Chapter 14. Digitizing Your Records and Tapes

If you have vinyl LPs and 45s, vintage 78s, or old tapes you’d like to incorporate into your digital music library, you’re in luck. Digitizing a record or tape (i.e., recording it in a digital format) is an excellent way to safeguard the music and avoid wear and tear each time it is played. Another benefit is that you can permanently remove clicks, pops, and hiss once you’ve captured the recordings in a digital file.

After you’ve cleaned up the audio, you can store it on your hard disk and add it to your jukebox program’s music library, burn the tracks to CD, or export them to your iPod or other digital player. With your audio in digital form, you’ll no longer have to worry about records warping, tapes stretching, or your stylus wearing out, and you won’t have to clean records and demagnetize tape heads ever again.

This chapter focuses primarily on recording and restoring audio from records, but you can follow the same process for audio tapes. You’ll learn how to remove clicks, pops, and other surface noise, and even how to choose the right turntable, cartridge, and stylus to get the best possible sound from vintage records.

Refer to back Chapter 11 for detailed information on recording audio from analog sources, and to Chapter 13 for more information on editing audio files. You’ll need that information to make effective use of the techniques covered in this chapter.

A Brief History of Records

In 1877, Thomas Edison demonstrated the first ...

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