Messed Up Vinyl

I have been ripping some of my fathers old Vinyl’s using a usb turntable. I was using the included software, which I have realized is very poorly coded. Firstly, it only allows importing to iTunes, as m3p’s, raw files nowhere to be found. Secondly, the volume controls seem to have been messed up, so what I thought was adjusting the volume of the recording was only adjusting the right ear track and constantly maintaining it at one level, resulting in nasty static sometimes.

So I now have a few requests.

  1. Is there any way to edit these files en mass to delete the right ear channel and essentially make it mono but using only the left ear channel? I know how to do this one file at a time, but I don’t feel like going through over 24h of files one at a time…
  2. Is there any way to clean up the recording? (Keeping in mind all I have is the mp3’s). Again I would like to do this en mass
  3. Is there a better program I can use to import the further recordings I make (the one thing the program I use has going for it is that it splits each side of the record up into the individual songs)

Help with any or all is greatly appreciated,

Yes … Audacity.


And for cleaning up clicks and pops Audacity is ok - but IMHO ClickRepair works much better. See this sticky thread: Click/pop removal - ClickRepair software


Thanks for the response. Any advice for the mass editing?

Start over. You’ve said that the ones you’ve recorded are messed up, and only the left channel was captured properly.

However, if you don’t care that you’ll be missing half the recording (the right channel), go ahead with your plan. But I can’t think of any way to automate the process.

– Bill

I don’t particularly want to start over. I’ve tested this out with a song, and it doesn’t sound bad at all.

I’ve never done it, but you can try [u]batch processing[/u].

…The reason I’ve never tried it is because audio editing usually takes some human judgemet & interaction. I usually spend about a full-weekend fixing-up a digitized LP!!! But, something like copying one channel to the other does seem like something can be automated.

I have been ripping some of my fathers old Vinyl’s…

…Is there any way to edit these files en mass to delete the right ear channel and essentially make it mono but using only the left ear channel?

… I’ve tested this out with a song, and it doesn’t sound bad at all.

If these are mono records, there is no harm. But, if they are stereo the channels are different. You are loosing the stereo image/illusion and you might completely loose some instruments!

If you are doing this for yourself, go ahead and do what you want. But, if you are making CDs or MP3s for your father you are cheating him by converting his stereo recordings to mono!

I have been looking into batch encoding, but there seems to be nothing that even lets you edit channels separately.

I’m still looking for help, but thank you to everyone who has posted so far.

You can do that with SoX

SoX is a command line program and does not include a batch processing function, but you can use almost any scripting language to run SoX as a batch process. For example on Windows you could write a .BAT file, on Linux you could write a Bash script, on any platform you could write a Python script.

If all of the files are exactly the same format, then that simplifies the task considerably.
To convert from a stereo track to a mono track using the left (first) channel only, the command is:

sox "stereo.wav" -c 1 "mono.wav" mixer -1

where “stereo.wav” is the name of the input file and “mono.wav” is the name of the output file.

There’s some examples of writing batch scripts here: Batch Scripts with other programs
You may want to look on Google to find some examples for your operating system.

I’m 100% with Bill on this.

The key is to get the sound good (as best as you can get) right at the capture stage. Much better than trying to “fix” it in editing later …


I’m with Bill on that too, but I quite understand if GBleaney wants to avoid having to re-record 24 hours worth of vinyl. If the recording are “not too bad” I’d also be tempted to try and hack together a quick fix rather than spend the next three days of my life redoing something that I’d already done - but on the other hand, if it’s going to take days to hack together a solution…

I’ve decided to give SoX a try. Unfortunately, I downloaded and installed it, but how do I actually use it? Command Prompt hasn’t had the sox command added to it like it would be in the linux terminal, and I can’t seem to find any sort of custom command line that came with the Sox program. (the sox.exe file just opens then immediately closes)

I figured out how to get SoX to work, but I’m now having these errors:

sox FAIL util: Unable to load MAD decoder library (libmad).
sox FAIL formats: can’t open input file `C:sox-14-3-21 Memory.mp3’:

MAD decoder is required to decode MP3 files. You could use your favourite MP3 decoder program to convert the MP3s to WAV, then use SoX on the WAV files. I know it’s an extra step, but probably quicker than sorting out why libmad isn’t loading.

Just thought I would let you all know that I found a way to compile sox with mp3 support, in the form of a wonderful guide:

The author also includes a pre-compiled version to save work, if your a trusting kind of person.

Thanks to all that have helped me!

There’s also a note about it in the release notes:;a=blob;f=README.win32;hb=HEAD

85 Appendix - MP3 Support
86 ----------------------
88 SoX contains support for reading and writing MP3 files but does not ship
89 with the DLL’s that perform decoding and encoding of MP3 data because
90 of patent restrictions. For further details, refer to:
92 > MP3 - Wikipedia
94 MP3 support can be enabled by placing Lame encoding DLL and/or
95 MAD decoding DLL into the same directory as SOX.EXE. These
96 can be compiled yourself, they may turn up on searches of the internet
97 or may be included with other MP3 applications already installed
98 on your system. For encoding/writing, try searching for lame-enc.dll,
99 libmp3lame-0.dll, libmp3lame.dll, or cygmp3lame-0.dll. For
100 decoding/reading, try searching for libmad-0.dll, libmad.dll or cygmad-0.dll.
102 Instructions are included here for using MSYS to create the DLL’s.
103 It is assumed you already have MSYS installed on your system
104 with a working gcc compiler. The commands are ran from MSYS
105 bash shell.
107 Obtain the latest Lame and MAD source code from approprate locations.
109 Lame MP3 encoder >
110 MAD MP3 decoder > Underbit: MAD (MPEG Audio Decoder)
112 cd lame-398-2
113 ./configure --disabled-static --enable-shared
114 make
115 cp libmp3lame/.libs/libmp3lame-0.dll /path/to/sox
117 MAD libraries up to 0.15.1b have a bug in configure that will not allow
118 building DLL under mingw. This can be resolved by adding LDFLAGS
119 to configure and editing the generated Makefile to remove an invalid
120 option.
122 cd libmad-0.15.1b
123 ./configure --enable-shared --disable-static LDFLAGS=“-no-undefined”
124 [edit Makefile, search for “-fforce-mem” and delete it.]
125 make
126 cp libmad-0.dll /path/to/sox/