Connecting turntables/mixer to laptop

jow

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#1
My question is similar to that of diamond geezer's a month or so ago - I have recently bought a laptop and would like to connect my turntables/mixer to it.

The problem is that I don't have a line in to the soundcard (thus, a simple y lead is not the answer). I do have 4 USB 2.0 ports though. What cables etc do I need to record onto the laptop from the mixer?

Can anybody help? I'm after a step by step guide to do this, as I'm not too good with computers (!) What cables do I need, how much are they, where can I get them from? Also, what program(s) would you recomend for recording? I have CoolEdit, Soundforge 6.0 etc.

The laptop is a Packard Bell E3242 - what are people's views on this? Good or crap? And should I ditch it to get a laptop with a line input or are the USB ports generally a better way to go about this?

Initially I want to record all of my vinyl into a digital format and then burn them onto CD's, but in the near future I will be doing mixes, as well as looking into doing more with breakpirates. However, first things first - please, can anyone help me?

Cheers all
 

sdm

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#2
Generally you will need a cable which has a set of Red/White phono's one end (for your mixer line out) and a 3.5mm Headphone jack the other end. Plug them into their respective places then fire up your recording software.

I normally use Cool Edit for live mixes, but have recently started using SoundForge a lot more. Both do a good job! As long as it records and has reasonable editing features, it'll do!

Before you start recording, it's worth checking your sound card inputs via:

Start > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Advanced > Options > Properties > Recording > OK

(That's how it's done in Windows XP)

Once in there, make sure your input is a form of line input to your PC. In mine, I have either "Analog Mix" or "What You Hear", both of these record line in.

Once set, hit record in Cool Edit or whatever you have chosen and start playing your record, it *should* record!

It's 8AM, that's a quick guide to recording into your PC via Windows XP ;]
 

cK

i want to play a game...
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#3
The problem is that I don't have a line in to the soundcard (thus, a simple y lead is not the answer).
Your best bet is to buy a USB soundcard, such as the Edirol UA-1A which I use. It contains Roland chips, and I've found the ADC in it to be very good. It's also quite reasonably priced, it should be possible to pick one up for around £60 if you look around.

On the UA-1A, there are 4 RCA phono sockets, stereo line in and line out.
 

sdm

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Haha sorry, kC just messaged me saying that you didn't have a line in, so forget my post haha.

It was 8AM, I must have missed that bit ;]
 

jow

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Thanks guys - I think I'm going to go for the external soundcard idea. I've heard about soundblaster mp3+ would do the job (ie of recording from mixer to laptop). What do people think of this?

Thanks in advance
 

Yar-X

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Hi Jow,

Are you absolutely sure there is no stereo line-in on this laptop? I've been thinking about bying the same model (E3242) and I'm also doing this to start recording all my vinyls.

But when I checked in the shop, I saw 2 conections in the front. One (the left one) is for microphone entrance. And, if I'm not wrong, the right one is a line-in, isn't it? It has this little logo next to it with the little pointer from the outside to the inside, indicating an entrance right?

Or am I wrong? I'll also try to contact Packard Bell about this, maybe they can simply clarify our question.

Cheers,
Yar-X
 

jow

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#7
Yar-X

Yes, that's what I thought when I looked in the shop, but what the Packard Bell E3242 has is a microphone in on the left, and a line out on the right. I have countered this problem though, as you can go through the mic in, providing you set the mic 1 boost in recording properties to off, and un-mute the microphone volume level. Then, it's a simple case of going form the mixer to the laptop with a y-lead (phono to 3.5mm jack).

But, as you say the line out has got the line in symbol - weird eh?
 
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