Best way to Record cassette tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Tech198, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    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 ?
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
    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.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    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.

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