Rip CDs & Vinyl – Part 1: Vinyl

How to Digitalize (Rip) Music from Your CDs and Vinyl Records

Please note that you cannot legally make DIGITAL COPIES of records or CDs that you own in all countries. Before making copies of your media, always verify legislation in the country in which you reside.

This is Part 1 of three part tutorial on how to make digital copies of music CDs and vinyl recordings that you own.

  • Part 1 – Requirements and setup to make digital copies of vinyl recordings
  • Part 2 – Process to make digital copies of vinyl recordings using Audacity music editor
  • Part 3 – Requirements and process to make digital copies of music CDs

But, before starting, there is one very important audio setting that you should verify: is Stereo Mix enabled in my Sound Recording settings?

Please watch this 6 minute YouTube video to learn how to do this: How to Get or Enable Stereo Mix on Windows 10

When you record directly from your audio card, you get the very best sound quality when recording vinyl records from the “Line-in” in conjunction with the Stereo Mix setting of your PC.

Part 1 – Vinyl Records

To copy vinyl records, you are going to need one of the following types of turntables:

  • an integrated Vinyl LP to CD recording system (turntable and CD burner a single device) also known as an all-in-one turntable/CD burner―Teac LP-R550USB or ION LP 2 CD

This option is only really useful if you do not have a CD/DVD drive on your computer.

  • USB turntable, such as the ION Air LP™ Wireless Streaming Turntable―this device can also stream LPs to Bluetooth enables speakers. You need audio editing software on your PC in order to record and save the tracks individually as well as a good music manager to keep track of your digitalized albums.

Or you can use line out from your receiver or preamp to your PC using a 3.5mm Stereo to Dual RCA Audio Cable (see images below) using “Tape Out” or “Record Out” on the rear of your stereo system.

My example uses the “Output 1” from my preamp, which also works just fine.

The reasons for using a receiver or preamp are a) audio signals from the cartridge are too weak to record and b) records manufactured since the 50s use an equalization standard called “RIAA”, which boosts high frequencies and reduces low frequencies.

As above, you need audio editing software on your PC in order to record and save the tracks individually and music manager software to keep track of your digitalized albums.

  • If you have a turntable, but no preamp or amplifier/receiver you can purchase a USB preamp such as a Behringer UFO202 Audio Interface, an ART USB Phono Plus or an ART DJPRE II Phono Preamplifier. According to the Audacity website How to connect your equipment:

Advanced technique: It is possible to directly connect a standalone turntable to the “Line-in” of a high quality soundcard, if you are prepared to perform the amplification and RIAA equalization yourself in AudacityEffect > Equalization has a suitable RIAA preset.

preamp-connect
Turntable IN – OUT to computer
 stereo-to-rca-scale
3.5mm Stereo to Dual RCA Audio Cable

Next, Part 2 – Process to make digital copies of vinyl recordings using Audacity music editor.

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