Ion Convert Vinyl to Digital Music Files With a Quality Turntable

To convert vinyl to digital music files, of course, you’ll need a turntable. Perhaps you have an old one in a closet, attic or basement. The next option is to buy one new or used. We’ll cover all three options.

Whether you’re going to use an old turntable you have lying around the house or purchase one used, you want to make sure it is in proper working order first. I had an old stereo phonograph that I thought worked decently, but I couldn’t get a good recording off of it. I tried different cables, different hookups, posting to message boards, and so on.

Finally, I actually tested the thing and found out that it was not giving a proper output through both speakers. Twiddling the balance knob did no good, nor did switching speakers or wires. The thing was just shot. So the moral of the story here is, even though a phonograph, stereo or turntable may seem good at first glance, it can turn out to be a dud. You should test it carefully before you get started.

Whether you test a phonograph you find in a closet or one you find at the second-hand store, the process is pretty much the same. If you’re going shopping for a used phonograph or turntable, you might want to bring a record and speaker with you for testing purposes.

The first thing you want to test is whether the thing actually has a needle (stylus)! It will be difficult to test the phonograph in a secondhand store if it lacks one! If the phonograph in your closet lacks a needle, you’ll have to find out what type it takes and order one online (they’re no longer carried in RadioShack stores).

The second thing to test is a turntable speed. Put the record on the turntable, start the thing running and place the needle on a steady, even passage. Does the pitch vary? In other words, is the turntable’s motor speeding up and slowing down? If so, the thing is shot and you should avoid it.

Next, plug the speaker into either output jack (or use a pair of headphones) and twiddle with the balance knob while the record is playing. Make sure you get a smooth, strong signal through each stereo track at approximately the same volume and with no static.

Finally, make sure to test the device on both LPs and 45s (even 78s if you have some really old ones you want to digitize).

If the unit has passed this battery of tests, you should be ready to go. The unit doesn’t need to have any speakers, since you will be plugging it directly into your computer.

If you want to save the hassle and make sure you get a quality unit right from the beginning, you might want to just buy a new turntable. There are a number of good ones that are designed specifically for digitizing old vinyl. For example, the Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record can be purchased for under $90 and has an adjustable anti-skating control for increased stereo balancing and line-level outputs for easy stereo connection. The Ion Audio TTUSB 10 Vinyl Recording USB Turntable (a few dollars more) supports the recording of 78 RPM records.

Naturally, the quality of the turntable or phonograph you buy will in large part determine the quality of your digitized files. The unit will simply have a better sound, even when no speakers are involved. It will have a richer base and sharper treble.

The quality of your digitized files, of course, will only be as good as the quality of the equipment you use to digitize them. However, you can get pretty decent results even from a budget phonograph. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your music will never deteriorate any further from this point onwards.

Dub Turbo – Digital Music Production Software

In this troubled economy, a lot of people are looking the most value they can get for their dollar. If you’re in the market for digital music production software that spits out professional sounding beats for a fraction of what some of the top dollar music production studio suites run for then Dub Turbo may be right one for you.

Dub Turbo comes with a wide variety of pre-loaded sample tracks, so you will never be at a loss for where to get started, and with their easy to use interface, you won’t have to spend a lot of time learning your way around the software either. The clearly defined set of instructions will have your software installed and ready to use in a matter of minutes, and a complete novice can have their first track laid out in under an hour.

If you have done any searching at all on the internet for Digital Music Production Software then you know that these packages run up into the hundreds, some in the thousands, of dollars range. Not just the price, but you really have to be a professional to figure out how to use them. That’s all out the window with Dub Turbo. You will sound like the pros and for pennies on the dollar for what some the over-priced alternatives charge. Quality, ease of use, and affordability were the key factors in the owners coming up with software, and nothing was left out in their determination to produce the sickest beat making software on the internet.

This is not in an mp3 format either. Dub Turbo gives a professional, studio quality sound. They use a 44.1K wave file that really gives depth to your music. It’s the difference between watching a movie in stereo as opposed to watching a movie in true surround sound. The bass kicks, and the snares pop, giving the true sound of the instruments.

If you already know what you’re doing, Dub Turbo didn’t leave you out either. You can fully integrate this software in the studio you already have running to enhance the sounds you create. There are over a thousand different pre mixed beats that you can spice up with your own flavor, or you can create a beat on your own from scratch. All of the tracks included are studio quality, so you aren’t giving up quality when you use one of their beats and make it your own. The genre’s of music included range from hip hop, R&B, techno, and many more. No matter where you want to start, you won’t be at an artistic loss if you need something to get you jump started.

Anyone that wants a digital recording studio can benefit from Dub Turbo. It doesn’t matter what your skill level is, or how long you have been recording. All you need is the desire to produce quality beats and a computer. The price will amaze you and your friends will wonder where you stole your beats from. They’ll never believe such an inexpensive piece of software helped you produce those sounds.

Starfleet Digital Music Pool: Why Record Pools Still Matter

This year music industry veteran Ronnie Matthews and the Starfleet Music Pool are celebrating 22 years in the music business. Most people under the age of 30, have no idea what a record pool is or the importance they played in breaking new music while playing the liaison between DJs and record labels.

Starfleet is one of the few record pools that is still standing from the “golden area,” and it continues to thrive because of its willingness to embrace change. With over 19,000 registered DJs in it’s database, Starfleet is consistently recognized as a global leader in music promotions. Early last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ronnie about the history of Starfleet and why record pools are still important.

How was Starfleet started?

Being in the music business as a dj and as a promoter for so many years is where it kind of all started for me. I was always working with record pools, and I knew exactly how they broke records and exposed people to new music. During the early part of my career, I was a buyer for Camelot Music and the store in the Charlotte region was the largest around. So, that relationship exposed me to just about every indie and major label you can name. Because of my background, I had record labels to actually come to me and ask if I would start a record pool in this region. And, as of today Starfleet Music Pool has been servicing DJs for the last 22 years.

With most of the old school record pools no longer operating, how has Starfleet maintained its relevancy?

Basically, a lot of the older record pools that were around as long as me weren’t able to make the digital turn. As of January,we have been working digital music for over twelve years. I remember we were at the Winter Music Conference in Miami right around the time that digital music was beginning to take over, and we had a long debate about what the future was for the industry. We have always supported the industry, and we knew that change was inevitable so it made sense for us to embrace the change. Labels were talking about no longer pressing cds, shipping vinyl, and how inexpensive it would be to service a record.

We weren’t necessarily ready to give up physical copies of music, but we saw the change coming. We would have loved to keep getting 12 inches and boxes of cd’s but it’s evolution. So instead of fighting it we supported. I remember speaking on a panel with label heads, record buyers and other record pool owners during that conference; and I had a pool director tell me I was helping the demise of hard copies being shipped to the record pools. I basically told everybody that I’m not the one making things happen. I would love to continue getting vinyl and cd’s but sometimes you have to go with the flow of things. As I was finishing my spill, one of the heads of the major record labels basically told the guy if you don’t think this is the direction that music is going in your not gonna be in business very long.

Tell me how Starfleet’s digital service works?

You can submit your music into us for a free, and we will actually set it up at no cost. The first group of 135 DJs,which are called the Vip DJs, are Billboard Reporters, Mix show DJs and big club DJs will give you limited feedback on your single. If they like it, they will actually play it and we will chart it. We also offer a service called the VIP featured artist, which sets up an artist profile with a bio, concert info, a comment system, links to purchase music and contact information. This is important because It has all of our DJs have to login to our system to download mp3′s and when the DJs sees the visual it creates that extra reinforcement that reminds them about the artists music.

Why are record pools still important in 2012?

The connections that we already have is an extremely important thing for a new artist looking to build relationships with DJs. We have over 19,000 registered DJs around the globe in our pool. We provide a reputable place that record labels and artists have been working with for years. In addition, you have new DJs that are searching for places to find new music and record labels are always searching for ways to get their music noticed. And, the one thing you still have to do to get your music noticed is you must have somebody somewhere playing it. You have to have exposure or no one will ever know about you.

What advice would you give a new artist looking to promote their first single?

One thing I think I would say is that you better have a thick skin about things. We wish that every song was a hit and sounded great, but it’s just not the case. Everybody is chasing the same sound with auto-tune, and its good to have a familiar sound that people can relate to, but you still want to be unique while implementing your own style.

Renting Digital Music May Be a Better Alternative Then Buying Music

The question is should you purchase your music or rent your digital music. Studies have indicated that the average digital music player has about 1,770 songs. The same survey from a University in England also discovered that half of the songs consisted of illegal downloads. So lets assume that you are a law abiding citizen, setting the average number of legal songs on a digital music player at 850 songs.
Most online sources that sell music charge about .99 cents a song, meaning that 850 songs will set you back $850 dollars. Since you own the music you can listen to them as you please, for as long as you please. Renting digital music ranges from 10 – 14 dollars a month, depending on the service you chose to rent your music from. Subscription based digital music services will allow you to listen to millions of songs, and would most likely include the 850 songs on your digital music player, all for the cost of the subscription. 

A subscription cost of 13 dollars a month would give you almost 5 and a half years of music access before you hit the 850 dollars. Canceling your subscription in 5 and half years would no longer leave you access to the 850 songs on your music player if you opted for a subscription over purchasing the 850 songs. Keep in mind that if you started with 850 songs today, you would most likely purchase a fair number of additional songs over the next 5 and half years.

Based on the 850 song comparison, you would shell out 850 dollars in 5 and a half years. On a strict song ownership perspective purchasing is a better because you would own 850 songs in 5 and a half years. Since most people will average 2 song purchases a week totaling 8 dollars a month, you would only be spending a couple of bucks more a month to keep your subscription going. A subscription is by far the better option. A subscription will give you the option to listen to millions of songs whenever you choose, including new songs being released every week.