• Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl to Digital Files Using Macintosh



    This guide provides a step by step walkthrough of ripping audiophile vinyl to 24/192 digital audio on the Mac. The vinyl recording software applications used in this quick start guide are Pure Vinyl , Amarra Vinyl , and Vinyl Studio .


    Going into detail for each software application would result in a small book. Instead, the approach taken is to walkthrough the basic steps of ripping both sides of an LP record, splitting the tracks, and rendering the output for high resolution playback.
    The audiophile pressing I chose is the impeccable Analogue Productions mastering of Cat Steven’s Tea for the Tillerman .








    The record packaging contains a two-page fold out that goes into detail on how the original master tapes were found, in excellent condition, and the processes used for this pressing.









    A true work of art in every way captured in 1970. This brand new record was played three times, once for each vinyl recording application.
    In the Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl to Digital Files Using Windows , I am using Pro-Ject Audio’s Expression Classic , with a Pro-Ject carbon fiber tonearm, and factory fitted Sumiko Blue Point No. 2 cartridge , Pro-Ject Tube Box S , and Lynx Hilo A/D D/A converter . It is the same gear for this article with one exception. Pure Vinyl recommends implementing the RIAA equalization curve in software as opposed in hardware (i.e. a phono preamp). Let’s start with Pure Vinyl.








    Pure Vinyl




    Pure Vinyl implements the RIAA equalization curve in software. Rob Robinson’s AES Paper (PDF) on the subject is an excellent read.
    For this tutorial, Rob supplied me with a TC Electronic Impact Twin . The output of the Sumiko Blue Point No.2 cartridge is matched to the Twin’s high-Z (instrument) preamps with a custom connector that includes load resistance and capacitance.






    The Twin was connected to the MacBook Pro 13” , running OS X version 10.8.2, via Firewire, and the Impact Twin software installed. The next step is to open the Audio Setup window in Pure Vinyl:






    TC Near is the name of the audio device and is set to 24/192.
    In the vinyl to digital guide for Windows , is a section called, “Preflight Hardware Check” that goes over a checklist to ensure the hardware pieces are properly calibrated before beginning recording.

    This is what the Pure Vinyl screen should look like with everything turned on and ready to go:








    Note the top meters are showing approximately -83 dB signal to noise ratio. The Pro-Ject table used has unbalanced RCA connectors, so this is typical of an unbalanced connection. For the ultimate s/n ratio, Pure Vinyl recommends a balanced connection .
    Clicking on the record spindle will bring up the Record Audio to File dialog box:





    There are a couple of key areas that require attention. First is to enter Artist and Album info at the top left.
    Next is to set the recording trigger level at the top right. Note the blue background on the meters and how it is set at -80dB. This is the trigger level threshold that can be adjusted with the slider. Make sure it is above the noise floor or it won’t work. When the needled is dropped, the threshold is triggered, and recording starts.
    The rest of the settings are default. Note a 24/192 flat recording lossless file is being created.
    Clicking on Record brings up The Ready to Record Side 1 dialog:






    This is a good time to try a couple of test recordings to ensure proper recording level. If using RIAA equalization in software, Pure Vinyl’s recommendation is to be somewhere around -12 dBFS to -6dBFS. For RIAA equalization implemented in hardware, then closer to -3dBFS is recommended.
    Needle drop. Enjoy the music.
    Lift needle at end of disk.
    Flip the LP, and click the Click When Ready to Continue Recording button.
    Needle drop, enjoy the music, and lift again.
    At this stage, the Ready to Record dialog indicates that the needle has been lifted and ready to record another side. With both sides recorded, recording is complete.






    Click on Stop Recording. Pure Vinyl proceeds to “cut” the vinyl image.








    Side 1 is already cut. Side 2 of the vinyl image being cut in the above screen shot.
    Once cutting the vinyl image is complete, the vinyl image is ready to play or split the tracks. Clicking on the green Editor button, on the right hand side, will bring up the editor screen:





    Click on Add Track and enter in the track name:






    Clicking OK adds the track to the track list:








    Next move the stylus to the next track. Using the “jog” control, (round small circle at bottom middle of screen), watch the waveform display, (screen shot below), and move between tracks to find the right spot where it is just surface noise. I usually wear headphones at this point to hear better over any room noise. The virtual turntable has added physics to give the table weight and feels like a real turntable - way cool:








    Here I have centered on splitting between track 1 and track 2 as can be seen by both the dark groove at 3:55 and the waveform with low surface noise given this is the first spin of the record.
    Continue to split tracks, clicking on the spindle for Side 2, then returning to Side 1, now all tracks are split and labeled:






    Click Save… and once done, click Render. In the Render Tracks screen below, Preview Output Levels has also been clicked:





    Click on Render Tracks:





    Pure Vinyl analyzes the recorded audio signal to determine the highest peak on the recording, and adjusts the overall gain, in this case by +5.13 dB to within 0.1dB of 0dBFS.
    iTunes Integration: Note that the software can add a iTunes bookmark so that iTunes points to the location of the Pure Vinyl rips so as to not to make duplicate files.
    The pressing is so quiet that no editing of clicks, pops or surface noise was required.


    How does it sound?
    Here is the first 65 seconds of the Pure Vinyl recording of Cat Steven’s, Wild World: Pure Vinyl Wild World 24/192 75MB


    It would be good to compare to a reference. Fortunately, HDTracks has a 24/192 version of this master that can be used as a direct compare.

    Here is the first 65 seconds: HDtracks Wild World 24/192 75MB


    Hear any differences?
    The help file is well written, with both a fast track and deep dive approach. A remote tutorial is part of the software license and the support I received from Pure Vinyl was top notch.
    There are many other features and details that could be covered about Pure Vinyl. This basic walkthrough is designed to start ripping LP records as quickly as possible, yet producing quality results as can be heard in the downloadable recording.






    Amarra Vinyl








    As usual, the first task is to set the Audio Device to be used. In this case, the Lynx Hilo for both A/D D/A duties:






    This means that the tube phono preamp is used for RIAA equalization.
    Next, launch Amarra Vinyl:








    Click on File Menu and select Audio I/O Preferences:







    Select which Audio Device Amarra Vinyl is to use and save.
    From the File menu, select New Sound File Preferences to open the dialog and set where Amarra Vinyl saves the files:






    Note in the screen shot below, the LED indicator lights around the USB labels. By clicking on these lights will toggle the software’s state of whether ready to record or not. The green R means ready and the yellow A means armed.








    Click on the big Rec button and drop the needle. A quick check of the recording level would be to find the loudest passage on the record and adjust the recording level as required. -3dBFS is a good peak level.
    At the end of the record, click stop, and lift the needle. Amarra Vinyl will automatically render the waveform display. Flip the record, start the recording, drop the needle again.
    Once the recording is complete, I played it back to see how it turned out:








    Next task is to split the tracks. In Amarra Vinyl, this is called Mark Tracks. Place the play head cursor where the track is to start, and from the Mark menu, select start track. Advance the waveform display until it is in-between tracks. Then select End Track from the Start Menu:








    Here I have marked the 2nd track and entered in the name of the track, Hard Headed Woman. Continue this way using the zoom and mark tools, until all tracks are marked and labeled.
    At this stage, one might invoke the excellent editing tools to DeClick and DeCrackle the record. (DeClick and DeCrackle are the same products used in Sonic Studio’s own Grammy®, Emmy® and Oscar® award winning NoNoise professional software. - Editor). In my case, as this was a brand new LP record, and the 2nd time it was played, there are no clicks and very little surface noise, so I left the recording as is. However, it is worth perusing the help file to see the various ways to edit the digital audio, including a fully customizable fader tool.
    Click on the Export button, which will bring up a dialog to set the location of the export folder to contain the exported files:










    Once a location has been chosen, then click on the export button:










    How does it sound?
    Here is the first 65 seconds of Wild World: Amarra Vinyl Wild World 24/192 75MB


    Hear any differences between this, Pure Vinyl, and HDTracks versions?
    Amarra vinyl comes with an excellent 150 page manual that gives away some idea as to the number of features this product has. Also excellent was the tutorial I received, that comes with the software license, and ongoing support was fast and friendly.
    Amarra vinyl has iTunes integration and may other features. However, the purpose of this basic walkthrough it to get going on ripping vinyl LP records to high resolution files as quickly as possible and that is repeatable.






    Vinyl Studio






    Launching Vinyl Studio brings up the main screen.
    Click on Change Playback Options:










    This allows one to choose playback device, and through the sound dialog, also choose input device.
    Once the dialogs are closed, from the main screen, click on Recording Options:










    I selected FLAC file format and clicking on FLAC file options:










    Closing the dialogs returns to the main screen. Click on Check Level:












    Find the loudest passage on the record and adjust the recording level if required or possible.
    Close the Check Level dialog and click on Record which brings up the Ready to record dialog box:










    Clicking on continue prompts to lower the needle on the record:










    Now recording:










    Once the record reaches the end of side one, lift the needle, and Vinyl Studio will pause and prompt with the Recording complete dialog box:










    Repeat the process for side 2. Now ready to split tracks:










    Using start and end markers, and adding track title, one can zip through splitting the tracks until completed:








    Click Save Tracks tab:










    Note while the Save corrected Audio was checked, none of the audio was corrected from the Cleanup Audio section. Also note iTunes integration. Click on Save:











    How does it sound?
    Here is the first 65 seconds: Vinyl Studio Wild World 24/192 75MB


    Now that all track versions are available, it will be interesting if folks hear any differences between versions, especially compared to the HDTracks version.
    Vinyl Studio’s help system is integrated right into the application. Balloon help appears while hovering over any control. Wizard like guidance is supplied at each step along the way. And the tabbed screens model the workflow. All of which makes the software easy to use.
    I downloaded Vinyl Studio and in demo mode, which allows for 5 recordings to be made. I did not contact support or visit the forum.



    Conclusion

    This step by step walkthrough was designed to be a quick start guide for three popular vinyl recording software applications. The steps and screen shots were optimized to provide the shortest path to ripping audiophile vinyl to high resolution digital files on the Mac.
    Each vinyl recording application has its own feature set. Depending on your vinyl recording requirements, at least one, if not more, should be able to meet your requirements.
    For example, if RIAA equalization in software is important to you, then Pure Vinyl does an excellent job of this. If a complete editing suite is required, then perhaps Amarra Vinyl would be the choice. Or if a wizard like, “prompt as you go workflow” is your thing, then Vinyl Studio may get the nod. To qualify, these are my impressions using the software for a limited time.
    The point is not one software is best. It depends on each person’s vinyl recording requirements.
    With respect to which one sounds best. Everyone has access to the files to download and listen. :-) All three produce high quality recordings as evidenced by downloading the supplied files and listening on your own system. Quite frankly, I find it a bit amazing how close the vinyl recordings sound compared to the digital version from HDTracks.
    Speaking of which, in the vinyl to digital guide for Windows , there is a section near the end in which the vinyl version and a CD ripped version of the same master are compared. So far no-one has come forward to claim if the comparison track starts with the vinyl rip or CD rip.


    Happy Listening!

    Mitch













    About the author




    Mitch “Mitchco” Barnett
    I love music and audio. I grew up with music around me as my Mom was a piano player (swing) and my Dad was an audiophile (jazz). At that time Heathkit was big and my Dad and I built several of their audio kits. Electronics was my first career and my hobby was building speakers, amps, preamps, etc., and I still DIY today . I also mixed live sound for a variety of bands, which led to an opportunity to work full-time in a 24 track recording studio. Over 10 years, I recorded, mixed, and sometimes produced over 30 albums, 100 jingles, and several audio for video post productions in a number of recording studios in Western Canada. This was during a time when analog was going digital and I worked in the first 48 track all digital studio in Canada. Along the way, I partnered with some like-minded audiophile friends, and opened up an acoustic consulting and manufacturing company. I purchased a TEF acoustics analysis computer which was a revolution in acoustic measuring as it was the first time sound could be measured in 3 dimensions. My interest in software development drove me back to University and I have been designing and developing software ever since.


















    Comments 20 Comments
    1. Hpirx's Avatar
      Hpirx -
      What a nice and timely article. I have been recently exploring the vinyl ripping options for Mac's and your article answered several questions I had (mostly pertaining to ADC hookups). I had ripped about 20 LP's several years back on a PC, using a variety of confusing software, the internal ADC on the computer and a cheap phono pre-amp. Time consuming, frustrating, and wonderfully fulfilling! Looking forwards to reripping on the Mac w/ a little better understanding of workflow and formats desired. Thanks Again!
    1. Onkle Je's Avatar
      Onkle Je -
      Hi, Mitch !

      Great article again. Clear and simple. It is very interesting that you used a brand new Audiophile LP in order to be able to make a fair comparison with the HDTracks file. In another hand, it didn't allow you to use and explain us the DeClick and DeCrackle tools that are in my opinion the most relevant tools for a vinyl recording software. Very few Audiophile or Collector LPs on the market are such in a good condition that they don't need any treatment when ripped. That is my only little regret. Anyway, Thanks again !
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Quote Originally Posted by Onkle Je View Post
      Hi, Mitch !

      Great article again. Clear and simple. It is very interesting that you used a brand new Audiophile LP in order to be able to make a fair comparison with the HDTracks file. In another hand, it didn't allow you to use and explain us the DeClick and DeCrackle tools that are in my opinion the most relevant tools for a vinyl recording software. Very few Audiophile or Collector LPs on the market are such in a good condition that they don't need any treatment when ripped. That is my only little regret. Anyway, Thanks again !
      Hi Onkle Je - Check out Mitch's previous vinyl ripping article. He covers some of the decrackle and declick using different software.

      Computer Audiophile - Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl To Digital Files Using Windows
    1. Onkle Je's Avatar
      Onkle Je -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Computer Audiophile View Post
      Hi Onkle Je - Check out Mitch's previous vinyl ripping article. He covers some of the decrackle and declick using different software.

      Computer Audiophile - Guide to Converting Analog Vinyl To Digital Files Using Windows
      Hi, Chris !

      Thanks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mitch's previous article was about ripping vinyls on PCs, right? As a Mac user, I guess it would be easier for me to do the job with a Mac software. Anyway, not a big deal... Many thanks.
    1. myco's Avatar
      myco -
      Many thanks to Mitch for his excellent article! Transferring LPs to high resolution digital is a LOT of fun and a nice way to enjoy one’s collection on the go (or repurpose it: anyone remember making mixtapes on cassettes?), and it does save wear and tear on expensive playback cartridges / styli; play an LP once, then shelve it. But don’t ever sell it: one will eventually upgrade one’s playback system. Then, make another transfer and compare it with the original, and hear where your money went! :-) (That said, most of my transfers made even with relatively modest gear still sound so good, that I haven’t felt the urge to redo them with upgraded gear, except for a few favorites. I’d rather spend time listening to and transferring my latest LP acquisitions.)

      Anyway, I’d like to respond to comments asking about noise reduction and address the often-held misconception that vinyl LPs are necessarily noisy or require noise reduction to be enjoyed.

      One must ask: if vinyl were inherently noisy or flawed, why would it have such a continued and dedicated following among audiophiles? Does it mean that the “all analog” devotees must suffer with bad sound, because they wouldn’t be able to use noise reduction software? Audiophile LP collectors know from experience that “noise, crackles and pops” are uncommon with a carefully maintained collection (a point of view also held by that vinyl guru, Mikey Fremer, as anyone who follows his writing knows). That’s fortunate, because noise reduction (sometimes I like to call it noise resuction) will have a deleterious impact on the audio quality. One cannot remove noise without also removing some of the music, and the goal should be to preserve the music when making audiophile quality high resolution LP transfers.

      The most effective solution to the odd, excessively noisy LP is to obtain a better copy via Internet merchants (GEMM, Discogs, ebay, etc.). However, if the LP in question is irreplaceable and removing noise is desired, or one is involved with restoration of antique Victrola 78 RPM shellacs (which aren’t exactly embraced by audiophiles anyway), noise reduction might be considered (a couple of our users use software called ClickRepair for this purpose). But those represent unusual scenarios, and I have never found it necessary to use noise reduction (aside from the occasional use of the “surgical” pop removal tool feature in Pure Vinyl) on vinyl transfers. Nor have Pure Vinyl users, some of whom I call “power users” that have transferred thousands of LPs.

      I love listening to vinyl and have tons of it in my music collection (I mean that literally: given that a single LP typically weighs about 8 ounces, and the number of LPs that I have, that comes to many thousands of pounds of LPs). Only a small fraction of those are what might be termed “audiophile” or new reissues; over half of them were purchased used, at dealers, thrift shops and yard sales. Despite this, you would have a difficult time finding any with more than the odd couple of clicks. In the used market, it’s common to find opened but unplayed copies (signified by the LP tenaciously clinging to the inner sleeve, never having been removed since manufacture), especially classical. Pristine, click free LPs are plentiful on the used market, so one need not exclusively purchase new LPs if concerned about the quality of the goods. But audiophile guys and gals that collect LPs already know this. :-)

      Rob Robinson

      Channel D
    1. ronfint's Avatar
      ronfint -
      I have been absent from CA for quite a while, but this last post has drawn me back. It seems to me that one must be unbelievably glib to suggest that it is easy to replace records that aren't ancient 78s. I have spent much of my life searching for rare LPs, and many of them would be impossible for me to replace with perfect copies. In this case, ClickRepair and DeNoise are invaluable. Just for the hell of it, I randomly grabbed four such LPs from my shelf. If Rob can replace these with virtually perfect copies at a reasonable price, I will be very impressed!

      Ps. The topic that I would be interested in hearing about is normalization of a digitized LP. What are the pros and cons?

      Ron

      Attachment 4059
    1. Zakus's Avatar
      Zakus -
      Quote Originally Posted by myco View Post

      Anyway, I’d like to respond to comments asking about noise reduction and address the often-held misconception that vinyl LPs are necessarily noisy or require noise reduction to be enjoyed.

      One must ask: if vinyl were inherently noisy or flawed, why would it have such a continued and dedicated following among audiophiles? Does it mean that the “all analog” devotees must suffer with bad sound, because they wouldn’t be able to use noise reduction software? Audiophile LP collectors know from experience that “noise, crackles and pops” are uncommon with a carefully maintained collection (a point of view also held by that vinyl guru,


      Rob Robinson

      Channel D
      My vinyl collection has been as carefully used and stored as one can when extensively played, isn't that why you buy music, to play it and oh the parties. Your comment reminds me of an all so hipster telling me that the pops and crackles are part of the charm of vinyl. My reply is always why didn't they put the pops and crackles in there in the first place.

      Anyway with a real world vinyl collection that I'm successfully (for the second time) digitalizing with vinyl studio, technical advice with pop removal would be much appreciated, rather than just "get a new LP". What is the best software, settings, real use etc. To me vinyl pops are as annoying as coughs during a concert.
    1. DavidL's Avatar
      DavidL -
      A very useful post, however two thoughts:
      I would suggest that it is not really necessary to have all the bells and whistles (graphics) in the software reviewed here. I have found it just as easy to use an off-the-shelf suite of audio processing software (Peak Pro - no longer supported unfortunately). Amongst other things this type of software makes it very easy to drill down into details of the recording so that individual audience coughs in performance, and clicks etc due to wear can be suitably edited.
      To get the best out of the transcription, equal attention needs to be paid to the hardware setup: phono amp, preamp, ADC, computer: quality of components and interconnecting leads. Careful setting pre-amp gain is required to maximise input signal level while avoiding limiting. Hum levels need to be checked and grounding arrangements changed if necessary.
    1. Audio_ELF's Avatar
      Audio_ELF -
      I may have missed it in your article... but have you expressed any opinion in which you found the best method - turntable to phono pre to ADC vs turntable to ADC via mic input with digital RIAA correction (as per the PureVinyl setup)?

      Eloise
    1. mitchco's Avatar
      mitchco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hpirx View Post
      What a nice and timely article. I have been recently exploring the vinyl ripping options for Mac's and your article answered several questions I had (mostly pertaining to ADC hookups). I had ripped about 20 LP's several years back on a PC, using a variety of confusing software, the internal ADC on the computer and a cheap phono pre-amp. Time consuming, frustrating, and wonderfully fulfilling! Looking forwards to reripping on the Mac w/ a little better understanding of workflow and formats desired. Thanks Again!
      Hpirx, thanks, I am glad you found the guide useful.

      Quote Originally Posted by Onkle Je View Post
      Hi, Chris ! Thanks. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Mitch's previous article was about ripping vinyls on PCs, right? As a Mac user, I guess it would be easier for me to do the job with a Mac software. Anyway, not a big deal... Many thanks.
      Hi Onkle Je, thanks for your comment. It was a tradeoff between providing a basic workflow for each vinyl recording software or only choosing one software and deep diving like what was done in the Windows vinyl to digital guide. The thought was it would be better to give CA folks a broad overview of each of 3 popular vinyl recording software as opposed to deep diving on one.

      Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
      A very useful post, however two thoughts:
      I would suggest that it is not really necessary to have all the bells and whistles (graphics) in the software reviewed here. I have found it just as easy to use an off-the-shelf suite of audio processing software (Peak Pro - no longer supported unfortunately). Amongst other things this type of software makes it very easy to drill down into details of the recording so that individual audience coughs in performance, and clicks etc due to wear can be suitably edited.
      To get the best out of the transcription, equal attention needs to be paid to the hardware setup: phono amp, preamp, ADC, computer: quality of components and interconnecting leads. Careful setting pre-amp gain is required to maximise input signal level while avoiding limiting. Hum levels need to be checked and grounding arrangements changed if necessary.
      Hi DavidL, thanks for your comment. The graphics or pictures are there as part of the step by step workflow so that folks trying out the software can follow along with the pictures. With respect to setting levels, maybe that was missed in reading the guide as that was covered, as well as a link to pre-flight hardware check in the Windows vinyl to digital guide.

      Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
      I may have missed it in your article... but have you expressed any opinion in which you found the best method - turntable to phono pre to ADC vs turntable to ADC via mic input with digital RIAA correction (as per the PureVinyl setup)?Eloise
      Hi Eloise, I am not sure what you mean by “best method”? Do you mean best SQ? If so, I was hoping that you and other CA folks could decide as the recordings are there to download and listen to.

      Cheers,

      Mitch
    1. ogs's Avatar
      ogs -
      Hi Mitch

      again a very instructive article on the art of transferring vinyl to PCM, thanks very much!
      I have briefly listened to the WAV files you have made available. Vinyl rips have fabulous sound quality! The only thing that actually give them away is a tiny trace of sibilants on Stevens' voice.
      Of the rip's I think Pure Vinyl does a great job. Maybe digital RIAA really makes the difference. I'm looking forward to trying Vinyl Studio with built in digital RIAA correction. A beta release with this feature is available from the VS forums.
    1. mitchco's Avatar
      mitchco -
      Hi ogs, I am glad you found the the article useful.
      re: SQ vinyl rips - yes, they sound quite good! Also, same DR as the HDTracks version.
      re: sibilance - Bingo!
      About Vinyl Studio RIAA in software, please let us know your experience.
      Cheers, Mitch
    1. as99's Avatar
      as99 -
      Software publisher's note (VinylStudio):

      Hello there,

      I just wanted to say that the reason why VinylStudio didn't save your cleaned-up audio is because you only have the trial version (it does put out a message to this effect when you try). If you'd like a license key to complete your investigations please contact us through our website:

      AlpineSoft - Contact Us

      Then, once you have your key, just save your tracks again and they will be saved in cleaned-up form. That is to say, the work you put into using the audio cleanup tools will not have to be repeated after you upgrade. Thanks.
    1. mitchco's Avatar
      mitchco -
      Quote Originally Posted by as99 View Post
      Software publisher's note (VinylStudio):

      Hello there,

      I just wanted to say that the reason why VinylStudio didn't save your cleaned-up audio is because you only have the trial version (it does put out a message to this effect when you try). If you'd like a license key to complete your investigations please contact us through our website:

      AlpineSoft - Contact Us

      Then, once you have your key, just save your tracks again and they will be saved in cleaned-up form. That is to say, the work you put into using the audio cleanup tools will not have to be repeated after you upgrade. Thanks.
      Hi as99,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I did get the message, as I understand it was a trial version. However, I mentioned it because the tick box was checked in the published screen shot and did not want CA readers to think that I cleaned up audio for this version, and not the others.

      Just to be clear, all three vinyl software recordings were made with no additional signal processing.

      Cheers, Mitch
    1. as99's Avatar
      as99 -
      OK, thank you.
    1. tresaino's Avatar
      tresaino -
      I join the club of those thanking you Mitch for the article. I am very satisfied with Vinyl Studio, it is also the cheapest among the three.

      A question: does it really make sense to use 24/192 when digitizing vinyl? Most of the ears of folks in their forties or fifties don't go beyond 15.000 Hz, and most of the high end phono cartridges and speakers on the market loose linearity beyond 20.000 Hz.

      I can hear differences between 16 and 24 bit recordings (although not always). I also compared several 24/96 with 24/48 recordings of some of my audiophile vinyl, played through Amarra, and could not consistently hear a difference, certainly not in the high frequencies/airiness domains. This is why 24/48 in my humble view is sufficient.

      BTW, I don't know why, but home digitized vinyls sound better than same-resolution downloads.
    1. mitchco's Avatar
      mitchco -
      Quote Originally Posted by tresaino View Post
      I join the club of those thanking you Mitch for the article. I am very satisfied with Vinyl Studio, it is also the cheapest among the three.

      A question: does it really make sense to use 24/192 when digitizing vinyl? Most of the ears of folks in their forties or fifties don't go beyond 15.000 Hz, and most of the high end phono cartridges and speakers on the market loose linearity beyond 20.000 Hz.

      I can hear differences between 16 and 24 bit recordings (although not always). I also compared several 24/96 with 24/48 recordings of some of my audiophile vinyl, played through Amarra, and could not consistently hear a difference, certainly not in the high frequencies/airiness domains. This is why 24/48 in my humble view is sufficient.

      BTW, I don't know why, but home digitized vinyls sound better than same-resolution downloads.
      Hi tresaino, thanks for your kind words.

      Wrt to which bit-depth and sample rate to digitize vinyl, I feel each person will have their own requirements for selecting. For example, in the specific case of this guide, one requirement was to directly compare the vinyl rips to the 24/192 HDTracks version. This was so folks could listen and compare at one of the highest resolutions available.

      It sounds like you have your requirements sorted. Makes sense to me.

      Cheers, Mitch
    1. tresaino's Avatar
      tresaino -
      Hi Mitch, in experimenting with all of this I had another, scary, discovery: no digital version, whether 24/48, 24/96 or 24/192, ever matched the sound quality of the record when played back through my analogue gear. I tried this with several tracks, from Norah Jones, Herbie Hancock and Richard Thompson, and ended with Paul McCartney's wonderful 'Jenni Wren'. In each case analogue sounded much better. These results had nothing to do with the quality of the Dac used - I currently enjoy the little Hegel HD25, but experimented also with a Weiss Dac1 in the past. Same results, scary..

      Cheers, Roberto
    1. mbovaird's Avatar
      mbovaird -
      Mitch - this article is cool! What a great job you did. I've been thinking of doing this for a year or two now and your guide will be invaluable. Thanks a bunch man!

      Mike
    1. mitchco's Avatar
      mitchco -
      Quote Originally Posted by mbovaird View Post
      Mitch - this article is cool! What a great job you did. I've been thinking of doing this for a year or two now and your guide will be invaluable. Thanks a bunch man!

      Mike
      Hey Mike, thanks for your kind words. Let us know how it goes!

      Cheers, Mitch