Recommendation: Wokflow for Vinyl Recording

Hello

I’m very new user with Wavelab… My plan is to digitalise all of my Vinyl Records (1’000++). My Equipment is: Arturia Audiofuse on iMac (mid 2011- RAM++, SSD+++) etc. Finyl result should be: MP3 (256 and above) and AIFF files, each track separately, perfectly tagged to use it in iTunes… Now I only need recording software to:

  1. Record 96kHz (or 192), 24 Bit
  2. Trim Recordings to track length
  3. Normalize left and right (I know - many pressings are showing huge difference between both channel)
  4. Normalize each track
  5. Remove the worst cracking sounds
  6. As an option: Tag all the files (also possible with iTunes…)

Anyway - 1), 2) is clear, what would you recommend to use Plug Ins in right order for WaveLab? How does it work - is there a Tutorial available showing exactly this (basic settings - do’s / dont’s - examples…)? My wish is to use some kind of automation. Am I right that I cannot use the WL De-Click with a track globally, I need to find and remove each click manually?

Right now I’ve installed WaveLab Elements 9.5 (Trial) and must report some crash downs (especially when adjusting the PlugIns). Have you experienced the same maybe?

Thank you all!
Daniel

I will get some posts up here on what I do for my transfers. WL is used but it used sparingly.

Couple thoughts before you get too far into this - depending on the quality you are looking for - I do not see a record cleaner on your list of steps. Cleaning the record thoroughly BEFORE attempting any sort of transfer can save you literally hours and weeks off your edits.

Some Don’ts:

  1. Normalizing is not something to take lightly. Remember that normalizing can (and will) bring the levels of all tracks up - in some cases making quiet songs (even from the same album) sound goofy - because they are too loud.

  2. Choose a master archive format that retains ALL of your tagging efforts. I am on Windows so my “forever masters” are in FLAC format - which allows storage of every tag I might ever want to use.

If you commit to AIFF as a master - you should know that your files may not display correctly OR at all - should you move out of Apple’s world and into something else years from now. I stay far away from WAV and AIFF as any sort of long term solution for masters. ALAC is probably a better choice that AIFF long term.

For me - the work is all done into FLAC and then I use those masters to create mobile versions like MP3 etc for iPods etc. I never render out anything but a set of well tagged FLAC files at the end of a transfer session.

Getting the very best transfers and sound quality requires several key tools, good monitoring and solid ears. Again - I do not know what “quality” means to to you - but for me - I strive to make my transfers indistinguishable from CD whenever possible - and I am willing to put in the time that takes.

Cheers,

VP

Thank you, Bruce.

I started a couple of years ago, cleaning with Knosti. Result was not satisfying at all… not I restart with Ultrasonic cleaning. Recording was executed with Audacity (Freeware), beside cutting tracks to their length - no editing has been applied.

Recordings show:

Differences of level between left and right channel. I would like to egalise it, no fun during listening, especially with headphones. Do I need to use a plugin or would master leveller be the first choice?

Different records show different levels. Extremely different… I assume it‘s due to pressing resp. pressing mastering etc. I would like to apply most of the tracks to nearly the same level which could mean increase or decrease. Any idea how to execute this in a smooth way?

Although applying Ultrasonic, I expect still the massive cracks to dominate the recording. I want to remove them. Which is best method and how to apply this?

You would recommend to keep 3 files:
AIFF, not edited except track cut
FLAC, high quality, edited, tagged
MP3 (or AAC…) based on FLAC, at lower and compressed quality to carry around
Right?

Finally - all is Electronic Music, mainly Techno… I acted as DJ years ago… I want now recordings that meet my preferred sound (more or less), and usually many of my Vinyl was not engineered well, produced in bedroom, pressed somewhere in the nowhere usually I guess… surely not audiophile :wink:

??? Why not use Wavelab?

Differences between left and right: In my opinion, compensating for this is a delicate operation. You can easily lose the centre.
Different levels / loudness: Wavelab Pro Meta Normalizer?
Crackles: RX7?
AIFF limitations: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=244&t=144217

Have to agree with Stingray here. I would ditch Audicity ASAP and at least start your transfers into WL directly.

Personally - I record directly into RX7 now and use it to handle the heavy lifting. I use WL for minor touchups, and it’s killer batch file process

Other comments:

Channel balance - I do not mess with the original transfer balance unless something is massively wrong.
Levels: WL’s Meta Tools are a favorite here as well. RX7 has even a bigger palette of levels tools - but I always treat lightly.
Crackles - For me - it’s three steps. Record Cleaner (VPI) - then Click Repair (this is the bomb) and then RX7 to apply fine details. Between these three - if there is any noise left - I have not done a good job.
Master Files - Choose wisely. FLAC for me all the way. And yes - always create mobile copies from a fully tagged master FLAC.

VP

Thank you both for your proposals… For the moment, WaveLab Pro would be out of my budget range, Elements is the only one in range (RX7 or other additional tools - also impossible to include to my bucket list). During Holiday I will keep to find out more about the Elements… Anyway, good advice with file format and to see what you are doing and recommend, this is always helpful!

By the way - what is your opinion about software dedicated to Vinyl recording. I found Pure Vinyl from channel d, this provides a full workflow and looks really convenient:
http://www.channld.com/purevinyl/
(Special offer available these days…)

Nothing better than recording into RX7 for me. If “convenient” is what you are after there are plenty of vendors that will take your money. I am not one to invest in software that is geared towards one thing.

I prefer to look at tools that get me the best mileage across a number of different projects,jobs or usage - flexibility is key.

And remember - like all things worth doing - there are no shortcuts. If you want world class vinyl transfers that sound pro - you will need to invest in pro level tools and do pro level work. If you want just “OK” (and many do - nothing wrong with that) - maybe Pure Vinyl is a better bet.

VP

Thank you Bruce… I understand and, honestly, I’ve said Good Bye to those specific software. I was testing during holiday - and you’re completely right, with WL I get much more flexibility. But, especially for Vinyl (and only that purpose), what can RX7 provide additionally? As I’ve seen (better: heard) so far, RestoreRig brings up good and easy tools for me…

If you are using WL and it’s included plugins - that is probably all you really need.

RX7 is not for the meek nor is it cheap. When you have some time - cruise on over to the iZoTope site and check out what it can do. It is a very specialized toolset with some very very good plugins.

For my professional work - which encompasses voiceover, sound design and needledropping to name just a few - RX7 is something I can really make use of. To be honest - I never though about using it a needledrop workbench until one day I thought I might try recording into it. Never looked back since then.

That said - if you are just looking to digitize some albums for fun to listen to - RX7 is most likely overkill.

VP