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RonnieOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: some stuff I have learned about the vinyl to CD thin  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2010 - 01:55 AM
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EversJud wrote:
Hi, I'm a newbie. Am custodian of a record collection that a man's widow didn't want so she put it out on the curb. A junk collector I know picked them all up and sold them to me for $5.00. It consists of about 2,000 records (estimated by counting number in one foot lined up edgeways and multiplying by number of feet). This an eclectic collection (everything from beer drinking songs to Don Ho, to Gershwin and Billie Holiday.). Anyway, I plan to catalogue them, play every one of them, and put them all on CDs. (It will be a learning experience.)
First of all, I need a turntable. I saw the Stanton T62B Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted for $199.00 and wonder if this is okay.
However, if I'm going to spend the next 7 years doing this (multiplied amount of time, by number of albums, averaging 7-10 per week), then figure I might as well have a decent set up.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. At present, I have a Sony DVD home theatre system with 5 speakers that I hope to use as my amplifier/speakers. But not sure if that is possible, yet.
Thanks,
Judy
Cool
 
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RonnieOffline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: some stuff I have learned about the vinyl to CD  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2010 - 02:00 AM
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[quote="Ronnie"][quote="EversJud"]Hi, IBest of a bunch of DJ turntables & cartridges, Technics SL 1200 Pickering DJ 625 Cartridge DartPro 32 for noise reduction Cool Badger
 
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software_personOffline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: some stuff I have learned about the vinyl to CD  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2010 - 05:08 AM
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OK, thanks. I am certainly interested in whether VinylStudio's declicker comes anywhere close to any of these. I'll see if I can lay my hands on some free trials and take a look myself.

I have tried to minimise the number of settings inthe declicker so that casual users can get decent results so you might not suit you. I got it to where it is by many sessions 'under the cans' declicking various difficult samples and tweaking the algorithms to get the best results. The hardest part, I found, is preserving all the percussion and I think this is an area where more settings might prove valuable to someone prepared to learn how to get the best out of them. It's certainly an area I'd like to revisit. Other than that, distortion of the original music is very rare unless you use the 'turbo' settings, which are extremely sensitive but can do noticeable damage.

One thing which you might like is that the declicker is non-destructive. Rather than changing the original file, changes are applied as a kind of 'overlay'. There's also an undo, which is pretty much instantaneous, so it's quick and easy to experiment. You can also scan (or rescan or 'unscan') specific areas which require special treatment. We do have a couple of professional users. Both provide LP to CD services to the general public, but I can see that your area of application is considerably more demanding. I can see also that your workflow might not fit VinylStudio's 'Albums to Tracks' view of the world.

Regards,

Paul Sanders
http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk/VinylStudio
 
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software_personOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: some stuff I have learned about the vinyl to CD thin  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2010 - 06:11 AM
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EversJud wrote:
Hi, I'm a newbie. Am custodian of a record collection that a man's widow didn't want so she put it out on the curb. A junk collector I know picked them all up and sold them to me for $5.00. It consists of about 2,000 records (estimated by counting number in one foot lined up edgeways and multiplying by number of feet). This an eclectic collection (everything from beer drinking songs to Don Ho, to Gershwin and Billie Holiday.). Anyway, I plan to catalogue them, play every one of them, and put them all on CDs. (It will be a learning experience.)
First of all, I need a turntable. I saw the Stanton T62B Straight Arm Direct-Drive DJ Turntable with 500.v3 Cartridge Pre-Mounted for $199.00 and wonder if this is okay.
However, if I'm going to spend the next 7 years doing this (multiplied amount of time, by number of albums, averaging 7-10 per week), then figure I might as well have a decent set up.
Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. At present, I have a Sony DVD home theatre system with 5 speakers that I hope to use as my amplifier/speakers. But not sure if that is possible, yet.
Thanks,
Judy


Wow, what a deal you got there! I can't comment on turntables - other than to say avoid these cheap gimcrack USB things - but if you have 2000 records to do you want to think hard about the workflow so go for something, in software terms, which makes this easy.

With the right software you should expect to complete the digitising process for an album - after the initial recording has been made - in no more than a few minutes. For this type of material you might need to type in the track names (although you can import a track listing if you can find one online), but you can do that while recording is in process. Other than that, and putting the trackbreak markers in the right place, there should be little else to do unless you plan to spend a lot of time on audio cleanup, but again, with the right tools, you should be able to get decent results in a few minutes for material that is in reasonable condition to start with.

You also want to put yourself in a postion where you can get the best out of the time you have invested in digitising all those discs. If you decide one day, for example, that you'd like to burn another CD for a particular album (maybe a friend wants a copy, can I say that?) you should not have to jump through hoops to do it. Likewise, if you want to get your tracks onto some kind of media server some day, or perhaps onto an iPod, it should be quick and easy to do so.

As for your Sony home theatre system, did you want to hook it up to the outout of your computer? If so, you can run a cable from line-out on the PC to line-in on the Sony. If it has a line-in, that is. I'm not sure it does (which is pretty lame), you'll need to take a look. What model is it? And you'll need a phono preamp, plus (I strongly suggest) a decent pair of headphones plugged into your PC when digitising. PC speakers won't let you judge the quality of your recordings properly.

Regards,

Paul Sanders, author of VinylStudio.
More information / free trial at: http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk (PC and Mac)
 
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RonnieOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2010 - 01:47 AM
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Tks for the reply Paul, I guess the reference you make to non destructive editing of the original file is ultimately what you want but perhaps I neglected to say that when using say DART PRO 32, the software produces a binary detection file which is ultimately what you are altering. In this way you can alter this file at sample rate and if needed you can instruct the software to ignore some samples ie the ones detected around the percussion parts whilst working on say the BG noise.
I also record the vinyl at half speed and at 24 bit 48Khz (Yep they're large files) but as a minor click at half speed becomes quite a noticeable click at half speed and the amplitude is increased, the detection software is able to process this without you having to resort to accepting what normal speed recording would produce.
When you are happy with your edited Binary detection you simply process the original
and then resample back to original sample rate (Simple mathematics will get you back to the correct speed). Some software allows for a noise sample to be taken say of the quietest passages and then use this as a reference, for example I have found Sony's Soundforge Pro 10 does this however, as we know clicks & pops etc are random and I found using this can be problematic. Also I have noticed during the process of de-clicking, results are different depending of the quality of the original pressings. Some poorly pressed vinyl. Here in Oz (we had a label pressing compilations called K-Tel) which are so bad no amount of this type of cleanup is going to improve the overall results. Dynamics of the original recording play an important role in just what software deems is noise and what is deems music.
See Ya Cool
Ronnie 'O'
 
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software_personOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2010 - 02:51 AM
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Hi Ronnie,

OK, well, there's a lot of stuff lumped together in there but if you are saying that DART stores its click repairs in a separate file, rather than applying them directly to the original, then that's the right way to do it, yes. I have to confess I haven't tried it for myself, thanks for putting me straight.

I also wanted to make a point about workflow. Again, for many people (probably most people), some assistance with this from the software really helps. What is perhaps harder to find is software that does a good job of both.

When you say you record at half-speed, do you mean you run the turntable at half speed? If so, that will mess up your RIAA equalisation and you will lose a lot of bass. I'd also be very surprised if it improves click detection - as someone who has written code to do that I really can't see why that would be. In fact I would expect the opposite as click detection algorithms make a lot of assumptions about the frequency spectrum of the audio they are processing and recording at half speed will break those. It is true that listening at half speed (or even slower still) can help you locate a click manually that the scanner has missed. We added this facility to VinylStudio recently (by user request) and I was surprised at how effective it is.

As for defining a noise sample to take away from the original, that's not declicking, that's broadband noise reduction, aka hiss filtering. This can significantly improve 78s and worn vinyl (and, of course, tapes) but I don't use it for vinyl in good condition. You would never include any music in your sample; that just produces weird 'singing at the bottom of a well' noises. It is in fact vital to sample only the noise - between tracks is often a good place - and for naive users we find that this can be a bit of a stumblng block. Again, VinylStudio tries to walk the user through the process but I have still seen examples where people have got it spectacularly wrong.

Finally, if you like, you can email me one of your difficult samples and I will see how well VinylStudio deals with it. Entirely at your option, let me know if you're interested. I always like getting sound samples from people. I can post back before and after links and if you want to you can do the same with DART (I'd be happy to host your files). K-Tel used to be widely known over here too but I haven't heard anything from them for a long time. Part of the problem with compilation albums is that they squeeze too many tracks on.

Again, not wanting to pick a fight here. I find conversations like this useful.

Regards,

Paul Sanders
http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk
 
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RonnieOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2010 - 01:30 PM
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Good Morning Paul,

Good response, I perhaps should have said that the first thing I determine is whether or not I am in fact trying to reduce surface noise (hiss and the like) or scratches and general damage to the grooves. Most of the restoration work I do is in fact for damaged recordings, and this is where I have found the outlier detectors are more responsive to half speed mastering of the original file. No I don't run turntables at half speed I use software to mathematically produce double the number of individual samples. Obviously when you try to play back these files using normal playback the effect is that of a track running at half speed. So appologies if I have incorrectly used the the term. As I work for the Australian television equivalent of your BBC 1, some of the work I do is also restoration of no longer available television programs where the original master has gone AWOL. we are talking of old nitrate film in some cases. I guess the point to make about all this is yes, you can use software in plug and play mode or you can take the anal retentive approach (That's me) and exploit the controls of various software. The RIAA eq you speak of is an issue to consider however if like me you then approach the denoised file as requiring re-mastering with EQ/Comp/Exp used judiciously, the results are indeed impressive. FYI, I don't know about you but alot of the damage to vinyl I find is in fact to the walls and apex of the grooves where over time perhaps misaligned cartridges & stylii result in one or both sides of the groove worn unevenly or damaged excessively. the approach I tend to take is firstly to separate the stereo interleaved file into two separate Mono files and work on those separately then recombine them. I have found no loss of bass using this method. I also note that the majority of damage to vinyl is actually in the lifting & placing down of the stylus and it therefore follows that the guardbands between tracks, particularly if there is a favourite track the owner has played repeatedly will be damaged more so. The Sample of this area would therefore not be representative of those tracks played less frequently. So again I would determine whether the whole recording needs attention or just specific tracks.
Great to have this discussion, good always comes from healthy discussion Cool
 
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software_personOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 05, 2010 - 03:02 PM
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OK, I understand what you're doing now. I have to say I'm still surprised that declicking upsampled files works properly. As I say, if DART is anything like VinylStudio the algorithms will be carefully tuned to process music arriving at normal speed. What you are doing would seriously upset our 'Percussion Protection' algorithm, for example. This does its best to distinguish percussion bursts from clicks and it works by making certain assumptions about what music 'looks' like. Still, if it's working for you I guess that's all that matters, and imperfections in nitrate film probably have very different characteristics to those in vinyl.

Good point about wear in the inter-track gaps, although they're still a better place to collect a noise sample from than the leadin in my experience, which is often very (and thus atypically) noisy. As far as VinylStudio's declicker goes, it does indeed process each channel separately. Most clicks are significantly prominent in one channel than the other so doing it this this way gives the best results, even for mono material (which we therefore record in stereo and mix back down at the end). The hiss filter (and indeed all the other filters) also process each channel independently, so the 'split and combine' method you are using shouldn't be necessary with VS, and I would expect other software to be the same. It is however a limitation of VinylStudio that you must use the same noise sample for the entire LP side, although you can denoise individual tracks with different settings if you wish.

And last but not least, 'cos people sometimes forget, giving a record a thorough clean helps more than anything. You're only going to record it once so might as well get the best rip you can. No doubt you have your own cleaning methods. For records that have been badly neglected, a good wash is not out of the question.

Regards,

Paul Sanders
http://www.alpinesoft.co.uk
 
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