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Convert analog tracks to digital with your turntable

Convert analog tracks to digital with your turntable

Setting the needle to a groove and enjoying the warmth of analog sound is a uniquely satisfying experience for music lovers. However, there are good reasons to use your turntable to take your tracks from analog to digital. By digitizing your collection, you can preserve the sounds of those beloved items, including any rare albums or singles, and take those tracks with you anywhere.

Making the connection with your turntable

To turn your analog tunes into digital files, most vinyl turntables require you to first hook the turntable up to a computer. You may need an external turntable preamp, which serves to boost the volume of its output. Other models have this preamp built in.

Denon turntables, like the DP-200USB, can record analog files for digital reproduction. To accomplish this, all you have to do is plug a USB drive into its dedicated port on the turntable, play a vinyl record and press the “Rec” button. The analog recording will be transferred to the MP3 for digital reproduction. Only if you want to edit or manipulate the file will you then need to use a computer. Otherwise, Denon turntables make the analog to digital transfer as simple as possible.

Achieving the best sound quality for your digital player

Once the turntable is linked to the computer, be sure to clean the record you want to digitize before you set it on the platter. Then, open your preferred audio editing software. There are a variety of applications available with a range of features, such as the Trans Music Manager for Denon.

This program makes the process of digitization simpler with Audio Waveform Recognition, identifying each track by checking the first 15 seconds against Gracenote's vast online database. An auto track divide feature detects the silences between tracks and splits up the audio accordingly, though you can also choose to insert breaks yourself.

Whatever program you're using, you'll need to play the vinyl all the way through while recording. First, however, you should test volume levels by beginning to play the recording and observing the waveform. Make sure there are no volume spikes that could lead to distortion, and make any necessary adjustments.

The quality of recording input will lead to different levels of playback fidelity. Committed audiophiles may opt for maximum quality with 24-bit audio, but the resulting files will be very large and lead to space issues if you want to keep an extensive music library on a portable device. Meanwhile, 16-bit audio is equivalent to the quality found on CDs.

Hit "record" to get started. Once you've finished recording a full side or the desired section, press stop. Make any necessary adjustments to the track breaks before saving and exporting as an MP3. These files are a compressed format that loses audio information, so keep in mind that larger ones at 320 Kbps will deliver a richer, more vinyl-like experience, than 128 or 256 Kbps files.

A great digital collection of your favorite analog tracks starts with the right equipment. If you're looking for the best USB turntable to digitize your vinyl collection, explore the selection of turntables available from Denon.