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On this page I will explain how to transfer a 78 rpm record to a computer.

My record player

I use a Lenco L75 (sold in the UK under the name "Goldring" and in the USA as "Bogen"), which is a legendary record player for 78-collectors. They were manufactured by this Swiss company between 1972 and 1980. One major advantage of this record player is the infinitely variable speed, to adjust the turntable to rotate at exactly the right speed by the use of a stroboscope. That enables not only 78s, but also for example early Columbias, which were recorded at 80 rpm, to be played at the correct pitch.

Lenco - L 75

Pick-up and stylus

The real 78 rpm record specialist would be able to give a profound essay about which particular pick-up and stylus (with which radius) to use for various types of records from different eras.
Well, I just keep it simple but effective. I use a single Japanese pick-up with diamond stylus manufactured by Nagaoka; the JT-511.
As you may know already, you need a different (broader!) stylus for 78 rpm records than for vinyl records (33/45 rpm records).Together with the pick-up I bought myself one stylus for 78’s (always green coloured) and also one for my vinyl records (always red coloured).

Pick-ups and styli can be purchased from a multitude of shops on the internet. I am very much satisfied with the quality of the reproduction. For pre-1940 records I actually ought to buy a thicker stylus. But for me this ‘multi-purpose’ stylus is more than adequate.
In case you want to reach perfection, you can find much more information on this British web resource.

From record player to computer

It is not possible to connect your record player directly to your computer, because the output of the record player is not suitable for this and has to be pre-amplified first. So you have to connect your record player to an amplifier, just like you used to connect your turntable to your stereo in the record days.
I have chosen a very average solution. The Lenco turntable is connected to the pick-up input of my old Japanese stereo. Then, from either the ‘aux’ output or the ‘tape’ output of the amplifier you make a connection to the ‘line’ input of your computer.

Recording a record on your computer

The analogue signal of the record player has to be converted into a digital signal. We need to save the sound as a so called WAV file. Therefore one needs an audio software programme. Don't be deterred by this, because there is a variety to suit your requirements, from simple freeware programmes up to very advanced expensive products. Unfortunately the sound recorder that is included in Windows is not suitable because it only records a maximum of 60 seconds in one take. Nowadays many computer manufacturers include a separate software program in their package.

I use the software ‘Adobe Audition 1.5’ (formerly known as 'Cool Edit Pro') not only to record the 78’s by turning them into WAV-files, but also to restore them, about which I will tell you more further down this page.

When everything is properly connected, and the software is ready for recording, you need to adjust the volume level on the computer.
For this you use the volume control in Windows (Options – Properties - Recording). In most recording software a meter is displayed to enable you to avoid the red area.

Start recording before the stylus hits the run-in groove of the record. Those first seconds of crackle and hiss, that precede the start of the music, are essential for the process of restoration in Adobe Audition. When the song is recorded, save it as a Windows PCM WAV file on your computer.

Restoring a recording (Digitally Remastering)

Now the actual restoration begins. For this I use two basic functions of Adobe Audition.

The first function is eliminating all the clicks and pops in the sound. For this you use the option Click/Pop Eliminator.
Open the menu Effects - Noise Reduction – Auto Click/Pop Eliminator or Click/Pop Eliminator. The Auto Click/Pop Eliminator is a preset, with which you can achieve remarkable results.
The normal Click/Pop Eliminator is able to analyse all clicks and pops on the recording before removing them. For this you use the function Auto Find All Levels in the menu of the Click/Pop Eliminator. The result is really amazing. Most of the clicks, crackle and pops are gone!

Now we come to the second function. All that is left now is the music itself, the hiss and the unwanted sounds of the turntable (the so called rumble).
To get rid of the hiss and rumble, but without affecting the music, we need to be able to isolate it, which is achieved by means of the run-in groove of the record. To be more precise it’s achieved by selecting a representative sample of approximately 1 or 2 seconds of the sound made between the moment the stylus fell in the groove and the beginning of the music (see photo below).

selecting a representative sample of the run-in groove of the record

Open in the menu Effects - Noise Reduction – Noise Reduction, and choose the option Capture Profile.
The software analyses the frequencies of the selected piece of the run-in groove. Next, choose Select Entire File, which will make the complete recording available. Finally choose OK.

And now a miracle will happen. Adobe Audition selects all the frequencies that were previous analysed in the run-in groove, and deletes them from the complete record. As a result all unwanted sounds, hiss and rumble of the record itself disappear. Only the music remains because it consists of the other frequencies excluding the hiss and rumble. What you keep is a complete clean recording, as if it was recorded yesterday!

If the result is not to your satisfaction, you undo the last step in the menu Edit – Undo. Just select a different part of the run-in groove (or longer, or shorter) and have another go until the result is to your satisfaction. You can also experiment with the settings of the Noise Reduction, but make sure that you write down the original settings before you start, to ensure that you can return to the original settings afterwards.


In my opinion this software product is a real magic tool for digital filtering and the removal of crackle, hiss, clicks and pops (in short the complete soundscape of a fireplace). And they are not paying me to say this!
More information on this product can be found on the Adobe Audition website, where you can also download a trial version.
There are people who use several software products in combination, but I began using ‘Adobe Audition 1.5’ in early 1999 and have found it to be sufficient for my purpose.


Enough talking! Just listen yourself to discover what this tool can do.

Black and tan fantasie - Duke Ellington & his Orchestra

click here to listen Before restoration

click here to listen After restoration

Schön, daß du wieder bei mir bist! - Adolf Steimel m.s. Tanzorchester

click here to listen Before restoration

click here to listen After restoration

Finally I wish you lots of success.
Please bear in mind also that it took me a lot of patient effort before I reached this result. Make sure that you first save the file of your original recording with all the crackle and hiss, so that you are able to experiment as much as you like without having to re-record the original record again and again. Save the result only when you are completely satisfied.
Good luck!

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