mostly electronic dj music and related tech

November 21, 2003

How to Rip Vinyl to DJ Digital

thought that this could be useful to others… I’ve been getting a few requests on the subject, cause I guess word is getting out that my mp3 files sound pretty damn good when i’m out dj’ing the digital realms of Traktor DJ and/or Final Scratch… so, after responding via email to this most recent request… i thought it may be a good idea to share with others on here my signal flow and technique… now… somebody book me already.. i’m hungry to play out again…

what I do when I encode my vinyl recs is this…one 1200 (the turntable) with orotofon carts > vestex mixer > allen and heath main mixing console > bus 2 channels to the computer’s audio interface (in my case i use an old discontinued lexicon core 2 card i picked up at guitar center for $150. sounds fucking great, but, it is a bit unstable and crashes quite often on my mac) > record into Spark XL with TC MaxIt Master plug-in on record input that comes with Spark XL Package. I push the input levels pretty high and let the plug-in do it’s thing to level maximize and even out the audio file. I’m recording only at 16 Bit (although I could do 24 bit) at 44.1Khz.
that’s pretty much what i do. nothing to fancy. the most important aspect to all of this is your sound card. what is doing the a/d conversion? a fuckin shitblaster sound card or something more pro?

after I get my tracks in as a .wav file, I import into iTunes, set all the track info settings, for a batch of songs. title/artist/album/genre/year. that sorta thing, and then i use the LAME encoder to rip to 192 kbps bit rate 44.1khz mp3 files. on the mac there’s a nice lil apple script module that makes the LAME ripping pretty easy to do. the only downside, it’s a lot slower to rip tracks than apple’s internal licensed mp3 ripper. you probably can’t hear much of a difference, but the uber enthusiasts on various lists swear by the LAME encoder as being the best around. do a search….

From there, plop into traktor/final scratch and start analyzing the files overnight so that everything is stripped. I just got the traktor 2.51 update and have to restripe all 5200 tracks that i’m up to now. doh!
being a digital dj is more hardcore than not being one. so much more work involved. making archive cd’s of all the wav files just in case… backups of all the mp3s… just in case… the time it takes to enter in all the information. the money spent on buying music. although, i’ve been quite a fan of soulseek this year. found some great stuff that i’ve been looking for for years. so, we do all this work, and then we finally get to go out and play, the laptop doesn’t crash, and then you got 10 people at yer gig and barely get paid cab money to get home…. 😉

that’s pretty much the story.

now playing:
Feel It (underground goodies mix) from the album “12”” by Cajmere