"Livening up" Vinyl Recordings

This is my first posting so please forgive me if this question has been adequately anwered elsewhere.

I have no trouble recording my old LPs using a Shure M97 cartridge and Xitel hardware and software. However, the top end of the frequency spectrum seems subdued and the entire recording a little down on volume when compared to just ripping CDs to my hard disc. Should I do some equalising or try to boost volume levels somehow? I understand that modern CDs tend to have a reduced dynamic range so should I do some compressing.

I imagine I would get better results with better gear but I am trying to avoid considerable extra expense. Any advice would be appreciated.

Regards to all.

Get Audacity 1.3.x (beta) - it has much better EQ than v.1.2.6, but as beta software you may find a few bugs in it. You can have both 1.2.6 and 1.3 on your machine at the same time, just be sure to only have one Audacity window open at one time. Audacity 1.3 can open 1.2 projects, but Audacity 1.2 can not open 1.3 projects.

Yes you can use Equalization to boost the treble, but be aware that this will also boost the clicks and crackles that are present on the vinyl.

To use Equalization, select some audio so that it is highlighted, then from the Effects menu select “Equalization”. Adjust the sliders to where you want them (taking care to avoid boosting the overall volume to the point where it distorts) and click “OK”.

You can use the “Normalize” effect or the “Amplify” effect to boost the volume. “Amplify” will automagically select the maximum amplification that is possible without clipping. “Amplify” will apply the same amount of amplification to both channels, whereas “Normalize” will amplify each channel separately. Normalize can also remove DC offset.

There are a number of other tools in Audacity that can help with audio restoration. “Repair” works very well for removing single clicks, but can be time consuming if there are a lot of scratches.

There is extensive help, and quite a few good tutorials that will help you get to know the ins and outs of Audacity:

There’s even more help in the Wiki pages (see link at top of this page).

Personally I would avoid using compression on a vinyl recording - I prefer to have the dynamic range of vinyl and find that CD’s are often over compressed. Compression can make it sound louder, but so will turning up the volume on my amp, and that does not destroy the dynamics.

Bailso, the M97 is generally reckconned to be a pretty good cartridge, not quite theit V15III - but pretty close according to many reports. A quick surf of tinterweb reveals several folks doing similar Vinyl conversions with an M97 and gettinf very pleasing results.

Are you sure that the catridge is set up and balanced properly - and is the stylus clean?

Can you try playing the deck through a hi-fi system? If so does the treble still sound dull.

I would certainly try to sort out the problem, if any, at the input end - rather than relying on post-processing.

You are using a pre-amp before feeding the TT output to Audacity, right?


Is it the “Xitel INport” that you are using? From Google, that looks like it should be reasonably good as well, so I would go along with WC’s suggestions (clean stylus, clean record, correct tracking weight, test direct etc.)