Turning Vinyl LPs Into Digital

What is the best way to turn vinyl into digital?

I saw a turntable system at Costco for about $100 but I have to believe my old turntable and cartridge is way better.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Bobby "D"

Guitar Center and Best Buy both carry turntables with USB output. Price isn't bad.

please god why would you do it! lp sould so much better than cd. But if it is a reason of keeping outdated and recordings that you don't have on cd, you can buy a phono pre-amp, they cost around $25 up to thousands of dollars, at that point you can plug your turntable into the phono-pre-amp and then into a cd burnner or your computer. If you have a lot of scraches you can buy software to remove the pops, but you cannot reproduce that warm smooth sound of LP on a cd. Some high end cd players add Dither... a fancy word for noise, they say it helps smoth out cd's and make them less harsh on the ears.....Keep LP ALIVE BROTHER!!!!

Amen Brutha!

If you are just looking to make your vinyl collection portable, the USB tables are fine. They aren't stellar, though; they're not meant to be. Just a practical quickie solution.

If you're more concerned about fidelity, & you're pretty happy with your current turntable/preamp configuration, you can get a nice audio i/o interface, along the lines of say an M Audio FastTrack Pro or whatever for $100-200. These are the same types of devices most modern recording studios use to capture live audio for mixing in ProTools. Basically M-Audio/ProTools is the industry standard for recording now.

You can also find plenty of software plugins to simulate an RIAA preamp if you just want to go direct from your turntable to the audio interface.

It's possible to use your generic internal soundcard for that job, but I wouldn't recommend it as they tend to be pretty noisy.

That all said if you're really intent on archiving your vinyl for good, I'd highly recommend just ripping them from the CD versions into a lossless format, as the EQ curve/mastering for digital/cd/mp3 is different from what you'd use for analog, so you kinda get the worst of both worlds - wrong EQ for digital, surface noise from the record - if you care about that kind of thing.

There are software equilizations & noise filters for most of the major audio editing packages that can help, but they can hurt, too, & they're never quite the same as just ripping from a correctly mastered CD.

You can probably roust a good deal of your collection on CDs from free sources like your friends, the library, etc., without having to sink too much time or money into it. Importing from analog sources is a huge pain in the ass even if you have the best tools available. Even if you don't care about the fidelity issues, the time you'll spend doing it right probably doesn't exist in your life.