Many members of the baby boomer population have old vinyl records stored in the attic, records that we can’t bear to throw away. After all, who can replace Elvis, Chuck Berry or Fats Domino? But time has a way of marching on whether we like it or not and music is no exception. So how can we convert our vinyl records to CDs, DVDs, mP3s or mP4s?
Good news: converting records just might improve the sound quality due the higher tech options that weren’t available back when.
Equipment To Convert Old Vinyl Records
Converting records isn’t that hard to do but you will need a few basic pieces of equipment:
1. A turntable
2. A stereo
3. A computer with a sound card
4. Recording software
The turntable is the most important component for digitizing your old vinyl records. A higher quality turntable will result in superior recordings.
+ Experts in this field recommend some turntables over others and one of their favorite is the Drive ION ITTUSB Belt-Drive. This turntable has two speeds: 33.3 and 45 RPM with pitch ranges of +/- 8%.
+ The Audio-Technica AT-PL 120 is also favored because of its outstanding sound quality, reasonable price and a speed setting of 78 RPM.
+ Numark is another popular brand and it has a pitch range of up to +/- 10%.
Converting Records 101
The toughest problem to solve is how to get the music from your antiquated stereo to your handy, dandy sophisticated computer? The now old-fashioned stereo [remember when it was the latest & greatest high tech machine?] uses two connectors to send out sound but the modern sound card needs only one. The answer: an adapter that can convert the two plug RCA connectors on stereos to single plug connectors for your computer’s line in port.
Steps To Convert Vinyl Records
1. Clean your records thoroughly. Of course they’re years old and any kind of dirt or dust on the surface will cause noise and dissonance on your new digitized treasure. You can acquire a cleaning kit with a brush and fluid, place your record on the turntable and get the records really, really clean.
2. Next you will connect the stereo and computer and open up your recording software. The recording should be done at “a sample rate and bit depth of 44k, 16 bit” for the higher possible quality.
3. After transferring your fabulous music, consider music editing software. This will eliminate hisses and other horrid noises and will enhance the sound of the lyrics and music.
Baby boom population take heart: converting records is easy and your old vinyl records have value – beyond the zillions of hours of listening pleasure in the past, that is. Conversion will result in music that is more dynamic than ever. Who says Elvis isn’t alive?