How to digitize a vinyl record

Before you start

  1. Load your vinyl record onto the Pioneer PL-990 turntable.
    • Determine what speed your record should be played at – 33 1/3 RPM (more common, also known as LPs, usually 12″ in diameter) or 45 RPM (usually created for singles, will have a larger hole in the center and requires use of the disc adapter located on the left of the turntable). Press in the button on the left of the turntable to toggle 45 RPM.

      Pioneer-PL990-Turntable
      Turntable playing a 33 1/3 RPM vinyl record, adapter for 45 RPM records visible to the left.
    • Press PLAY to check the sound quality of your record and adjust speed as needed. The turntable has very small speakers; it is best to listen to the sound through the Audio-Technica headphones. Adjust the volume of the headphones using the TASCAM US-366 audio interface.
  2. Push the “IN 1” button on the MT-VIKI switch for AUDIO (do not change any settings on the VIDEO MT-VIKI located behind the computer monitor).MT-VIKI-Audio-Turntable

Audacity Settings

  1. Start the Audacity software by clicking on the Audacity logo Audacity logo in the ribbon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Check that the following settings are correct:
    • The button bar should read, left to right: “Windows WASAPI,” “Line In (TASCAM US-366),” “2 (Stereo) Recording,” “Speakers (TASCAM US-366).” Audacity button bar
    • At bottom left, Project Rate (Hz) should read “96000.” Project rate setting

Digitizing in Audacity

  1. With your record loaded on the turntable, click the “Record” button in Audacity.         Audacity record button
  2. Press “Play” on the turntable. You will be able to see whether Audacity is capturing the audio if the blue line starts to jump around, creating “waveforms.” You can monitor the sound quality during recording with the Audio-Technica headphones.
  3. When the record is finished playing, click the “Stop” button in Audacity. AudacityStopButton
  4. Save your file (to your own USB stick or external HD) by going to File ? Export Audio. We recommend exporting to 16-bit .WAV or .AIFF (not MP3).
    • If you plan to edit the file more in Audacity, you can save it as an Audacity project (*.aup).
  5. Metadata Editor will open automatically for each exported file after choosing the file format in the Export Audio dialog. If you have this information, enter it to the best of your knowledge (you can always enter it later by re-opening the file in Audacity and going to File ? Edit Metadata.Audacity-Metadata-Editor

Saving

Do NOT save files to the C:\ or the computer desktop. RADD has a 2TB spinning hard drive (E:\) for temporary file storage. Saving large files anywhere else will max out the computer space very quickly. There is a shortcut on the Desktop to the E:\ drive called “SaveWorkHere.”

If possible, always save your work to your own external hard drive or USB thumb drive, or cloud storage if you have enough space. If you forgot to bring a storage device with you, SLIS Library offers portable hard drives for check-out.

When you’re done

  1. Remove your record from the turntable and take it with you – people do forget!
  2. Make sure you have all your files on your USB stick/hard drive. SLIS Library offers portable HDs for personal checkout if you forgot to bring one.
  3. Exit Audacity.

Troubleshooting

How do I get rid of audio silence in Audacity?

  • Click on menu item Effect ? Truncate Silence and then clicking OK.

I can hear the record through the headphones, but Audacity isn’t capturing anything!

  • Check the MT-VIKI audio switch. Is the turntable (IN 1) button pressed?