O'Reilly logo

Digital Audio Essentials by Bruce Fries, Marty Fries

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Before You Record

The Golden Rule when capturing analog audio is to generate the cleanest signal possible. Do everything you can in the analog stage to minimize noise and set good signal levels. Avoid relying too much on sound editors and digital-signal-processing tools, unless you have no other choice. The following tips will help you obtain a good-quality recording.

Note

Wow and flutter are caused by small variations in the rotation speed of a turntable (or the tape speed on a tape deck). As the speed increases, frequencies are shifted higher, and as the speed decreases they are shifted lower. Rumble is very low-frequency noise caused by acoustic feedback, tone arm resonance, motor vibration, and other problems in a turntable.

Use a quality turntable and cartridge

If you want to capture the highest-quality audio with the least amount of noise, you’ll need a decent turntable and cartridge. A poor-quality turntable can introduce wow, flutter, and rumble, all of which are difficult to remove from the digitized audio, and a poor-quality cartridge will produce an uneven frequency response. You could easily spend a thousand dollars or more on a top-of-the-line turntable, but you can still get a decent turntable for under $200 and a top-notch cartridge with stylus for under $100.

When considering your equipment, don’t forget the special needs of vintage records with their wide grooves—wide-groove records generally require a higher tracking force (3 to 7 grams) than vinyl records (1 gram ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required