new to audacity

Hi…I’m new to this forum…I have a few questions…I was given a usb turntable over the holidays and had posted a few questions here and it is up and running. It is an ITUT 201-1. I have both vinyl and CD’s I would like to put on an external hardrive. I have downloaded the mp3 encoder…what would be the best bit rate to transfer these CD’s and records at? I have been trying to read your tutorials…this whole site/program is really great for being free as well as all the advice. Under preferences, if I’m understanding things, you should be recording at 44100hz and 16 bit if planning on burning a CD. I recall reading somewhere when setting up audacity, under pref. tab that when recording not to use Microsoft Mapping Output or Input…I went to my control panel,sound and playback and recording tabs, enabled devices. Nothing more showed up under I/O tab than was there before…spdif and the speakers…am I suppose to use them over the mapping? I recorded a few songs before reading this, and they sound OK…sorry for the long post but wanted to give as much info as I could. Thanks…nt

<<<44100hz and 16 bit >>>

Those are the settings most likely to keep you out of trouble. Those are the numbers of the audio signal on a Music CD, so it’s a straight shot from your capture to the CD. However, that’s not the way I do it. I do everything in 48000/16 bit from my video heritage and because some of my work ends up in video productions. I make the CD authoring software downsample it to 44100 for the CD.

If you’re going to do production like heavy audio manipulation, noise reduction, gain and compression, equalizations, etc, etc, then 32 bit floating might be the best instead of 16-bit as that survives special effects very well.

In the case of a USB Turntable, you may not have very many options and you may need to simply use the numbers where your turntable works at all.

As far as MP3 goes, it’s compression always causes damage in the show. The damage is least at higher bit rates and larger file sizes. I believe the cliff effect for a stereo show is somewhere around 60 Kbps. If you go the slightest below that, everybody can hear the damage. Above that and normal people start having trouble telling there’s anything wrong (but there is). 250Kbps to 320Kbps are widely considered almost, but not quite, perfect.

Make your own tests. We strongly recommend archive copies of your original work in WAV. Given high enough numbers there, the work is as perfect as you can get and you can always go downhill to get to everything else. MP3 damage is unrecoverable. There are compressed, loss-less formats, but they tend to be a little exotic. WAV files will open up on most computers all over the world.


Hi and thanks for the response…I know most of you are so much more experienced in this…but I enjoy trying new things and am not afraid to mess anything up seeing that it isn’t the original. I have quite a few vinyls that are 40-50yrs old,as well as some 78’s(haven’t tried them yet) and I have been using the effects to ampify the sound, bass, etc. Will keep experimenting and see what happens…am sure I will be back…thanks…nt

Yes record/edit at 32-bit for better editing headroom as Koz says - but on final production export, get Audacity to do the downsample to 16-bit (by exorting as 16-bit PCM Stereo WAV).

This is how I work (transcribing LPs and making off-air FM recording) and it produces excellent WAV files for burning CDs and importing into iTunes compressed to iTunes AAC format.


Just be aware that when playing 78’s you really need a different stylus - the grooves are bigger on 78s and the typical stylus designed for vinyl will wallow around in the bottom of a 78 groove picking up too much noise (and possibly dirt). One approach, if you have a detachable headshell, is to buy a second headshell with a cartridge dedicated to 78 use.

Also be aware that the RIAA equalisation in your preamp is unlikely to be the right EQ curve for your 78s- we can explain more about this later when you get to this stage - or you can try searching the forum, there are several threads about 78s.