How to Connect a Turntable to a Laptop

A turntable is a circular revolving plate that supports a record as it's played [source: Oxford]. Recording from a turntable to a laptop involves connecting the audio output connection on the player to the audio input connection on the computer. You will need a preamplifier before you can connect your turntable to your laptop to ensure decent volume. If you're using a turntable that's part of a stereo stack it will already have a preamplifier. However, if you're using a stand-alone turntable you'll need to purchase a preamplifier, which is also called a receiver [source: Norton].

Here's how to connect a stand-alone turntable to your laptop. In addition to your turntable and your laptop, you'll need two RCA cables. These are single or multiple connector cables used to connect audio and video equipment [source: Do it Yourself].

  1. Make sure your RCA cables are both two-prong cables.
  2. Connect your turntable and preamplifier, as follows. Connect one end of one RCA cable to the turntable Output ports. Connect the other end of the RCA cable to the Phono In ports on your preamplifier. Be sure to connect the red plugs to the red ports and the white plugs to the white ports.
  3. Plug one end of the second RCA cable into the Outputs on your preamplifier. Again, connect the red plug to the red port and the white plug to the white port [source: Adobe].
  4. Plug the other end of the RCA cable into an RCA-to-mini-plug adapter.
  5. Insert the mini-plug adaptor into your sound card's Line In port [source: Adobe].
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