2010-07-22

Converting from vinyl to CD

It's something I'm working on, converting my 300+ collection of LPs to CD. I've got a refurbished SFF WinXP machine set up in the stereo cabinet, hooked up to the stereo receiver, and have started copying the analog LPs to digital format. So far I've just recorded them off in Audacity, which is an open source audio recording software package which seems to work well. I mean, it allowed me to play a 78 at 45, record it, and then change the tempo to what it should have been recorded at; it let me select from a pull down menu the recorded speed of 45 and the should have been recorded at speed of 78, and it changed it perfectly, and after running the noise reduction filter we can again listen to Basil Rathborn narrating Peter and the Wolf. I've copied off about eight or nine LPs so far, doing one a day prior to going to bed, at that rate I'll be at this for quite some time, and I haven't begun the process of taking the recordings and separating them by track, labeling them with all the appropriate recording info, and exporting them to .WAV format prior to actually burning audio CDs. And I suppose I should also create .MP3s or some such as I go along.

The fun bit will be going through each recording, using noise reduction where necessary, and the really fun bit will be applying the clip filter, which will remove the sound of scratches and attempt to recreate the sound sequence using a best guess approximation based on the surrounding sound recording. Audacity is a really good program, capable of great stuff in cleaning up and modifying sound files, well worth checking out. I can also recommend the instruction book which is mentioned at the Audacity site, I purchased the eBook version, read through it, and it really made a difference in re the learning curve.

It's been kinda fun, listening to old mono recordings that mom bought prior to her marriage, which places them back pre-1956; have to admit I'm not quite sure which year my parents married, just that it was more than two years prior to my sister's birth, and I'm not looking it up just now. But yeah, a bunch of what I recorded so far are from prior to stereo recording of LPs, but I think I'm close to being through with them, and shortly will be purely working with stereo recordings. I know they're mom's records from before they married because she wrote her name on the outer jackets, and it's her maiden name. Kind of interesting seeing what she collected.

The burning of CDs shouldn't be that hard, the time consuming bit will be creating the sleeves for the jewel cases; two options, purchasing pre-perforated sleeves for laser printers and using their included software, or creating my own templates and cutting the sleeves out myself. I'm seriously leaning towards purchasing sleeves, it would make it so much easier. And purchasing jewel cases. Then there is the whole buy CD labeling stuff or just writing on the CD. So I've got a bunch to think about prior to creating the CDs, but I can do everything up to that without any further investment except for time. And time is something I have plenty of.

The one I'm not looking forward to is the 1950 La Scala performance of the Ring Cycle, all eleven records worth. Wondering how many CDs that will end up being, all depends upon how the tracks fall out. You can buy jewel cases that will hold a varied number of CDs, six I believe being the max without shifting to a DVD case, I've got an empty six CD jewel case, it would be nice if it would be enough to hold the recording, we'll just have to see now won't we?