Digitising vinyl

I’ve really been neglecting my records and want to start digitising them in order to play them. Any tips or hints or do’s and don’ts would be very helpful. Cheers.

A lot of variables here.

Personally I like using Audio Hijack for the digitizing and then Fission for the editing. Pretty simple tools with preset filters available for noise reduction etc. You can split the individual tracks apart while recording without stopping.

Clean the damn records! Watch your levels. Audio Hijack is autoset but, if you’re running the signal through your mixer which I suggest, stay out of the red. Fission has a normalization option so you can easily raise it up to max signal level in editing later.

Depending on your ultimate desires, you’d probably want to digitize as AIFF or FLAC and then save your files and convert to mp3 @ 320k or whatever format you want for smaller files. Buy a new hard drive or better an SSD if necessary.

Frankly, digitizing old records can be sort of tedious. There are no real short cuts other than developing a production system that works for you and the way you think/work. You’re going to have to add all the tags by hand as far as I know and so you’ll want to set up a batch processing system.

I suspect others will have more technologically sophisticated systems, but this has worked reasonably well for me. One big issue is getting the signal from cartridge into computer and depending on what gear you have that can be easy or challenging.

Good luck!

1 Like

And I haven’t addressed the whole issue of getting signal into your computer which can become a tangled mess depending on your gear. If you have a problem, take a look at the Tech Questions (And Hopefully Answers) topic and perhaps you’ll find an answer.

1 Like

That is very handy. I will be going through that with a fine tooth comb. I’m not going to do my whole collection but the ones that are special, timeless and rare. So, thanks.

The nice part of doing all that work is that you get to re-listen to your whole collection. A lot of times that helps jog your memory on some great forgotten tracks.

1 Like

Just catching up with this. I don’t use a Mac so those programs won’t work for me. I use Audacity for recording mixes but perhaps there is something I should upgrade to?

Yes, well, Mac or PC is probably the first of all those variables to be addressed! I’m sure there are many, many people on this forum who know far more than me about PC issues. I can’t even keep up with Macs these days!

PS Besides the platform issue, I suspect some of my points about process and developing a system, especially concerning file formats, may yet be useful.

Very helpful thanks. Bit of a learning curve for me as technology makes my head hurts. But seeing as I’m having to sit through Love Island most nights I thought instead of tutting and thinking there is no future I might spend that hour getting to grips with the whole digital thing.
So, it’s well appreciated.

Could be a lifetime. I’ve been at it 35 years now - so half a lifetime in my case.

I’ve just remembered that turntables these days often come with a USB connection. Amazing!

1 Like

Audacity will work fine.


Yeah. I’m happy with my 1200s but they are due a service!

i used Audacity and an Apogee Duet Audio Interface. Recorded about 6000 tunes, which took about 7 months. My kid was quite young and living with me full time so i wasn’t going out much just focused von recording some records everyday and a lot on the weekends. So happy i did, they sound great. i recorded them straight out of the Urei .Its amazing to have my whole collection to listen to in the car. Good luck with the endeavour !!


6,000 tunes in 7 months! Good going! I’m not sure I’d have the patience or the tenacity.

clean records ,use a hi-fi cart not a dj one and use a decent preamp


I used to digitise everything I bought within a month of me buying the vinyl. Started with a Numark turntable that had a USB cable and Audacity. Then when I got the Technics decks I connected them to a Numark mixer and RCA cables to a laptop and Audacity. Now have a Reloop mixer which connects to a desktop by a USB cable, still using Audacity. Most recently digitised a handful of 45s for 45 day, but had to spend ages cleaning them to get a clear recording. Result of all this is that I have around 7,000 digital files. The early ones are WAV files, but now I just do mp3s.


I run a1210 (which i had modded by The Deck Doctor with a new cart and higher-quality cabling in the tone arm and out the back) into a A&H mixer, into a motu audio interface, and finally into Cubase on the computer. Then I use an L2 limiter plug-in to lift the volume up as loud as I can without reducing the peaks and undoing the work of the vinyl mastering engineer.

I had a play with Izotope RX to try and reduce the noise on the recordings but worried I was losing fidelity, and also couldn’t be bothered to learn how to use it properly…ripping vinyl is pretty boring work tbh, although great to have the files once done.

One tip i’ve read in a number of places is to remove the dust cover, which reduces the amount of surface noise on the recording.

I’m sure i remember Francois Kervorkian sharing his approach to digitising vinyl on the original DJH forum, which was substantially more sophisticated than mine…

1 Like