New Turntables for digitizing Lps

Annie Eisenberg in today’s New York Times writes about a couple of new turntables recently released to help transfer music from Lps to the digital formats, such as .wav and .mp3 files.

One, the Ion USB or, more formally, the iTTUSB ($199 list price) comes complete with a USB cable that plugs directly into the computer via a digital feed, and a software package that enables people to burn CDs from the resulting data. A few years ago, when I was first setting up a system to burn CDs from Lps, I was surprised to find out how easily turntables were to find, even ones that still play 78 RPM discs. One of the reasons turntables are still manufactured is the burgeoning DJ market; audiophiles are still making claims that the good old analog sound of their Lps is superior to that of the digitized world. I wound up buying a Numark turntable, which I hooked up to my old amp, running an analog cable to a special sound card (the Echo Mia), which uses good analog to digital (A->D) converter chips. Buying a pro-quality sound card really helps in capturing more of that original sound.

For digital audio software, I’ve been using Cool Edit (now owned by Adobe and sold under the name Audition). The software takes a while to learn, but certainly helps in seperating the tracks into useable files, removing clicks and pops, and even re-equalizing the sound for special purposes. Plan omn spending at least three hours per Lp in transferring the sound and burning the disc.

-Peter

About Peter Feldmann

Peter Feldmann has long been a musical mainstay in Santa Barbara and Southern California. Besides actively performing bluegrass and old time music with a variety of groups, Peter is also known as a bluegrass historian, collector, music consultant, teacher, and producer, both of live concerts and radio/tv programs throughout the area. His music has been heard in clubs, concerts, saloons, universities, pre-schools, at weddings, wakes, parties, barn-raisings, calf-ropings, rodeos, auctions, fund raisers, wine tastings and chili cook offs. Peter founded Santa Barbara's Old Time Fiddler's Convention (1972), UCSB's Old Time Music Front (1964), and The Bluebird Cafe (1971). Through these and other outlets, he was the first to bring many prominent folk, blues, and bluegrass artists, including Bill Monroe, Mance Lipscomb, The Stanley Brothers, The New Lost City Ramblers, Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Rose Maddox, the Balfa Brothers, and many others to the Santa Barbara area. Peter also helped others access the music by teaching privately, and in group classes for Santa Barbara Continuing Education, UCSB Extension, and McCabes Guitars. He was the first on the West Coast to produce and market instruction Lps - three on How To Play Country Fiddle, and one each on Clawhammer Banjo, and Maybelle Carter Style Guitar. He still presents lectures on country music history at UCSB, Santa Barbara area libraries, and for various interest groups, festival workshops, etc. In 2006, he presented his monograph titled "The Big bang Of Bluegrass Music" (describing the origins of bluegrass 1938 - 1946) to the worlds first International Music Symposium at the University of Kentucky at Bowling Green. He has also been very active in radio, television, and film work, producing weekly shows on country and bluegrass music over a 21 year period on various commercial and public stations. Peter currently maintains three music-related websites, a music blog, and an entertainment service company, "BlueGrass West!", based in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California. Peter performs tunes and songs from the heart of America's musical treasure chest. His shows can include fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Well-known as a historian and teacher, Peter is first and foremost an entertainer, sharing his respect, energy and love for the music with his fellow musicians, friends, and audiences.
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