So you’ve finally decided to transfer your LPs and Cassettes to CD? For this project, you’ll need the following:
q Record/cassette player with headphones or RCA output.
q Cables (May not need all depending on setup)
o Cable A: Stereo RCA to 1/8" stereo mini cable.
o Cable B: ¼" Stereo ‘Phone’ headphone jack to a 1/8" stereo mini cable.
o Cable C: RCA to RCA
q A soundcard
q Mixcraft 2.0! J
Getting the right input level is the tricky part.
Record players are special and have extremely low output levels. If you have a Headphone jack, this is your easiest option.
A) For record players with built in headphone jacks, simply connect a cable type B from the headphone jack directly into soundcard’s "Line In".
B) If you have a ‘Line Out" option on the back of your record player, you can connect cable type A from your record player to the "Line In" on your sound card.
C) If you have "Phono Out" on your record player, you’ll need to connect your record player to an amplifier’s "Phono In" with cable type C. This is important because the "Phono" level signal is very low and is different than other CD and tape signal levels. If you have an amplifier, you’ll need to connect the "Line Out" from the amplifier to the "Line In" of the soundcard using cable type A or if the amplifier has a Headphone jack, you can connect a cable type B from the headphone jack to the soundcard’s "Line In"
Cassettes/Tape players will have either a Headphone option or a "Line Out" on the back. You can use cable type B to go from the headphone jack into the "Line In" of your soundcard or you can use cable type A to go from the "Line Out" into the "Line In" of your soundcard.
Getting The Cables
You can purchase cables online or at electronic part stores such as Radio Shack. If your computer is far from your record player you may be able to purchase extension cables, as well.
Getting The Right Level
Now that you’ve got your cables set up, you need to get the right level. You’ll be adjusting your soundcard’s input level and the output of the record player or cassette deck to get the best settings.
Launch Mixcraft and click the Record button on the toolbar.
Select the correct soundcard from the soundcard drop down and then in the source control select "Line In". It may also be called "Analog Mix" and if you’re not sure and have an option called "What U Hear", use that.
Start playing the record or tape. Start at the loudest part of the song. Make sure that you are seeing yellow but not red. If you are seeing red it means that it is clipping or distorting.
Try turning down the volume of the cassette deck or record player if it is red. You may also adjust the slider up or down which controls the input level.
You also want to avoid having a really flat signal. If the signal stays at the same spot and does not fluctuate very much, try turning down the volume on the cassette or record player and moving the input slider more to the right towards ‘Max’
Setting The ‘Auto Stop’ Timer
Sitting there waiting for the recording to end is tedious. That’s why we created an ‘Auto Stop’ timer! If you are recording a 30minute LP, set the timer to 30 minutes. (It will play a sound when its done to let you know its finished.)
Ready To Record
Uncheck the "Overdub" option. Also, make sure that you have the correct sample rate set. The software defaults to CD quality (44,100 Hz, 16 bit, stereo), but for those hi-fi people out there, you can record at 24 bits and up to a 192 kHz sampling rate. (Click "Change…" to launch the preferences so that you can change the recording format, if desired.)
Click the Record button. Now start your record player or press play on your cassette deck!!
(Feel free to take a break while it records. Get a coffee, do some dishes, etc..)
Recording Is Done
After the sound chimes, your recording is done. You should see a sound bar representing the sound. Listen to it and make sure that it isn’t distorted. If it is distorted sounding go back to "Getting The Right Level".
Splitting Your Recording Into Tracks
First, make sure that your sound is at time offset 0. Then click "Automatic Marker Wizard" from the "Marker" menu. Click "Based On Silence In Sound" and then click "OK". You should now have multiple tracks with track markers. If the wizard didn’t automatically split them into separate tracks, click "Undo" from the "Edit" menu and try the "Automatic Marker Wizard" again with different parameters. Alternatively, you can manually split the tracks by clicking on the sound pressing Ctrl+T or "Split" from the "Sound’ menu.
Naming The Track Markers
If you are going to be saving your recording as multiple MP3 files, you will probably want to name the tracks. Right click on the first track marker and select "Edit Marker…" Type in a name and then click "Next" to go to the next track marker. If you aren’t sure what song it is, click the "Play" button.
Record Side B
Since CDs can hold 74 minutes of audio, you can easily put a whole LP or cassette on one CD. Repeat the recording process and record the second side. After its done recording, position the clip and run the marker wizard again. (Make sure to select the new recording as the sound to run the wizard against.)
Burn A CD
Save the session and then click "Burn CD" from the "Mix" menu. Put a CDR in your CD recorder and then click "Start". Your CD will pop out of your CD recorder ready to be played in any CD player! You may want to check out our optional CD Label Maker to make a gorgeous CD Label for it.
You can also choose to mix these songs down to MP3 files. (One for each track!) Just select "Mix Down To " from the "File" menu followed by selecting "MP3". Choose a folder and base name such as the ‘Artist-Album’. Select a desired quality and click "Save".