record vinyl to laptop

i have been trying to record a vinyl record to laptop, i have watched utube videos on how to do it but the sound comes out distorted. i am attaching a file and i hope someone will listen to it and tell me what i am doing wrong’
blondie.aup (5.88 KB)

An AUP file is not an audio file. It cannot be played by anyone or anywhere other than on your computer because AUP files do not contain the audio data.
See here for an explanation: Audacity Manual

See here for how to send an audio file to the forum:

Please tell us how you are doing that and we may be able to see where you are going wrong.

Does your turntable have USB? If not, tell us about your hardware setup. If you are using the analog mic input, dont! The mic input on a standard soundcard is useless for high quality recording.


:smiley: Blondie should be available on CD or MP3. :smiley: If sound quality is important, and the CD (or MP3) is available, and you don’t mind the cost, you’ll get better sound quality with a digital original. (No vinyl noise, lower distortion, flat frequency response.)

Not everyone actually believes that makes it more enjoyable, of course. And less distortion? More distortion on very quiet music (though I guess that doesn’t apply to Blondie). :slight_smile:


Yup imho - a lot of that famous and fabled “vinyl warmth” comes from the distortion supplied by the cartridge and the phono pre-amp :sunglasses:

I started buying CDsin the 80;s because
a) I got fed up of buying LPs that were “cold pressings” and having to take them back for a replacement, sometimes several times (my record shop proprietor was glad when I moved to CDs).
b) I got tired of all the clicks and pops - on many LPs I knew just where they were.

Admittedly because of the “loudness wars” you can get “re-mastered” CDs that are noticeably inferior to the original vinyl recording :nerd:


Do yourself a favour and get this on CD - other retailers are available :wink:

As well as the music you get the DVD with the music vids. - a steal at nine quid in the UK (22 bucks in the US)

I have this CD/DVD - the sound quality is excellent.


And rather relying on YT videos, try this set of tutorials from the Audacity Manual:


blondie was just a test record, the ones i want to record are much older. how i tried to do it was this, i connected cable from amplifier to mic port on laptop (the only connection it has). then i pressed record on audacity then played record. then it came out how you hear it. i had turned the sound down on the amplifer and tried turning sound down on audacity but it made no difference.

And there’s your problem - the mic input is expecting a very small signal and you are overloading it. If you have no line input then you will need something like the Behringer UCA202 external USB soundcard - see this sticky thread:


blondie was just a test record, the ones i want to record are much older.

:wink: I was just teasing you while trying to make a serious point. I once spent quite a bit of time trying to clean-up a scratchy vinyl transfer… more than one weekend I think. The CD was out of print. I was making big improvement but still nothing approaching digital quality. Before I was finished, I found a used CD online and bought it. I was so happy to have a “clean & clear” copy that I didn’t even feel bad about wasting all of the time with the vinyl!

I also have the Blondie Live DVD (1999). The sound quality is amazing! IIRC - It’s 5.1 surround.

Not everyone actually believes that makes it more enjoyable, of course.

Absolutely true! If you just say “better”, that’s a matter of aesthetics & taste. That’s why I mentioned noise, distortion, and frequency response…

There is a [u]FREE Application[/u] to make digital sound like vinyl… It’s a lot easier than making vinyl sound digital! :wink:

And less distortion? More distortion on very quiet music.

I’m not so sure about that. Quiet (or dynamic) music is where digital REALLY shines! At very-low levels, the analog noise would make distortion measure measurements meaningless, if you can even get a distortion reading through the noise. And, you can’t hear distortion at low levels anyway! At -40dB, 10% distortion would be at -60dB… Very quiet and totally masked by the signal (and noise if we’re talking about vinyl), if audible at all!

I agree “vinyl mush” is a loss of fidelity but (being used to both vinyl and live music) so is the very hard-to-describe coldness/hardness/loss of sound stage in CD’s a loss of fidelity. All the strands are clear in CD’s yet the strands still gell into each other/don’t breathe properly in the environment somehow. I just lose concentration after a few minutes.

WAV’s recorded from analogue vinyl are much more tolerable to my ears.

Also agreed that vinyl noise covers the signal in quiet music but the poor quality of soft signals in CD’s seems very noticeable to me given that very absence of background noise. I agree 24-bit CD’s are better in that regard.


I was resistant to buying CDs when they first came out - but then a friend of mine, who was a professional photographer, got a commission for a photo-shoot with Simon Rattle for an album release. During the shoot he played music on his new CD player and told her how excellent he thought the fidelity of the reproduction was.

If CDs are good enough for one of the world’s major conductors who hears live music from the some of the best orchestras in the world - then they are good enough for me.


A lot is down to the quality of the CD player and its DAC (just as it is with the TT/arm/cart for vinyl).

When my original Philips 104 died the hi-fi shop in town sold me a Rega Planet. The difference was astounding (even Mrs Waxcylinder noticed the difference) - in comparison the Rega seems to have a much better, firmer, grip on the sound-stage with well focussed placing of the performers (providing the recording has been engineered correctly - but that applies to LPs too).

My reference recording for this is the Sonny Rollins “The Bridge” album - I had the vinyl of this and now the CD and I much prefer the CD which seems to do the “breathing” that you write about Gale - in a way that the LP somehow didn’t (excellent as it was).


Maybe so, but the difference in reproduction between the best and worst CD and vinyl setup respectively has got to be significantly greater in the case of the latter, especially considering some of the lightweight rubbish turntables sold in all in one setups from the late 80s through the 90s.

I must say I am also somewhat bemused by the positions taken by some of the prophets of the digital revolution in these debates. If the discussion relates to lossy vs lossless digital audio the insistence is that claims about which is better or worse must always be based on audibility/ABX testing.

Conversely when the discussion shifts to vinyl vs digital that set of criteria is swiftly binned. Instead the discussion must now be based on the - as commonly understood - pejorative concepts of noise (floor) and typically incomprehensible dBs (not 7s).

All without a trace of irony.

In order to do ABX testing of CD vs Vinyl you would have to add convincing surface noise and crackle to the CD audio, but that would probably not be a fair test either.

Well when I listen to music on good quality vinyl I hear no noise whatsoever.

On the other hand if you are after the most silent silence then digital is undoubtedly the way to go!

There is always some surface noise from vinyl - even on the original pressings, it can’t be avoided due to the mechanical processes. With a really good set up and really good vinyl there won’t be much, but it can’t be avoided. On the other hand, CD has no surface noise. Thus it is not possible imho to do a fair ABX test. “Sound quality” is not just about surface noise, but the presence of surface noise on one but not in the other needs to be taken into account in an ABX test.

I have heard expensive CD players without being much more convinced.

Also some of the “lightweight rubbish” LP reissues of the 80s which I think are demonstrably inferior to CD in all but soundstage, let alone inferior to the original LP issues. I’ve never found a convincing explanation for just why a “Classics for Pleasure” 80s transfer of a vintage Columbia or HMV 60’s stereo sounds so colourless and boring compared to the original LP’s.

To be fair, Direct Metal Mastering LP’s from the 80’s and 90’s were really very quiet - but for me, with the soundstage ironed out, even the faintest tick was a huge distraction.


I am not for a second disputing that. What I am saying is that certainly on my system it is inaudible except for during ‘silent’ gaps between tracks and at the end of fades.

However, when the music playing it is simply impossible to detect, although crackle and clicks are obviously a different matter.

Undermining this whole issue:
and at the other extreme: