Chapter 11. Recording and Ripping

The Internet and CDs aren’t the only sources for digital music. You may have vintage records or vinyl LPs you’d like to convert to a digital format, or you might have some deteriorating tapes you want to preserve. Or maybe you want to record live music, produce an audio book, or record sound effects for a multimedia presentation.

Whatever your application, with your computer and the right software, you can capture and preserve any type of audio in a digital format. Once the audio is in a digital format, it’s easy to clean it up or add special effects.

The process of recording audio on a computer is called hard disk recording. Dedicated hard disk recorders costing thousands of dollars have been available to professional recording engineers for years, but new technologies now allow you to produce professional-quality digital recordings on your computer for next to nothing.

In the case of audio CDs, a better way of getting the audio onto your computer is ripping, which is also referred to as digital audio extraction. Ripping copies the audio data directly from the CD to your computer’s hard drive and is much faster than recording. Because ripping bypasses the computer’s sound card, it results in a file with higher-quality sound than if you had recorded the same material through your sound card.

In this chapter you will learn how to record audio from external sources, such as tape decks, turntables, and microphones, and from internal sources, such as streaming ...

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