First of all, when you install the software, just the basic wavepad
option will suffice. You should also choose the "Switch" audio file
convertor if you want to convert to mp3 files later. If you want to
install more of the utilities later, just run the setup again.
Step - By - Step Guide
Start up the software
Press the button in the top left.
Choose Sample Rate = 44100 and Stereo
Put the record on
Hit the Record button [red circle]
Lets assume you're recording a whole side - wait for the end then hit the stop button [black square]
Close the recording control box, and the waveform appears on the screen, like this;
The first thing you'll see here is that the five tracks in this
waveform are absolutely clear - so you'll have no trouble splitting the
tracks. Also, you should be looking to get the recorded volume looking
like this, with the wave filling the screen but not going so far that
it flattens the peaks.
Now zoom in tight to the beginning so the first track and select the
silence by dragging you mouse over it. And see those little vertical
lines showing on the silent part before the music starts - those are
the crackles from the record. You can remove them using DePopper.
Notice wavepad always shows you the full wave at the top, as well as the zoomed section in the main window.
Now hit "delete" on your keyboard and the selected part will go.
Now lets select the first track. Make sure the very beginning is
selected. Use the scroll bar to move to the start of the next track
Hold down "Shift" on the keyboard and click right at the begining of the next track - you should now have it selected.
From the Edit Menu choose Save Select Region As... like this;
Choose PCM and it will save as a raw data .wav file, which is fast
because there's no coding for your computer to do, and highest quality.
You can give the track its name at this point, and remember to prefix
it 01 if you want to preserve the playing order.
Now you just repeat this procedure until all tracks are saved : delete - select next track - save
Once you've recorded both sides, and split all tracks, you'll have a
full set of .wav files that make up the LP. If your going to make audio
CDs, retain maximum quality by burning straight from these files. If
you want to save space on your hard drive you can always convert to mp3
Converting to MP3
If you're converting to mp3 to backup or for your mp3 player, use a
high quality setting such as Constant Bit Rate (CBR) 256 or Variable
Bit Rate VBR0 128 - 320. While these are compressed files that will
drop the files sizes to about 10% of the wav equivalent, the quality is
so good as to be effectively the same.