I have made my first recording from vinyl to digital using W10.
All was well, until I discovered when I compared the original songs to my recorded songs that the latter have next to no bass.
Any idea what may have caused this?
I had a similar problem in recording from tape, but seemed less serious.
Please tell us about your set-up. How are you connected? Do you have a phono preamp somewhere in your setup? Do you have a stereo system that plays records and is the bass OK?
(A phono preamp applies the proper [u]RIAA equalization[/u]. In the analog days the phono preamp was built-into stereo systems. If you have a USB turntable it will be built into the turntable.)
My system consists of:
A Nexxtech turntable (14 years old) (“TT”) that works just fine;
A Dell laptop, 12 years old, with W10, downloaded a few months ago from Microsoft (had W7) that at also works fine; and
A simple cable that hooks up to the RCA output cables of the TT and inserted in the Microphone entrance to the laptop (there is no other entrance) with a 3.5 mm plug.
This is my first attempt to recording a record. The other few attempts involved a simple Sony boombox that also works fine. I did notice here, too, a certain low-bass problem, but seemed less pronounced.
I should point out that with the TT, the “Line OUT” switch resulted in a very high output that the program could not take. Even if I lowered the recording level very low, it was too high and there was lots of distortion, as shown by the program meters.
I then put the TT switch to “Phono” and was able to make a good recording by increasing the recording level to just about the maximum. This gave me a recording level that went up to around 6 or a bit better on the scale.
The overall result is good but very low in bass reproduction when compared to the record (albeit played on another TT, but that was never an issue).
The phono output from a turntable is not compatible with a microphone input. Phono output requires RIAA equalization, which is normally provided by the phono input of an amp (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIAA_equalization)
Ideally you would use a phono pre-amp (for example, a Behringer UFO202 USB. There are many other makes / models).
You may be able to get good enough results by applying RIAA equalization to your recording using the “Filter Curve EQ” effect: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/filter_curve_eq.html
Filter Curve EQ has a preset for RIAA: Click on the “Manage” button, then “Factory Presets”.
I should point out that with the TT, the “Line OUT” switch resulted in a very high output that the program could not take.
Right… A line level signal is about 100 to 1000 times stronger than a microphone signal.
The line-input on a regular soundcard (on a desktop/tower computer) will work.
A USB interface with line-inputs will also work. The Berhinger UCA202 (or UFO202 with a built-in phono preamp) are popular and inexpensive. The ART USB Phono Plus has a phono preamp and a recording level control. Or, there are lots of higher-end [u]audio interfaces[/u] with switchable mic/line inputs.
In the phono mode you’re not getting the RIAA equalization (no bass, excessive highs), the input impedance is wrong, and the mic preamp built-into laptops is usually low quality (noisy) and usually mono. But if you wan to try it, the Filter Curve effect has an RIAA preset. (Manage → Factory Presets → RIAA). You may have to do some additional EQ by-ear because the impedance load will probably alter the frequency response.
Thank you, Steve and Doug.
Before I start looking for other equipment, I thought I would ask:
Do you know if there is something in the AUDACITY software that can reduce the input from the TT when I use the “Line Out” option in the TT? (I guess the answer is “NO”)'; and
I have seen that there is a “Bass” configuration choice in the software. Do I make it go UP or Down to increase the bass, and by how much? Also, do I use this before or after the recording, but before I export the file?
- Do you know if there is something in the AUDACITY software that can reduce the input from the TT when I use the “Line Out” option in the TT? (I guess the answer is “NO”)'; and
No, it’s a hardware problem.
- I have seen that there is a “Bass” configuration choice in the software. Do I make it go UP or Down to increase the bass, and by how much? Also, do I use this before or after the recording, but before I export the file?
Re-read the above replies about applying RIAA EQ.
You’ll probably need to run the Amplify or Normalize effects after RIAA equalizing, either to bring-down the volume to prevent clipping (distortion) or to bring-up the volume.
Thank you, Doug, much appreciated.