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Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby garyrice » 12 Oct 2012 12:40

I have a small collection of 78's that I want to preserve. My turntable (Technics SL-1200 MK2 with a Shure M44-7 cartridge) only plays at 45 or 33 RPM.

I found a reference to using the 45 RPM speed and letting the computer adjust the result. This sounds like the way I want to go. So three questions:

1) What percentage should I set the pitch adjustment to in the software to convert the now obviously "slowed down" recording to its original speed?

2) What Mac software would you recommend for the task?

3) Do I need a different stylus/cartridge on the turntable to handle the 78's?


Gary
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby josephazannieri » 12 Oct 2012 14:10

Yo garyrice:

To convert from 45.00 RPM to 78.26 RPM you must incerase the pitch and the speed BOTH by a factor of 1.739 (1.739 X 45.000 = 78.26 RPM).

To convert from 33.33333(etc.) RPM to 78.26 RPM you must increase the pitch and the speed BOTH by a factor of 2.3478 (2.3478 X 33.3333... RPM = 78.26 RPM).I do not know how you do this with your computer pitch control. My Audigy speed control does not change pitch, but I do not know how your pitch control works. You will need to change both tempo and pitch to make it work. Otherwise it will sound REALLY flat, by almost an octave at the minimum.

You will also need a 3 mil stylus for your M44 cartridge. The M44-7 stylus is too small for 78's and will bounce around in the grooves. The stylus number is N44-3. I use a generic stylus that I got from Garage-A Records, found here: http://www.garage-a-records.com/products.php?cat=84. The one you want is number 4759d3 at top of page. I set the stylus pressure at 3 grams for this stylus, which is same pressure I use for M-44-7 stylus. There are other merchants who sell similar styli. I am using this stylus, which I purchased from this merchant, and it works fine, and particularly well if record is clean.

My MO is that I set the proper equalization curve in my little outboard equalization box, and bump the treble up a little bit to get back the sibilants and the high end. The RIAA curve in the preamp on my Hafler preamp or any other post- 1955 RIAA preamp will take off too much at the high end and make the 78's sound dull. You will need to increase the treble to get records to sound right. If they are too noisy, you can use a sharp cut low pass filter at 5 kHz. You can also use click remover software to reduce noise. My experience with the computer noise reduction (not the click remover) in my Audigy soundcard is that it leaves a "squishy" sounding artifact behind.

And good luck from that "squishy" sounding old guy ("still "squishy" after all these years"),

Joe Z.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby garyrice » 12 Oct 2012 17:37

Joe -

Thanks for the info. You said:
The RIAA curve in the preamp on my Hafler preamp or any other post- 1955 RIAA preamp will take off too much at the high end and make the 78's sound dull.

My preamp has no way to adjust its curve. Should I get a different preamp or try to adjust the curve in the computer?


Gary
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby josephazannieri » 12 Oct 2012 18:28

Yo garyrice:

You are correct that most phono preamps just correct to RIAA curve. If you have frequency response adjusting software in computer you can use that. Look for something that boosts highs above 1000Hz and try for a gradual curve that starts slow and increases as frequency increases. All you need is just enough increase to get back vocal sibilants and some instrumental details.

I use an old Heathkit multiband tone control on the procesor loop of my Hafler preamp, and I take the output off this tone control and run it to line inputs of computer. I then record on "What U Hear" so I can hear the change caused by the tone control and I just adjust it till it sounds "right" bearing in mind that most 78's particularly worn ones, which is what you will have mostly, don't have much over 5000Hz. I use the click remover, but I don't use the noise reduction software.

I have 2 sample CD's that show the results on a really clean 78 and a really worn 78. I will send them to you if you will PM me with an address I can send them to. 78's will not be as quiet as LP's. There will be a consistent surface noise, but the sound is punchy and really solid. A really clean 78 will be quite quiet though.

I do not know what you have for a preamp, but if you have a preamp with volume and tone controls similar to my Hafler, you have the option to plug in to the output that normally goes to amp, using a Y adapter, and switch in the tone controls. Then just turn up the treble enough to compensate for the losses caused by rolloff in RIAA curve. If you have a simple phono stage preamp, then you will need a tone control, which are available as multiband "equalizers" and just plug that into output of preamp, plug computer into output of tone control and adjust, putting a gradual rise on high frequency output, bearing in mind that there typically won't be much over 5000Hz on a 78, particularly a worn one.

You can also buy something similar to my Hafler DH 101, or any number of others, mostly described as "preamp-control units" because they have a volume control and input switches. Hafler, Dyna, Adcom and many other manufacturers have made them over the years, and they can be obtained relatively inexpensively on Ebay from lots of commercial vendors and private parties. Try Dyna PAS-3X or PAT-4, Marants 3800, or 3250, Adcom, SAE, McIntosh C11, and many others. Prices will vary.

And good luck from the old guy with who still has a hot high end,

Joe Z.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Coffee Phil » 12 Oct 2012 19:04

Hi Gary,

I agree with what Joe said but I'll add my comments.

My main 78 cartridge is a Shure M44 with an N44-3 stylus.

On the EQ thing. More than the difference between RIAA and the EQ used for 78 you are dealing with a time base shift. You need to find out if the software you plan to use "wants" or "expects" RIAA EQ prior to digitisation. They may want a flat gain phono stage.

I'm sure if the details above are correct you will get good results however a downside (deal breaker for me) is that you can't listen to the records in real time. If you have a lot of 78s or are getting into them you might consider these guys:

http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/m1200.htm

They can add 78 RPM to your machine.

Phil

garyrice wrote:I have a small collection of 78's that I want to preserve. My turntable (Technics SL-1200 MK2 with a Shure M44-7 cartridge) only plays at 45 or 33 RPM.

I found a reference to using the 45 RPM speed and letting the computer adjust the result. This sounds like the way I want to go. So three questions:

1) What percentage should I set the pitch adjustment to in the software to convert the now obviously "slowed down" recording to its original speed?

2) What Mac software would you recommend for the task?

3) Do I need a different stylus/cartridge on the turntable to handle the 78's?


Gary
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby josephazannieri » 12 Oct 2012 20:09

Yo garyrice:

A regular love fest here. Hi, Phil! I think Phil has my 78-sample CD's too. His point about 78 equalization is well taken, and is particularly true because you are changing speeds. When you shift speed and pitch up, you will make high frequencies more prominent becasue the RIAA roll off will occur at frequencies that will be shifted up by the speed change on playback. Given that little curve ball, the answer might be to parallel your stero channels with a Y adapter and plug them into a high impedance microphone preamp. That will give you a "flat" response with enough gain to get your magnetic phono to a line level. This would give a "flat" line level signal to your computer, which would have to be reverse equalized to the 78 characteristic on playback by turning UP the bass and turning DOWN the treble. It would be a fudge, but it might be OK. Also, you might like the sound you get using the RIAA characteristic even if it is shifted and altered from a true RIAA curve.

The Garage A guys sell a simple preamp with a switchable 78 RPM characteristic that you can plug into your computer, found here: http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddet ... eAmplifier. It's $83.00, which is not horrible. The KABUSA equalization gear is much more flexible, and much more expensive, starting at $600.00 and running to $1635.00. This is way out of reach from me.

Phil has way more engineering background than I do, so I will yield to him on time constants and time base shifts. I have always thought of time base shifts in terms of frequency response changes, but I am just a screwdriver mechanic. I am far more interested in what works than in what is theoretically correct, and I often resort to crude expedients to get the job done. Phil's stuff is way more elegant. My experience with my Creative Audigy 2 soundcard is that it wants a flat line level signal, which means that you need to use RIAA or 78 equalization for a turntable with a magnetic cartridge.

I use a PC, so I cannot recommend a software for a MAC, but there is a freeware recording program called Audacity, which I have used, which is not bad. I believe it is available configured for a MAC. I agree with Phil that not being able to listen in real time is a pain. KAB will convert some turntables to 78's, which brings the question, what turntable are you using? You could also just buy a cheap old 78 RPM idler drive turntable and use it, but you might have to install a new cartridge like a Shure M78 which will come in about $40.00 depending on merchant.

And good luck from that dizzy old high speed spinner,

Joe Z.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby garyrice » 12 Oct 2012 22:02

Phil wrote:
"If you have a lot of 78s or are getting into them you might consider these guys:

http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/m1200.htm

They can add 78 RPM to your machine."

I knew about these guys already. But given:
1) the price of the conversion
2) their distance from me (potential shipping damage)
3) my relatively small collection of 78s (about 20)

I will pass on that approach for now.

On other comments now in this thread, I like the idea of a pre-amp that is switchable between the 2 frequency curves best followed by the "second-stage" unit that plugs into the output side of my existing pre-amp. I think I will pursue those ideas before I try using the computer-generated curve approach.

I'm using Digital Performer as the basic recording software. But I find it extremely convoluted for doing what should be a rather simple task.

Gary

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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby josephazannieri » 12 Oct 2012 22:20

Yo garyrice:

Go to "User Control Panel" in upper left corner, right under "Turntable Forum"and click on it. It will take you to a page where you can click on "private message" When you do that it will take you to a window labelled "compose message." Type the target's username into the line labelled "find a member" and type in a subject. Then go to n big block and type in a message.

Then click on send, and the target gets the message.

And good luck from the old prospective target himself,

Joe Z.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Alec124c41 » 13 Oct 2012 00:21

The gentleman who wrote ClickRepair also has a program called Equalizer, which corrects equalization curves for various scenarios. Go to ClickRepair website, and look for it.

Cheers,
Alec
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Hanuman » 13 Oct 2012 02:50

I like Joe's mic preamp idea - a "flat" transfer into the digital domain before processing sounds the ticket. The other possibility is to "reverse-RIAA" your transfer, in software, immediately after your digitizing but before the "re-time-and-re-pitch" step. There's no doubt that to do this properly you've got to do the re-timing on a non-RIAA affected source - the flat output of the cartridge, in other words. The next step is then to apply the appropriate correction curve to match any particular 78 record. This won't be RIAA. I believe there are good software tools around to do this kind of stuff although, alas, the right one might end up being Windows or Linux-based. Despite the restricted power-bandwith product of the source I think a 96/24 capture is justified because of the myriad computations involved in doing the speed and EQ adjustments in the digital domain - a lot of potential for unexpected aliasing and bit-depth issues.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Coffee Phil » 13 Oct 2012 07:09

Hi Gary,

With Windows I have used the trial version of Vinyl Studio and I am about to buy it.

I just looked at it and it will do speed conversion. It expects an RIAA phono stage before digitization for LPs and they don't say different for 78s. They recommend doing 78s at 45 as apposed to 33 to get better frequency response. It is not clear if they fix the EQ for 78s at 45 or not. Do they have an algorithm for 45 RPM and use the same for 33 or none at all and you get what you get at either speed? Not clear to me.

I get the idea that the software which you are considering is much more sophisticated than Vinyl Studio. I recommend reading their instructions and / or calling their customer service about the phono stage to use (flat gain or RIAA).
Also ask if they address the EQ issues with the speed change.

I have also used Roxio Spin Doctor with my wife's Mac. I too sleepy to fire up the Mac and see if it does speed changes and if so what happens with the EQ. In a more rested state I'll try to do that.

I do have some of Joe's CDs recorded from 78s. You will be impressed.

Phil



quote="garyrice"]Phil wrote:
"If you have a lot of 78s or are getting into them you might consider these guys:

http://www.kabusa.com/frameset.htm?/m1200.htm

They can add 78 RPM to your machine."

I knew about these guys already. But given:
1) the price of the conversion
2) their distance from me (potential shipping damage)
3) my relatively small collection of 78s (about 20)

I will pass on that approach for now.

On other comments now in this thread, I like the idea of a pre-amp that is switchable between the 2 frequency curves best followed by the "second-stage" unit that plugs into the output side of my existing pre-amp. I think I will pursue those ideas before I try using the computer-generated curve approach.

I'm using Digital Performer as the basic recording software. But I find it extremely convoluted for doing what should be a rather simple task.

Gary

How do I send a PM?[/quote]
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby garyrice » 13 Oct 2012 11:49

Alec124c41 wrote:The gentleman who wrote ClickRepair also has a program called Equalizer, which corrects equalization curves for various scenarios. Go to ClickRepair website, and look for it.


I looked at his stuff and was so impressed that I bought everything he has.

I tried fussing with various filters on my own and came up with junk. ClickRepair - et.al. is/are truly amazing!


Gary
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby josephazannieri » 13 Oct 2012 20:58

Yo all:

Thank you to Alec for pointing out that clickrepair website. I am not at sound computer, but I registered to get downloads and a lot of the stuff there appears to be freeware, and possibly useful to me. There appears to be an equalizer program which i have not yet tried and won't till I get back to sound computer. I registered at the 440audio website. http://www.440audio.com Lots of audio and recording software, and a lot of it appears to be freeware.

Thank you to Alec and good luck from that freeloading old guy,

Joe Z.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Hanuman » 14 Oct 2012 06:10

The Equaliser program looks like exactly the right thing. The most important part of the process (detailed in the manual) is to change the sample-rate without re-sampling - this step does the speed-change digitally without any damage. At that point you'll have a non-standard sample-rate, which will eventually need to be converted to something standard for real-world use, 41,000 most likely. The tool that does that needs to be good.
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Re: Recording 78 RPM Records on 45 RPM turntable

Postby Dimal » 14 Oct 2012 14:15

garyrice wrote:ClickRepair - et.al. is/are truly amazing!

Yes, Brian (the author) knows his stuff alright. Very happy to recommend his applications... 8)

Mal.
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