[Dixielandjazz] Converting Analog to Digital for CD recording

Bigbuttbnd@aol.com Bigbuttbnd@aol.com
Wed, 21 Aug 2002 12:05:46 EDT

Cary, et al:

I'm using a Mac, as well and system 9. I use several different programs 
depending on the project. Toast for the Mac contains two programs for 
gathering sound files before burning... the first is CD Extractor which will 
take the files right off of a CD inserted in your Mac CD player and convert 
them to AIFF files (Mac's proprietary sound file) and then allow you to 
arrange them in any order or whatever you want to do to them before burning a 
new CD with Toast. The second program included with Toast is one called Spin 
Doctor. Spin Doctor allows you to record audio from an analog source (record 
or tape) and digitizes the sound into AIFF or SOUND DESIGNER files. Then you 
can run this audio through a set of filters that Spin Doctor contains which 
can remove Pops, Cracks, Surface Noise (crackle)..etc. You can boost the bass 
or the treble independently and you can even WIDEN the stereo field if you 

As usual with 'restoration' software, you can apply a little or a lot... it's 
fairly easy to turn the whole thing into a tinny screech or a bass-filled 
mush. You have to experiment. If you use this software and need some help 
with the settings, drop me a note and I'll send you some of my settings 
(arrived at after hours of experimentation)... of course EVERY recording will 
be different, to some degree. I've had GREAT results, however.

If you own a Mac or a PC... you may want to try this out. Digidesign makes a 
FREE (FREE! FREE!) Digital Audio Recorder called Pro Tools Free. Go to their 
site (www.digidesign.com) and download it. It won't work if you have a fancy 
sound card for recording in your 'puter but it will use the standard default 
sound card instead (Macs don't have to have a soundcard like a PC... the 
built-in 44.1mHz/48mHz hardware will give amazingly good results!). Pro Tools 
FREE is an 8-track digital recorder that acts just like an analogue 8-track 
machine. There's a mixer (8 tracks), EQ, 4 buses, and a lot of plug-ins that 
allow you to do amazing stuff to the files, everything you might want as a 
beginner (did I say FREE?)

There's also a great digital editor... so if the files captured from your 
record or tape and then filtered through your Spin Doctor program still have 
some pops and skips in them... you can use Pro Tools FREE to slice or smooth 
those hiccups in the file until it's perfect. Then add a little reverb or EQ 
if it needs it and burn it back to CD. 

I have a BIG reecord collection and have been working for the last year to 
begin converting it to CD. I even scan the original album cover and liner 
notes and use a color printer to print a glossy re-creation. The final result 
looks like I bought it in the store and sounds BETTER than the original 
analog vinyl.

Good luck. Drop me a note if you want more detail on the procedure.

Rocky Ball, banjo