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Lp/analog To Cd/digital Recording Setup Clarification Needed!


David P

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Hello All,

 

I am a XP home edition user working with EMC 8. I recently changed my Recording Setup for converting Lp/analog to CD/digital and notice what I believe may be a problem. I have a turntable connected to my Realistic SA-800 Stereo Amplifier.

 

In the past I was using the headphone jack on the front of amplifier to connect to line in on my computer using the RCA to mini 3.5mm cable. I had an attachment to enable me to plug into the headphone jack (got from Radio Shack). Under this setup I was able to use the volume control on the amplifier.

 

Ulitizing the "Recording setup guide" Step 2, choosing recording channel (figure 4), I have only 2 options in the "Capture From" dropdown box. They are 1) Realtek HD Audio input, or 2) Modem #2Line record. My selection has always been 1, the Realtek. Under the recording channel you plan to use (figure 5),

 

I have absolutely nothing appearing in the dropdrop box. Since there was nothong noted, nothing was selected. When I start playing an LP in order to make sure the correct sound is being monitored (Figure 6) virtually every sound is in the yellow/red clipped area. Pressing auto appears to make no difference (the auto detection bars starts but at the next clipped audio starts all over again and again and again and again.).

 

After wondering what was wrong I tried using the volume control on my amplifier. When I began to lower the volume I was ultimately able to bring the audio to a level that I believe the auto detection could handle. On a scale of 0 - 100 my volume setting is at 8, extremely low. Only the peak stuff goes into the yellow/red zone.

 

Next, when I am using "Auto", the recording level ultimately is almost at the high(+) side of the slider. Am I wrong in believing that nothing should appears in the yellow/red clipped area when recording?

 

I've been able to convert many of my older 60's/70's LP without a problem, or so I believed.

 

Now that I'm attempting to record some of my Old Classical albums (excellent conditions - rarely played) I'm beginning to doubt my setup. This is because of what I see when editing the waveform. Some of the softer sections of a symphony appears as almost flat lines on the waveform. Upon editing I was actually cutting out real sound not silent.

 

So I reviewed the setup guide and then thought that instead of using the headphone jack I should try using what is being called "REC OUT" on the back of my amplifier. The 'REC OUT" I believe is the same as "LINE OUT" which is being considered the "Preferred connection". I could plug in directly to the "red" & "white" color coded jacks with the RCA/3.5mm cable. Under this setup the volume control on the amplifier had no affect whatsoever.

 

Now when I play an album and attempt to adjust the recording levels using the "Auto" function , I don't see any progress on the auto detect bar, but quickly the window closes and the ultimate results places the recording level slider to the extreme lower end (-) side of the slider. Virtually all audio appears in the yellow/red clipped area when album is played/recorded. The resulting waveform shows tremondous amount of clipped audio, which to me translates to corrupted audio. I'm almost under the impression that I can't use the "REC OUT" jacks on my amplifier because the signal is too strong (virtually everything is in yellow/red area)? Or am I missing something here.

 

So this leads to the following questions:

1) Was my old setup the proper setup?

2) In my old setup I was using the volume control to insure that the audio signal only entered the yellow/red clipped zone on the loudest part of signal (the 8 out of 100 level previously mentioned) BEFORE using the "Auto" to adjust the recording level. Is this proper?

3) Once you use the "Auto" 'to adjust recording level does it matters if levels are still in the "yellow/red clipped area"? Did "Auto" override this? ( setup 1 was at high end(+), setup 2 was at low end(-) of slider).

4) and finally why is the "balance" slider default at the extreme left channel instead of in the middle? Everytime I use LP and Tape assistant I have to adjust this to center. Am I doing something wrong by adjusting this?

 

I would like to thank you all in advance for clarifications in helping me insure that I have the proper setup to convert my LP to digital format. Definitely would appreciate any hints etc. to make this task easier (convert all my old LP to digital format. Is there a FAQ on doing LP conversions?

 

One hint I like to know more about is the wetting of the LP in order to get better sounds. What does this really do? Help remove clicks/pops? In my case once converted to digital format I don't intend to play LP again. I'm more interested in preserving the album art/ inserts than the actual LP. I plan to have my entire music collection on my computer, with a copy/backup of files on my external hard Drive. What I decided not to buy as a CD is what has been converted.

 

Finally, I began to doubt my setup when I started doing the Classical Albums and noticed the "flat line" audio that wasn't silent.

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Thanks for the quick reply. First of all I am using a desktop, and I am familair with the color codes. Just in case I screwed up I checked again, Yes, everything is plugged in its proper place (FYI when I first started recording, a few month ago I was getting an odd noise in my recording which I later traced to my Microphone. I didn't realize it was active (new computer), and via the sound card window Muted it. No odd noise after). I'll check into the roxio help files for more info on the LP/Tape Assistant regarding "difference, Bypass and all those other terms.

 

My best determination is that the hum is not ground related. Granted, I have an old Stereo system, but the system has a ribbon cable that interconnects the Amplifier to the Tuner and the Tape Deck. The Turntable is connected to the Amplifier via a 12V power plug. I believe that the hum is the cartridge picking up the sound of the the Turntable Belt drive motor. Again, no hum until needle touches record.

 

When recording, everything initially is in raw mode. After putting in Track Separators and editting out the dead air time between tracks, I use the cleaning options. Typically because of Pops and clicks, I set the drop down box to Low for the good albums and high for the worst albums. Your explanation of difference is similar to what I read at another forum. I wish I knew about Bypass sooner because you may have helped clarify something I did not know. I assumed that all the cleaning effects you can placed on the wav file was only actually applied when you exported that file, in my case as a wma file to "My Music" folder. All the more reasons I seek better documentation regarding this module.

 

Finally, based on what I see in the mixer I already have the "Rear Blue in" volume level all the way down. Any lower is Mute. Then there is the recording volume which in my case is a knob with no markings indicating levels. This can only be move via drag and drop. It is near its lowest setting I have. Up/down arrows doesn't work on this.

 

System info is as Follows:

 

Systemax Venture H356 Desktop,

mini-Tower mATX Chassis,

CPO PD 940 3.2 4M 800 BXED W/HS

1GB PC4200 533MHz DDR2 Memory (1GB x 1),

Asus P5GZ-MX 945GZ mATX Motherboard,

2 x 20X DVDRW Dual Layer Drives,

56K V.92 PCI Data/Fax Modem,

Logitech Value 100 Keyboard PS/2,

Logitech Black Optical Wheel Mouse PS/2,

3.5" 1.44 MB Black Floppy Drive,

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2,

3-Port Firewire Card,

9-in-1 USB Card Reader

250GB 7200RPM 3G SATAII Hard Drive

500 Watt Power Supply

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Thanks for the quick reply. First of all I am using a desktop, and I am familair with the color codes. Just in case I screwed up I checked again, Yes, everything is plugged in its proper place (FYI when I first started recording, a few month ago I was getting an odd noise in my recording which I later traced to my Microphone. I didn't realize it was active (new computer), and via the sound card window Muted it. No odd noise after). I'll check into the roxio help files for more info on the LP/Tape Assistant regarding "difference, Bypass and all those other terms.

 

My best determination is that the hum is not ground related. Granted, I have an old Stereo system, but the system has a ribbon cable that interconnects the Amplifier to the Tuner and the Tape Deck. The Turntable is connected to the Amplifier via a 12V power plug. I believe that the hum is the cartridge picking up the sound of the the Turntable Belt drive motor. Again, no hum until needle touches record.

 

When recording, everything initially is in raw mode. After putting in Track Separators and editting out the dead air time between tracks, I use the cleaning options. Typically because of Pops and clicks, I set the drop down box to Low for the good albums and high for the worst albums. Your explanation of difference is similar to what I read at another forum. I wish I knew about Bypass sooner because you may have helped clarify something I did not know. I assumed that all the cleaning effects you can placed on the wav file was only actually applied when you exported that file, in my case as a wma file to "My Music" folder. All the more reasons I seek better documentation regarding this module.

 

Finally, based on what I see in the mixer I already have the "Rear Blue in" volume level all the way down. Any lower is Mute. Then there is the recording volume which in my case is a knob with no markings indicating levels. This can only be move via drag and drop. It is near its lowest setting I have. Up/down arrows doesn't work on this.

 

System info is as Follows:

 

Systemax Venture H356 Desktop,

mini-Tower mATX Chassis,

CPO PD 940 3.2 4M 800 BXED W/HS

1GB PC4200 533MHz DDR2 Memory (1GB x 1),

Asus P5GZ-MX 945GZ mATX Motherboard,

2 x 20X DVDRW Dual Layer Drives,

56K V.92 PCI Data/Fax Modem,

Logitech Value 100 Keyboard PS/2,

Logitech Black Optical Wheel Mouse PS/2,

3.5" 1.44 MB Black Floppy Drive,

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2,

3-Port Firewire Card,

9-in-1 USB Card Reader

250GB 7200RPM 3G SATAII Hard Drive

500 Watt Power Supply

It looks like your sound card is part of the motherboard? You might look for new drivers for the audio chip-set and see if that makes any difference. The next thing you can do is check the back of your amplifier and see if there's a set of jacks from the preamp to the amp section, usually they'll be right next to each other with a solid jumper between them. If there is one, you could tap into that signal and feed that into your sound card, that would let you turn that signal down using the volume control on your amp again.

 

If that connection doesn't exist on your amp, then you could also look for a small preamp or mixer to put between your amp and your computer which will let you control the input signal to the computer. (I'm in the process of picking up a pair of Shure M68 mixers for this purpose, older, and relatively cheap on ebay.)

 

It's true that the only time the effects (cleaning or otherwise) are applied to your tracks are when you export them.

 

Now, you mention .WMA files. If you're planning to put your LPs onto CD, most anyone will recommend that you stick with .WAV files all the way because the .WMA file format is a lossy compression scheme. That is, you're losing music to make it that small. And when you go to put it onto CD, it has to decompress the file back to the .WAV format... so, to keep the best quality, stick with .WAV files.

 

Hope that helps!

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Ok, Thanks for the info. I'm reverting back to the headphone jack because of the better control, and I'll probably will do as you done (record LP to CD) and then leave compressed on computer. Some of the controls in the LP & Tape Assistant works as you described (enables finer tuning), when trying to help me with MY controls. One last final question ....When using "difference", is the sounds I'm hearing also the sounds being removed? (I'm noticing I'm customizing these controls more as a result of what I'm hearing, instead of just choosing "low, medium, or high". Thanks again for your help and advise.

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Okay... you've given us a lot of information, most all of it very good.

 

To start with, the setup you've got using the Rec Out jacks on the back of your amplifier, into the Line-In of your sound card would usually be considered the best configuration. Indeed, with that setup, the volume control on the front of your amplifier will not have any affect on your recording level.

 

Personally, I don't use the "auto" setting for controlling the recording level, I do it manually. As you said, you normally set your levels so that the loudest passages would get into the yellow and red areas. If you see it clip, you probably want to turn the recording volume down a notch or two. To control your recording volume manually, open the mixer application on your computer. It can usually be found as a speaker or volume control icon in your system tray. Double-click on it, then select Options -> Properties and select the "Recording" radio button. Make sure you have the "Line-In" or "Aux" (it varies depending on the mixer program/sound card) selected to display. Make sure Line-In/Aux isn't muted. Now when you start recording, don't select "Auto". As you're recording, you should be able to adjust the Line-In control and see that it affects your recording level. Find a loud passage of music, and set the recording level so it gets into the yellow or red area, preferably without clipping. Now you can record the whole LP at that setting and you should be all set. Make sure you're not using the mic input.

 

On your classical LPs, quiet passages will look like nearly flat lines. That's a wonderful thing because it means your records are in good shape, otherwise you'll see lots of spikes to coincide with the clicks and pops.

 

As for playing your records "wet", that's a great solution for noisy LPs. It can make a dramatic difference in the recording quality, but I would only use it on noisy LPs. Yes, it cuts down on the crackles and pops and hiss, but it may also cut down on other high-frequency music. If you don't have much noise, play them dry. The other thing is that for those you play wet, use distilled or de-ionized water so you don't leave any extra residue. And if you ever plan to play them again, you'll probably need to play them wet.

 

Hope that helps!

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Ok, Thanks for the info. I'm reverting back to the headphone jack because of the better control, and I'll probably will do as you done (record LP to CD) and then leave compressed on computer. Some of the controls in the LP & Tape Assistant works as you described (enables finer tuning), when trying to help me with MY controls. One last final question ....When using "difference", is the sounds I'm hearing also the sounds being removed? (I'm noticing I'm customizing these controls more as a result of what I'm hearing, instead of just choosing "low, medium, or high". Thanks again for your help and advise.

"Difference" is exactly the sound that is being removed. So, if you're hearing music then that means you're probably applying the filters to strongly and you want to back them off because you're removing music. Now, some little bit of music at points may be okay... you'll want to listen to the "applied" version and see what it sounds like. Glad you're getting more comfortable with the controls!

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OK Dave D-W,

 

Thanks for the info, but I'm still having a problems. It did not occur to me to try the volume control on my Realtek HD Sound Card. Upon trying this I could get audio to questionable/reasonable levels. In fact this "Set up" seems much more senitive than the headphone jack setup. One Big problem is that I had to virtually turn the volume control (mixer setup) to the absolute lowest setting. Any lower would be at 0. It took many attempts just to get this extremely low setting ( ex. 0=no sound, 1= I could record with little clipping, 2= everything clipped regardless of recording level setting: each time I clicked mouse I was either too high/clipped, or too low/off - as I said many attempts.). Again it clearly appears that the signal is too strong. Previously using the headphone jack, the soft part of a symphony looked almost flat line (resulting wav file) and when recording, the left and right channel appears the same. Now using the "rec out" jacks there is a distinct wave form and the left and right channels are clearly different. Finally I am noticing a low hum that was not there before. When recording, this hum appears as soon as the needle touches the record (ergo, more sensitive). The hum is what I find extremely bothersome. Is there a way to get rid of it?

 

Which lead to this question: Is there a detailed guide for the "LP and Tape Assistant" somewhere? When I attempt to CLEAN audio, what do they mean by "difference"? and "Bypass"? Is there an explanation of each control and what it does? There is nothing in the EMC8 Manual that gets into the details of this Module. Also info regarding tagging. I tried MusicID, but when it told me that my classical music was a video game, and then would not let me delete it, I had to cancel it and in the process I lost a lot of typed in information. This is causing me alot of frustration. The lesson I'm learning is DON'T USE MUSICID!

 

I am uncertain as to what to do now. I stopped converting any LPs until I can resolve this issue. As always, I appreciate any and all Help. Thanks!

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OK Dave D-W,

 

Thanks for the info, but I'm still having a problems. It did not occur to me to try the volume control on my Realtek HD Sound Card. Upon trying this I could get audio to questionable/reasonable levels. In fact this "Set up" seems much more senitive than the headphone jack setup. One Big problem is that I had to virtually turn the volume control (mixer setup) to the absolute lowest setting. Any lower would be at 0. It took many attempts just to get this extremely low setting ( ex. 0=no sound, 1= I could record with little clipping, 2= everything clipped regardless of recording level setting: each time I clicked mouse I was either too high/clipped, or too low/off - as I said many attempts.). Again it clearly appears that the signal is too strong. Previously using the headphone jack, the soft part of a symphony looked almost flat line (resulting wav file) and when recording, the left and right channel appears the same. Now using the "rec out" jacks there is a distinct wave form and the left and right channels are clearly different. Finally I am noticing a low hum that was not there before. When recording, this hum appears as soon as the needle touches the record (ergo, more sensitive). The hum is what I find extremely bothersome. Is there a way to get rid of it?

 

Which lead to this question: Is there a detailed guide for the "LP and Tape Assistant" somewhere? When I attempt to CLEAN audio, what do they mean by "difference"? and "Bypass"? Is there an explanation of each control and what it does? There is nothing in the EMC8 Manual that gets into the details of this Module. Also info regarding tagging. I tried MusicID, but when it told me that my classical music was a video game, and then would not let me delete it, I had to cancel it and in the process I lost a lot of typed in information. This is causing me alot of frustration. The lesson I'm learning is DON'T USE MUSICID!

 

I am uncertain as to what to do now. I stopped converting any LPs until I can resolve this issue. As always, I appreciate any and all Help. Thanks!

If your input seems that "hot" then you need to verify that you're plugged into a Line-In jack, not a mic jack. The standard color coding is that a mic jack will be red, and a line-in will be blue. Are you using a desktop or laptop computer? Many laptops only have mic jacks, and no line-in jack. I'm not at my home system, but the Help files are usually reasonably helpful for Roxio's applications.

 

For the hum, make sure that your turntable is properly grounded to your amplifier. There is usually a separate wire, sometimes attached to the RCA cables that should be connected to a grounding lug on the amplifier/receiver.

 

When you're recording, I would suggest not using any of the Cleaning options, just record it "raw" to start with. Once you've done that, now you can play with the cleaning settings (using Sound Editor if LP/Tape Assistant doesn't let you play with recorded files) and export to a "cleaned" file, while still having the original to fall back to if you don't like the results, without having to re-record from the LP. My recollection is that "Difference" lets you listen to the "noise" that's being removed. If you hear a lot of music, then you've got the controls set too high and all that music you hear is going to be removed too. "Bypass" let's you turn the cleaning option on and off and hear either the cleaned music, or the raw recording, with all the noise. I don't recall if it has a "hum" filter or not.

 

One other suggestion on the volume control. If you're "dragging" the control with your mouse, then it's probably going 4 steps where you're thinking one. Click on the control, then try using the up/down arrows which will probably give you finer control of the volume. On my mixer, it takes 4 up/down clicks to see the control move one pixel.

 

Hope that helps!

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It looks like your sound card is part of the motherboard? You might look for new drivers for the audio chip-set and see if that makes any difference. The next thing you can do is check the back of your amplifier and see if there's a set of jacks from the preamp to the amp section, usually they'll be right next to each other with a solid jumper between them. If there is one, you could tap into that signal and feed that into your sound card, that would let you turn that signal down using the volume control on your amp again.

 

If that connection doesn't exist on your amp, then you could also look for a small preamp or mixer to put between your amp and your computer which will let you control the input signal to the computer. (I'm in the process of picking up a pair of Shure M68 mixers for this purpose, older, and relatively cheap on ebay.)

 

It's true that the only time the effects (cleaning or otherwise) are applied to your tracks are when you export them.

 

Now, you mention .WMA files. If you're planning to put your LPs onto CD, most anyone will recommend that you stick with .WAV files all the way because the .WMA file format is a lossy compression scheme. That is, you're losing music to make it that small. And when you go to put it onto CD, it has to decompress the file back to the .WAV format... so, to keep the best quality, stick with .WAV files.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Ok, Looks like we openned up a whole can of worms! First of all, after some checking I do not have a "sound Card" per se, it is a module attached to the motherboard. After checking the Asus website I found that the driver I have is the latest and greatest. As far as jacks on the back of my stereo systems... there aren't any! Actually the only jacks are on the back of the amplifier. They are from top to bottom: PHONO (left/white, right/red), CD/AUX (same left/right), TAPE/AUX (Play in-(left/right), Rec out-(left/right)). This is the Rec out I mentioned before. Other than connections for speakers, there is the 13 conductor flat ribbon cable that interconnects the FM tuner and Tape deck to the Amplifier. The turntable connects to the Amplifier via the PHONO jacks, and is powered by another jack that plugs into the back of the Amplifier (smaller jack). This jack provides the 12VDC for the turntable. After checking the specifictions for the amplifier I find that the output voltage for the "Rec out" jack is 150mv. However the output for the headphone jack is 500mv (8 ohm load). The phono input sentitivity is 2.5mv. This seems odd to me because I clearly notice greater sensitivities when connected to the "Rec out" jacks. If the headphone jack is higher voltage then it should be the opposite, right? Anyway, After checking a variety of other options it appears that for all practical purposes my original connection via the headphone jack is my best scenerio. Opening the window for my sound card/module reveals many different inputs/outputs I can adjust. When you clued me on the sound module I decided to mute everything not related to my recording efforts. I noticed that the Hum/wow/flutter noise decreased. So that was helpful.

 

Now the can of worms!! When I started downloading music into my computer I did it via Windows media Player 9. Many CDs were downloaded as .wma because it was what WMP recommended. There was no options to Rip as a .wav file. Even today (now using WMP10) there is no .wav option. Again I was using WMP long before I bought Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 (1st version purchased; have since upgraded to EMC8). This means that everything I have in my computer is not a true copy of the original music. It wasn't a problem before because I assumed I was listening to the best quality (the .wma 192kbps), and they sound fine to me. What bothers me is what you alerted me to... The CD I burn to play in my car is actually the converted .wma file being converted back to a .wav file. I thought that they were exactly like the originals. I followed up on this by going to a couple of websites that enlightened me on what is on a CD, and the entire compression schemes used to produce the best possible Audio quality. Now comes the debates as to how good is good enough? Previously I assumed all was well, and in all honesty since everything I burned came from the .wma file I continued to assume all was well (nevered listened to a .wav CD except some originals I played in my vehicle, or my stereo system at home. Because I have a hearing impairment in the high frequency range the .wma seems good enough for me. Friends with normal hearing has told me that they can't tell the difference. However, it clearly appears that I should have downloaded everything as a .wav file to begin with. This also means that I will have to redo everything I have previously done, if I which to maintain the best audio quality period. I have over 200 CD and at least 30 Albums previously converted that will needs to be done over. My Music folder (20+ Gigs) will now grow to 5 times the size. Also I'm concerned about the Tag info WMP obtained online for my music. An example of this is when I redid some of my Eagles CDs to be .wav files (this morning). WMP could not find info on "Unknown Album" (used EMC8 to load to Hard Drive). MusicID only was able to do this track by track, not Album by Album. With over 200 CDs times 10 track average..this means I will have to get info 1 track at a time for over 2000 tracks! Not a project I am lnot ooking forward to. Unless there is a quicker/better means to do this. Finally, since I initially used WMP, I gotten to like all the Album/track info that I can sort in many ways, as well as export to an excel report that provides a complete inventory of my music. I'm only familair with WMP. Is there a better way to go that will retain all the info previouly obtain via WMP. Any time saving advise is clearly valued. I've already come to the conclusion that I will have to basically start from scratch (I want copies I burn to be a true representation of what was on original CD). This is extremely bad new for me, but one in which I must ultimately swallow. HELP!!! P.S. Sorry for delay in responding back to you. But your responds sent me into doing some research.

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Ok, Looks like we openned up a whole can of worms! First of all, after some checking I do not have a "sound Card" per se, it is a module attached to the motherboard. After checking the Asus website I found that the driver I have is the latest and greatest. As far as jacks on the back of my stereo systems... there aren't any! Actually the only jacks are on the back of the amplifier. They are from top to bottom: PHONO (left/white, right/red), CD/AUX (same left/right), TAPE/AUX (Play in-(left/right), Rec out-(left/right)). This is the Rec out I mentioned before. Other than connections for speakers, there is the 13 conductor flat ribbon cable that interconnects the FM tuner and Tape deck to the Amplifier. The turntable connects to the Amplifier via the PHONO jacks, and is powered by another jack that plugs into the back of the Amplifier (smaller jack). This jack provides the 12VDC for the turntable. After checking the specifictions for the amplifier I find that the output voltage for the "Rec out" jack is 150mv. However the output for the headphone jack is 500mv (8 ohm load). The phono input sentitivity is 2.5mv. This seems odd to me because I clearly notice greater sensitivities when connected to the "Rec out" jacks. If the headphone jack is higher voltage then it should be the opposite, right? Anyway, After checking a variety of other options it appears that for all practical purposes my original connection via the headphone jack is my best scenerio. Opening the window for my sound card/module reveals many different inputs/outputs I can adjust. When you clued me on the sound module I decided to mute everything not related to my recording efforts. I noticed that the Hum/wow/flutter noise decreased. So that was helpful.

 

Now the can of worms!! When I started downloading music into my computer I did it via Windows media Player 9. Many CDs were downloaded as .wma because it was what WMP recommended. There was no options to Rip as a .wav file. Even today (now using WMP10) there is no .wav option. Again I was using WMP long before I bought Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 (1st version purchased; have since upgraded to EMC8). This means that everything I have in my computer is not a true copy of the original music. It wasn't a problem before because I assumed I was listening to the best quality (the .wma 192kbps), and they sound fine to me. What bothers me is what you alerted me to... The CD I burn to play in my car is actually the converted .wma file being converted back to a .wav file. I thought that they were exactly like the originals. I followed up on this by going to a couple of websites that enlightened me on what is on a CD, and the entire compression schemes used to produce the best possible Audio quality. Now comes the debates as to how good is good enough? Previously I assumed all was well, and in all honesty since everything I burned came from the .wma file I continued to assume all was well (nevered listened to a .wav CD except some originals I played in my vehicle, or my stereo system at home. Because I have a hearing impairment in the high frequency range the .wma seems good enough for me. Friends with normal hearing has told me that they can't tell the difference. However, it clearly appears that I should have downloaded everything as a .wav file to begin with. This also means that I will have to redo everything I have previously done, if I which to maintain the best audio quality period. I have over 200 CD and at least 30 Albums previously converted that will needs to be done over. My Music folder (20+ Gigs) will now grow to 5 times the size. Also I'm concerned about the Tag info WMP obtained online for my music. An example of this is when I redid some of my Eagles CDs to be .wav files (this morning). WMP could not find info on "Unknown Album" (used EMC8 to load to Hard Drive). MusicID only was able to do this track by track, not Album by Album. With over 200 CDs times 10 track average..this means I will have to get info 1 track at a time for over 2000 tracks! Not a project I am lnot ooking forward to. Unless there is a quicker/better means to do this. Finally, since I initially used WMP, I gotten to like all the Album/track info that I can sort in many ways, as well as export to an excel report that provides a complete inventory of my music. I'm only familair with WMP. Is there a better way to go that will retain all the info previouly obtain via WMP. Any time saving advise is clearly valued. I've already come to the conclusion that I will have to basically start from scratch (I want copies I burn to be a true representation of what was on original CD). This is extremely bad new for me, but one in which I must ultimately swallow. HELP!!! P.S. Sorry for delay in responding back to you. But your responds sent me into doing some research.

 

How about putting in some paragraphs (click on the edit).

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Okay... indeed you have been "enlightened", which is good and bad because now you know more about the limitations of the various formats.

 

Let me make some suggestions. The music library you keep on your computer you may want to keep as compressed files, .WMA or .MP3. To a great extent it depends on your listening environment and equipment as to whether or not you'll hear any difference between .MP3/.WMA files, and .WAV files, with or without any hearing impairments. As you observed, your library size will increase substantially if you go back and redo everything as .WAV files. As I put LPs onto CD, I do everything in .WAV files to the point where the Audio CD is written. Then I convert those .WAV files to .MP3 files for the library on my computer. The speakers attached to my computer are "good enough", but not audiophile quality, and I'm not usually listening at a level that will disclose the difference between the compressed and uncompressed data. When I'm listening on my stereo, I'm using the Audio CDs made from the .WAV files, on a better system.

 

Other bad news, most programs don't put TAG data into .WAV files. (If I recall, you can put other "chunks" into .WAV files, but most programs don't properly support them, and you wind up getting a blast of sound when they try to "play" the tag data. And yes, the different segments of a .WAV file are called "chunks".) So, to keep the convenience of the tag data you now have, which is really only useful on the computer anyway, sticking with a compressed format there may be a good option for you. When I'm putting an LP onto CD, I manually type in the track names, and store them under a folder structure something like this:

 

F:\Artist\Album\track.wav

 

By default, when you write CD Text in EMC it'll use the file names for .WAV files.

 

As for the sensitivity levels of the various outputs on your stereo, the main thing that makes the headphone jack better is that you can turn it down using the volume control, so you are essentially turning then sensitivity (voltage) down, which you can't do on the Rec-Out jacks.

 

So, there are some ideas and a bit more info. Hope that helps!

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