davidbo (davidbo) wrote,

Record players and airplay - a simple solution

Record players and airplay - a simple solution

I have for a long time tried to find a simple, physically discrete and not too expensive solution for connecting my record player to Airplay. That way I could get rid of my plus sized receiver and traditional speakers and only use my Apple TV connected to my sleek Bang & Olufsen active speakers.

Googling just returned a lot of half-assed solutions as well as a concept record player that never made it into production and when I tried to build my own solution they always ended up in a dead end: too big, runs on battery, requires a computer, need expensive apps, too many steps (cable - Bluetooth - cable - Airplay or so), mono, not line level etc. That was until I realised a feature in Garageband as well as found a RIAA preamp with USB Audio output.

This is what you need.

  1. Get a RIAA preamp with USB Audio output. I got the Behringer UFO202

  2. Get Apple's Lightning to camera adapter USB 3

  3. Install Garageband on any iOS-device

Now it is simple.

  1. Connect the record player to the RIAA preamp

  2. Connect the RIAA preamp to the camera adapter. Also connect a Lightning cable to the camera adapter (unless you wanna run this setup on battery).

  3. In Garageband, select Audio Recorder as instrument

    1. Enable Monitoring

    2. Adjust the input settings (Stereo, Monitor must be select)

    3. You probably want to increase the Out volume to the right to its max value.

    4. Turn on your record player and finally, set the iPad to use Airplay speakers for sound playback.

  4. Sometime during this process you might get a warning about delays and latency. It doesn't matter in our case so just dismiss it. Now, everytime I want to use my record player I just connect one of my iOS-devices to the RIAA and am ready to go. Since I most of the time Airplay from my phone or iPad anyway, my phone/iPad more or less becomes an input selector.
Two small issues that remains:

  1. Garageband is HEAVY. For this purpose it is unreasonable to use an app that is almost 2 GB. If someone know of a lighter and cheap option, please let everyone know in the comments.

  2. It would be nice to be able to remote control the device. Does something like Remote Desktop exists between iOS-devices? Again, please comment!

Tags: airplay, garageband, ios, ipad, iphone, lightning to camera adapter usb 3, record player, riaa preamp, ufo202
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