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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Transfer from Vinyl to Mac

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Member Since: Mar 26, 2007
Posts: 46
Kitrh is an unknown at this point
Mac Specs: 20"iMac, 2.16ghz dual core

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Has anyone experience of using USB turntables on a Mac? I am considering purchasing the Ion as I have a large record collection which I would love to put on iTunes, but my hifi and Mac are in separate rooms and it just isn't possible to link them.

Appreciate hearing any user's experiences, pitfalls etc.


iMac 20"
Switched April 2007
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Member Since: Sep 01, 2008
Location: Lytham St. Annes
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Mac Specs: iMac 2.8GHz, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, OS 10.5 Leopard

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You may not have to buy a USB turntable. For instance, you could buy some phono to 1/4 jack plug adaptors that would then allow you to use the soundcard on the Mac to get the signal in there. You would also a need another adaptor that you could put the 2 jacks into to make 1. You may encounter a bit of noise as this isn't exactly the cleanest signal.

It kind of depends on your long term view and what you're into. For instance, if you're into music production, you could kills 2 birds with one stone by buying an external soundcard e.g. if you got device such as the Firewire 1814by M-Audio, you could buy some phono to standard size jack plug adaptors and go into channels 1 and 2. You would need to pad to make sure the signal is balanced but I can testify that this definitely works, although there are other devices out there equally as good if not better. I highly recommend Mackie's stuff. M-Audio is OK, but their customer support is pretty flaky.

Re: the USB turntable, I have a neighbour who has a Seal turntable, and he is very happy with it. I had a play and the sound is reasonable. At the end of the day, it also depends on the quality of the software. If you use something like PEAK which is meant to be comparable to SoundForge, then you should be OK. Not sure whether GarageBand would be any use for this, as I've not really had a decent look at it yet.

Simpson, eh?
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Member Since: Jun 18, 2008
Location: New York
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If you can set up a record player (with a half decent cartridge) next to the computer, check out:
ART USB Phono Plus Interface - Version 2 as low as $60. It is Mac compatible. - It will result in a much better sound than the Ion. The time it takes to import the sound should not be wasted on inferior sound. Unless you really don't care about the sound. Also, you can not feed the standard player to the computer since it need the record (RIAA?) equalization. If you want to feed it to the audio in, just buy a phono equalization preamp, about $40.

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Member Since: Apr 18, 2008
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I just use Garageband and my regular old turntable. Actually, I have a dual tape deck with Dolby Noise Reduction for recording vinyl onto cassettes (anyone remember what those are?) and I've found I get better sound if I copy the vinyl onto cassette with Dolby NR. Then I use a convertor cable to hook the output RCA jacks from my stereo the the line-in on my MacBook. You can adjust the line-in volume on the Sound panel under System Preferences, but my end result MP3's always come out with a lower volume than my regular digital music. The sound isn't too bad though, and although it's a bit of work it doesn't cost me anything (just a stereo and a cable I already had).
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