I’ve seen some posts on discussion boards about this, but nothing in very much detail about ripping a vinyl record to digital audio using a Mac and GarageBand.
This is my workflow:
- Get a turntable with USB output. Ones from ION seem OK. Some audiophile might recommend something else. Good for them. Plug this turntable into your Macintosh.
- Open GarageBand.
- Start a new project. I used the “Loops” preset, but it probably doesn’t matter.
- Select Track » New Track… and create a new “Real Instrument” track.
- Select GarageBand » Preferences… and choose the “Audio/MIDI” tab. Select “USB Audio CODEC” in the list for “Audio Input”.
- Make sure your new, empty track is selected. Choose “On (no feedback protection)” in the “Monitor” section on the right hand side (click the button with an “i” in a circle in the lower right corner if you don’t see this on the right hand side). That is, if you want to listen to the record as you record it.
- Start playing the record, and start recording with the big round button with a circle in the middle on middle bottom panel.
- Wait for the entire side of the record to play. Click the record button again to stop recording.
- Scan the waveform you see for silent bits; these are usually the places where the track splits are. Once you’ve found a place to split the track, place the cursor at that point by clicking in the timeline at the very top.
- Select Edit » Split to split the track.
- Select Track » New Track… and create a new “Real Instrument” track. Select one of the tracks you just split and drag it into this new track. The goal is to have each song from the record in its own track. Repeat 9, 10, 11 for all tracks on that side of the record.
- For each track, make sure it is the only one not muted (the speaker symbol in the track control on the left-hand side. If it is blue, it is muted, and if muted, the waveform will be dimmed). With a single track not muted, select Share » Send Song to iTunes. A dialog will come up where you can fill in the album and artist metadata. The track will get sent to iTunes, where you will probably need to select “Get Info” on each track to edit the song name, track number, etc. Repeat this for all tracks.
- Once you’ve done that for the entire album, compress the songs in iTunes by selecting them, control (or right) clicking and selecting “Create AAC Version,” or “Create Apple Lossless Version,” or “Create MP3 Version” or whatever. You may also be able to choose “Get Album Artwork” and get the cover art.
(ps for ryan)