Computer Audio Recording:

Introduction

There are a few applications for the Apple OS that are designed for analog to digital recording. Of these, they can be divided into two primary groups: programs that are designed to make professional studio recordings and programs that are designed to assist users in archiving analog (vinyl, tape, et cetera) collections.

For the average user, archiving programs are most likely what you'll be using the Ayre A/D converter for. For those that are using the Ayre A/D converter in a professional environment, you probably are already familiar with the recording software that you prefer to use. Therefore, this section will focus solely on archiving programs.

Similar to player software features, when selecting a program to archive with there are a few functions that need to be handled by the software to make archiving efficient and simple. Such features include: the ability to record samples at up to 192 kHz sample rates with a 24 bit depth, capable of saving in lossless formats (.wav, .aiff, etc.), simple user interface, optionally allows editing of the sound file, optionally allows splitting of single record recordings up into individual tracks, and optionally allows importing cover art/track info from online databases.

There are a few programs that are designed to do this, which include VinylStudio, PureVinyl, and Amarra Vinyl. While the choice of which program you prefer is up to you to decide (all three listed above have a demo version to compare), for the purposes of this guide, we will be discussing settings using VinylStudio, which met all the above requirements and is very simple and effective to use. For full instructions on working with any of these programs, please refer to their respective web pages.

Setup

VinylStudio's interface is fairly self-explanatory, which is further simplified by the new user pop-ups that can be later turned off in Options. There are a few important steps to take when archiving your vinyl collection that should be remembered.

First, it is important to use the Check Level function for each album to avoid "clipping". To test for clipping, select the Ayre ADC USB Interface as the Input source and playing the album at the loudest point. Clipping can be seen on the front panel of the Ayre A/D converter when the level indicator bars reach their highest point (the red line is illuminated). VinylStudio also has a level indicator on the right hand side that indicates clipping with a number above the bar. If that number goes over 100, the number changes to "CLIP" to indicate that clipping has occurred. However, for the most accurate reading you should use the lights bars on the front of the QA-9 and not the meters in any software program. If your level is too high or too low, this can be adjusted using the level adjustment knob on the front of the Ayre A/D converter. Do NOT use the recording level slider in VinylStudio, which should be set all the way to the top.

Note: attempting to use an Ayre D/A converter such as the QB-9 as the "monitor" device while recording music with an Ayre A/D converter may result in audible glitches or noise. This is due to the fact that both the source and playback devices are asynchronous "clock masters" and will not be running at exactly the same clock rate. These glitches will not be heard on the actual recording.


Again, it is important to check every album for clipping before recording as every album can have a different overall level and clipping will waste any time you put into recording that album and force you to rerecord it. Do not attempt to adjust the level adjustment knob mid-recording.

File type for the saved file can be set under recording options as well as the sample rate. Always use 24 for the bit depth. The sample rate will be changed by VinylStudio to what you set it automatically once recording starts. Note that the Ayre A/D converter will display "44" on the front panel (indicating a 44.1 kHz sample rate) regardless of what you set it at before recording starts. Once recording begins, it will then switch to the selected sample rate set in Recording Options.

All other functions are straight forward for VinylStudio. To see a complete guide for the program, please refer to the help file at the VinylStudio Website.

Links to Other Useful Computer Audio Websites


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