LP Recording

Mon Jan 08, 2001 1:24 pm

Hi! I have a weird question. I am recording shows on my VCR. I know that recording is SP delivers the best audio/video at least over EP mode because the tape is moving faster, but what about recording in LP mode? Any suggestions?

Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: LP Recording

Tue Jan 09, 2001 1:05 am

The rule when recording on tape has always been the higher the speed, the better the fidelity. At least up to about 30 ips (Inches Per Second) tape speed. The 480 or even 960 ips speed used in mass duplicators for prerecorded cassettes of course is too much, hence the reason they almost always sound bad.This is because the signal is spaced out over more tape particles. As for recording at LP speed, well my best suggestion to you is to simply try it, see how it sounds, and if you don't like it, go back to the speed that sounded best to you. I don't know what ips speeds vcrs operate at, but they do have the advantage of a rotating versus stationary head, just like the DAT (digital audio tape) format does.
One other thing to remember: your recording is only going to sound as good as your source. If you are recording old LP's that are all scratched and hissy, and have had about 15,000 cycles rolled off the high end just from being played so many times, then there's really not a lot you can do. The tape is going to sound lousy just the same.
But there are a few tips I've used to clean up LP's that will improve the sound somewhat.
The first, and most effective one is to play them in mono when you are dubbing them. You will need to check your reciever to see if it has this function as not all of them do. By playing (and then recording) in mono, you cancel out a lot of the background noise. Of course it won't be in stereo, but it will sound a lot better.
Second, is to equalize your records when you dub them. Also, most receivers nowadays have built in equalizers. You can adjust each of the frequencies (bass, treble, mid, etc.) to where it sounds to your liking, and then dub (yes, you can equalize and dub in mono simultaneously).
If you are really serious about cleaning up the records, and cannot play them in mono or EQ them to your taste, you might want to consider hooking up a mixer to your system. A unit like the one I have (the Gemini PDM-12-yours for about $175) has both an EQ and a switch that allows you to play in mono.
And if you are really, REALLY serious about cleaning up your records, then you might want to check e-bay or the electronics classifieds and try and hunt down a toy called the SAE 5000A Impulse Noise Reduction Unit. If you are an avid vinyl fan, and can find one of these, consider yourself very lucky. It will be worth whatever you pay for it.
It was a gem made back in the late 70's/early 80's that was desgined to remove 'pops and clicks' from records. My dad has one, and I've used it with a lot of success to dub some of his older records onto CD.
But the bottom line is this: You really should dub all your records onto CD, or at least premium quality tape just to archive them. Even if you can't clean them up now, dub them as they are now, noise and all, and that way, you can fix them up down the road with whatever accessories you might buy. It's much easier to fix up a tape with a so-so recording, then to wait until the records further deteriorate and sound worse.
Good luck. E-mail me at if you have any further questions.
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2000 12:53 pm

RE: LP Recording

Tue Jan 09, 2001 11:55 am

I think that J57PW43 was talking about LP mode on a VCR not the old fashioned LP record. I think that LP mode is better than EP mode for recording on a VCR. The tape moves faster.

Posts: 973
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 1:37 pm

RE: LP Recording

Tue Jan 09, 2001 1:00 pm

LOL, I think that's what Matt was talking about!

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