some software to record on your computer. Classic OS Macs include basic
recording software. SimpleSound is
usable, if no-frills.
When it opens, you'll see a list of System Alert Sounds-- go to the Sound
menu to select CD Quality, then the File/New
record a new sound. Click the Record button, and
away you go!
When you're done, you can save the file with the name and location of
your choice. SimpleSound records in uncompressed AIFF
which can be later converted to CD Audio by your CD
There's no equivalent to Simple Sound built-into OS X. Better, though
is the free Audio Recorder,
recording application that saves in either uncompressed AIFF (use this
if making audio CDs) or compressed MP3 format.
using OSX or the classic Mac OS, you will want a more sophisticated
recording program. There are lots of options, many of which can be
downloaded-- though in most cases, users will need to buy a product
to continue to use a program after a trial period. On the Internet, you
may want to go to someplace like Download.com and
search for recording.
Doing so got me 131 Windows hits and 17 Mac hits-- though
are for CD burning, 'ripping' audio from CDs inserted into your
computer, or other things that while interesting, may not be what you
want to do right now.
checking out: Audacity,
capable and free recording program,
for Windows, Mac (both classic and OS X) and Linux.Unix. Plug-ins (to
the free, open-sounce Lame) are
required to save in
the popular MP3 format; these are available for most (but not all)
versions on the site. Development of the classic Mac version has
with the 1.0 version release; OS X development is continuing.
versions for Audacity now have VU meters, making this a very usable--
and free program. Check it out!
programs worth checking out are:
- Peak LE
is the lite version
(US$99) of the full Bias Peak (US$199-699) application. There are
downloadable 14-day trial versions of both. I like Peak LE for
on the Mac. The new 3.0 version is OS X-native.
is a free
with a good set of options.
- Amadeus II runs
Mac OS 8.6 and up or natively under OS X; it's a US$25
program that includes recording functions, sound repairing functions,
MP3 support and more. 15-day free trial version.
(free trial-- US$50 to buy). Lets users record and edit AIFF sound
on a Mac under OS X or OS 8.5 or later. Designed to record from a
system to computer, digitize cassette tapes, LP, on-air radio, or live
performances. It includes filters and effects like fades, reverb, and
graphic EQ. (I've purchased this one to use on my Mac-- it's very good!)
(shareware, US$30 to
buy) has both classic Mac (OS 8.5+) and OS X versions... lots of power
but a somewhat geeky interface.
- Analogue Ripper(Mac
OS X: $29)
is for recording from LP, cassette, etc-- any analog(ue) source.
Includes editing and playback tools for splitting long recordings into
tracks. A nice feature lets you record 33 1/3 rpm recordings at 45 or
78 to shorten recording time, then slow them down once they're on your
computer. You can also use this (in reverse) to record 78 rpm
recordings at 33 (or 45) using a turntable that lacks 78 rpm support.
Technology, makers of the Mac-audio add-ons iMic and PowerWave has a
free program: Final Vinyl
recording LPs and cassettes-- it requires that you be using one of
their products to operate, but if so, is simple and powerful. It allows
you to connect a turntable directly to your Mac (via the iMic or
PowerWave), without needing the rest of your stereo connected (though
it can also be used with your stereo as described earlier in this
to check for audio-software is Harmony
with resources and news for Windows, Mac, DOS, Atari, Amiga, BeOS, and
Unix. Or check http://www.mp3-mac.com/Pages/AudioRecorders.html
with brief reviews and links for a range of downloadable Mac recording
The one I
use is Sound Studio...
I'm still using version 2.2.4; there's a new version 3 which I haven't
tried (2.2.4 is still available for download). I find Sound Studio
simple and reliable with some features that make it work very quickly,
especially if you've recorded entire sides of a tape or LP and are
splitting it into individual tracks. Highly recommended! (My second
choice is the free Audacity).
should be hooked up to your audio hardware, and have software up and
running. It's time to put the vinyl on the turntable or the cassette
tape in the tape deck (or just turn on the radio), and load up your
chosen recording software.
ready to record, you may be asked what quality to make your
recording... if you aren't asked about this, check your software's
Preferences or settings to make sure they're what you want. Here's the
Sound Quality dialogue for Sound Studio:
choices-- a 44.100 kHz sample rate, 16-bit sample size, stereo, will
provide CD-quality recordings. Figure on needing about 1 MB of drive
space for each minute recorded.
Do a test-run,
recording something, just to make sure everything is connected properly
and your levels are at reasonable. 20 seconds or so of music ought to
it (unless your music has very quiet and very loud portions, in which
case, you should check some of each)... Stop and play it back on your
computer. Hopefully, it worked and sounds good... if not, keep fiddling
with the level controls, both on your audio gear and on your computer
until you find that happy medium.
When you've got your levels set, you're ready for Part
4: Making the recording
Last updated: April 25, 2006
The complete Burning CDs
from LPs and
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