If you are looking to convert your vinyl records to a digital format, there are several methods that one can look into using.
Method 1: Direct to Sound Card
If your computer has a line input for recording, it’s possible to connect the output of a hi-fi directly to it using a cable with the correct connections. A line input on a computer will usually be a stereo minijack (also called a 3.5mm or 1/8″ jack) socket. Every sound card is different, though, and there may be several different sockets – the line input is usually marked with a symbol showing a circle with an arrow pointing inwards, to the centre of the circle. Simply choose a cable that has a stereo minijack at one end, and a connector that matches the output of your hi-fi at the other end. If your hi-fi doesn’t have a line output port, you can simply use the headphone output instead. Connecting this way is very easy, and since all you need is one cable it’s a great way to get started if you’re on a budget.
Method 2: Audio Interfaces If your computer doesn’t have an audio input, you can connect a hi-fi to a spare USB or FireWire port instead using anaudio interface. An audio interface works in just the same way as your computer’s sound card, except that it connects to a USB or Firewire port instead of being fitted inside your computer. Audio interfaces can transfer sound in and out of your computer. There are many different models available, which allow you to connect everything from microphones and guitars to hi-fi’s and keyboards. Because audio interfaces are specially designed for recording, they usually give higher sound quality than connecting via a standard computer sound card. Some audio interfaces also include bundled software for making and editing recordings, so you can get everything you need in one package.
Method 3 : USB Turntables
It’s also possible to buy turntables with a USB connection. These turntables have a built-in audio interface, which transfers the sound directly to your computer. If you only want to convert vinyl, you can’t beat a USB turntable for convenience. Best of all, they can be connected to an amplifier and speakers and used as a normal turntable as well.
Once you have a way to connect your hi-fi to your computer, you’ll need some software to record and edit your collection with. Audio editing software allows you to record the sound coming into your computer from your hi-fi. Once you’ve recorded it, you can then use the software to split it into tracksand save your albums as MP3s or burn them to CD. You can use almost any music production software for this job, but there are some pieces of software designed specifically with vinyl conversion in mind:
Some software is designed specially for removing clicks and hiss from vinyl or tape recordings. This software doesn’t allow you to record audio, so you still need audio editing software to record first. However, once you’ve recorded you can load your files into the noise reduction software to remove clicks and pops and reduce hiss and rumble. The software can work automatically, or you can tweak the settings yourself for perfect results