Audio Input Recommendations?


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 24, 2002
Hey folks...

I'm thinking I'd like to digitize a bunch of old live cassettes before they disintegrate completely, anyone have any good recommendations for audio input hardware for my g4/osX system? Any other related advice is also very welcome.



macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
BrisVegas, Australia
i don't know much about hardware, but all i could think of is just playing the tapes from a stereo and having a audio input cable going to your Mac, and then just using a audio program to record to your Mac. that's how i got the Grand Theft Auto 3 radio stations to mp3.:D :D


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
All up in your bidness
Two USB audio inputs I can think of:

- The $30 Griffin iMic, great for the price

- The $250 M-Audio Duo - 24-bit/96kHz converters and excellent sound quality

Considering these are just old tapes, I'm not sure that a great A/D converter would do you all that much good. But it couldn't hurt. I think pretty much any USB audio input that doesn't compress the sound to hell in hardware would give you satisfactory results.

Depending on how many tapes you have, if you can afford it, I'd recommend getting a large Firewire hard disk and keeping the raw audio wav files stored on it, so you'll always have the "master" files around if you ever want to re-encode your songs using a better compression method in the future.



macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
If you have $500 you can get the Protoold M-Box, it is a usb state of the are capture device. Or you can get in eBay an Audio Media 3 card (PCI), it is the same thing like the M-Box but PCI.

Now, the problem is not the sample/ bit rate. Almost all imput/output audio device goes by those standarts. The problme is the harmonic distortion and the sample algorythm (1 bit ADC, Dual Oversampling, etc).

Now, there is not too much you can do about the algorythm, but about the harmonic distortion you can do something about it. When you read the instruction you will see something like "01% hamonic distortion", that means how accurate is the captured audio from the original signal, even if is at 44.1 at 96bit.

The mac audio i/o are very dirty, if you ever have the chance play CD from your Mac trhu your stereo and then play the same song from the stereo CD player.

I did that with a MP3 from my Powerbook and with the Audio Media 3 from my tower and the difference is from norml to DVD quality! You can listen to the base, not just the base sound if not the ambient generated by that particular sound.

The $30 Griffin iMic, won't be any good, just regular stuff. The $250 M-Audio Duo - 24-bit/96kHz converters (I haven't try them) and excellent sound quality, may bea better choice. Be sure these options are compatible with your audio software. Protools dosn't accept 3rd party producs for example.

BTW, there are not professional audio hardware/software for OSX.