I have seen those, thank you. All my records have been cleaned and dried, and I use a dry record brush before every play, although I’m not sure the brush is accomplishing much. After playing with some of the settings I figured out that setting the noise removal db level around 5 seemed to reduce the noise a little without making those bass beats sound horrific. Still, the overall noise floor just seems higher than it should be especially after my Wilco recording posted above. I’m curious why that recording responded so well to noise reduction while the others did not. I’ll tinker with the settings more tonight.
If the amount of noise were equal to what I hear when simply listening to an LP, then I’d be happy. It just seems that the phono box is introducing more noise/hiss than it should.
Another thing I played with last night was turning the microphone levels down in windows and increasing the gain on my phono box, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference (assuming I always aimed for -6db levels while recording). Also, would there be any improvement from using the “line in” input on my phono box as opposed to the RCA cables? I’m assuming not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Unless there was a fault on the Prject box I wouldn’t expect it to introduce noise into the signal that came from the deck. Many of us use cheaper equipment than that and get excellent resluts. There are some negative comments about the project box on t’interweb - its price point is above the lower-end stuff but well below the high-end kit - so the purists tend not to like it.
When “listening to an LP” what is connected to what - and what with?
I’m puzzling to understand why you are fiddling with mic levels in Windows. This is a USB device and you are using it as such, right? The Project box should be delivering down the USB cable an already digitized digital signal and the input sound controls in Windows or Audacity should have no further effect on the signal level (that’s why it’s good that you got a box with a gain control - the cheaper, but still excellent, Behringer UCA-202 lacks such a control).
No, the linein on your box is to take the signal from the TT. You could use the RCA lin-outs from the box, but that would bypass the ADC in your Project box (and use your PCs onboard souncard for that job - and your Project box’s ADC is almost certainly going to be superior to the the one on your onboard soundcard. And it would depend on your laptop having a line-in, most don’t these days only a mic level input which expects a much lower level signal and would thus not be appropriate.
I’m curious why that recording responded so well to noise reduction while the others did not.
Noise Removal is something of a violin. Results not guaranteed. Each new show/record should generate a new Noise Profile to be effective. You can’t take a profile on one record at the beginning of the week and use that forever. Also, the type of noise and intensity may require different settings when you do apply the tool. That’s not a set and forget process, either.
Noise Removal tends to not work well in complex music or shows. It’s best with light noise in simple performances where it can recognize when noise masking is needed and when it’s not. It’s not a blanket “remove noise from everything.” That gives you gargling, honky voices.
Debut Carbon → RCA → Phono Box → RCA → Schiit Asgard Headphone Amp to headphones or Onkyo Receiver to speakers. This doesn’t give a perfectly black background of course…there’s some hiss. It just seems that this hiss is amplified when recording through Windows/Audacity. Maybe this is normal and I’m complaining about nothing…
When you go into the properties of the USB device it has a levels tab where you can adjust the level from 0 to 100. This is the same adjustment that you can make in Audacity in the microphone monitoring section by moving the slider back and forth. If this is bumped up all the way, then the gain knob on the phono box can be left at very low levels to achieve the -6 db peak. If I turn the levels down in Audacity (or through the properties menu of the recording device), then the gain knob has to be increased accordingly to reach the same recording levels. Maybe I’m doing something very obviously wrong here…
That was my understanding, but, like you, I’m grasping at straws.
The phono/line in selector is selected appropriately (I don’t believe I’d be hearing any music at all if it wasn’t). TT and box ARE grounded. Audacity and Windows are set to the usb device.
I had the same thought as you about MM v. MC. I know that I set it up correctly initially, but I will absolutely double check tonight to be sure it hasn’t been accidentally changed.
If none of these things help, then I’m starting to wonder is if my initial recording is absolute crap (maybe some issue with my phyiscal TT setup) or if I’m simply expecting too much from the post-processing.
As a side note, did you listen to the Wilco clip I posted earlier? Is it something you would deem as an acceptable transfer?
Ok so we’ve established the LP itself sounds good with the TT&box - yes there will always be some vinyl hiss, but normally only detectable at high listening levels.
Is the tone arm and cartridge set up properly for : tracking weight, anti-skate, vertical alignment of cartridge?
Is the TT set on a good firm solid surface isolating it from vibrations?
You don’t listen loud on speakers to monitor while recording do you? That can feed back to the TT and/or cartridge.
Ok time to try some new tools. Have a look at Brian Davies’ site: http://www.clickrepair.net/
I use his ClickRepar all the time, every LP transfer - excellent results.
I have used his NR stuff in the past on trial - but decided I didn’t need it long-term (as in my earlier post in this thread).
They both cost a bit - but the great thing is that Brian allows you a 14-day free trial to test the s/w to see if it works for you - I bought CR the following day after trialling it.
To use them capture in Audacity, export a 32-bit float WAV file, process through Brian’s s/w, import the repaired tracks back into Audacity for further processing (labelling,inter-track clean-up, normalization etc.)
Another forum elf here (BillW) IIRC uses ClickRepair in two passes: one for click removal and the other for de-crackle - you can do both in a single pass but he believes he gets better results with the double pass (I never use the de-crackle).
Everything is set up as properly as I can tell (this is my first time setting up a TT). I followed the instructions in the manual closely. I zeroed out the tonearm and set the tracking force to 17.5 mN, set the ant-skating weight to the the correct notch, etc. I did not adjust the azimuth at all since it didn’t seem necessary, but maybe I should revisit that. My one concern that I noticed last night is that the stylus seems to be coming out of the cartridge at a slight angle. The needle seems to be entering the grooves perpendicularly as it should, however. Perhaps I should take a picture to see if it’s a flaw or just my overactive imagination. I haven’t noticed any issues in regards to sound…no skipping, distortion, etc. I haven’t been listening on speakers during the recording, but I have been listening via my headphone amp. Is this bad practice or should I be listening at lower volumes?
I’ll check out the Davies software. Click removal hasn’t been a huge issue for me. There are typically one or two noticeable clicks during each song that can be removed pretty easily in Audacity. I did have a question about how the 32-bit float setting works. The phono box is only a 16/44.1 box. I’ve noticed that I can set Audacity to 32-bit or 16-bit without any noticeable difference other than file size and headroom while editing. How does that work, exactly?
One extra tip for cartridge/stulus vertial alignment not in your Pro=ject manual. Rather then lowering onto and LP groove to check verticality (as your manual suggests) I place a small mirror on the platter and (carefully) lower the arm/stylus onto it = It’s easier to see if it’s vertical or not as both halves must line up vertically. Take care that the ant-skate doesn’t push the arm/cart off the mirror and thus bump the stylus cantilever.
Did project supply a stylus brush? These should be used occasionally - but very carefully. Brush only in the direction the LP goes i.e away from the arm/headshell.
Nice looking TT BTW - useless in my house as I have four active climbing/jumping cats.
I’ll double check the vertical alignment tonight. No stylus brush was provided…I have brushed it very gently with my carbon-fiber brush just to remove dust bunnies that very occasionally collect on it after playing a side (this rarely happens now that I’m dusting my records before each play).
I misspoke earlier…it is the cantilever I noticed having a crooked appearance coming out of the cartridge. It appears, to me at least, to be slightly angled inwards (towards the center of the record). The TT came with an alignment grid that I didn’t understand at all, so I’ll get that back out and educate myself and see if there’s actually a problem. Thanks for the mirror trick.
Those alignment grids are useful. My SME-3009 arm one came with one when I bought it 40-40 years ago - fortunately I file it carefully with the manual as it’s been needed each time I have replaced the cart.
Everything on my TT looks pretty good…I didn’t get a chance to try the mirror trick, but it passes the eyeball test when looked at closely with a flashlight. I used the two point cartridge alignment protractor and it was dead on (assuming I was using it correctly). So, unless I’m missing something terrible, I think the problem is isolated to usb/computer/software issues.
One thing I noticed, however, is that when I turned on my turntable and simply hovered the needle over the record, my input levels were jumping around -42 to -48 db. That’s unusually high, isn’t it? EDIT Fixed this by turning down the mic slider in audacity and just raising the gain knob EDIT
This hasn’t gotten the recording quality quite where I want it, but it has certainly helped. Hopefully the better I get with post-processing, the better the result will be.
One more point to mention. The noise leading into the tracks is more than just hiss. There’s a slight crackle noise there as well. Is this normal or is it just a lot of microdust that I’m not cleaning out successfully? It’s so quiet that you never notice it again once the music starts, and I may never have noticed it at all were I not listening through headphones.
I sometimes get a lot of noise on my tight channel. This is down to a loose connection somewhere in my deck. I can fix it by wiggling the leads as they exit the deck - so I can’t be bothered to rip the deck apart and fix it properly. So my workflow now extends at thebeginning just before I drop the needle to record some “air” so I can see what the noise floor is doing (sometimes I will use Effect>Amplify to amp it up to check further).
But what I am really getting at here is to make sure that all your connections are good and clean - check very carefully the 4 push connectors onto the pins of the cartridge - a pair of fine-nosed pliers helps with this task.
Yup that’s pretty normal for vinyl - it’s probably one of the things that adds to that famous “vinyl warmth” that vinyl-junkies go on about
This is why I clean the inter-track gaps to absolute silence and usually use a fade-out and short fade-in (unless the existing fades are very clean - you can see this if you zoom in closely). for the fade outs use Steve’s excellent Studio Fade Out which will became in the shortly to be released 2.0.3 (but available now in the alpha nightly builds of Audacity - or as a plugin download fom the Nyquist section of this forum). Fare the fade-ins I use a tip from Steve which is to apply the linear Fade Out to the same short pice of audio three times - this produces a nice shaped fade.
Top tip: assign keyboard shortcuts for fade in and (studio) fade out - I use Alt + left-arrow & Alt + right-arrow for these - it makes the job so much easier.
You could try sampling that lead-in and using it as a noise removal profile - I decided not to do that as I was wary of removing “music” content from the signal. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice - as me old mum used to say.
Indeedy - I’ve always thought so the results are only just shy of magical?
I tend to use slightly less CR than Brian has for his defaults - I have set up my own custo default with:
Pitch Protection = on
Reverse = on
Method = Wavelet
DeCrackle = off
And I usually now just trust thos settings and run it on automatic. But I do love the way he has it so you can listen to the “noise” that is being removed - usefull in making sure that you don’t take out too much “music”.
And this’ll make you laugh - very shortly before I tried and bought Brian’s CR I spent two and a half days on one of my wife’s favourite LPs never available on CD (Kate & Anna McGarrigle’s Pronto Monto) removing each and every click by hand/ear/eye, fixing up each one with the repair effect. Then, as you mention, later ran the raw recording through CR and it took all of the 2 minutes you say!!! The best of it all was I tried CR on the manually repaired one I had done - Brian’s software found even more clicks that I’d not found
I’ve never felt (or rather heard) the need for it - and I did do some extensive listening tests, IIRC one of the other forum elves Bill Wharrie uses both Brian’s CR and NR as part of his workflow for LPs - and swears by them.
I am using pretty much the same setup here, a Pro-ject Phono Box USB V and a Pro-ject Genie turntable. The problem I have is the unknown noise in the recording, having experienced these type of audio artifacts when trying to remove it afterwards. If I try a recording with nothing turned on, i.e. the pre-amp & the turntable, I see the recording meter registering a signal around -51 to -48. When I play back that blank recording is consists of white noise/hiss. I have tried swapping the USB input points from the motherboard inputs to a USB PCI card, disconnecting the lead, but nothing makes any difference. I am running Windows 7 and 2.1.1, no playthrough selected etc. Has anybody experienced this and found a cure, or at least a way of minimising it? I’ve tried everything I can think of from settings to moving cables around.