Most of the cables you need can
be found at our sister site www.tracertek.com/cables.htm
Once you've determined your
cable needs, then it is time to make sure that you've selected
the correct input on your sound card. All sound cards
and computers are different, but in most consumer computer
products, you'll find an 1/8 receptacle and will need the RCA
to 1/8 connector shown above. That cable will normally
look like this and is readily available.
RCA to 1/8" Plug
Most consumer sound cards have
several sets of "holes". If you're lucky,
they'll have writing underneath the "hole" that
tells you what you should plug in. One or two will say
"Speakers"...some split these up to Front and
Rear...etc. Some have pictures, some have nothing.
Hopefully you'll have your manual handy and you can figure out
what goes where, but you can also do the old Trial and Error
technique, where you just plug everything in until you hear
Most sound cards will offer 2
inputs...one for a microphone and one for Line Input.
Again, these are usually labeled in some way. If you
have 3 holes and pictures, usually the speaker and the
microphone are easier to identify...a good guess tells you
that the remaining input is the Line Input. Also,
usually the speakers are easier to find because most people
will hook them up and listen to CDs MP3s, games or Internet
audio right out of the box...less are usually interested in
making their own recordings.
If your speakers are wired up
correctly, when you play a CD, you'll hear it. If you
don't have pictures on your "holes". you can test
for this simply by turning on a CD...having it play and then
plugging in your speaker plugs until you hear sound.
If you have a phono
Things will not really be much
different. You simply plug the RCA outputs of your
turntable to the RCA Inputs on the phono preamp. Then
you tale and RCA cable and run it from the RCA Outputs on the
phono preamp to the Line inputs on your sound
Well worry more about setting
your levels and working with your sound card's mixer in the
next session. For now, lets assume you've found the
correct inputs and outputs and plugged working cables into
them. Well test this soon.
Wiring It Up (Tape
Wiring up your tape deck is a
slightly easier process than wiring up a turntable, simply
because most tape decks put out a line level signal. As
this is the signal your sound card is looking for, you can now
simply plug directly into the sound card without the need of
some sort of pre-amplification like a stereo system or a phono
You simply take and RCA cable
from the Line Output on your tape deck and then match the plug
you need for the input on your sound card. Click
here for an explanation on plug types and cable types.
Setting Your Sound Card's
This is one of the pot holes
that many first time customers fall into. This can be
confusing, but after about 5 minutes, you'll be amazed that
you're now an expert. Keep in mind, that like all good
things PC, nothing is ever uniform and you'll find exceptions
to every rule we're about to spell out, but this should help
the majority of you a majority of the time.
Launching your sound card's
Your mixer is usually located
in your system tray (lower left...where your clock lives on
most machines). In XP, your tray will look like this
This means that it's really set
to idle. If you click on the arrows pointing to the
left, you'll see everything that's currently
Notice the little gray speaker
icon that is showing 3 icons in from the left? That's
your sound card's mixer. Simply double click to activate
it and you'll see something that looks like this:
This shows you the various
options that are active for Playback. This is not the
mixer we'll worry about first, but it is normally the default
mixer on most systems. This is where we adjust the
output of the system. Now click on the Options menu
located in the upper left hand side of the screen.
It will open the menu and offer
you the Properties selection. Click on that as well and
you'll now be given the Properties selection window that looks
In this window, we can select
either the Playback or Recording mixers and also configure
what elements of each we want to show. Because we're
interested in the Recording mixer, let's first click on
that...this will change the elements shown in the window below
titled "Show the following volume controls:"
It will now look like this:
We're now looking at the setup
window for the Recording Mixer. Make sure that Line
Input is selected and then click on OK. You are now
looking at the Input control mixer for your sound card.
It is here that we'll make adjustments to recording
levels. This is no different that when you used to
record your records to tape and adjusted the input levels on
your cassette deck. Here is your input mixer:
Notice that Line In is
"Selected". You must select this by clicking on the
small "Select" box at the bottom of the Line In
Slider. We'll refer back to this section when we're
ready to set our levels en route to our first recording.
Choosing Your Software
We offer 3 different products
for audio restoration and enhancement. Audio Mentor
($29) and DC Millennium at
$59 and EIGHT at $159. All of these products are
excellent at restoration and enhancement. You'll be
hard-pressed to find a better solution on the planet.
All will remove clicks, pops, hiss, surface noise and other
noise associated with classic recordings. We also offer
our legendary technical support to all of our
customers...whether you own a $29 product or a $1500 product,
we treat you the same. You get a human to talk to who
will spend whatever time is necessary to get you
working. You won't pay for technical support like some
of our competitors.
Audio Mentor is the newest
product in our ongoing war against noise. It is designed
to be the easiest product on the planet going from vinyl or
tape to CD. It has a wizard that guides you through the
entire process...from hooking up your stereo to writing your
first CD. It also works hand and hand with our more
expensive solutions when more detailed work is required.
It is only $29!
So why spend $100 more for DC
These products are simply easier, faster
and better than our older versions and more powerful than
Mentor. In the
"Easier" department, in the 10 years since DC
Millennium was released, we have spent a great deal of time
working on making audio restoration and enhancement
easier. Our new EZ Clean system is the most complex
filter we've ever designed. It can remove clicks, pops,
hiss, surface noise, hum and buzz...usually in one pass
automatically with little input from the user. This
filter is extremely popular with our users and in some cases
is used exclusively. In the "Faster"
department, we've added a software interface that speaks
directly with your CPU chip...making many of our most math
intensive filters anywhere from 10-80% faster. And, with
5 years of development time between Millennium and DC SIX,
we've improved virtually every aspect of the product to make
it better. DC EIGHT takes these features to new levels
with vast improvements designed to let you push filters even
further and make restorations and enhancements even better!
All of our products record, edit,
enhance, clean, and split your album side recording into the
various single tracks you'll need to make a CD. Demos of
all are available on this site under the Free Demo Downloads
listing on the left hand menu. When you download the
demo, you should also download the specific Getting Started
Guide that goes with it. That will take you by the hand
and lead you through the product in easy to understand terms.
Your First Recording
So now we've wired things up,
we've set up our mixer, we've even chosen a recording
platform. Now lets try a recording and see what happens.
Launch an of our products by clicking on the icon that probably placed itself
on your desktop when you installed the software.
If you don't see one of these
icons on your desktop, you can also launch the program by
going to your Start button then going to Programs
then Diamond Cut Audio and then launching DC SIX,
Millennium or Audio Mentor.
Once you've launched the
program (in this case, DC SIX), you'll see the following
Now let's click on the record
button. It's a Red circular button that looks like
this at the top of the screen.
This will launch the Record
screen (seen below)
As stated before, you're now
looking at something that should seem fairly familiar to
you. You'll see transport controls like Stop, Pause,
Rewind and Fast Forward along with Record. To make ready
for your first recording, simply click on the Pause
button. You have now activated your recording VU
meters. Now start your record playing. If you've
followed instructions to the letter, you should be seeing
activity in these meters.
Note On Recording:
We now live in a digital world
and you have to think a little differently than you did with
analog recording. For example...your VU meters. In
the good old days when we recorded from Record To Tape, we let
those VU meters bounce in and out of the red to get the
maximum gain on the tape. With a digital system, that
red means distortion and you don't want your recording that
hot. As a matter of fact, when doing this type of
recording, your plan is to both remove noise and enhance the
remainder...you're better off recording at about -4 to -10 so
that you have some headroom for your enhancement gain.
Also, we have several gain normalization tools in DC SIX and
Millennium that allow you to maximize your file before you
finish it to CD, so don't worry about making the maximum
recording right off the bat.
You're now ready to make your
own recordings. As mentioned before, to become familiar
with the tools, it's probably best to start with the tutorials
based on both Millennium and SIX and go from there.
Also, most importantly, feel
free to call us if you have questions...no one is born an
expert at these things, so don't worry about feeling
stupid. We've heard any question you can conceive.
Try us toll free at 866