Hi I have an ecellent lp and tape collection and a lot of stereo equipment but am totally new to converting it digital format and there fore need some help.
My first option is to go from turntable to hi fi CD recorder, load the CD onto the PC and use Audacity to edit tracks etc. How easy is this?
Second option turntable to amp to computer using audacity to edit
Third option turntable to ION pre amp to computet using audacity to edit.
Which would you recommend?
Depends on what you already have and what quality it is - and what state of repair/servicing it is in …
Considering you list of options:
If your hi-fi CD recorder produces good quality Audio CDs you could use thes. You will not be able to load them directly into Audacity - but will have to rip them to WAV files first with some CD ripping s/w.
TT=>amp>computer - this setup works for many people, it depends on the qulaity of the soundcard inside your computer (many people use external soundcards - I do). You must plug the TT into the phono input of your amp (unless yhe TT has its own inbuilt pre-amp) - but I guess you are probably already plugged that way anyway. If you amp/pre-amp han an out put to tapedeck for recording I would take my signal for Audaity from that output. The normal constraint with this setup is how close you can get your two environments of hi-fi setup and computer setup.
TT=>ION preamp=>computer - this too should work, all the comments in 2) above still apply - all you are doing is using a different pre-amp, unless, that is, you are planning to use the ION device that is a combined pre-amp and USB soundcard. In which case you will be by-passing your computer’s soundcard as the ION’s DAC will be used to convert from analog to digibits and pass thes directly to the computer via the USB.
If you are planning to go USB just be aware that some folks on this forum struggle to get USB devices working with Audacity. I don’t myself - USB connection works well for me.
I started out with an integrated USB TT (the ION iTTUSB) - it worked ok - the electronics seemed good, but it was let down by a platter that was far too light so I got too much wow&flutter on some LPs. I changed to using an older Technics deck (I did replace the cartridge/stylus and serviced the deck) and connect this via a phono pre-amp and a separate external USB soundcard to my PC/Audacity. This produces excellent CDs and AAC files for my iPod.
I also had my tapedeck serviced before I started the digital transfer project - at the very least I would recommend cleaning the heads and the transport system (capstan and pinch roller).