Topic: Digitizing collection

I appreciate any information. I was lucky enough to get this great gig to archive/digitize a very large collection. I'll have a turntable and a phono amp with balanced outputs that will be dedicated to digitizing records. I'm not clear if the PRO or DAC is best for my needs. Its sole existence will be to record the collection. But my confusion lies in connectivity. I have a few computer options from a new desktop and nice old MacBook. I understand:

turntable >>> phono amp >(balanced xlr)> ADI-2 >>> ???? >>> Computer

So my questions are:
- Hopefully, is the DAC enough for my needs?
- And how do I connect the unit to my computer and what cables do I need?

2 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 11:50:05)

Re: Digitizing collection

ADI-2 DAC has no analog inputs … you need ADI-2 Pro FS R BE if you want this product and its features.

What phono amp do you have? Does it really have balanced line outputs?

You require an USB2 cable to connect the ADI-2 DAC/Pro to your computer, a standard USB2 cable is delivered together with the unit.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Digitizing collection

It's a MacIntosh MP100 I'll be provided. So it has USB, Optical, RCA, XLR, & Coax outputs.

4 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-30 06:35:16)

Re: Digitizing collection

ADI-2 DAC has no analog input to connect your phono preamp to.


ADI-2 Pro has an analog input and the best AD-Converter out of the RME offerings, ca. $1,600:
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_adi-2-pro-fs-be.html
https://www.rme-usa.com/files/uploads/RME-Products/Converter/ADI-2-ProFSr.png

The much cheaper ADI-2 FS (the one without LCD display) has analog ins and a very good ADC too, ca $700:
If you really want it just for this job, and don’t need any other functionality:
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_ADI-2-FS.html

https://www.rme-usa.com/files/uploads/RME-Products/Converter/ADI-2-FS.png

If you need a studio recording interface that is suited for music production when the job is done, you’re better off with a TotalMixFX capable interface.
It has more I/Os, mic pre’s etc., for typical studio use, ca $1,300
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_fireface-ucx-ii.html
https://www.rme-usa.com/files/uploads/RME-Products/External/Fireface-UCX-II.png

5 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:13:14)

Re: Digitizing collection

The Macintosh also has an optical output, most likely SPDIF, can you check that in the manual?
Then the Macintosh phone preamp would do the A/D conversion, which should be ok according to the price.

In a good case of luck you could save a lot of money, e.g., if your Mac also has a digital SPDIF input
then you can connect it directly to your Mac using a TOSLINK cable (if this is an optical SPDIF port).

You could also use an RME recording interface like the Digiface USB with 4x ADAT I/O if you would rather not spend that much money for an ADI-2 Pro.

But if you intend to use the ADI-2 Pro, and its unique features (Auto Ref Level, dynamic loudness, excellent headphone preamp) then go for the ADI-2 Pro FS R BE.

If it is an older Mac, I would check whether the macOS version is supported by the RME drivers for either ADI-2 Pro or Digiface USB.

@KaiS: using an ADI-2 FS is maybe not feasible here or the best possible solution as it has no USB interface towards PC, and currently it is not clear what I/O ports are available on the Mac. I fear some tiny analog plugs, if any, I wouldn't use them in such a setup.

I would digitize the signal as early as possible, either on the Macintosh phono preamp and the SPDIF connection to Apple.
Or by using the ADI-2 Pro FS R BE for A/D conversion and then via USB to the Apple computer.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

6 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-30 07:19:44)

Re: Digitizing collection

Just seen:
The McIntosh MP100 has USB out, so probably an RME interface is NOT needed.

There‘s even a Software bundled for Vinyl Transfer, Sample Rate and Resolution is fixed to 96 kHz / 24 bit.

7 (edited by archivingproject 2022-07-30 07:17:27)

Re: Digitizing collection

Quality of the recording is very important. Client uses all McIntosh components and Thorens turntables. The entire collection is classical and jazz.
I'm not sure of the future of the ADI component, there are no computers on premises. I'll be using a wireless hotspot for my personal needs.

Nice to know connecting to computer is easy. Definitely have a couple great choices.

Edit... I'm still catching up... removed words for clarity.

8 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-30 07:07:00)

Re: Digitizing collection

Your client might specify the recording format.

If 96 kHz /24 bit is OK, the McIntosh MP100 directly connected to a computer is the way to go.
For higher resolutions, beyond that (in my opinion having no benefit), an additional interface would be needed.

9 (edited by archivingproject 2022-07-30 07:11:17)

Re: Digitizing collection

Okay, so I don't need a ADI (sad)

"USB-B Port For "Ripping":  The McIntosh MP100 is equipped with a USB-B port for connecting the phono preamp to your computer. When used with a properly configured conversion program, the MP100 can "rip" your vinyl records to a computer via USB to produce high quality digital music files. The USB-B port provides digital audio signals at 96kHz with 24-Bit resolution from the selected Phono input."

I completely missed that. So digitizing as soon as possible is possible. I'll have to check out my available computers tomorrow and report back. One is a MacMini 2014 (I think) and the other my 2012 MacBook I5 (I think). Those are my two preferred to take with me on this job.

Also, I was excited about using this hardware / software and thinking about getting a FS. Which should be fine if those computers work. I could fit that in my system, I got some stuff that I would love to be more accessible.

Re: Digitizing collection

KaiS wrote:

Your client might specify the recording format...

I'm sure the 96 kHz / 24 bit straight from the McIntosh will make the client very happy.

11 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:06:01)

Re: Digitizing collection

KaiS wrote:

Just seen:
The McIntosh MP100 has USB out, so probably an RME interface is NOT needed.

There’s even a Software bundled for Vinyl Transfer, Sample Rate and Resolution is fixed to 96 kHz / 24 bit.

Aah, good point, was too early it seems :-)

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Digitizing collection

archivingproject wrote:
KaiS wrote:

Your client might specify the recording format...

I'm sure the 96 kHz / 24 bit straight from the McIntosh will make the client very happy.

I wouldn’t be sure of that.

There’s a lot of internet mumbo-jumbo and myth, people keep asking about higher and higher sample rates.

Fact: in a level matched, blind comparison you have a hard time distinguishing between 44.1 and 96 kHz, and no way to identify 24 vs. 16 bit.

But people love high figures, and if belief chimes in they “hear” the difference.
Then they stream 128 kbit MP3 and love their sound.

Anyway, your client decides, good luck smile

13 (edited by ramses 2022-07-30 10:29:13)

Re: Digitizing collection

Client certainly loves the idea of hires audio with big files, gives you a good reason to get NAS with RAID :-)

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Digitizing collection

I agree, it all depends on what your client wants.
In my case I was the client myself when I made 18-20 needle-drop recordings of beloved LP:s during the first year of the pandemi.
I found that it was a good idea to go the shortest way from turntable to recording on a computer so I used an ADL GT40a for analog to digital conversion. The little box has also a capable phono stage which makes the chain even shorter. From the GT40a via USB cable to a computer where I used the latest version of Audacity (available for Windows and Mac).
Audacity is very good because you learn a lot about recording while using it. It is not only about recording at the right level and chosing resolution (up to 24/192) but also how to remove pops and clicks, rumble and surface noise from your recorded files.
I haven't tried the RME ADI-2 Pro (instead of the ADL box) for recording yet but I am sure it will produce diigtized music files to meet the highest demands.
And ... did I mention how important it is to clean your stylus och the vinyl surface before you start?
Happy learning and best of luck!

15 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 11:29:57)

Re: Digitizing collection

I wouldn't use Audacity for Windows, the binary versions are lacking support for ASIO drivers.
Rather than that, I would trust solutions like VinylStudio more: https://www.alpinesoft.co.uk/

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Digitizing collection

@Ramses - are you saying that I shouldn't hope for success if I use Audacity on a Windows computer recording from RME ADI-2 Pro FS R BE?

17 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-30 12:36:35)

Re: Digitizing collection

zyberguran wrote:

...I used an ADL GT40a for analog to digital conversion. The little box has also a capable phono stage ...

Found in Amazon product reviews, too funny:
https://www.amazon.de/Furutech-Kopfhöre … B00UXE16JW

1,0 of 5 Stars. It was worthless for me.
Rezension aus dem Vereinigten Königreich vom 30. Juni 2016
Verifizierter Kauf

I bought it in replacement of my Philips CDR765 CD recorder which died after 15 years of operation. Philips CDRs have their own band and singers in the gadget. When you start recording from analogue source Philips CDR recognize the music, calls its band and singer and they perform the song 100 times better than the original which then gets recorded (I rerecorded all my original digital music through Philips CDR765 analogue input). I expected something similar from ADL GT40, but there was nothing of that kind. I recorded songs coming from analogue source in high resolution but there was no difference to original, it did not make it better. I returned it and fortunately Amazon refunded my money with no questions asked.

Re: Digitizing collection

I am sure anyone who is looking for small musicians inside a converter will be disappointed!

19 (edited by ramses 2022-08-01 12:02:50)

Re: Digitizing collection

zyberguran wrote:

@Ramses – are you saying that I shouldn't hope for success if I use Audacity on a Windows computer, recording from RME ADI-2 Pro FS R BE?

For me, Audacity is not a professional tool under Windows if there is no support for ASIO drivers. With an ASIO driver, I am always on the safe side that you bypass the Windows sound system completely.

Possible perhaps with WASAPI exclusive mode, but I prefer the quality of ASIO driver that are bundled with high-quality recording interfaces and converter.

I also find it very strange that – if I remember correctly – it was not possible to offer ASIO support due to licensing reasons.
I wonder how it is then possible with established free products / audio players like foobar2000 and MusicBee.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: Digitizing collection

Thanks for clarifying your position, Ramses. I am sure you are right, you are the expert.
I am just a user who wanted to share some experience with the person who started the thread. I found a method that worked for me in my home setting.
I hold RME in high regard and I am sure that there are other ways to reach the goal - and get even better results at a somewhat higher cost level. The ADI-2 for example is a much better unit in various ways including a better dac and headphone amp.
And if you (or a client) want, you can even make DSD files.

21 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-30 13:51:18)

Re: Digitizing collection

zyberguran wrote:

And if you (or a client) want, you can even make DSD files.

Avoid DSD like hell.

You open a can of worms:
No native editing, no click removal, not even digital level changes for adaption, neither file based nor in playback etc, etc,..


What if something simple goes wrong during transfer, e.g. a channel imbalance:
No problem with PCM / WAV, batch process all your files at once.
DSD: either do all transfers again or convert to a PCM interstep, loosing all theoretical advantages of DSD.

DSD is an enduser format, a one way street, NOT for professional (=paid) work.

Re: Digitizing collection

In addition to the aforementioned drawbacks of absurd sampling rates used with Vinyl Transfer, let's also consider the possibility of transferring undesirable Non-Audio content.  A Tone-Arm with it's associated wiring makes a fine Antenna, and EMI/RFI components encoded in the transfer will lead to no end of Distortion.

24/96 is most commonly used in Digital Archival of Vinyl, and is all that is necessary.

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic AKM4490 Edition"
Cables:  Red, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes

Re: Digitizing collection

Since short I own a ADI2 Pro FS BE. I connected my Thorens 160, with a AT-VM95SH cartridge, through a Croft RIAA phono amp, unbalanced to the RME.
After years and years playing vinyl through an analog system I know exactly how my collection sounds. I can confirm that the RME does a great job and the output is very very good and detailed. (Lots of Jazz and Classical).
The RME converts standard to 192kHz, but I am sure You can change that to the specs of the customer. 
I don’t have experience with recording, but wanted you to know that the pro is a good choice as a source….

24 (edited by ericseaberg 2022-07-30 19:17:53)

Re: Digitizing collection

I've been in the recording industry for over 50-years and have a very large vinyl collection, actually doing lacquer mastering for vinyl in the late 70s to early 80s. My turntable is a tangent tracking, so it plays the vinyl across the middle, just like it's cut on the lathe without any groove distortion.  I've been doing all my transfers at 96K/24bit and have been very happy.  I do have an ADI-2 Pro and take the USB out into my iMac.

Since you have a great preamp, it sounds like, I would have to ask why not spend some money on DAW software?  As already mentioned, Audacity is not that good.  I'd look at ProTools, which you can now purchase for as little as $10 per month https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/comparison.  I'd also look at Steinberg's Cubase.  Both available for Mac or PC.

Besides that, you WILL need some good de-click/de-crackle/de-noising software and use it ONLY when needed.  I would highly recommend Izotope's RX9 https://www.izotope.com/en/products.html.  It is pricey, but you'll have complete repair capabilities including spectral analyses.

Have you looked into anything for cleaning the vinyl?  There are some great devices out there to remove all kinds of dirt and grime and even make them static-free.

Good luck!!  Sounds like a fun project!

_______________________
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S. • S.M.P.T.E. • S.P.A.R.S.

25 (edited by Curt962 2022-07-30 19:38:25)

Re: Digitizing collection

Memories!

In my Vinyl Days, a few of my favorite maintenance tools were:

VPI Record Cleaner:  A large, cubical device that vacuum cleaned an Album that you'd previously applied a cleaning solution to.  Noisy as a Jet Engine, but it worked.

Dennison Soundtractor:  A Cartridge alignment tool to help you ensure the most accurate alignment of the Phono Cartridge with a Pivoted Arm. Note:  There are only TWO (2) Points where a Pivoted Arm/Cartridge can possibly achieve perfect Tangentiality with the Record Groove. 

Finally, a Technics SFG-1 Stylus Force Gauge to allow the most accurate setting of this parameter.

A small Cosmetic Mirror was handy as well to visually ensure the phono cartridge was perfectly Perpendicular to the Vinyl surface.

I was a bit Obsessive, but all of these tools were re-usable, and I had fun....(until I got tired of all the fuss)

In the case of Archiving Vinyl for a paying client?   A bit of tune-up is well worth your efforts.

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic AKM4490 Edition"
Cables:  Red, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes

Re: Digitizing collection

ericseaberg wrote:

I've been in the recording industry for over 50-years and have a very large vinyl collection, actually doing lacquer mastering for vinyl in the late 70s to early 80s. My turntable is a tangent tracking, so it plays the vinyl across the middle, just like it's cut on the lathe without any groove distortion.  I've been doing all my transfers at 96K/24bit and have been very happy.  I do have an ADI-2 Pro and take the USB out into my iMac.

Since you have a great preamp, it sounds like, I would have to ask why not spend some money on DAW software?  As already mentioned, Audacity is not that good.  I'd look at ProTools, which you can now purchase for as little as $10 per month https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/comparison.  I'd also look at Steinberg's Cubase.  Both available for Mac or PC.

Besides that, you WILL need some good de-click/de-crackle/de-noising software and use it ONLY when needed.  I would highly recommend Izotope's RX9 https://www.izotope.com/en/products.html.  It is pricey, but you'll have complete repair capabilities including spectral analyses.

Have you looked into anything for cleaning the vinyl?  There are some great devices out there to remove all kinds of dirt and grime and even make them static-free.

Good luck!!  Sounds like a fun project!

Or REAPER and Acon Acoustica for a just as capable but much cheaper solution.

https://musicwall.app/hermetech

27 (edited by ericseaberg 2022-07-30 20:07:57)

Re: Digitizing collection

Babaluma wrote:

Or REAPER and Acon Acoustica for a just as capable but much cheaper solution.

The killer concept here is using Izotope for clean up... not sure if it will work with Reaper.  Just telling you what I do and what works.  I've had to create CD masters for clients who lost the master tapes from 30-40 years ago, and I still had a test pressing of the vinyl that had never been played.  Totally worked and retained that classic 'analogue' sound... be he's gonna do whatever he wants.

_______________________
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S. • S.M.P.T.E. • S.P.A.R.S.

Re: Digitizing collection

One other thing to the original poster... BIT RATE is more important the SAMPLE RATE in many cases.  Vinyl is totally capable of transferring above 30KHz, so a sample rate of 96KHz is more that good enough, but if you can only do 48KHz at least make sure you're 24-bit to retain dynamic range.

_______________________
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S. • S.M.P.T.E. • S.P.A.R.S.

29 (edited by Babaluma 2022-07-31 15:20:50)

Re: Digitizing collection

ericseaberg wrote:
Babaluma wrote:

Or REAPER and Acon Acoustica for a just as capable but much cheaper solution.

The killer concept here is using Izotope for clean up... not sure if it will work with Reaper.  Just telling you what I do and what works.  I've had to create CD masters for clients who lost the master tapes from 30-40 years ago, and I still had a test pressing of the vinyl that had never been played.  Totally worked and retained that classic 'analogue' sound... be he's gonna do whatever he wants.

Wasn't criticizing, just pointing out cheaper alternatives to your ProTools and RX9 recommendations, for the OP.

REAPER is very cheap and can do pretty much everything every other DAW can do. I wasn't suggesting clean up in REAPER. A DAW might not be necessary at al for just vinyl ripping and clean up.

https://www.reaper.fm/

Acon Acoustica is a much cheaper alternative to RX9 and just as capable. I use RX9 Advanced (since RX3) and Acon Acoustica (I beta test for them) pretty much interchangeably. Some tools excel slightly better than others depending on the source, but if I had to do it all in Acoustica I wouldn't feel hindered.

https://acondigital.com/products/acoust … io-editor/

They even make custom vinyl ripping software for under €30, not that I have tried it:

https://acondigital.com/products/audiolava/

https://musicwall.app/hermetech

Re: Digitizing collection

Babaluma, thanks for the recommendation.  We've got Izotope throughout our facility since v4, at least, and I hadn't heard of Acon Acoustica... will look into it.

_______________________
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S. • S.M.P.T.E. • S.P.A.R.S.

31 (edited by KaiS 2022-07-31 23:20:09)

Re: Digitizing collection

Cleaning Vinyl Records:
- Clicks and noises that don‘t appear don‘t need to be removed by software -

In former times I used a product called “Record Film”.
It worked very good, vinyl washing machines where not commonly available at that time.

The current equivalent would be “astat gruener record film”:
https://astatdirekt.de/produkt/gruener- … enreiniger


Today I’m using something much simpler:
Wet play.
After washing the disc in a simple manual operated washing aid, something similar to this:
https://www.musicstore.de/de_DE/EUR/Kno … FoMfOP7Dye

https://images.musicstore.de/images/0960/knosti-disco-antistat-schallplatten-waschgeraet-generation-ii_1_DJE0006893-000.jpg

I just leave the disc wet, now use the famous Lencoclean for keeping the disc wet during playback.
Sometime, in cases of extreme dirt, the 2nd run-through is even a bit better, the needle removes some more debris, which is washed away in the fluid.

It‘s about using a solid amount of fluid without wetting the glue-point between needle and cantilever.

Finally I soak up the last, inner strip of fluid with a piece of tissue, and the record is clean as new (or better).

Re: Digitizing collection

Babaluma wrote:

Acon Acoustica is a much cheaper alternative to RX9 and just as capable. I use RX9 Advanced (since RX3) and Acon Acoustica (I beta test for them) pretty much interchangeably. Some tools excel slightly better than others depending on the source, but if I had to do it all in Acoustica I wouldn't feel hindered.

https://acondigital.com/products/acoust … io-editor/

They even make custom vinyl ripping software for under €30, not that I have tried it:

https://acondigital.com/products/audiolava/


WOW!!! What a GREAT option for ProTools and Izotope... to the OP, please take a closer look at the Acondigital stuff, in particular AudioLava is EXACTLY what you need to capture and clean/digitize vinyl.  Great concept, IMHO.

Again, THANK YOU Babaluma (saying it out loud made me LOL... good for you). 

Here's the link if you didn't see it prior:
https://acondigital.com/products/audiolava/

_______________________
Eric Seaberg • San Diego, CA
A.E.S. • S.M.P.T.E. • S.P.A.R.S.