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dwc1062
2007-03-09, 04:10 PM
Hi,i have a bunch of old cassettes i would like to transfer to cdr and was wondering whats the easiest way,and still get good results.I have a decent akai tape deck and hooked it it to my sound card,and downloaded audiacity.Is there a good tutorial somewere that tells you how to do it.Any help would be appreciated
tia

stantheman1976
2007-03-09, 08:28 PM
Run from the out of the cassette deck to the line in on your sound card. Use Audacity to record. Save as PCM WAV 44.1KHz/16 bit, which is CD standard. If the are live recordings then you want gapless playback when they get to CD. Record, export as 1 WAV file and use a program called CD Wave to split the tracks. This is THE best program for the job. You can actually use CD Wave to record also, but with Audacity you get the advantage of being able to edit.

mbself
2007-03-09, 09:58 PM
the only thing i would offer is that you should be careful that you do not discard the original source tape. the quality of your soundcard (if it is the one that came with your computer) is probably not that great. in most cases, they are shipped with whatever was going for the cheapest money when your computer was manufactured. if you are not ready to invest in a new soundcard you are still doing the source tape a favor by getting yourself a digital copy for playing and saving the integrity of the master until a proper transfer can be made.

you don't necessarily need a 500 dollar sound card, but I would hold onto the mastet tapes so that in the future, if it is something rare and valuable to you, a proper transfer can be made.

having said that, if it is stuff of a non-hifi nature (speach, barney and friends soundtracks, etc...) the stock soundcard will probably be adequate.

you will want to set your levels to the loudest segment of the tape. digital audio is unforgiving when the circuit is overdriven. that smooth analog tape compression that occurs when there is some slight overdrive is not gonna happen. digital clipping is the awfulest sound known to man

goto the loudest segment of the tape and set the record level so that the meters stop just a few decibels short of clipping. most meters in digital recording software have green, yellow and red colors. a little tickling of the yellow section is usually ok. some recomend not to even go that hot--but my transfers have sounded a little fuller in that range.

Audioarchivist
2007-03-10, 09:12 PM
I would like to add that it's extremely important that the playback deck tape heads be re-aligned to the tape you're playing back.
Azimuth adjustment is critical, and is the main reason that cassette generational losses happen.
Take the door off most tape players, and you will see the playback head is held on with 2 screws. One (usually on the left side) is spring-loaded. While playing the tape you want to digitize, take a mini precision screwdriver and start turning that screw slowly back and forth. You'll notice the music will kind of go in and out of focus. It's a bit like tracking on a VCR.
The best way to get it right is to find the 'brightest' setting you can through your stereo, then if you can listen in mono, fine tune the azimuth to be the brightest in the high frequencies you can.
It's really amazing how much difference it will make. If done right, quality will be heard. If not done, that's what makes people think cassettes are low fidelity pieces of crap - they're not!
And yes, keep your tapes safe for future reference, especially any master original tapes. I've been Re-Mastering casssettes that are 30+ years old, and it's amazing what kind of performance can really be squeezed out of those old tapes.
Good luck.

dorrcoq
2007-03-10, 11:32 PM
I get around any possible soundcard shortcomings by hooking my Edirol R-09 to the cassette deck and recording digitally to an SD card, which I then transfer to my HD via USB port

AAR.oner
2007-03-11, 09:31 AM
I get around any possible soundcard shortcomings by hooking my Edirol R-09 to the cassette deck and recording digitally to an SD card, which I then transfer to my HD via USB port
:thumbsup

same here, but i run into a PMD671...

rhinowing
2007-03-12, 12:37 AM
I get around any possible soundcard shortcomings by hooking my Edirol R-09 to the cassette deck and recording digitally to an SD card, which I then transfer to my HD via USB port
but how good is the A/D in the Edirol?

dorrcoq
2007-03-12, 01:08 AM
but how good is the A/D in the Edirol?

Better than your average soundcard, I would expect, and of course there is no chance of noise from the computer box being added like happens with straight cassette > computer transfers.

Karst
2007-03-12, 04:48 PM
Oh, and check to see if somebody hasn't already done a transfer. ;)