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  #31  
Old 2009-01-06, 12:49 AM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

for questionable (yet usable for personal purposes) quality use your deck plus your computer's internal audio card for free

for good quality use you deck+ m-audio pci interface for about $180

for better results use your deck+RME Hammerfall card for about $550

for best results use your deck+dedicated audio workstation and hours of time in post production for whatever you would care to spend

for professional results hire a professional for whatever he charges


I do all of my transfers with my trusty Tascam US-428......good enough for me. I have used my friends project studio with high-end pre's and pre-sonus firewire interface, Pro Tools.....the works. Honestly, for cassettes quality recordings, I can hear the difference but I can't swear that i could tell which was which if I listened blind. I would know they were different and might be able to pick which sounded somewhat better, but would never be able to identify how it was captured between those two without looking.

With a competent capture on respectably decent equipment you can at least have the digital files stored away until you have time to do the post-production yourself.

Be very organized with capturing, logging and labeling each and every recording. Having a bunch of poorly/mislabeled recordings in your hard drive is as bad as having a pile of 1000 cassettes awaiting transfer. I would backup the raw transfers onto data DVD as kind of a failsafe storage archive. Make sure your workstation is comfortable....this could take a while.
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  #32  
Old 2009-01-06, 04:22 AM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

^good tips

if somebody reading this decides to use their internal card I found it helps to turn off the monitor during the transfer! (at least it did on my old computer the last time I tried this).

even a $20 SoundBlaster is better than the built-into-the-motherboard type fwiw
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  #33  
Old 2009-01-06, 04:09 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

Unless these are master cassettes, I'm assuming a lot will already have been digitized by someone else somewhere down the line, so you can probably avoid doing "thousands".

Personally I play the cassettes on my Nak into my Edirol R-09, then transfer the file to the computer via USB. So, I would also recommend the Korg or other small digital recorder to you. And definitely record in 24 bit, gives you more room to edit and boost levels if needed,
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  #34  
Old 2009-01-06, 04:16 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

It's great that some people go to such lengths to capture old cassette recordings and digitize them, even better when they share the results with the class, but I have to wonder just how much better all this equipment can make a cassette sound.

I've done a few tape-to-computer transfers using my SoundBlaster card, nothing fancy, just to preserve material I could no longer find. I just question the end benefit of thousands of dollars worth of hardware and dozens of hours of effort to significantly improve on a $3 tape.

Still, this was an interesting and enlightening thread.
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  #35  
Old 2009-01-06, 04:44 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

The tape may only cost 3 bucks, but the rarity & value of what's ON the tape, and the archiving effort commensurate with that assessment, can only be judged by those who have the tape and want to preserve it.
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  #36  
Old 2009-01-06, 05:05 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harpsichord View Post
It's great that some people go to such lengths to capture old cassette recordings and digitize them, even better when they share the results with the class, but I have to wonder just how much better all this equipment can make a cassette sound.

I've done a few tape-to-computer transfers using my SoundBlaster card, nothing fancy, just to preserve material I could no longer find. I just question the end benefit of thousands of dollars worth of hardware and dozens of hours of effort to significantly improve on a $3 tape.

Still, this was an interesting and enlightening thread.
upgrading to a $120ish soundcard (edirol, e-mu, m-audio) from a stock soundcard or lowend SB will give enough improvement to impress anybody. moving up from there to a $5,000 tascam field recorder... more subtle!

also noteworthy is that while Naks still cost a fortune, highend consumer cassette decks that used to cost $400+ are now on eBay for $15 or so.

I think it is worthwhile to upgrade at least this far!
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  #37  
Old 2009-01-06, 06:06 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

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Originally Posted by GRC View Post
The tape may only cost 3 bucks, but the rarity & value of what's ON the tape, and the archiving effort commensurate with that assessment, can only be judged by those who have the tape and want to preserve it.
I understand that, and agree with that sentiment. I only question the 'diminishing returns' generated by the expensive options. Is a $2000 Tascam THAT much better than a $700 Alesis or a $200 capture card, when they're all limited by the quality of the source media?

Is the difference in the ears, or in the 'head'?
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  #38  
Old 2009-01-06, 06:22 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

The HD-P2 can be bought for under $500 used, I think it sells for $800 new or somewhere in the ballpark. It's not far off from the alesis and doubles as a field recorder.

I did a few tests when I first got the hd-p2
I ran nak cr-5a > emu 1212M vs a cr-5a > HD-P2

I can definetly hear a difference for sure. Now keep in mind it's not as big a difference as say going from a crap stock card to a 200 dollar card, but if you want the most you can capture, you get the best you can. There are tons of transfers out there done on mediocre equipment that are just stellar. I just tend to be a lil OCD and like to make that tape transfer as good and as close to the original as I can. It's all about what you feel is required and doing what you can with your budget. If you can afford the high end, why not do it. If you can't work to at least get good stuff. Two of my Naks I got for free on craigslist

If you ever want to do a comparison, transfer a tape on your equipment, then send it to me and I'll transfer on mine. We can post samples and see who can pick what sample came from what lineage. Would be a fun experiment. I would be curious to see myself
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  #39  
Old 2009-01-06, 06:40 PM
mbself mbself is offline
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

One thing to keep in mind is that the person who does it for a living is going to see things differently than someone who is a hobbyist or is trying to save a buck. I have learned a lot about audio transfers from this site and sites like it. I have learned a lot on my on through trial and error. I know more about it than most of my friends in the real world. I know less about it than most of my friends here in the "not real world".

If someone who paints homes for a living were to see me use my walmart nylon bristled paint brush to paint some base molding in my bedroom they would look at me like i was crazy and insist that I need a $40 Purdy from Home Depot.

If a carpenter saw me use my $15 black and decker hammer they would insist that I use the $80 Estwing with anti-shock grip and vibration absorbing tuned blah, blah blah......

The point is they are your masters....you know what they are worth in time, money and effort. I think you have a good sampling of equipment, techniques and budgets represented in this forum. But, if you have an uncirculated zeppelin show....lets find someone who really knows what they are doing. I
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  #40  
Old 2009-01-06, 08:29 PM
mauserman mauserman is offline
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

You hit the nail on the head! l'm the carpenter guy, (31 years), and no l do not know what l'm doing. (Can barley type this!) But l have been collecting for my whole life. When l pull out an old tape, not only do l hear it, but l see my past, my good friends, and good times also. Maybe some people cannot understand, or just think they can, but it's not always been so easy to exchange music. l've sat for hours in parking lots, or camp grounds, dirt fields etc, (with junk boom boxes and dying batteries), to get the stuff l got. (Actually went car to car asking if l could buy, or trade for batteries out of peoples flashlights so l could record side B! Got the batteries cause l had the stuff to trade! hehe)! l intend to preserve what l got the best l can. l am aware that l have a lot of work to do to get it right, and it will probably take me years to even get close, (if l ever do). l'm the guy my old friends look to and ask if l still got that "one tape from that night that we got from that one dude and that weird chick". l wanna say, "hell yea bro, here it is on CD"! Even after transferring to digital, l do not think l could ever throw my tapes away. Someone was right when they stated that it might be all in my head, so what else is there really? Without flashbacks, l'd have no memory at all! l think l am going with the Alesis, or a high end sound card. can hear the difference between the tape played in my Nak while recording, then replayed on my hd after. (Using the mic jack on a SB Live Value). Am going to research the sound cards mentioned here. Also, is there something easier and more robust than Audacity? l'm having a hard time with it.

mauserman
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  #41  
Old 2009-01-06, 08:39 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?



search for a try before you buy version of wavelab 5. I've tried a few programs and keep coming back to it. Wavelab 6 is worth the $ if you like wavelab 5 but I would certainly give it a go. Good luck, once you go to the darkside of transferring and editing, it's all downhill from there
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  #42  
Old 2009-01-06, 10:25 PM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

You mind find something more "robust" than Audacity, but you won't likely find anything easier. And the price is right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider
I think Gray has all these grand plans and I'm sorry to bring it up when it came down to it he couldn't even sell t-shirts without fucking it up.

"please mind your own fucking business, you Looney cocksucker" - Freezer, 7/12/06
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  #43  
Old 2009-01-07, 04:21 AM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

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Originally Posted by mauserman View Post
... l think l am going with the Alesis ...

Also, is there something easier and more robust than Audacity? l'm having a hard time with it.
I think that's a wise choice.

I had similar issues with the Audacity interface, which is one of the reasons I'm using the Alesis.
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  #44  
Old 2009-01-07, 04:23 AM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

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Originally Posted by dorrcoq View Post
You mind find something more "robust" than Audacity, but you won't likely find anything easier. And the price is right.
If Audacity is the 'easy' interface, I'd hate to see the 'difficult' ones.....
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  #45  
Old 2009-01-07, 04:38 AM
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Re: What computer hardware/software to use to get cassete to computer?

A couple of the issues I had with Audacity -

The 'export as FLAC' option which doesn't export;

http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/...ad.php?t=41175

Audacity permanently outputting 44.1kHz/16-bit when all settings show 96kHz/24-bit...

http://www.thetradersden.org/forums/...ad.php?t=60812
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