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Old 2005-05-25, 04:12 PM
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paddington paddington is offline
TTD Staff
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: UK
Re: Transfering music from cassette tape to hard drive ?

The simplest answer I can think of is to go to Radio Shack and buy an IDE-RCA adaptor cable and plug your hard drive into the output of your tape player.

Since they don't make that, You need:

A computer capable of running something like Cool Edit Pro with a big enough HD to hold the length of the tape in WAV at 44.1kHz 16bit 2ch. You can find time conversions with Google, depending on the sample rate you plan to use.

Once you have the computer and software nailed down, you need a good audio card, though you can also use the built-on sound on a cheap motherboard if you wish. An example of a good sound card for capture might be an Echo Mia card. An example of a built-in sound option would be "AC97" or something like that.

The last thing you need is an audio cable with the correct plugs to match you tape machine and your audio card. If you use the on-board, you'll probably need an RCA to 1/8" male phone plug cable. If you use an Echo Mia, you'll probably need to buy their breakout pack or make your own cable since it's 1/4" phone (like a guitar cord plug) and it'a also a tip-ring-sleeve balanced connection - which you'll most likely be connecting to an unbalanced consumer type tape machine with RCA outs.

Get all that plugged together and double click the little silver speaker in your sys tray (next to the clock) and under "Recording", change the input to LINE IN or some such external channel. Set the level at 75%, start your audio program, play your tape and look for levels.

When you get levels to show up set them so you don't ever get above 100% on the meter (find the loudest parts of the tape) and record a few seconds. Play it back and see if it sounds right (no hum, loud hiss or buzz, etc).

Then capture away.
"There are some of these recordings where it is just a whirring, and you cannot hear the music. " - Jimmy Page, 2007 / JUL / 26
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