Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

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zlartibartfast
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Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 01:00

Anyone go to the trouble of "cleaning" their files after recoding their vinyl?

I do sometimes. I run a noise reduction process to get rid of my system's noise floor (the background noise with the motor running but no stylus in the groove).

Then I reduce the volume on the lead in POP by 50%.

Then if I find some bad clicks or pops that are really overpowering I manually draw them out of the curve. Typically I leave in the standard surface noises that one expects to have from vinyl.

Once I'm happy I finish by normalizing to 99.5 db, and save as FLAC for myself, MP3 for my wife.

I also keep the original rip file as WAV, with no editing, just in case....

Fire at Will!

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by Sunwire » 07 Mar 2019 01:49

I fix bad pops. I haven't tried noise reduction.
What method do you use?
I fade in the lead in about 1 second before the music starts and at the beginning and end of each separate song. So, there's no lead in noise to speak of.

There is ZERO reason to save the original rip as WAV.
Flac is a 100% accurate copy, just smaller in size.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 02:22

for my noise reduction I use Sound Forge 7 + NR 2 plug-in (this software is at least 20 years old but hey it works)
I sample the first few seconds before the stylus touches down, and use that for my noise print. Always A/B compare to make sure I'm not removing any musical content. This usually gets rid of about 8db of background noise that my kludgy system generates, and leave only the vinyl surface noise.

I agree: FLAC = WAV in terms of sonic accuracy, but here's my reasoning. I need a backup, and I have a lot of disk space so I don't need to compress the file for storage.

Of course, if I fill up my drive with WAVs, then I might re-think my strategy...

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by Sunwire » 07 Mar 2019 03:04

I wish I had a copy of Sound Forge. I used to use it at work and really enjoyed all the things it can do.
I've been using Audacity at home for years. It's not as user-friendly as Sound Forge, but I'm gradually learning its ways.
I haven't explored noise reduction plug-ins yet. I will look for something soon as I get into digitizing some 78s and dirty LPs.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 03:16

Sony now owns Sound Forge, and it's still available. There's a native Mac version as well. However, the Sonic Foundry NR2 plug in only works on Windows (drat).

I believe there are other NR solutions out there, but I'm pretty sure they cost money....

bear in mind, I'm using the NR to compensate for a noisy signal path between stylus and DAC. If I had better audio equipment, I probably wouldn't have any noise to remove from the path.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by Sunwire » 07 Mar 2019 20:55

Yes, I know Sony bought Sound Forge. I started hating Sony at that point, because they made it very hard to keep using pre-Sony versions of Sound Forge. I don't remember the details now, but I found it difficult or impossible to transfer a license from one computer to another.
What is the source of your noise? It seems like it would be better to get rid of the noise source rather than use software if the noise is that bad.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 21:54

my noise floor before reduction is about -68 or -70 db. I have a 45 year old table, running through a brand new preamp, to a 20 year old ADC, to a USB port in my 12 year old Macbook running XP/sp3. I can only hear this noise if I have my speakers at full volume, so it's not all that bad. After running the NR process my noise floor is below -75db which is OK by me.

When we move to our next house, I'll have a dedicated room to setup in and a budget for better gear. Til then, I make the most of what I have. One thing I have on my list for the near future is a good power conditioner/UPS to power the table from - I think some of the audible noise is coming from AC line noise.

re: the SF licensing - that's an interesting point. I had version 5, purchased from Sonic Foundry, and had a tech support ticket open at the time Sony bought it. In order to support me, Sony provided me with a license for version 7. So in fact, I have both versions. However 7 has many improvements over 5 including full 32-bit file support and it doesn't have to save the file EVERY SINGLE TIME you make a cut!

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 07 Mar 2019 23:10

update - I did some close examination and determined that most of the noise I'm getting is being generated by the DD motor in my SL1300. The other segments of the audio chain are virtually silent.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by Sunwire » 08 Mar 2019 06:00

Interesting.
I wonder if others have had that problem.
My first wild guess is that it might be time to replace some capacitors in the turntable. But that is nothing but a wild guess.
Others with some repair experience on those tables might have some good advice.
I think the motor should be inaudible if it's operating properly.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by jiiteepee » 09 Mar 2019 08:27

zlartibartfast wrote:
07 Mar 2019 23:10
update - I did some close examination and determined that most of the noise I'm getting is being generated by the DD motor in my SL1300. The other segments of the audio chain are virtually silent.
In some cases you can cancel the 'hum' quite well. Can you post a 1 minute audio sample of just the noise you mention.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by vanakaru » 09 Mar 2019 08:49

The noise reduction effect is rather good in Audacity. But you need to apply it with restraint. Take a noise sample of the part where music hasn't started then open the effect again and preview with music. Then you need to preview the noise sound(music filtered out). If you can't hear any musical sounds you apply the effect and you should be fine. But pay attention to very high freq. sound in the music - it is very similar to noise, but when removed there will be weird fuzzy distortion in high notes. Do not get too excited with noise removal - it is not magical tool - it can reduce noise about 30% really. It is better to record without noise than to remove it after.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 10 Mar 2019 20:36

Sunwire wrote:
08 Mar 2019 06:00

My first wild guess is that it might be time to replace some capacitors in the turntable. But that is nothing but a wild guess.
Yes I had that service performed about 4 years ago. Before that, the table was making enough hum to be audible when a record was playing. Now I have to run the gain all the way up before I can hear it.

It's pretty easy to remove since it's a steady-state noise. I will record an example of it and try to post it here later today.

I know I don't have nose-bleed top-o-the-heap equipment, which is one reason I run a clean-up operation on my rips.

I do the same with cassette tapes - to a greater degree, since cassette fidelity is not as good as vinyl

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 12 Mar 2019 18:05

update (no screenshots today, sorry)

using the Spectrum Analyzer built-in to Sound Forge, I see that the noise I get from my SL1300 when it's powered up is @ about 47Hz, and it's peak value is about -96 db. When the table is powered off (preamp + ADC are on), the peak value is @ 1Hz is -101db.

After I run the NR process (turntable ON), I end up with a peak value of -101db @ 47Hz. So - the noise appears to be RUMBLE from my 45 year-old DD table, and it's really so low in volume as to be INAUDIBLE.

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by Sunwire » 14 Mar 2019 03:24

Have you lubricated the bearing?

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Re: Rip 'em, then clean 'em?

Post by zlartibartfast » 14 Mar 2019 04:37

Actually, no - but I just received a new bottle of oil. I plan on applying it tomorrow, and testing again.

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