Welcome to the VinylStudio FAQ, where we have gathered together some information which we hope you will find useful. You might also find our Guide to Digitizing Vinyl Records and Tapes worth looking at, although it is a lot longer than this FAQ.
1. I already have a turntable; how do I hook it up to my computer? You may just need a cable. You may also need a phono preamp, which can be a USB device. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
2. What Kind of computer Do I Need? Any reasonably modern PC or Mac should do the job, but you do need plenty of hard disk space. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
3. Will I get Satisfactory Results Recording Through my Computer's Sound Card? Probably, but some sound cards can introduce background noise so make a test recording to be sure. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
4. Can I use a Laptop? You can, but you may need to buy some extra bits for it. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
5. I threw my turntable out years ago; what should I do? You can either buy a conventional, separate turntable and hook it up via a phono pre-amp or you can now buy turntables that plug directly into a USB port. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
6. Can VinylStudio record from USB turntables and other USB devices? Yes. VinylStudio can record from any device recognised by your computer, and has a 'Monitor Recording' facility which lets you hear what you are recording as you record it.
7. I want to record 78s It is essential that you get hold of a suitable stylus. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
8. I want to digitise tapes; how do I go about it? Hooking up a tape deck is usually straightforward. More details in the VinylStudio guide.
9. How much disk space will I need? About 500MB (i.e. 1/2 GB) per album, using VinylStudio's default settings (44 kHz, 16 bit), and the same again for your split-up tracks.
10. Can I / Should I record directly to MP3 format? You can, but it is better to record to a lossless format such as WAV or AIFF, unless you are very short of disk space. MP3 files are very good, but you can sometimes hear the difference and it's nice if your 'master' recordings are made with the best possible fidelity. On a bit of a sidenote, MP3 sometimes gets a bad press because many encoders don't use the most effective encoding options. By default, VinylStudio uses something called VBR (Variable Bit Rate), which gives the best results for a given file size.
11. Can I tackle the job in stages? Definitely. VinylStudio keeps your recordings organised in a collection (by album artist and title) and keeps track of any work that you have done so far, so it is easy to pick up where you left off. You can also come back to a recording later to, for example, declick it.
12. How do I create CD's, once I have recorded my music onto my computer? In VinylStudio, it's actually very simple. Burning CD's is an integral part of the program.
13.Will I be able to Play my Recordings on my Computer or Media Centre? Absolutely! VinylStudio produces standard audio files which will play virtually anywhere. On the Mac, VinylStudio can add these to your iTunes Music Library automatically when you save your tracks.
14. How do I copy tracks to my MP3 player or iPod? VinyStudio offers a simple drag-and-drop interface to copy files across to your MP3 player. To copy files to an iPod, use iTunes.
15. Will my home-brew CD's play in my car's CD player? They should do, although many in-car players will only play audio (as opposed to MP3) CD's. A few players seems not to be able to play CD's burned on a computer at all, but this is rare. Using 74 minute media, if you can get it, might help.
16. Can VinylStudio insert trackbreaks automatically? VinylStudio has two ways of doing this. The preferred way, if it works for you, is to look up a track listing on the Internet. This feature is built into VinylStudio and, if you can locate your album, will pick up all the trak names for you and, in some cases, put the trackbreaks in roughly the right place. VinylStudio can also scan for gaps between tracks, but the effectiveness of this feature depends on the type of music being recorded.
17. Does VinylStudio tag saved tracks? Yes it does. It puts in album title and artist, track title and artist, genre, release year and a selection of other, more specialised, tags.
18. Can VinylStudio locate album art and embed it in my saved tracks? Yes it can. You can either try retrieving album art directly from the various databases that VinylStudio supports or you can often find album covers via Google images. If all else fails, you can take your own snapshots and import them into VinylStudio.
19. Can I edit my recordings outside VinylStudio? Yes, although we hope that it is not something you need to do often. VinylStudio has file import and export facilites and the recordings it creates are in standard formats. In particular, audio files can be exported from VinylStudio containing the results of any use you have made of the audio cleanup tools and then re-imported after editing in another program.
To download a free trial copy of VinylStudio (record upto 5 albums, no time limit) please go to www.alpinesoft.co.uk/VinylStudio/download.aspx.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please contact us through our website: www.alpinesoft.co.uk/contact_us.aspx.