Current Windows OS: 8
Current Audacity version: 2.1.3
I’m asking for some general advice about the best way to record from Mini Discs, Cassettes and Vinyl records using Audacity.
I’ve purchased various ION USB cassette decks and turntables to transfer my cassette and record collections to my laptop in the last few years and they’ve suffered from appalling sound quality, so I gave up.
I’m now looking to get serious about finally digitising my entire record, cassette and mini disc collection. But my bad experience with cheap USB audio equipment in the past has put me off doing it via USB on a laptop.
I’m seriously considering buying a desktop PC, that has the necessary line in/out connections for me to plug in a high quality cassette deck, turntable, and my mini disc decks directly into the computer.
However, after reading the Audacity manual the last few days, it’s recommended an external USB soundcard here that can apparently do the same job as plugging audio equipment directly into the line-in jack of a PC.
The audio equipment I’m thinking of getting is:
I have a Sony MDS-JE480 Mini Disc deck.
If I have a turntable with a built-in phono-stage, does this mean I can connect it directly to the line-in of a PC without the need to put it through a pre-amp?
What is the difference between connecting audio equipment directly to the line-in of a PC or putting it through an external USB soundcard and recording in to Audacity via the USB input? Which is best and most reliable for sound quality, line-in or USB?
Do I need to buy an expensive desktop PC tower, with the line-in audio jack for best sound quality, or would a good laptop and USB soundcard be acceptable?
As I said at the start, my bad experiences with USB audio equipment in the past has put me off going down the USB route in favour of a desktop PC with line-in, but after reading the Audacity manual I’m mighty confused over the best option.
Any advice would be much appreciated.