A couple of weeks ago, my mother told me she was sending me all my albums from my childhood. She told me she had too much junk in the house and she asked me if I wanted them. I said no at first, then yes. I have always had an insane attraction to music and record players. I knew some of the albums would be my older brother Keith’s as he too loved music and we had different tastes. In the midst of the boxes getting to me, Michael Jackson died and I was pretty bombarded with that news. When the records arrived, at least the first 5 were Jackson 5 and Jackson’s LPs. Those were my brother’s as I was not a big Jackson fan when I was a teenager. In addition, I knew he was a huge fan so he would always buy their albums anyway so there was no need for me to buy them. My favorite song by the Jacksons is “Blues Away.” That was one of the albums my mother sent.
At any rate, I don’t own a turntable or a record player as I am in transit and will be making another major move in a few months so I keep my furniture to a minimum where I am. I went to Fry’s Electronics and bought one of those turntables that you hook up to your computer. Even on the cleanest albums it skipped right over them. The needle was made of plastic, even though I paid over $100.00 for the turntable. I took it back then realized, I could do the same thing with a stand ard record player or turntable. Me and my son went to a few Goodwill stores and I found a small stereo in damn near pristine condition for $20.00. I started to buy it but then I thought about my move and it was an extra piece of furniture. Let me go off point here right quick and say NEVER get attached to things like furniture, you would be amazed at how you don’t really miss it at all once you get rid of it. At any rate. I hit a few pawn shops, which tend to be overpriced but they almost always have turntables and found a Techniques turntable for $40.00 and it had the needle. Without question, I will probably keep this turntable, it was in very good condition.
How you record to your computer from the turntable:
1. Download Audacity
2. You have to buy this cable (pictured) and plug on end into your mic input on your computer or laptop after downloading Audacity. The cable is called a Y cable with a female stereo input for a computer. You can also simply tell the clerk what you are trying to do. The cable should not be more than $15.00. You can find this Y connection at any electronic store like Fry’s or Best Buy
3. You turntable should already have the red and white male plugs that come out of the back of it to go into the female connection here. The colors don’t have to match and there is no right or wrong way to connect then, one of for the right channel and one is for the left… that’s it. If you have a stereo system (box or full fledged record player system) there will be a connection on the back where you can buy the opposite plug and connect directly to your stereo from your computer. In this case you will need a Y cable with male stereo outputs. If you get this make sure it’s at least 6 ft or more. Back to the turntable instructions. Once everything is connected, start up Audacity. It records anything that is playing through the mic plug. Start playing your record as a test and hit record on Audacity. You should see Audacity recording what is playing.
The only disadvantage to this and all vinyl to computers is, it does not break up the record but there are breaks in the recording session where you can split the project and you will have to type in the name of the songs. You can then save the songs as MP3s. That’s it.