How do I Convert Vinyl to CD?

I’d like to convert some LPs to CD. In a trip down memory lane I’ve pulled my old Pioneer PL112D turntable with a Shure M75 cartridge out of the loft along with a Denon amplifier which has a phono input suitable for the cartridge. Both seem to work. I did some vinyl to CD conversion many years back and as I recall I fed the audio output from the headphone socket of the amplifier into the computer, probably the microphone input (?). The missing link is obviously suitable software to convert the analogue input to digital and which allows me to burn audio CDs. The software I used before has long since gone. Alternatively, could I dispense with the amplifier and purchase a dedicated ‘box’ which takes the cartridge input applies the correction and outputs a signal which can feed the PC?
There’s plenty on the 'net about specific turntables etc that do the conversion, but I’d like to avoid that (i’e. avoid spending loads of money) as I have the basics to get an analogue signal into the PC.
So guys, am I on the right track here and can anyone suggest some suitable software or techniques that will help me to do this?

why cd? Would you not just convert stuff to digital mp3 now? That’s what I did with a load of old stuff I had on tape. (from old bands I was in!!)
There’s a free bit of software that does a really good conversion from audio signal to digital called Audacity. I’ve used it a fair but and its fairly simple to use to create an audio file which you can then convert to MP3.

Unless the LPs are incredibly rare, it’s probably a lot easier to just download the music. You can always burn it to CD if you have a need to have a physical medium.

…yeah that as well. I have yet to find anything I had on tape, lp or cd that’s not been available as a digital download somewhere, or better still now I stream it all.

Windows comes with a voice recorder that should take your microphone input, as you describe, and save it to a file. Whether you then transfer it to a CD or save it as an mp3 depends on you.

Ok, bit more of the back story. The records are those my partner is bringing home from clearing out her parents house. Not a clue what they are, but I don’t want to lose my Pioneeer turntable to her house and I don’t think she’d actually play many either. Hence I’m suggesting I’d convert them to CD. Streaming clearly isn’t an option. Yes, I’d be more than happy to store them as MP3 as I can always use that to burn a CD. I just need some recommended software to do that.
I’ll have a look at the Audacity software and I hadn’t spotted the Windows voice recorder so that’s all really helpful.


If there are any LP’s that you don’t want to keep it may be an idea to let us know, there are quite a few of us with eclectic tastes that may be interested.

I’ll keep it in mid Countryboy! Not clue what she will come back with. Eclectic? You should see my music. As an example I was sad to hear that Toots Hibberd passed away recently, and the Maytals are often played in my car. Luckily the Audi has the B&O system with the sub in the boot.

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from what I can recall, its a few years since I used it, you record and it creates huge files, but you can edit those, so if you copied a side of an LP in one go, you can then see the quiet gaps and chop it down into tracks if you want to. It doesn’t convert direct to MP3 as again from what I can recall that’s a licenced file format so you have to do the separately, but again its not hard, and once made into MP3s the tracks become a lot smaller and manageable and playable on more things.

However its all still a lot of work compared with searching for the LP online and downloading the digital version, or streaming via Spotify or one of the others.

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I simply plug my old(ish) Olympus LS14 into the line output of the record player. I use it to record other things as well. Then use the basic edit functions in Audacity to top and tail and label the tracks. If one needs to do any more than simple edits then a decently powerful PC is required.

See my Amazon Review from 2013 for more detail.
There are lots of newer competing and improved machines available, but this one is so good I’ve not needed to replace it.

Thanks guys. I know it could take some time to convert these, but it will keep someone happy. It looks like Audacity is the way to go, so I’ll download that and see how it is used. PC is a reasonable spec and has no problem with photo editing where it is dealing with rather large RAW files.

Plugging the sound into your pc input is not the best way forward.
If you search online you can find usb pluggable devices for laptops and pcmi cards for desktop computers. Both feed the traditional hifi connection.This route does cost more but the results are better. Often free software is included but there is freeware out there.
I bought a pcmi card several years ago that lets me digitise sound from LPs and videos from video tape camcorders.

Thanks for this. Apologies, I appreciate you taking the time to help, but I’m more than slightly confused about what you’re suggesting. I’d appreciate a little more explanation. ‘USB pluggable device’ and ‘PCMI cards’. ‘Feed the tradtional hifi connection’; sorry, you’ve lost me there.
Are these items that take the turntable output or the audio amplifier output and digitise it?


When I transferred LPs to digital media I used the amplifier outputs that would formally have gone to your tape deck input and used standard audio cables. So in essence your PC is replacing the tape deck.
The USB pluggable device has the above mentioned audio cables attached and then goes in one of your pc usb ports. This is an example.

The alternative to using a usb if you have a desktop or tower pc is a PCI card which you can use to transfer videos as well. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you like fiddling with pcs.

Hope this clarifies.

Thanks for that. I’ll have to look at that option. I’ll also look for a PCI card as I’m quite happy to work on the PC. A while back I upgraded it with a SSD, for example, so adding a PCI card is straightforward.

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The primary feature of the MP3 format for sound files, as used by eg Apple Music, is convenience, as it compresses the data into a relatively small file that is easy to store. What it does not do is provide good quality sound, and in that respect is way below that you get from a conventional (ie not an MP3) CD. In today’s hi fi world, CD is the starting point for quality, and is readily exceeded by other formats such as FLAC, which would be available to download or stream. Having used MP3 for years at home and in cars, I’ve gone back to the superior performance of CDs in the car and streamed FLACs in the hifi (no media storage, ie no racks of CDs or LPs) just wonderful sound. Having said all that, the ambient sound levels in the MX5 (NC), roof up or down, are so high that I rarely listen to any music in it. There are better sounds to enjoy!