By Monte FergusonOur October meeting's topic, Analog to Digital audio conversion, grew
out of a discussion at a previous meeting. Our main presenter was our
own Monte Ferguson, with lots of good insights from Duane Weller.
Monte approached the topic in two ways; hardware & software. He
explained that the first thing you need to decide on is the hardware
that you will be working with. This is how you will be getting audio
into your Mac. The two most common ways of doing this is: 1) By
connecting your Mac directly to a home stereo, via a "Y" audio cable and
the line in port on your Mac, or 2) Connecting the audio device to a USB
analog to Digital convertor. Monte had gone a different route. He had
been given a USB turntable, which has a line in port so you can hook up
a tape deck to it. This allows you to directly connect the turntable to
After you have determined the physical setup, the hardware, the next
step is to determine the software you will be using. The software
component is key to the recording and post processing of the recordings.
There are a number of audio editors out there that can do the job. They
range from free to hundreds of dollars. If you're more of a technical
person these programs will definitely do everything you could ask, and
more. However, they can be overkill for many folks who just want to get
the audio in, clean it up, and save it out to iTunes or a CD. Monte
hilighted a couple of programs, Vinyl Studio and Sound Saver, that are
specifically geared to this task. They are inexpensive, running under
Duane had a number of valuable suggestions for those who want to work
with other programs, ie audio editors.
The bottom line is this: It can be a really rewarding experience saving
cherished recordings. If you plan accordingly the process can be
relatively painless. Do prepare for some time spent cleaning up the
audio you import. It is bound to have noise, like hiss, crackles and
pops, that will need to be removed.
Posted: Saturday, January 15th, 2011