Digitise Your Analogue Audio Collection With Audacity

Digitise Your Analogue Audio Collection With Audacity

We’ve discussed a number of steps to digitise your audio, but if you’re looking to delve a bit deeper into ripping all that analogue media, technology weblog Tested takes you through the process start to finish.

Photo by Tore Urnes.

Whether you want to get the highest quality sound possible, or you just can’t find that old, rare, live cut anywhere else, sometimes you have no other choice but to break out the old LP collection. Of course, ripping an LP to your computer isn’t as easy as ripping a CD, especially if you want it to sound like it did the first day you bought it. Lots of your records are probably pretty old and have some wear and tear on them, causing them to click, pop and hiss — so you’ll need to do a bit of work before they’re ready to put on your iPod.

Tested takes you through the entire process using previously mentioned open-source audio editor Audacity, from hooking up the hardware to dialling down the noise to equalising it all out. They use a few tracks that they ripped themselves as examples, so you can hear what your files should sound like before and after each step in the process. Hit the link for the full walkthrough, and be sure to share your analogue audio-ripping tips in the comments.

How to Rip and Clean Your analogue Audio Collection [Tested]


  • If I had old songs on records or tapes I wouldn’t go through the process of converting it. I’d just download the songs for free off the interwebs. What is the difference between downloading the CD you own already ripped to mp3 or ripping the mp3 yourself?

    • Strict legality, for one thing — format shifting is allowed in Australia for stuff you’ve purchased, but no-one’s really tested whether grabbing a format-shifted copy you haven’t made yourself counts. But in any event, depending on the obscurity of the record, you might not be able to find it via file sharing anyway.

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