[Ardour-Users] vinyl-sampling and mastering

will cunningham willpanther at gmail.com
Fri Feb 14 10:20:10 PST 2014

We played with this as well because many of the music sources we wanted
were only on vinyl, and there are some apples and oranges issues from the
word 'noise' that took us a while to figure out.  Many have been mentioned
above, but here are our conclusions in context:

First on the noise reduction from the software end, we used the utility in
Audacity and found that used aggressively it leaves noticeable artifacts,
and used minimally doesn't take out much.  However, even among
audiophiles(not us), many prefer to not use noise reduction as some believe
even the best software dulls the final sound.

There's noise from the quality of the record itself.  The standard
scratches from playing, as well as the vinyl degrading with time are both
factors.  There are products for cleaning/restoring the vinyl itself that
aren't expensive that will take away many of the scratches .  These are not
the standard cleaning fluids we used in the '70s.

There is the sound added by the turntable, and this new generation of
turntables designed to reduce this work wonders.  We were using what we
thought were highish end turntables used by DJ's, but the belt driven add
almost no, or at the higher level no noise.  The Pro-Ject Debut Carbon III
at around $400 seems to be a good ratio of damned quiet before the costs
explode, but you'll need a preamp as well.

If you're buying a cheaper phonograph and cleaning up audio from there,
you've got sound issues from the get go that reduce the advantages of
vinyl.  You can get a clean sound, but lose A LOT of essence of the vinyl
quality in the process with any software by the time it scrubs the sound

If it's for personal listening, recording at 24 bit and compressing it
lossless with flac without exporting to 16bit for CD burning sounds pretty
damned good.

We buy from two music CD cos Mosaic and Archeophone Records who do the best
transfer of big band(Mosaic for my boy Woody Herman), and old
78s(Archeophone Records for King Oliver), and you hear plenty of crackles
and pops because their restoration goal is to emphasize hearing everything
in the music.  If I could afford it, I'd buy everything from folks like
these.  There's a reason they can charge a premium, as audiophiles out of
my league become very upset by the over cleaning of transfer from tape to
digital at the expense of missing key elements.

Personally, coming from the if it's scratched put a dime, then a nickel
then a quarter on the cartridge until it doesn't skip era, I have no
problems with the crackles, and didn't know this realm of record players
and transfer existed until we needed recordings from old vinyl.

The point here is that you can use Ardour very effectively to transfer to
digital by the standards of many who adhere to putting up with a little
noise to not lose any of the  musical quality while minimizing that noise
before the recording itself, and this is a standard adhered to by many of
the most passionate/informed about the process.


On Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM, Kevin Cosgrove <kevinc at cosgroves.us>wrote:

> On 14 February 2014 at 18:29, Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net>
> wrote:
> > On Fri, 2014-02-14 at 08:50 -0800, Kevin Cosgrove wrote:
> > > borrow from your library?) the CD for the vinyl, then
> > > rip the CD.  It works great!
> >
> > Sometimes CD versions are odd. I like records more than CDs, but even
> > ignoring my point of view, there are terrible remastered versions even
> > for later records and much often for CDs.
> >
> > In Germany even the less supported public library, will lend important
> > recordings by CD. All Schönberg recordings I own are from a public
> > libraries CDs.
> >
> > Anyway, if you e.g. like The Beatles, join a second hand record shop and
> > buy a record (of good visible quality) without bar code. Don't buy a
> > record with bar code or a CD.
> >
> > Not every original or close enough to it mastering is available as CD!
> >
> > Some CDs for old recordings are disgusting.
> I have to agree with you.  But, not all CDs are worse than their
> vinyl predecessors.  Lots are a bit different, but better/worse
> is a matter of taste for each case.  But, a horribly scratched LP
> is worse to me than an odd CD version of the same.
> Cheerio...
> --
> Kevin
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