I was away from my digitzing project for too long and got a couple of surprises today. Audacity 2.0! What a marvelous surprise!
And, my POS Creative SB Extreme card slot adapter has developed new tricks, it like to have fits of picket fencing at random intervals. I exhausted my patience with CL products a long time ago, so I’m just ordering a new input device, probably one of the Behringer 202 USB adapters, so I can have line inputs without any fuss. Under $50, I can do. $100, uhuh.
So is the Behringer a good any to go for under $50? Do I lose anything if I take the UFO202 in case I ever want to record from a turntable? Or am I better off with a UCA222 with the extra digital connection (which I’ve no use for now) ? (Yes, I’ll spring for the extra 50 cents to get the nice red one.)
Audacity 2 plays nicely with these? No problems telling to to go find the signal on the USB bus?
And again, Audacity 2.0! What a marvelous surprise! Thank you thank you thank you!
You might find use for the UFO202, the digital adapter with the phono adapter built-in. I believe it switches between Phono and Line-In. If you have a conventional turntable with the two audio cables and one thin black wire, you can’t with very good success connect that directly to the UCA202 or the computer. The audio cables have RIAA vinyl distortion from the record (intentional) and you need a phono preamplfier to remove it.
Tell us what kind of turntable you have. Model numbers.
Koz, i’ve got no need for the turntable functions in the foreseeable future.
My turntable is an old top of the line Yamahopper that “refuses to proceed” for mysterious reasons, probably bad caps as it aged. Yamahopper always did make fussy gear. If I needed it, if I fixed it, if i got it working, I could massage the RIAA problem through my amp instead. (A stoic Sansui AU-919A which pretends to be the Rock of Gibraltar, and I’m not going to argue with it.)
Vinyl, unlikely. Priority now, really, some 200 cassettes. If I read behringer’s web site correctly, getting the UFO(?) with the turntable input means trading off the digital input, and that’s more likely to be useful in the future, I think.
I use a Behringer UCA 202 with Audacity and I’m extremely happy with it. It sounds exceptionally good for a $30 sound card. The only “problem” with it is that there is no input level control so it is necessary to have control of the level of the thing that is being recorded. That is not a problem for me as I record the output of a mixing desk, or a mini-disk machine, both of which have playback level adjustment.
If your tape machine does not have an output level control you may need to massage the level through your stoic Sansui. Try connecting the tape machine directly first - it may be OK. If you get a bit of distortion (clipping) with loud tapes then you will need to massage the level.
I’ve used the UCA 202 with Audacity on Windows XP, Vista and Linux and it plays nicely on all three platforms.
In the UK, the pink/red one costs about $10 more than the grey one so I got the grey one.
Darn, I punched the drafty button and now I can’t find it to get it back.
Anyway, ten bucks would exceed my interior decorating budget but for fifty cents, I’m going to make it easier to find. The tapes were all carefully mastered (just short of clipping) on a Nak, and the Creative has no level matching skills beyond whatever it does internally, so if the Behringer doesn’t cut it, back it will go. The Sansui prefers to observe this nonsense, and not participate in it.
But once tapes are digitized…wtf do I do now with a spinner full of 100 tapes, 200 albums, mainly premium tapes and classic rock? With two more spinners to come (not all rock) I hate to put it all in the trash, and I know the Smithsonian won’t be interested.
That’s debateable. koz. I keep the digital masters on 3 hard drives, so drive failure should not be an issue. I no longer burn to disc, as hard drives are way more compact and in fact cheaper. The CD’s I was using were the Taiyo Yudens (?) that our Library of Congress endorsed so highly (and secretively) for archival storage, they had exclusive patent rights on the most stable dyes. All you need is one tape jam, one media flake, and tape is gone forever, ignoring routine wear. And vinyl degrades with each pass, unless you’re using a laser to read it.
So digital? Not a bad way to go, when you’re aware of the issues. Including the need to migrate the files every few years.
Also very handy if you simply no longer have the luxury of space for stacks of media.
The paradigm shifted long ago. Digital, like fire, can be a good thing if you know how to use it.
As to analog-vs-digital sound quality……did the a/b double blinds decades ago, and found that a lot of the folks who object most strenuously, spend their time listening to music at the unicorn ranch.
If you go back and read your post, all those steps are special and extraordinary. Me mum is not likely to take any of them and most people aren’t either. The people saving their valuable work on not LOC CDs are going to be surprised when they don’t play relatively shortly because of dye migration and degradation. How many non-techies do you know who even know what a hard drive is past owning three of them?
So our general advice stands. The people talented enough to work around the problems are welcome to do that.
Nobody brought up cloud computing yet. Is this an oversight?
Koz, cloud computing or lack therof is not an oversight. Nice concept but for now, I find “local” is cheaper, faster, not reliant on whether the ISP is up, the web is up, the service is still provided, or, as Google proved last year, cloud providers can lose all your data too. Someone’s grandma…OT here.
WC, ‘security’ is just as OT as Grandma here. If someone bombs my home, the albums will be the least problem. Maybe I’m rotating one drive off to Iron Mountain, don’t ask, I won’t tell.
The OP (me?!) was just talking about preserving the files, and compared to one set of LPs or one set of tapes, three hard drives is way way ahead of the curve. Let’s not get distracted into how to ensure the music survives a zombie apocalypse.
Encoding the music to digital form is the subject here, no need to examine the universe beyond that for now. But thanks for caring. (Honest.)
Got the Behringer 202 in today and in all of five minutes was ready to try it out.
Eh, ONE CHANNEL USB audio. Maybe I’ll reaed the instructions, Windows Vista apparently defaults to one channel USB audio unless there’s an adult around to open the control panel and change that. Being able to set the input audio level in the USB system driver (control panel) is also a nice bonus.
The clickclickclickpopping artifacts that I was getting, so far appear to have come from the evil Creative Labs card, instead of the tape deck. Will that be a blessed relief in the wallet!
And yes, I splurged 50c extra for the red.
It is such a rare pleasure to find a simple, fast, effective fix for a problem!
Thanks again, guys. And once I get the library digitized, I promise, I’ll send two drives to Iron Mountain in two separate boxes. Apparently, the new reissues of LPs onto CDs are often remastered elstinko, I hear lots of people besides me complaining the tracks are cut wrong and the mix hasn’t been improved at all.
Im cetrtainly with you on that one - a great example of that is the whole rrecent re-issue of the “re-mastered” Beatles output. Fortunately my local library invested in a set so i was able to compare them with with the 2007 boxed set that I purchased back then (having previously purchased the LPs). The 2007 set sounds largely like the orignal LPs - but the “re-masters” - well let’s just say I’m jolly glad I didn’t shell out for those. The biggest issue is that the engineers seemed to have put more emphasis on the instruments and brought them forward on the sound stage - to the extent that you find yourself thinking where have theBeatles vocals gone.
One of the posters on the forum took on a project to remix the remix with Audacity - from the samples he sent me he did a pretty fair job with mot of them - preferrable to the studio cut.