Vinyl to digital using Linux part 1

Its just one of those things where you want to listen to a favorite track while in the car or working away but it is on vinyl back at home. Often I really need to hear a track because it is stuck in my mind or I’m in the mood for it but its not on my phone or computer and I know full well that I have it on vinyl so recently I did something that I have been meaning to do for some time. Got my turn table connected to my computer. Or laptop to be precise.

This will be part 1 of 2 parts. The actual setting up and recording.

Part 2 will be separating the results into the separate tracks and saving them as individual songs instead of one big track.


Apart from the obvious laptop the only additional hardware is a turn table (I used the one connected to my sony midi hi-fi but any standard turntable should work).

The important bit for this to work, is a USB Audio Phono Preamp. I use one by Pinnacle systems which came with Steinberg Clean plus version 5. I got this years ago (when I still had XP that got deleted one drunken night). I get really good results with this set up.

Audio File Type.

Audacity start as .ogg as the default but you can change this to what feel is more convenient or works best on your music device.


For this I used what appears to be the standard software: Audacity or at least that is what I have found to be the standard in audio recording with Linux.

To actually get started you need to check a number of things are set right in software.

1. Before you launch Audacity turn your turn table so that software picks up on start up, otherwise it won’t be work.

2. Click on the Device Toolbar and check that USB Audio CODEC is set as the recording devices and that the default sound card that you use is also selected.

Also makes sure that the recording channels are set on 2 (stereo).

3. You will also want to have software play through clicked on so that you can hear if  its actually get through. (Also means that you can listen to the music). This is where having more memory pays off because it doesn’t work at all well on the old laptop or the desktop with 2gb.

4. In the mixer toolbar, turn the left-hand output volume slider up.

The right-hand volume slider can be used to vary the volume/loudness of the recording it self.

5. Also, make sure that the Project Rate botton is set to 44 100 Hz.

Right, that should now make it all work,

Now start playing the record and press the red button to record.

Play and record the whole of the record as this is a lot easier than doing each track.

In part 2 I will deal with what to do with the recording.



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