Coping LPs via UA25EX sound card to Dell win8.1 laptop.
Trying to get high enough level to avoid noise without clipping.
There is virtually no digital noise* so unlike analog tape there’s no need for a hot signal. It’s OK for your peaks to sit around -6dB. Pros often record at -12 to -18dB (at 24-bits). And, unlike analog tape, there is zero-headroom above 0dB and your analog-to-digital converter will hard-clip at 0dB.
Of course there is analog noise from the record & preamp, but the signal-to-noise ratio is not damaged by a lower recording level.
You can normalize to 0dB after recording. When you do that, you increase the signal and noise together so again, the signal-to-noise ratio is no affected.
The last test adjustment in gain gave me a lot of red vertical lines.
If you’re getting red before any “processing” you are hitting 0dB (on the positive or negative half of the waveform) which means you probably “tried” to go over 0dB, and you are clipped.
However when I play it back I do not hear anything.
You don’t always hear the distortion, but it’s “bad practice” to record that way. Some pro mastering engineers do push the levels into clipping to maximize the loudness ([u]Loudness War[/u]) but if you choose to do that, you shouldn’t clip during recording, you do it during post-production where you can control it or un-do it.
When I look at the waveforms up close they do NOT even hit 0dBFS let alone clip.
Some of the clipping seems to allegedly happen when the waveform is at huge negative values down below the noise.
As Koz says, the signal swings positive & negative and it can clip either way. Noise should (hopefully) be near the zero-center around the silence, unless you have a big “click” in the record.
The digitized record probably won’t sound as loud as the CD version. Older records weren’t as dynamically compressed as modern “loudness war” CDs and the process of cutting & playing the record increases the crest factor (peak-to-average ratio) without affecting the sound of the dynamics. But with a (slightly) lower average, it usually won’t sound as loud.
BTW - For “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop” reduction [u]Wave Corrector[/u] is now free!
- There is something called quantization noise but it’s something like 96dB down at 16-bits and even further down at 24-bits so it’s not something to worry about. The analog noise from the record & preamp are far-far worse.