Copying LPs to Computer

  thyde9337 23:08 27 Jan 2008

In order to transfer music from LPs, I use Magix Audio Cleaning Lab., Version 3.01 acquired in 2003, which, until recently, was connected through a mini hi-fi system to my Dell 4500 desktop computer using the line-in socket. In order to record and listen at a reasonable level it was necessary to adjust the volume output of the amplifier almost to its upper limit. This was often unsatisfactory and sometimes produced distorted sound.

I have recently acquired a Pro-Ject Phono Box ll pre-amplifier to replace the mini hi-fi system. This device has two outputs, a phono pair and a USB socket. Using the phono sockets, in Windows, I can adjust the recording level using Control Panel/Sounds and Audio Devices Properties/Audio/Sound Recording for the relevant input device: Soundmax Digital Audio on the desktop. In fact, the Magix program displays the relevant Audio/Sound Recording panel when the option to record from the turntable is selected.

However, if instead I try to use the USB connection, the sound level is excessively high and cannot be adjusted because in this case no Audio/Sound Recording panel is displayed. The following error message is then shown: "There is a problem with your sound hardware. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware." In fact, there is no such option in my version of Windows and I have clicked on Sounds and Audio Devices Properties instead. Usually I find that the computer has selected a USB Audio device which is reported as working satisfactorily and I have used the Problem-Solving Wizard to check for any problems with this connection but it is always reported as working correctly.

I have also used the same processes with the turntable connected to my Dell Inspiron, with greater success. However, if I connect the phono output from the phono box, the connections must be made to the microphone socket on the Inspiron and the recording level must be set very low because of the strength of the signal received through the phono leads from the phono box.

I can also use the USB socket to download from the phono box and this gives mostly a satisfactory recording level but there is no means to adjust it, because I get exactly the same error message as reported above. But I would prefer to use the USB connection to the laptop because, at the same time, I can use the phono sockets on the phono box to play the music through my domestic amplifying system. I cannot do this from the Inspiron.

Please can anyone tell me how I can ensure that the Recording Control can be displayed when the USB connection is used to record on the Inspiron?


My System:

Dell Dimension 4500, 2.53GHz processor, 512Mb DIMM, Windows XP, 20Gb hard disk, 80Gb hard disk, 500Gb Iomega External hard disk, Roxio CD R/RW, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN, Dell Photo All-in-One printer.
Dell Dimension 4100, 1GHz processor, 256Mb SDRAM, Windows ME, 20Gb hard disk, Adaptec CD R/DW, HP Deskjet 840C, Scanjet 3300c, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN
Dell Inspiron 8600, 1.4 Ghz processor, 512Mb SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 40Gb hard disk, Philips CDRW/DVD disk drive, Blueyonder Broadband & LAN Netgear RP614 v2 router.

  thyde9337 21:07 28 Jan 2008

I have posed my problem on six or seven user forums to try to avoid the error message I refer to in my previous post. I have received only one inappropriate reply so I have tried another approach and Googled the error message, this provided only two useful references out of a total of eight, I quote them below:

click here

This describes the Windows steps to specify audio settings using Control Panel/Sounds and Audio Devices/Audio. I had already done this but the problem keeps recurring.

The second reference is here:

click here

The topic is listed among a large number of FAQs about audio problems. After discussing the possibilities, the final piece of advice is that, if you can record audio in spite of the error message, then ignore it, but it does not have any suggestions if you cannot record. Using the USB connection, I can record music satisfactorily for more than 99% of an LP so I will tolerate that for a while until I can find some satisfactory alternative. I shall investigate the program Audacity and will report back when I have something useful to write.


  thyde9337 16:16 07 Feb 2008

Audacity has proved to be the solution to my problem because it incorporates a routine for adjusting the recording levels when using a USB audio connection. Unfortunately it has limited editing facilities but it can save in various formats, I use WAV files which can be imported into my preferred editing program - Magix Audio Cleaning Lab. 3.0

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