Vinyl, Preamp, Computer (Soundcard) Issue"?

I’m exhausted with this.

I’m trying to convert my vinyl running a Bang & Olufsen non-USB turntable (with an MMC cartridge) through a Carver C-6 Preamp into a Toshiba Laptop. No aftermarket sound card (I’ve been told that a different sound card would not help).

The computer has only a “microphone” input.

The phono / preamp works fine through a power amp for analog listening.

I have a neighbor who runs his cassette tapes and has no problem converting. I’ve tried all of his computer and Audacity settings to no avail.

When I try to use stereo mix into Audacity I get a loud grating sound. Particularly frustrating is the fact that the VU meter indicates I’m getting the signal into Audacity when I go through line in.

Grateful if anyone out there can help me with this. I’m no computer guy but no luddite and am able to follow direction without supervision.

Thanks so much.

If your computer really does have only a microphone input, how are you “going through the line in”? Do you mean the “line in” setting in Audacity? Does your neighbour’s computer have a line input port?

Sounds like you may need a line input to USB device.

– Bill

Yes. Some computers allow switching from low level, mono, Mic-In to High Level, Stereo Line-In. Most don’t. Even if you get around the overload problem (the preamp output will be some thousand times louder than the connection can handle) you will only get “Left” sound from the record. Mic-In is not stereo. You may get two sound tracks out of the deal, but the “Left” performers will be on both tracks and the"Right" performers will be missing. If you’re transferring your world class Electro-Trance performances, nobody will notice, but if your dramatic soprano wanders from Stage Right to Stage Left, you’re dead.

However, you sound like you have a top quality turntable and preamp, so the worse of it is behind you. Any of these good USB Sound Cards should do it.


Or if you can borrow a Mac, that would do it, too. Most of them have excellent quality stereo Line-In. Deskside PCs can do Line-In as well, but those sound cards tend to be noisy.


Many thanks to all of you people.

Carefully read what all repliers (those who replied, I guess, not just using pliers again) observed.

So, “good USB Sound Cards should do it” (Koz) / “line input to USB device” (Bill) I assume are the same. I’ll focus on getting one of those. Looks as if my gut was right and the fellow who told me it’s not a sound card issue was wrong.

You may have unexhausted me on this venture.

Bill. What I meant by the “line in” comment was that I was using the line in selection on Audacity.

Thanks again to everyone.

In order to get to the Line-In of audacity, the show has to make it past the sound card. Audacity is a complete slave to the computer that’s running it.

Many people try to do this capture thing with a laptop PC and those tend to be business machines, not entertainment production. Want to call the head office on Skype? Just plug your headset into the Mic-In, launch the software and go. No problem.