Ripping vinyl to MP3 for airplay forums forums Portland Radio Ripping vinyl to MP3 for airplay

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    The important thing is not to overdrive anything when the recording is being made because once anything gets clipped, you can reduce the gain after the fact but you cannot eliminate the clip distortion at the flat topped peak.

    Welllll….. not exactly. You can sort of “fix” it, to some limited extent, by playing around with the compander and equalisation within limits (I’ve even done it myself to put a little “air” back into shittily-produced recordings on Youtube and Archive, and let’s not forget 21st century CDs) but it’s just an emergency band-aid and is best not even being done at all. I don’t recommend it.

    It takes just as much time and effort to do a recording the wrong way and screw it up as it does to do it right, so why not do it the right way from the beginning? (This is a general rant, not directed at you in particular, lastday.)


    I have had a fair share of clients asking “what can be done” with digital overs, and the answer is always the same. Not much. You can take a digitally clipped track, lower the volume, then apply expansion, which is sort of the opposite of compression, send it to a dynamic EQ, and even side-chain it if there is a rhythmic element, maybe even mess with Mid/Side, but the bottom line is it will always be distorted. Digital zero is always digital zero and generally, its nasty. It isn’t a near as pleasing distortion as analog tape saturation.

    Sure you can soft-clip, which is very common, but you better reference the results in a sonicaly designed room so you can hear differences. There are always compromises.

    As far as tools for vinyl, there are a lot of choices depending on your goals and frequency of use. I’m sure there are free ones that are most likely very basic. Waves has a couple different bundles that address clicks, noise, humm, crackling etc. Izotope is in my opinion higher quality and a bit easier to achieve the same.

    And for the OP here, they even have a plug to make it sound like vinyl.
    So you could take a CD and run it through this for a “vinyl” show.

    And if you do this type of work frequently I would suggest Wavelab Pro. It’s much faster, way more accurate, and has many more features. While it’s aimed at commercial mastering, the batch processing tools are very helpful and extremely fast when encoding to any digital format.


    So here we are in Feb 2021 and we’re still putting this show together from home.

    The host of the show set up a home studio so I’m mostly not involved in making the recordings now. It’s a damn miracle that he’s able to record segments using one turntable and make voice tracking inserts and it’s very high quality. It’s working pretty well.

    His gear consists of a Dell laptop, Pioneer PLX-1000 turntable, Audio-Technica AT-XP7 DJ cartridge, ART DJ Preamp with outboard linear DC power supply, Shure SM-58 mic, Mackie 4-channel mixer, and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for the A-D conversion. The Scarlett USB output feeds the laptop. Audacity does the recording.

    Since he has only one TT, he has to start stop start stop recording for every track.

    My role now is to smooth out the rough edges on his recordings. I get a WAV file for say Segment 1, with sequentially recorded tracks and a voice track. I break the segment down into its component pieces (individual tracks and the VT), clean up intros and outros, and normalize each track separately. Save them as WAV files. Sometimes I need to use mild limiting before normalizing, mostly for egregious scratches.

    Once I have all the pieces for that segment as individual files, I reassemble the segment with clean segues etc. The finished segments are airworthy as I submit them. Everything is submitted in WAV format (not MP3) and that’s how they are when the station builds the show in Simian.

    It’s been a learning experience and pretty successful.


    I hope this person appreciates the work you are putting in for them!


    “I hope this person appreciates the work you are putting in for them!”

    Oh yeah, he does. Every once in a while he allows me to build my own playlist for a 2-hour show. He’s been generous with crediting someone named “Dave” for helping to make the show possible and keeping it on the air.

    The station says Vinyl Revival is one of the easiest shows for them to assemble because we’re very careful about submitting airworthy segments and not a big bag of garbage that they need to sort out.


    Also also, With regard to normalizing to -6dB.

    Audacity recommends -6dB normalizing. Numerous other online resources recommend -6dB. So it’s not all that unusual.

    Cue Andy Brown for mandatory debunking!


    And for the OP here, they even have a plug to make it sound like vinyl. So you could take a CD and run it through this for

    Oh for the love of the gods, no. That’s such a copout. That stupid fad came and went with the 2000s. It was lame then, and I guarantee it’ll be lame now.


    Adding pops and clicks to a CD to pretend it’s vinyl reminds me of bad clarinet players who intentionally play out of tune, pretending that they are playing klezmer.



    I guaranty you that if we were advised to cheat by adding vinyl noise to CDs, both the show host and myself would quit. I have advanced software tools to eliminate scratches and vinyl noise but I never use them. This show is sourced from vinyl and includes its flaws.

    KRVM is in its winter fundraiser. The Monday 12-15 Vinyl Revival took in a very nice haul from listeners supporting that show by name.


    Yet another note about KRVM normalizing to -6dB

    It turns out that -6dB is not a requirement of their system. It’s a personal preference by a staff member. Another staffer prefers to use -3dB.

    So my assumption that -6dB (as I was advised to use over a year ago) was an absolute hard limit was wrong. *sigh*

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