Your Questions. Can I Rip My Old Vinyl With A Traktor Kontrol S4?

The Traktor Kontrol S4 will let you plug in a turntable or CD deck and record the results, thanks to its comprehensive input options.

The Traktor Kontrol S4 will let you plug in a turntable or CD deck and record the results, thanks to its comprehensive input options.

Digital DJ Tips reader Josh writes: "The question I have is what are my best options for converting some of my old vinyl records into a digital format? I've been wanting to get back into bedroom DJing, but while and as more and more classic tracks are becoming available as digital purchases there is still a lot of my collection that is unavailable. I've had the opportunity to spend a few hours on the Traktor Kontrol S4 and I'm really impressed with how professional the software is and how integrated the controller is.

"Would purchasing the Traktor Kontrol S4 allow me to get quality rips from my vinyl? And once ripped, is Platinum Notes something I should consider to bring my older tracks to a level that would allow mixing with the ever-growing digital collection I have?"

Digital DJ Tips says:

Firstly, yes, it's easy to use the Traktor Kontrol S4 to rip vinyl. You plug a turntable into one of the external inputs (don't forget to earth it and set to "phono"), then you just set one of the software's channel inputs to "live" in the Traktor settings, and hit "record" in Traktor. Mess around with the levels, get everything how you want it, and start playing your records. You can always edit the start and end points and do some post-processing in free DAW Audacity or something similar.

Platinum Notes is kind of "automated mastering" (mastering meaning taking a raw recording to to best overall sound quality for the format it is to be used in). Mastering engineers often bristle at the idea, but in my experience it can hugely improve vinyl rips (and indeed digital tracks), and can "level out" a collection that's been assembled from varying sources. As always, you should trust your ears on this stuff. Platinum Notes works best with WAVs rather than MP3s. Here's our Platinum Notes review.

Do you use your DJ controller to rip vinyl? Likewise, do you use Platinum Notes? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments

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  1. DJ_ForcedHand says:

    This is actually a very cost effective way of ripping your vinyl tracks. Remember to clean your needle and the record before ripping though and make sure your tempo speed is at "0"... Seeing as you will probably want the best recording you will get of this track. I think there was a previous article about mastering at acceptable soud levels as well... You wouldn't want to record too high or too low as your permanent copy of the song.

    • recording in 24-bit is a solution for the big volume issues with vinyl ripping.
      Record in 24 at a lower volumelevel (-6dB or so) So you are cetain never to clip. But not to silent to, you loose quality.
      Afterward you can make manual volumecorrections, maximize the volume and convert to 16-bit.
      Thats the way I do it..
      I'm having a very hard time with scrach and rumble and stuff removers. They always seem to remove sound quality to. So I stopped using them.

  2. I use my audio 8 dj for vinyl ripping, not sure if its exactly the same in the s4 but part of the reason i chose traktor and the audio 8 is because of the cirrus logic AD/DA convertor, which is very good quality.... you can use it with any DAW simply by selecting its driver in audio setup, and then use any vst plugin or standalone program such as izotope rx on quiet sections to decrackle and remove hum if necessary. I'm pretty sure you must be able to do the same with the S4's built in soundcard, but personally i think if you're a vinyl lover, the DVS version of traktor and a seperate midi controller will make you enjoy the digital experience more, plus if price is an issue, as it is for most people who spend wads of cash on music, you can get a second hand audio 8 for pretty cheap on ebay now, as not everyone realises how good a piece of kit they are 😉 Hope this helps;)

  3. I use Serato to rip my vinyl; just hit record then you're good to go.

  4. When reading this I just remembered a tip I got from a DJ many years ago. On his vinyl he would spray a little destilled water just before playing it and then it would take away some of the noise when played. He showed it to me and the sound was much better after spraying the water on the vinyl. He told me not to use tapwater since it would cause lime buildups!

    Maybe you can use this for a better result when converting to digital. Would be great to know if you have success with this method.

    Good luck.

  5. Although i was born in 1980 i never used vinyl growing up. i was using cassettes, then cds.

    A friend of mine who is not a dj has tons and tons of vinyl. he wants to buy a usb turntable in order to convert the lps to digital and also to use it with his hifi.

    How does the above method rate compared to:
    a) using a controller
    b) connecting a standard turntable to a standard mixer for some eq then to the soundcard of a desktop pc

    Which of the three methods would give the best result?

    And using platinum notes for all three methods right at the end, do the results become closer to eachother?

    • Using a decent sound card (audio interface) will be better than a USB turntable in my opinion, as many USB turntables are pretty cheap. Get a good rip to start with; don't rely on PN (or anything else) to correct stuff later on.

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