It all starts with your hardware. The better the hardware, the better the resulting .wav. A good turntable, cartridge, sound card and pre-amp will ALL boost your quality by leaps and bounds. You may even want to play your worn vinyl wet.
When it comes to software any good .wav editing program will do to capture the .wav. DartPro (www.tracertek.com), Clean (www.steinberg.net), or CoolEdit (www.syntrillium.com) should do a fine job. One thing you have to do is take some time setting your recording level though. If it's too high you'll end up clipping, and if it's too low the noise level will be too loud. Take your time and find the level that's "just right".
Here are two tips by absm posters on how to get the maximum quality sound with the least noise when recording vinyl and declicking with Cool Edit Pro (CEP). Read the whole thing from end to end with CEP up and running. Then it will make sense:
(of course you should also check the FAQ: http://mp3-faq.org/faq3.html#3.24 and the link it provides: http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/%7Eabcomp/lp-cdr.htm as well as another good instructional page at http://www.wowfabgroovy.da.ru/vinyl.)
|First Tip(This is an update to the original post below) Whoa! Stop! Danger! These are very old settings from a previous
version of the program and even there they could have been better; I was -- still am -- learning. My current advice for CEP v1.2 is highlight only the recorded material -- in case you have recorded the Ghost in the Machine at the beginning and/or end of the wave (that is the noise made by your electronics when there is nothing playing, useful for a noise profile of the most harmless nature) -- after reversing the whole wave. I think best results are had with 32-bit resolution but it is time and space devouring. Start with the Old Record - Quiet Audio preset; change the 45 in Find Big Pops to 100, or uncheck it.
Enter 50 for Sensitivity and 100 for Discrimination, then use Auto
Find All Levels. When the program has filled in the blanks, run the transform. If too many clicks are left to be removed in person, do it again. Yields great results and hurts the music not at all.Try it, you'll love it.-----------------------
And I think a Smoothing Amount of 1.25 is better in the noise
That's my guiding star: try to hurt the music as little as possible while getting rid of the vinyl sounds. The documentation for the program doesn't always fit it. The click/pop eliminator dialog says that detection levels range from 6 to 60 and rejection levels from 1 to 100. That's where the earlier numbers you found came from. But that is wrong; the Auto Find All Levels puts in numbers in excess of those limits, at least for the detection level. The last time I used it, all three detection values were in the 90s somewhere. I think 150 is the highest value -- the higher the value, the less detected, the more rejected, in other words, the less done -- for detection and rejection and the detect big pops goes up to 200. Those numbers I gave Micro Guy for Sensitivity (50) and Discrimination (100) are the limits, the lightest setting. Even set like that, the program cleans a lot of clicks. If it leaves too many, I will try another pass and only go to a lower value if that doesn't work well.
When you use this transform, you sometimes end up with distorted clicks -- abrasive things that often hang out with percussion transients, maybe not really clicks. I think the program causes them by "cleaning" _more_ than it should. Another artifact it can create is a sort of a whumf sound. I believe that is made when a small area, a few cycles, of the wave has been cleaned by the transform and it leaves a quiet valley between two relatively higher-level areas. That noise is a pain to remove because it is often hard to decide just which peaks should be reduced to remove the encapsulation. I hope that the Pulse Train Verification reduces these sorts of problems by causing the transform to do less.
A thing to watch for is a very low detection level value; 6, say. Auto Find can give you that if you selected some of the Ghost In The Machine; I think it keeps turning up the power seeking something that is not there. Yeah, I just ran an experiment, recorded 15 seconds of nothing and did AF on it: the columns read:
max threshold -90 6 10
You don't ever want to process a file with settings like those; it will detect everything and reject that detection hardly ever. It will
Some people have the conceit that they won't do editing on a decent vinyl album, leaving it to the downloader to do any post-processing after reconverting the mp3 into a wave. That is uninformed, I believe, because the encoding-decoding process does something to a wav. I'm not sure, maybe it changes close to silence into silence. But it produces those same type settings in CEP's Auto Find. Much much harder to work on a reconstructed wave than an original.
All this is just opinion, probably wrong, not the FAQ.
I've been asking and searching for ways of cleaning my vinyl wavs and never found anything worthwhile (somewhat). So I went perusing my old archives of messages I had saved. I ran across a nfo file posted back in 7/4/99;
Contained just what I was looking for and thought I'd share with
Side two, track one of the 1979 Fantasy double-lp Bread & Roses, Festival of Acoustic Music - Greek Theater, U.C. Berkeley. Recorded with CEP v1.2, cleaned with same; encoded with MP3Enc31 -br 160000 -no-is -qual 9.
Recorded with Monitor Record Levels Option having been used so that peaks were between -3 and 0 dB.
Save the wave right now, either track by selected track or all at
Transform>Amplification>Amplify>Center Wave preset.
After one pass, a 2.5-second area of "silence" from the lead-in was selected for the noise profile. Transform>Noise Reduction>Noise Reduction with settings: Log Scale NOT checked Live Update is checked Noise Reduction Level 100 FFT Size 6000 points Remove Noise radio button selected Precision Factor 11 Smoothing Amount 1 Transition Width 0 dB Snapshots in profile 300. The record was slightly warped, causing a periodic noise in the lead-in waveform and 2.5 seconds, just my standard time, is sufficient to capture the noise of a complete revolution of the lp. Click Get Profile from Selection then Close (not Cancel) the dialog. Deselect the noise print area by clicking anywhere on the wave; click on the Zoom Out Full button so the whole wave is transformed. Return to Transform>Noise Reduction>Noise Reduction and click OK.
When it is finished Transform>Reverse the wave. Listen to it through headphones for noises not removed by the transforms. In general, narrowly select the noise and use Transform>Click/Pop Eliminator>Fill Single Click Now. This feature is effective on most noises of short enough duration but finding a single little bitty piece of wave that represents the noise is a problem. Read the Help for the Click/Pop Eliminator dialog and use the Spectral view to help you find them. Here's some of what it says about that:
Use the Spectral View feature with the spectral resolution set to 256 bands and a Window Width of 40% to see the clicks in a program. See /Options/Settings/Spectral to adjust these parameters. Clicks will ordinarily be visible as bright vertical bars that go all the way from the top to the bottom of the display.
When you have taken the very few clicks remaining from the wave, sculpt the ends of the wave so that it does not make noise when it starts playing. Leave about 0.35 second of lead-in before the music begins. Transform>Silence the first 0.2 second. Select the 0.15 second after the silence to just before the music starts and choose theTransform>Amplification>Amplify>Fade In preset, click OK. At the end of the wave, leave a few tenths of a second after the music stops and delete everything after that. After selecting the area between the end of the music and the end of the wave, choose Transform>Amplification>Amplify>Fade Out preset, and click OK.
Choose Edit>Convert Sample Type with these settings: Sample Rate 44100 Stereo Resolution 16 bit Enable Dithering is checked
Check to see if the ends are still proper after the conversion; you
Work your fingers to the bone,
End original message
I tried it with a fav album of mine and like the results. I recorded it with an older Kenwood turntable and Stanton cartridge. It's Stanley Clarke's "School Days" lp. I've done the first song so far (School Days) and am posting it in the main group.
Take a listen and tell me what ya think. All feedback welcomed. Always looking for perfection.
The only thing I did that he/she didn't mention was to
Second tip on 9/28/99:
|I use a £30 Aiwa turntable (new) going through a £15 Technics preamp (2nd hand). soundcard is an sb live, it gets the signal from the tape output from the amp. i always work with headphones plugged into the sound card. you can hear the faults better through headphones than you can through speakers, even very good speakers. it also helps to filter out any distracting background noise (aeroplanes, children, etc).Before I start I wash the vinyl in warm soapy water. I've had a lot of comments about long term damage this might cause to records since I first mentioned it, but I've found it helps with some surface noises, and once i've got them onto cd the original record doesn't interest me any more. If you're worried about this, don't do it. I keep before and after versions of the wav files on cdrom so that I can easily start again when I learn something new.
I use cool edit pro for everything, and record at 44k/16bit stereo. If it's an album, I'll play a typical track through once without recording, watching the recording levels and adjusting them with the soundcard controls. I try to aim for an average of -3db.
When I've got the levels right I record the whole album and save it as 2 wavs (one for each side). Doing it on a song by song basis, or not recording it all in the same session would make it more difficult to get the same levels on each song. I split the big wavs into individual songs by selecting each song and using paste to new. When I've saved the new wav I close it and delete it from the big wav.
Working on each song in turn, I zoom in on the wav in spectral view so that I've got about 2 seconds worth on screen. I'll listen to this several times using the play looped control (a figure 8 on its side, or infinity symbol), noting where the clicks are, then zoom right in on them, select just the click (if it's just in the left or right speaker I'll select it in that channel only), then use the click/pop eliminator to 'fill single click now'. Finding the click in spectral view is a lot easier, because it shows up as a thin red rectangle. If you wanted to, you could even find all the clicks without listening to the music at all (unless it includes a live audience clapping or a drum machine, which would look very similar to a click).
I'll carry on like this until I reach the end of the song, then I'll play it from the beginning in waveform view at a x4 zoom factor, watch the wave form scroll across the screen as it plays, listening for anything I've missed. When I hear something I'll stop the playback, go back to spectral view, fix it, and then play from the beginning again. It's very easy to get carried away with this, hunting down clicks that you can barely hear through headphones, and definitely wouldn't hear through normal speakers.
When I'm happy with the body of the song, I'll concentrate on the lead in and lead out. Back in waveform view I'll zoom right in on the beginning of the song, and zoom in vertically (the little + magnifying glass on the far right bottom of the screen) to find the precise start of the music. I find the point about half a second before this and delete everything to the left. Then I'll select the half second of 'silence' and fade it in. if it's a song that fades in I'll extend the selection to include some of the song too (usually up to where it gets up to full volume). The end of the song gets the same treatment, but with a 1 second lead out and the obvious reversal of the stages above.
I don't use noise reduction filters any more, even on very low settings they tend to take something out of the music along with the noise you're trying to remove. But on really duff pressings I'll use the 30 band graphic equalizer filter to try and lift the mid ranges a bit. I use my main speakers for balancing the sound to, since these are what I'll be listening to it through most often.
All this takes a long time, but I think the results justify it -- after all, it only needs to be done once. But I can understand people wanting a 'quick fix' way of doing it.