Convert LPs to CDs... without a USB turntable?
I have a hi-fi system and I want to transfer my vinyl LPs to CD. I could buy an Ion USB turntable, of course - but could I use my existing turntable somehow?
Total Recorder, a software suite produced by a Canadian outfit - High Criteria - is a very versatile and easy-to-use product, and I have used it to record inputs of all kinds - from vinyls to whole BBC Radio 4 plays. Highly recommended. Costs about £15 I think.
One assumes you have a method of playing your vinyl records. Plug in yout turntable into the 'phono' input of you amplifier, you can NOT use an input that is CD in etc. the signal is too low and there will be too much treble and no base !. You can take the output from the 'tape out' sockets or the headphone socket. Have a cable from the amplifier to the sound card input. Get hold of Coyote Software Groove Mechanic 2.6 (http://www.coyotes.bc.ca). Play the record, start the recorder. Groove Mechanic can parse the Audio track to break up the record into individual tracks, and remove the "silence" between the tracks. If your record is scratched (click, pop etc) Groove Mechanic can remove those too. If the record is warped, it will remove the the sub-sonic sounds. Groove mechanic can "normalise" the sound level, make all tracks sound the same loudness. And save the tracks as WAV files in the 44.1kHz format that is used for CD's (DVD use a 48kHz format). Burn this to a CD using Nero or your favorite CD burning software.
Yes you can
If your sound card has a line-in jack (It has to have!) you can do it. With the proper cabling, connect your hi-fi output (not amplified) to your sound card and with a suitable software, record it in any quality you like. That quality will depend on your sound card's capability. Or you can just record a 44100 hz 16 bit wave file (CD quality).
Every windows version has a sound recorder in control panel (somewhat limited). Nero has some nice recorders both to record and edit. You may also find some free alternatives like audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ if you like to.
In my experience I recorded many files from my cassettes with a walkman.
You should be able to convert them, however, be prepared to spend quite a while working on it (not that the USB turntable doesn't take a while!).
Firstly, you'll probably have to find an adaptor for a 1/4" jack to a 3.5mm plug that your soundcard uses. Most decent music hardware shops should stock these or you can get them online for as little as a £1. Then you'll want to plug your LP player's output cable into the input plug of your soundcard.
Once you've done that, the fun starts. Now, there are many commercial applications out there to help you convert your LPs. There is also an Open Source program called "Audacity". Basically, you set Audacity up to record from your soundcard and then once you've got the song, convert it into MP3/whatever format you like. But, you have to do this for each track on the LP (unless, of course, you want all your albums in single MP3s).