Recording vinyl/cassettes and monitoring clipping

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monkeyfight
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:53 am

Recording vinyl/cassettes and monitoring clipping

Post by monkeyfight »

Hi. I've been using Goldwave for a long time to record vinyl and cassettes to my computer, but I'm just starting to with my newer laptop and newer version of Goldwave.

So before I record anything for real, I do a test recording to check that the recording volume is close to full dynamic range, 1.0, without going over. Now I don't know if this is a Goldwave or soundcard issue, but Goldwave used to show you via the VU Meter if something was going over 1.0 and clipping. Now it seems like Goldwave stops at around .99, so you can just crank the recording volume and the recording will just compress.

Is there any way to allow clipping, so I can avoid it? Or is there any way to actually see the recording volume numerically as it's going? Right now I just record something and then run Maximize Volume to check the volume.

Thanks.

DougDbug
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Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Recording vinyl/cassettes and monitoring clipping

Post by DougDbug »

Most likely that's your soundcard/interface. Are you using a USB interface? Most laptops only have mic inputs (about 100 times more sensitive than line-inputs).
but Goldwave used to show you via the VU Meter if something was going over 1.0 and clipping.
The soundcard (ADC & DAC) can't go over 0dB.
So before I record anything for real, I do a test recording to check that the recording volume is close to full dynamic range, 1.0, without going over.
That's not necessary. With digital your recording levels are not critical, as long as you don't clip. I usually shoot for -3 to -6dB but realistically your peaks can hit -12dB (or lower) and you can normalize (Maximize) after recording. Digital is not like analog tape where you needed to overcome the tape noise... There is no tape noise and at 16 bits, you've got 93 or 96 dB of dynamic range. That's at least 30dB more than vinyl or tape... Pros generally record at -12 to -18dB (at 24-bits with good equipment).

DewDude420
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Re: Recording vinyl/cassettes and monitoring clipping

Post by DewDude420 »

When recording vinyl you never want to try to use full scale as things like pops and clicks can cause clipping. Now...one could argue that since there isn't any valuable information in a click that it's no problem if it clips...but you still should avoid clipping at all costs. So I typically shoot for somewhere around -12dbFS when recording an LP...then maximize it.

There's no harm in doing this. The dynamic range of an LP and the analog equipment isn't high enough to warrant 24-bits in reality...the best LP's might approach the dynamic range of a CD; but even then that's with super high-quality vinyl and using things like dbx noise reduction. So in 99.999% of cases there is enough analog noise to prevent quantization problems if you record in 24-bits at a lower volume.

Record low, do your processing, then maximize.

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