Connecting up your Turntable (or Tape Deck) and SpeakersConnecting a Turntable to your Computer
Hooking up your Computer's Speakers
Using a Laptop
A Simple Approach
Connecting a Turntable to your Computer
To record vinyl albums (or 78s) you will need to hook up your record deck to your sound card. This can be achieved either by running a cable from your Hi-Fi, or by using a Phono Pre-amp (which you will have to purchase separately). You can also use a USB turntable or cassette deck if you have one.
In all cases, you can monitor what you are recording through your computer's speakers.
If you are using a Hi-Fi
If your turntable is already connected to a Hi-Fi, there should be a phono socket on the back labeled REC OUT, or TAPE REC or similar (if you have a tape deck connected to your Hi-Fi, this socket will be in use, so you will need to disconnect it). Run a cable from this socket to the the line-in socket (usually colour-coded blue on Windows PC's) on your sound card. The cable you need is a 3.5mm Jack to Twin Phono Lead:
If you are using a Phono Pre-amp
If you are using a Phono Pre-amp, you will need a similar cable; run it from the output of the pre-amp to line-in on the sound card. In the UK, Phono Pre-amps can be purchased from Maplin Electronics at moderate cost. In the US, try www.phonopreamps.com. Connect the flying leads from your turntable to the input of the preamp.
If you are using a USB turntable or other USB device
If you are using a USB turntable or other USB device, VinylStudio should recognise it the first time you plug it in to a USB port. If it does not, open the Check Level dialog and select your device (usually 'USB Audio CODEC') from the drop down list. Do not be put off by the fact that some USB devices identify themselves as a Microphone - they are lying.[ Top ]
If you have a conventional cassette deck, you can run a cable like the one pictured above from the output sockets on your tape deck to the line-in socket on your sound card (normally colour coded blue).
Another, very simple way to record cassettes is to use a personal cassette player (walkman) and run a cable from the headphone socket to the line-in socket on your sound card. This usually gives surprisingly good results. The cable you need has a 3.5mm / 1/8th inch male jack on each end and is not hard to obtain. Again, try Radio Shack in the US or Maplin Electronics in the UK. Plug one end of the cable into the headphone jack on the tape player and the other into your computer.
If you are using a USB cassette deck or other USB device
If you are using a USB cassette deck or other USB device, VinylStudio should recognise it the first time you plug it in to a USB port. If it does not, open the Check Level dialog and select your device (usually 'USB Audio CODEC') from the drop down list. Do not be put off by the fact that some USB devices identify themselves as a Microphone - they are lying.[ Top ]
The easiest solution here is to run a cable like the one pictured above from the output sockets on your tape deck to the line-in socket on your sound card (normally colour coded blue on Windows PC's). Again, you can monitor what you are recording through your PC's speakers.
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Hooking up your PC Speakers
Most computers already have speakers attached so there should be no problem here, but most USB devices change the default playback device (to themselves) when they are plugged in for the first time which means that, in effect, your speakers stop working. If this happens to you, you can change the playback device VinylStudio uses from the Change Playback Device dialog under the Options menu. You can also reset the default playback device (as used by all other applications) by clicking on Change Default Playback Device in this dialog.
Using a Laptop
Laptop computers are not always suitable for recording as many only have a microphone input, which is mono. The easiest way to tell if this is the case is to make a short recording and listen to it on headphones. If you need one, you can buy a USB sound card, such as the Griffin iMic, or even a phono-preamp equipped with a USB connection such as the new NAD PP-3. If you are using a USB turntable, there is no problem.
Please note that the iMic is not compatible with Windows Vista.
A Simple Approach
If none of the above appeals, there is a simpler way to connect your music centre to your PC: you can connect a cable from the headphone outlet on the music centre to line-in on your PC. Although this may not give quite such good results, it is good enough for many people and is an easy way to get started if you want to experiment.
The cable you need has a 3.5 mm / 1/8th inch jack plug on each end as pictured above. You should keep the volume setting on the music centre fairly low to avoid overloading the sound card in your PC; if your recordings sound distorted, try turning this down.
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