A friend of mine is not into computers, he's a record collector and wants to start recording his vinyl on CD, what's the easiest way for him to do this please? I am thinking since he has turntables already that all he needs is a standalone CD burner, one guy tells me there is a special USB turntable made to record directly to CD but but don't think it has Automatic level recording and Automatic noise removal. Anyway, what he wants is to simply play the record on a turntable and have the song recorded at the correct volume level without having to do any adjusments or fine tuning so I guess he will need some sort of an "automatic recording level" setup? Also, he tells me now that he has a lot of old records and so will need something which will automatically get rid of the hiss, pops and clicks, what is his best option regarding "automatic" level recording and noise removal? Does such a thing exist?
Outside of going into a computer and using plugins to remove the noise I'd look at standalone LP to CD burners.
I use Sound Studio 3 software on the MAC I feed the turntable into a high quality phono stage and then into my MOTU Ultra Light but you could use any interface you like.
Sound Studio 3 has many filters to remove noise and other problems with the recording but it also allows you to set and label markers and split the songs by markers. You can save it right into many different formats including Apple Lossless.
I am just finishing up a job of 500 LP's into iTunes. It's been time consuming but fun
A lot of my down time is spent doing vinyl conversions and I can share a lot of what I've learned, but I'll address your thoughts here. Ask more questions if you'd like.
1 - the turntables with built-in USB interfaces sound horrible. I'm assuming your friend would like some kind of quality (probably the quality he associates with his $$$$ turntable, $$$$$ tone arm and $$$$$$$ cartridge. I know I personally have a turntable set up that ranges in the $5k range (including phono preamp) and I'd HATE to make all of the sacrifices necessary to go through one of those crappy turntables!
2 - Screw the automatic recording level. Once your friend gets his levels the first time, he should only have to do minor tweaking from there on out. Any device that has an auto-level on it should be considered scary at best.
3 - Focus on using his existing equipment through his existing phono preamp and then into a decent interface which would accept phono/unbalanced inputs (smaller/less expensive interfaces from M-Audio or EMU would be fine)
4 - a GREAT piece of inexpensive record cleaning software is Magix Cleaning Lab. You can import records into 24 bit wave and it has some great cleaning tools built in (even the spectral editor present on Sequoia V9 and above!) It will set you back about $50 for the software and then $150/$200 for the interface and you're good to go. Since I charge $50 per album, this is a modest price if he has a collection of records.
Bent - you kill me dude! Cedar.......that's funny. Perhaps he can run that in line with the USB turntable - it sounds like a match made in heaven!
Yeah, I thought you'd get a kick out of that one!
Yes I did not mention record cleaning,
I use a VPI 16.5 record vacuum It's really important to get the records as clean and free of dust and sometimes mold as you can. Sometimes I play it twice, for some reason it can sound better the second time.
I use a Nottingham Space Deck and a Benz Micro Glider (h2) cartridge around 3500 for table and cartridge, and a nice audiophile phono stage that uses all 1% resisters and I run it off of 8 "D" battery's 12 volts just to keep it dead quiet.