View Full Version : Mac Audio Cards

12-27-2000, 08:35 PM
I want to plug my aging phonograph into my PT pro 250 and record my vinyl records as AIFF (play on car CD right?) - files -.
What hardware and jacks do I need? Any precautions to take - (don't hook a huge amp/preamp to the computer etc?)

What software do I need to record AIFF files? Will other file formats play on regular (car/home stereo) CD players?


12-27-2000, 09:59 PM
Hey bs,

If your PTP250 has a miniplug sound-in connector like all non-AV Macs (I believe that it does), all you need is an RCA-to-miniplug adapter. This has R and L RCA jacks on one side and a single stereo miniplug pin on the other side. Connect your amp or turntable lines out to the RCA connector jacks on the adapter and plug into your computer sound in port. If you connect your amp, you can monitor the sound through your stereo gear; if you connect your turntable, you can monitor the sound through your computer. It doesn't matter how big your amp/preamp is because you are using line level outputs and inputs (2.8 volts max). Do Not connect speaker level outputs to the computer.

The adapter is readily available at any RadioShack, Circuit City, etc.


12-28-2000, 12:00 AM
Only audio "in" is the microphone jack on PTP. The mic jack might work, but peak input voltage limit is probably pretty damn low. I don't know if a turntable line level output signal is too hot or not.

This is a GREAT question though, I want to do the same thing. Likely someone around here has crossed this river........


[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 28 December 2000).]

12-28-2000, 12:56 AM
Have not tried it in my PTP-250 but my S900's have the same mic jack. On the S900, we have connected portable CD players and DAT recorders.

Old style phonographs that don't have line level out won't work, but you can hook it to an amp that has line level out and that will work. Newer turntables do have line level out and that will work directly. And you will have to follow MM's advice on miniplug adapters. k

12-28-2000, 03:52 AM
Radio Shack also carries a separate phono preamp ($30) that raises a record players output to line level for direct recording if your player is of that type.

If your player is currently connected to a specifically marked "phono" input on your receiver, then you will need to use a preamp of some kind (as kaye mentioned, the line out (or tape out) of your receiver would work fine. If it is currently connected to some kind of AUX or other input, (and sounds good) then you can plug it in directly with the RCA adapter.

If there is no receiver available to try it on, and no markings, then there is a rule of thumb to find out. There are some exceptions, but if the player has a magnetic cartridge (older players where the needle is connected to a large screwed on piece with four wires exiting the rear) then it will need a preamp. You should also pat yourself on the back for buying a quality player. Newer consumer players use low quality ceramic cartridges and either have a switch or are line level already. These cartridges are generally mounted on thin plastic non-adjustable arms with no visible wires.

IMO, Coaster is the best freeware audio recorder.

12-28-2000, 09:56 AM
Thanks very much for the quick replies! To summarize (if I've got it right). Use the mic plug input on the back of the PTP, and a RCA to miniplug plug adapter for the connection providing I have the correct output (line level) on the phono. I will definately be using a preamp (the phono is a 1980 Yamaha 350 with a moving coil cartridge. So .. Phonograph to phono inputs on preamp, and aux or line out from pre-amp to the RCA adapters and I'm in business.

Thanks for the advice on IMO, Coaster too - I'll find a copy. Am I correct in my assumptions about file formats and what they will play on?


12-28-2000, 03:13 PM
Not sure if your turntable has a separate ground or not. My tables do. If so, make sure they are grounded, that's all. And as for formats? AIFF files are the ones to burn your MP3 into for home/car CD use. And it might actually pay to record them onto tape first, depending on how good a tape deck you have. I recorded some vinyl onto tape then burned it from the taped copy and it sounded better than the same music burned right from the vinyl. The only advantage I could see in taping first is the use of Dolby noise reduction. It's a lot handier to do that than to tweak some EQ settings and hope it sounds good after it's burned. Just my 2 cents.

12-28-2000, 06:25 PM
A Glitch! I plugged a tape player connected to an NAD pre amp into the PTP 250 using the line out jacks on the NAD and the ext mic input on the computer. I then launched Soundjam and tried to record from input source (ext mike). I recorded a minute of audio (for some reason without sound from my computer speakers) and then played back the resulting 974 Kb file. It sounded good except for a hiccup about every 15 seconds. This hiccup is an artifact - its not on the original source. Anyone got any ideas on the hiccup (it's like a minor skip on a portable CD player), or why I have no speaker output when recording? Also per some of the previous discussion, line input through ext mic seems low - I have to crank the input gain to 8 to reach acceptable recording levels. Finally, is 1MB/Min normal for audio files? Thanks.


12-28-2000, 06:31 PM
Thanks to ALL the forum homeys for making this the absolute coolest site on the Mac side of the net. I love to graze through here every day munching on new knowledge http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

12-28-2000, 10:53 PM
Hey bs,

I don't have a PTP or SoundJam, but here's some stuff to think about:

What file format are you recording in, AIFF? Does a different format work better? What sample rate? Does a lower rate work better? How much memory have you given SJ,? Does it do better with more? What are you recording onto, your harddrive? Is it defragmented with a nice continuous piece of real estate to write on? Does recording go better with fewer extensions enabled and all background apps closed? Have you checked your Sound Control Panel settings for sound in and sound out? You may not be able to set Play Through for source sound coming from the MIC port because it may be disabed to prevent feedback from the microphone.

12-29-2000, 12:04 AM
hmmm...what the heck could cause a hiccup every 15-seconds?

what sort of drive are you using? Definitely slim extensions down, and make sure stuff like AppleTalk is disabled, and that you have media inserted in all removable media devices like Jaz, Zip, MO, Orb, and floppy drives.

12-29-2000, 01:45 AM
You should not need to hook the NAD pre-am between a Tape deck & computer. The tape deck should have line level 1v output.

Maybe there is some sort of compression?
Do you have any other sound recording apps?
You might want to try Apple's built in sound app - for system sounds, I think. You should be able to get more than 15 sec of audio on that - to test it.

A good pre-amp is very important for good phone sound reproduction.

AIFF files are uncompressed sound - If my memory is correct. So a 'CD' quality recording (min- really in my book) is 16bit x48kHz. 74min of this is 650MB. So if you have 100 phonograph records (at what 45 min each?) you have 4,500min of audio. So this would take ~39,527MB of space! Of course you will want a backup (CD-r), so you will need to double the space! Compress it with the MP3 standard and it only takes about 4GB of space. You would want 3, 18G Cudas/Cheetahs for this - to be safe (17GB per disk - formatted), or maybe 5, 9GB models. I would record it uncompressed and then compress it later - one 'platter' at a time. Its only money http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Have fun storming the castle!

12-29-2000, 12:11 PM
Awesome advice, to say the least. Here's a couple more pennies worth. You will need to enlarge the memory size for Simple Sound (assuming that is the system recorder you wanna try) quite a bit. Mine is set at about 32MB and I can get just over 3 minutes. That is all I ever needed. Then there is always the fun of downloading ProTools Free, remember. Talk about a nightmare for the uneducated user....learning ProTools in your free time. I have no idea what the 15 second hiccup is, other than the processor tasking something like was already mentioned (AppleTalk or removables). Good luck!!

[This message has been edited by Dogstarman (edited 29 December 2000).]

12-29-2000, 07:57 PM
Once again, many thanks for the great advice! I've got plenty of things to try and will report back soon. Your help is awesome.

Best Regards,

12-30-2000, 04:22 AM
When I was trying to manipulate files on a PowerCurve, I would get the same deal every time my Cheetah would do a read. As Louie and others can verify, this is a KNOWN issue with my model and one or 2 others, when using a fast SCSI card and drive. Never heard anyone mention it on a PTP.

When you get a chance, answer Magician's question, "what sort of drive are you using?"......and if running off a PCI SCSI card, which one?

Man, I hate it when that happens to my audio!!

Good luck!


12-30-2000, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the clue! I am using 2 X LVD 9GB Cheetahs running off an Initio Miles SCSI card. They are in a RAID 0 configuration using SoftRaid. If the drives and bus are the issue, I can try recording to my OEM 2 GB WD drive. I'll try it and report back. Cheers.

12-31-2000, 02:40 PM
as long as you have a Miles2, you should not have problems recording.

you do need to ensure that your drives and card are correctly configured.

01-01-2001, 04:07 AM
BSky, Per Mag's comment, you runnin Miles or Miles2? No need to use the OEM when you have that nice SCSI stuff. As M also said, it should work like a charm if it's Miles2, and configed properly......

[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 01 January 2001).]