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