A DJ’s Guide To Ripping Vinyl – Digital DJ Tips

Other clean-up processes

There are lots of other digital processes that some people like to apply to rips. You may hear people talking about subsonic rumble filters, “de-essing” filters, hiss reduction and more. These are all worth investigating, but my advice is to put more of your effort into having a properly set-up turntable and properly cleaned records, and then allowing the turntable to do a really clean run through of each track, which will eliminate most of these problems right at the source.

However, because you’ve made a backup of the raw file before adding any processing, if in the future you decide that some of these tools may be useful for certain recordings, you can always come back and revisit them later.

If there’s one extra process that you might want to consider, especially for very worn or old records, I’d recommend looking at “noise reduction”, which removes hiss and low-level, non-musical noise from the surface of the vinyl. It does this by asking you to play a part of the record where there’s no audio (for instance the run-in grooves), which it listens to to determine what is actually hiss and background noise, and then removes it record wide.

Ripping whole albums and releases

The process I’ve just described works best for the odd track that you want to rip. It’s highly inefficient for whole EPs and albums.

While Audacity does allow you to label and edit individual tracks, remove/ tidy up gaps between them, and export multiple files from a single project including metadata – for ultimate speed, specialised vinyl ripping software is a must.

Such software has automated clean-up tools, is faster for separating individual tracks in one big recording, and can look up and add metadata and artwork automatically for you.

The program I’ve used successfully (and still use) is called VinylStudio, but there are other options out there designed to achieve similar results. Look for a trial to check they suit you before buying.