Best way to save LP Records

I am just starting to copy ALL our LPs into my IMac.

What is best - (1) Copy the entire LP record, export as one MP3 file, save in ITunes (2) Copy each song on a record, save in individual MP3 files, save in ITunes (3) Copy entire record, cut and paste each song into a separate Audacity file, then export each as MP3, put into Itunes?

Thanks for the help to a “new user”.

Ok. So I’ve saved the entire side of the record. I can not figure out how to split out each song. The manual on “splitting recordings into tracks” is very hard to understand. How do I get someone to walk me through it???

I want to back up a bit. Is your intention to archive all your work and then throw out the vinyl? There are some very serious considerations to doing that.

Start with never do production of any sort in MP3. Instead use WAV (Microsoft). MP3 creates sound damage when it works and it makes any production or show after that much more difficult. MP3 convenience isn’t “free.” WAV down side is the file sizes. WAV (Microsoft) makes much larger files than MP3 does. It does that to retain the music quality.

How old is your oldest album? How old is your iMac? Are you planning on throwing out your whole collection when the iMac dies? Apple only gives you three years on AppleCare. In general, you want to save your collection on two different storage mediums, and then ripple them forward as time passes. I don’t think iTunes will allow you to do that.

Have you gone through the sound cleaning to get rid of pops and clicks?

The 10,000 foot view of splitting songs: Place a mark at the beginning of each song on the blue wave timeline. Audacity calls those “Labels.” Command-B > (optional text entry) > Enter.

When you’re done, File > Export Multiple. That should give you a pile of individual files split according to the labels. Track title and all that are entirely up to you. I’ve never gone through the whole process.

It’s not unusual for people to give up part way through digitizing their music when they realize the workload. Even if you’re retired and have nothing else to do, it’s a career move.


What in particular to you not understand?

Once you have recorded one side of the LP, you do these steps:

  1. Remove excess audio from the beginning and and of the recording.
  2. Put a label at the beginning of every song
  3. Maximize the volume of the recording
  4. Do File > Export Multiple
    In this last step you can choose the format you want to export in, and you also have the opportunity to add “meta-data” to the files (information such as artist, album and song title).

– Bill

I’ve been doing LP recordings for about 20 years and have developed some techniques that make it pretty good especially in Audacity.

  1. Open a new file in Audacity by clicking PAUSE and then Record. At this point you are ready to record. Assuming you’ve already figured out how to get a recording to your computer from your Turntable all you have to do is Start the Record and hit the PAUSE button again to start the recording.
  2. When you hit the end of one side of the Record. Hit the PAUSE again. Turn the Record over and then hit PAUSE again to restart the recording from where you left off. My advice is to record the whole album before you start editing. Even if you don’t want some of the Tracks.
    NOTE: For Audacity users. I wouldn’t save the Project just yet. It’s Risky but I found it actually slows the editing process for some reason.
  3. Now you need to clean up the record. Three EFFECTS I use. CLICK REMOVAL, NOISE REDUCTION, NORMALIZE. CLICK REMOVAL is self explanatory. I uses settings of 100/30. NOISE REDUCTION requires you to find a quiet section (between tracks or at the ends) and get a noise profile from that section. Then rerun NOISE REDUCTION for the whole file. You’ll find this gets rid of annoying buzz that’s persistent sometimes. NORMALIZE only needed if the recording is too quiet.
  4. Now using the zoom buttons get your first track in the view window end to end. Select this one track and then use EXPORT SELECTED AUDIO. Give the file a name and format and click SAVE. At that time you’ll be given an option to input the simplest META DATA.
  5. Once saved simply delete that selected Track. The Next Track will likely appear ready to select. Repeat Step 4 for each Track until you reach the last track you want to record. I haven’t used the process that allows you to write your labels up front or automatically select tracks because my experience shows it to be too iffy. I like to put the META DATA in for each track. I save as MP3 Files.
  6. Last but not Least I Import mine into ITUNES by using FILE: ADD FOLDER TO LIBRARY. That processes all the files at once. Once in ITUNES you can clean up any Artwork needed and Metadata needs but goint to the GET INFO section for the whole album or just an individual song.

Two worflows from the Audacity Manual for you: