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Mem
Nov 8, 2006, 02:12 PM
Hi all:

I am interested in converting an old tape, which is not available on CD, to MP3s so that I can keep them on my computer and incorporate them into mixes.

I have no experience with A/V and have no A/V equipment, with the exception of an external Mic that I can use. The best think I could think of to do was hooking the mic up to my Powerbook and play the tape on a tape player. I have no idea how to cut the tracks, etc.

Can you provide me with some advice on how to do this, or even a nice, free & easy app that may be floating around out there somewhere?

Thanks!



scottlinux
Nov 8, 2006, 04:48 PM
You mean 1/4" tape? Do you have a tape machine to play this back? Or a cassette tape?

The best thing is to get an audio interface (USB or Firewire) that would let you connect the outputs of the tape machine INTO your computer, via this audio interface.

Or use your computer's line IN jack, if it has one.

Audacity is free audio program which would let you record and edit.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Use the 1.3.2beta.

zimv20
Nov 8, 2006, 05:10 PM
The best thing is to get an audio interface (USB or Firewire) that would let you connect the outputs of the tape machine INTO your computer, via this audio interface.
it's likely, especially if you're connecting the RCA outs of a cassette deck into such an interface, that you're going to have to boost the signal about 18 dB to get good levels in the software.

so find an interface with 2 Hi-Z inputs which will allow you to do that. i've gotten very good results this way.

for example (http://www.boxsetauthentic.com/Music/misc/UpAgainstIt/Under%20the%20Sun.mp3)

Letters
Nov 10, 2006, 03:59 PM
the cheapest easiest thing I can think of is....plug in the tape decks outputs into the "line in" on the powerbook. if you don't have the proper cables radio shack for like $7 will have what you need, either rca into 3.5mm or if you have a regular walkman 3.5mm to 3.5mm


then open garageband, make an empty audio track, hit record, play back the tape. (make sure the recording source is set to the line in)

once it's recorded you can export to itunes, and convert to mp3

zimv20
Nov 10, 2006, 04:47 PM
the cheapest easiest thing I can think of is....plug in the tape decks outputs into the "line in" on the powerbook.
i don't know if that line in runs at -10 or +4. if the latter, then, as i mentioned, that signal's going to be about 18 dB too low.

have you done what you've suggested with a powerbook? if so, how much did you need to boost the signal in software to bring it to the right level?

Letters
Nov 10, 2006, 05:34 PM
I've used an old walkman to record some tapes and stuff off of the radio, a good amount of times. I had it connected directly from my walkmans headphone out, into the powerbooks line in. The signal wasn't that loud, wasn't getting near the red at all, but it wasn't so low that it was inaudible. after it was recorded I upped the volume of the track about +8db's before rendering to mp3 and it was good...I'm not saying this will result in the best quality recording, but if you are just trying to get the songs into the computer cheap and easy give it a shot.

zimv20
Nov 10, 2006, 06:23 PM
yeah, that sounds like what i described: -10 tape output going into +4 mac input. while you can certainly crank the signal in software, it'll also crank the noise. the way to improve the signal to noise is to boost the signal before it hits the a/d converters, but as you say it does add cost for another piece of gear.