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AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable - Testing the Record Function

AKAI has been around since the dawn of consumer electronics. Today we test out their new ATT023U USB turntable for continuing vinyl record lovers.

| Editorials in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jun 9, 2009 3:57 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: AKAI

Recording with the ATT023U

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

Right then, onto the aspect of this product which promises to deliver something your average turntable will not. What that something is, is the ability to record directly from the turntable itself to an optical device, such as a hard drive, to allow for the systematic backing up of vinyl collections.

 

This process is facilitated by the use of a USB cable to send the newly converted data across the system bus to a program like Audacity for editing and recording purposes.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

Now, to ensure correct functionality of this feature, be sure to firstly install and run the Audacity program (which is a completely free and easy to use program for audio editing) - You can find it available for download here.

 

Open up Audacity and choose "edit" from the top drop down and then "preferences" from that menu. Once the preferences menu is open, select audio I/O, then choose your internal sound card or on board sound for 'playback device'. Then after making sure the turntable is connected to an empty USB port, select 'USB audio codec' from the drop down and then, below again, 'channels-2(stereo)'.

 

After doing the above, tick both the boxes directly below. You have now configured your system to see the turntable and to be able to record it as an incoming signal.

 

Still following? - Good. Now cue up the turntable with the record you want to record from (mind the pun). Then click the red circular record button up top of Audacity (the button is the same as a DVR/VCR/Cable TV record button). Also set the "REC VOL" on the turntables control face to around 12 o'clock.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

Then simply hit play on the cued up record that you have ready to go and two mono tracks with wave form data will appear in the edit window of Audacity to signal that a 'hot' signal is coming through and being recorded.

 

Now, up the top of your edit window you'll see two sets of bars that look like a TV volume control. One is green and one is red; green means playback (monitor level) while the other is the record level. Never let the red one hit max, because it means your record signal is clipping. This simply means that the incoming level is too 'hot' for the equipment. Always tune this value from the turntables 'REC VOL' control, not from within Audacity itself.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

To pause the recording, simply use the play/pause button on the turntable and again do this to resume recording. In Windows the space bar is your stop/start recording shortcut.

 

Also, remember to "save project as" as the first step when you begin a session. You will then be prompted on where to save and my strict advice is to save anywhere but where your Windows files are stored; this for obvious reasons of security and safety of the session data.

 

This is the same procedure used anywhere, right through to professional recording workstations.

 

AKAI ATT023U USB Turntable

(Click the above image for the large version)

 

With regards to the flash slots up the top left hand corner of the unit, once an SD card or a USB stick gets inserted it acts as the hard drive used before (through Audacity), except this time none of the controls are accessed through Audacity. Rather, the turntables own controls are used. Other than that it's the same process being followed.

 

Okay, well I think I have covered the basics of what you must know in order to record using AKAI's ATT023U turntable.

 

Editors note: I was also going to run this process through my Pro-tools workstation on the Mac, but for readability I'm only including information for Windows. If there are in fact any problems recording onto Mac using this turntable, just let us know here and we'll do our best to set you straight.

 

Right, thanks for your patience getting through that, but I really wanted to cover the process involved as it can easily become confusing if steps are missed.

 

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