View Full Version : Best way to Record cassette tapes

Aug 3, 2012, 12:55 PM
Whats the best way of recording cassette tapes to a Macbook Pro from a Hi Fi. ?

We have a bunch of audio cassette tapes, that I wish to get onto DVD, before they decay. However, since I have an Airport Express, I think this is one way only though, but will this stream TO a Mc or only FROM ?

Finally, the Hi Fi only has AUX in and headphone jack, so I think headphone may be the only option.

However, I do have a 3.5m to 3.5m lead to connect from LINE OUT from Mac, the issue is since cassette tapes have poor audio anyway, connecting via headphone jack would be un-even sound and possibly even lead to more poorer audio.

Any Suggestions ?

Aug 3, 2012, 02:36 PM
do a search, this has been well-addressed.

you need to boost the cassette signal going into the mac. i use an FMR RNP to do it (but i have one handy). iirc, i boost around 12dB to get good levels.

Aug 3, 2012, 06:43 PM
THis is not a technically hard thing to do. What is your budget?

FOr best quality you should find a better tape player. Used players are now dirt cheap, even the ones that were pretty high end in their day. If the tape machine lacks a Line Our jack likely is is not worth using, find a better one on Craigslist or a Thrift shop. Get the best machine you can afford.

Next you really need a USB audio interface. Yes you can use the Line In jack on your Mac if you have one but you get best results if the use the external box with a gain control and "clipping" LEDS and get the analog gains "correct".

If this is a no-budget project simply connect the tape machine's headphone out to the Mac's Line-In and experiment withthe volume control on the tape.

In any case I always record at 24-bits. This make getting the gain right easy. You can save the files as 16-bit after you normalize for volume.