This is a list of the programs I am currently using or have tried in the past.
Recording and editing
Common for all these programs is that they contain a lot more functionality than you ask for as a vinyl converter.
(Driver software and interfaces as ”ASIO”, “WASAPI” and ”Kernel streaming” has been discussed in the section about Computer, operating system and drivers).
This is a freeware for recording and is available for Windows, MAC OS X and Linux.
There are a lot of filters and tools for audio editing. You can do “manual” corrections all the way down to the “byte level”, but for removing noise and clicks I prefer to use other programs.
In earlier versions of Audacity it was not possible to receive more than 16 bits via Windows, and thats why I have been using Reaper (see below), but in the latest versions it should be possible to do 24 bit recordings using the Windows WASAPI interface (you’ll find it in the settings).
A standard driver and interface for professional recordings is ASIO.
Audacity doesn’t come with ASIO support due to licensing rules, but it is possible to compile Audacity with ASIO for your own use. Then you need to get an account with Steinberg (license owner) for fetching “SDK software”. If you want to try, you should find a manual for this on the internet and you should also be really experienced with computers.
Link to Audacity
- Studio One
Studio One is a commercial program but there is a limited free version which may be interesting to try. Studio One supports ASIO drivers. Test it!
Link to Studio One
Reaper can be tested for free before you buy it (60 USD).
It is more of a home studio than a simple program for people who convert vinyl records, so I only use Reaper for the recording part and Audacity for the editing.
Reaper has support both for ASIO and Kernel streaming.
Link to Reaper
Removal of click and noise etc.
The programs I use in this category are all developed by Brian Davies and have a specific handling and interface. The music files are ”streamed” through the program and you can load several files to be processed in a “batch”, which is practical.
The settings (many, but not all) can be changed during the processing. You can adjust the result within a current ”time buffer”, but you cannot go backwards beyond that limit. Once you’ve accepted this, they are excellent.
An excellent program for removing clicks and crackle from your recording. Can be tested for free for three weeks and will then cost you 40 AUD (Australian dollars).
- DeNoise LF
Is included in my workflow for removing rumble (low frequency noise) and hum (50Hz or 60Hz). Comes bundled with the next program – DeNoise. Can be tested for free for 21 days, and will then cost 40 AUD (for both).
For profiling and removing vinyl noise. The idea is that the noise is more audible in silent parts and the reduction is then stronger.
If I would work with 78 rpm records I would probably always use DeNoise, but with 33 and 45 rpm records I only use it in exceptional cases. Will cost 40 AUD together with Denoise LF.
You can try to use this program if you want to record with “digital RIAA correction”, or for adjusting the “correction curve” when you are working with 78 rpm records. There are a lot to consider and learn in this area!
There is a discussion in the manual about recordings made with the wrong rpm, for instance if you have to play 78 rpm records at 45 rpm.
The program is free.
You can find these programs on Brian Davies’ homepage.
Format handling etc.
- Foobar 2000
A freeware with a lot of features for handling and playing music files.
I use Foobar in my workflow to review and add information tags and album art. When I am happy with the tagging I use Foobar for converting the files into FLAC and MP3 formats. The settings include how to name and store the conversion results and can be saved and reused for each type of conversion.
In order to do conversions to MP3 you will also need to download and install LAME (se below).
Link to Foobar
LAME is an ”encoder” for MP3 and needs to be fetched separately. When doing the settings in Foobar you need to enter the location where LAME is installed.
Link to LAME
Music server for iPod och iPhone. Equivalent music servers exist for Android and other portable players.
Link to iTunes
Exact Audio Copy is the program if you also want to import your CD records to the computer.
Link to EAC
- Directory List
A handy program for listing your (music or other) files. There is a free version of the program.
You can chose to create a list of folders with the included files. The list can be opened and handled for instance in Excel.
Link to Directory List
Driver program. ASIO4ALL should make it possible to simulate ASIO from an analog to digital converter that doesn’t have ASIO from start. (I had no success with this, but it might work for you).
(See section about drivers).
Link to ASIO4ALL