Transfer of audio from cassette to CD?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Favate, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Looking for advice on how to transfer cassette tape audio to CD (or to the hard drive). I have a Dazzle 80 capture device, but that is primarily for video. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    You should just be able to connect a cable from the headphone jack of your tape player to your sound card's line-in jack. (I'm not sure what that cable is called, though.)

    Then you just need a sound recording program. There is a free one called Audacity that will work.
     
  3. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    How you go about it really depends on how much of this you'll be doing. If you've got a load of cassettes you want to transfer, you should probably invest a few $$ into it. If it's just a few transfers, you probably have most of what you need laying around.

    You just need a couple of things. #1 a cassette player. If you've got a lot of transfers to do, I would suggest getting a component tape deck with RCA outputs on it. Either that or a boombox with some type of line level output on it. You can use a deck with a headphone jack, but it's much harder to get a good level when you have a volume adjustment on the source. You're much better off with a line level output and then using the Windows mixer to adjust your levels.

    If you have a "normal" soundcard (with a line out, line in and mic input) you'll need a cable to connect your tape deck to the line in of the soundcard. If you have a deck with RCA outs, you'll need an RCA to 1/8" stereo cable. If it's a headphone output, then it'll be 1/8" to 1/8" stereo cable.

    Then you've got to have a recording program. There are a thousand of them from free to $500 and everything in between. AGain, just depends on how much of this you want to do. You can go to www.download.com and run a search for "wav recorder" and you should be able to find something to work. Basically it just captures the signal coming into the line in jack of your soundcard and converts it to wav format.

    Then connect the deck to the PC, start up your recording program and you're ready to go.
     
  4. Edison Tinker

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    Here's a LINK to a device that will allow one to digitally archive their cassettes...might be just the investment you're looking for, provided you're willing to pay the $150 price tag.
     
  5. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Here's the link to Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
    I haven't used it much, but it seems like a pretty good program. The programs that cost money will probably be better, but Audacity will work for simply recording. Also, Windows comes with a sound recorder, but it isn't that great.


    I don't understand what the benefit of that $150 PC cassette deck would be. It seems like a waste of money, but maybe I'm missing something.
     
  6. Edison Tinker

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    The benefits would be convenience and sound quality...rigging up a casette player with a line out to the inputs of a sound card will have mixed resuts at best (I know, I've tried)...but then again, perhaps sound quality shouldn't even really be brought up since one is digitizing from cassette (an obviously non-audophile format). In any case, it's definitely not for everyone but it is probably the best (if not most costly) way to archive your cassettes...especially if you have a lot of them and want a respectible level of quality.
     
  7. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I seem to have it working now, with the tape deck hooked up to the USB device with RCA cables. The wav recorder is Total Recorder, which I have been using for years and am happy with.
     

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