Thread Number: 73487  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Analog to digital USB conversion
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Post# 970459   11/28/2017 at 19:44 (357 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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I would like to buy a converter that would allow me to feed music from my LP vinyls, cassette audio tapes, and videos from VHS tapes into my computer for digital formatting. Preferably, I'd like one product with the necessary software so I could connect my old Thorens turntable, my old Sony cassette deck and my old Sony VCR and translate them into digital files for storage on my computer.


Do any of you have any experience with any of these products to recommend? Any help would be, as usual, appreciated.

Post# 970466 , Reply# 1   11/28/2017 at 20:17 (357 days old) by philcobendixduo (San Jose)        
How I Digitized All My Media

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Not the easiest, but it worked well for me and I enjoyed listening to all the "old" media.

As part of my stereo setup, I have a CD recorder (TASCAM CD-RW900 MK II).
On my Mac I have software called "Click Repair" to process files needing clicks/pops removed (LP's mainly).
All music is then stored via iTunes (on local disk and NOT cloud)

1 - Dub record, tape etc. to CD using CD recorder. I increment the track manually to ensure accuracy.
2 - Import either directly to iTunes on computer if it needs no processing OR process using Click Repair
2b - After processing on Click Repair, import to iTunes.
3 - Convert AIFF file to AAC file in iTunes (uses less space and very little difference in sound quality)
(this step is only necessary if using Click Repair which creates AIFF files during processing)
4 - Label the album and track names (in some cases, they will be obtained automatically during import) using iTunes - don't forget "genre".

I used CD-RW's so I can use the CD's over and over again for this process.
Time consuming but it worked well for me.

Post# 970467 , Reply# 2   11/28/2017 at 20:36 (357 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

The ART USB Phono Plus does everything you need audio-wise. It has stereo inputs which are switchable between phono and line level inputs, and a USB 2.0 interface. It comes with a copy of Audacity, which is a good basic digital audio recording and editing package. Sweetwater Sound is a good place to do business with (I've bought a lot of stuff from them) and they have it for $79.

Can't help you with the video; I don't know much about that.

Post# 970496 , Reply# 3   11/28/2017 at 23:32 (357 days old) by mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

I switched everything over to digital a couple of years ago, one of the best decisions I ever made. VHS tapes took up so much room. I bought new movies really cheap, of my favorites. Home movies I took to CVS and converted. Keeping up with technology can be frustrating, now they say that anything that spins will be phased out in the next few years. Wow, just wow.

Post# 970853 , Reply# 4   11/30/2017 at 20:40 (355 days old) by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        

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Thank you for the help. I'll look into that ART USB Phono Plus kit. It sounds like what I'm looking for.

Post# 970857 , Reply# 5   11/30/2017 at 21:39 (355 days old) by speedqueen (Harrison Twp, Michigan)        

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If your computer has a 3.5mm line input jack or is modern enough to have an all in one 3.5mm jack that when you insert something lets you select what you have (mic, headphones, line level, etc.) You can download audacity (it is freeware) and use an RCA to 3.5mm cable. It is fairly easy and if you spend a little bit of time toying with the settings it will work well, better than any usb adaptor.

Post# 970986 , Reply# 6   12/1/2017 at 15:23 (354 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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What Richard said makes the most sense. Don't make some company rich selling you something you don't need.

Most all computers have a sound input into their sound card so get an RCA to 3.5mm Stereo plug and run a line from a tape out jack on your receiver to the PC. You will have to use the phono preamp in a receiver to do the RIAA equalization. Then download and install Audacity and you can record straight to the PC. With CD burning software you could burn audio CD's from there.

Lots of help on YouTube

Post# 971006 , Reply# 7   12/1/2017 at 18:25 (354 days old) by fridgenut (Cape Girardeau, MO)        
My 2 cents...

Recording directly through your computers 3.5mm line in is the cheapest way to go about it. I use Audacity to record with. It's a free program that works great. The only thing you need to watch out for is the quality of your sound card. Most modern computers have them built into the motherboard...and most of them suck. I didn't know diddly about this until I sprung for a decent add on sound card for my desktop. Boy did it make a difference! You have to is great. It will provide flawless reproduction and recording of music that won't degrade and will be repeatable. That is if you have good chips doing the work. If you don't, that music will be translated into garbage. Analog to digital and vice versa to listen to it all depends on the quality of the converting chips.

Post# 971042 , Reply# 8   12/1/2017 at 22:42 (354 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Any modern motherboard sound card will do a fine job at capturing the audio from an LP. I used to be highly suspect of any onboard audio and always ran a higher quality sound card. Since about the Core 2 days I haven't ever put a sound card into a computer...

Post# 971244 , Reply# 9   12/3/2017 at 08:41 (352 days old) by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

I don't know about that. I do some recording at home and I've got an MOTU 828, and it is worlds better than the built-in sound on any computer I've come across. You also have to allow for the fact that computer built-in sound does not have an RIAA phono preamp, so unless the turntable has one built in (and most don't), you won't be able to record that without a preamp.

Post# 971264 , Reply# 10   12/3/2017 at 11:22 (352 days old) by Johnb300m (Chicago)        
Video to computer

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I'm doing this right now as we speak!
I've been converting our family's Beta tapes when we were all kids, to digital video on my laptop.
I've been using the Elgato device and software, and after 5hrs of video later, it's working great.
I'm saving the mp4 files to an external hard drive on the fly, and will later burn these to archive quality M-disc DVDs.
The Elgato has been working great thus far.

The only challenge was getting the RF signal from the Beta player to the computer.
And I did that with another VHS VCR with its built-in decoder to RCA output. These then feed into the Elgato, and presto chango, digital video from Beta.

All I have to do next is find some DVD burning software for my mac to eventually move the videos to DVD.

See links to my gear:

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