Connecting up your Turntable or Tape Deck

Connecting up your Turntable or Tape Deck

Connecting a Turntable to your
Recording Cassettes
Recording Reel-to-Reel
Hooking up your Computer's Speakers
Testing your Setup
Using a Laptop

Connecting a Turntable to your

To record vinyl albums (or 78s) you will need to hook up your record deck to your sound card or other input device. 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 your sound card.on your Mac. 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 ]

Recording Cassettes

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 .

   
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 ]

Recording Reel-to-Reel

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). Again, you can monitor what you are recording through your computer's speakers.

   


[ Top ]

Hooking up your Computer's Speakers

Most s already have speakers attached so there should be no problem here, but some 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.

[ Top ]

Testing your Setup

To check that everything is correctly hooked up, start a record or tape playing, go to VinylStudio's Record Albums window and click on the Check Level button. You should then see the recording level indicators moving in time with the music:

If you check the 'Monitor Recording' box (or sometimes even if you don't), you should hear what you are recording played back through your computer's speakers.

If no sound is getting through, a bit of experimentation might be needed:

[ Top ]

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 NAD PP-3 or PP-4. If you are using a USB turntable, there is no problem recording on a laptop.

Please note that the iMic is not compatible with Windows Vista.

[ Top ]