It is generally recommended that you use a phono-preamp to amplify the
weak signal coming from a phonograph or turntable.
John Volanski, a sound engineer, writes that "the problem most people
encounter with a turntable is that its output can?t be plugged
directly into the line level input of any recorder. Most turntable
cartridges put out a signal on the order of just a couple of
milliVolts (mV). The turntable also can?t just be plugged directly
into the mic inputs on a mixer, recorder or computer, even though they
are setup to handle a signal with an amplitude of only a couple of
Volanski covers lots of the issues and provides background in this article"
"Recording LP Albums On Your Computer," (Volanski, 2003)
TurtleBeach, a supplier of a popular audio recording software package,
makes the same points here:
Advanced FAQ: Audio Burning
THE EQUIPMENT LIST
We'll assume that you have a working personal computer with a CD
burner, as well as a phonograph. Here's what else you'll need:
? phono pre-amp. They come in two flavors: USB interface and RCA
audio interface (which would go to your sound card). Both usually
come with appropriate cables but you may need a subminiature 3.5mm
jack or adapter to go into the sound card.
? audio recording software. This software has a wide range of
features and you may want to choose carefully -- and of course you
have to choose between Macintosh and PC software. There's freeware
that does a variety of things:
"Audio recording" search
In my experience, you want to be able to do the following:
1. record into WAV, MP3 or WMA format
2. convert files to any format
3. cut a recording (digitize the entire side of an LP, then cut it
into the separate tracks)
4. perform noise reduction to eliminate hiss, pop and crackle
5. record at a minimum of 128kbps quality
? CD burning software, almost always supplied with the computer or CD burner.
This piece of gear often comes bundled with the audio recording and
editing software that you're seeking. One Google researcher that I
know uses a pre-amp to go directly to the sound card, I prefer a USB
pre-amp as it's faster and easier to set up. The Terratec product
comes with software bundled to enable all of the functions I cited
"CD to Vinyl"
A search on Google for "phono preamp" will return dozens of suppliers,
including rack-mount sized pre-amps for stereo systems.
Once the recordings are made, you CD burning software should allow you
to make a standard stereo CD. This is done in WAV format, which
generally has files about 10X larger than MP3 files -- but has the
advantage of being usable in virtually all CD players.
Some final notes: on a similar question posed recently, several
commenters recommended some software-only solutions. They are covered
at the end of the following Google Answer. However, Till-GA and I
have both recorded hundreds of records using a phono pre-amp so the
recommendations above still stand:
"Record Player to Computer to CD burner," (Till-GA, Mar. 18, 2004)
Google search strategy:
Audio recording software