's and your don't want to risk losing the files should something happen to your hard drive.
If you do not have a receiver and want to go directly from the turntable to the PC, you will need a phono pre-amp to PC (which costs between $30-$50). Vinyl records are recorded with a RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) curve and will sound tinny if you don't use a pre-amp.
Following the above steps to burn your records to a CD will ensure that your favorite albums live on and that the sound quality isn't compromised. Also, be sure to read up on how to restore your scratched CDs and start enjoying them again rather than having them sit on your stereo collecting dust.