convert cassettes to digital music for a Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by gw0gvq, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. gw0gvq Contributor

    gw0gvq

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    Barry, South Wales, UK
    #1
    How do I convertcassetts to digital music on a mac please an can they be stored on icloud.? If so beside garage band what doI need please?
     
  2. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    Sweden
    #2
    I think there is USB tape players,just like the ones available for VHS and vinyl records,but then I guess you need some music ripper software,check download.com.
     
  3. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #5
    Also check out The 8-bit Guy video on YouTube, which introduces all vintage tech, including the way converting cassette music into digital form without heavy quality loss.
     
  4. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    London, UK
    #6
    This one?
     
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #7
    Specifically to the MacBook Air, you will need a USB audio device.

    Cassette into cassette player, cassette player connected via its AUX OUT to USB audio device INPUT, and then software to capture and edit songs.

    Garageband will work. So will the free Audacity app...which for this purpose might be a simpler choice.
     
  6. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #8
    Answer near video end...
    Don't use cheapo all-in-one solutions; they're normally crap.

    You need:
    - Mac.
    - connection cable.
    - input device (for modern Macs without audio-in).
    - Audacity or GarageBand sw.
    - (time and patience!)

    Tips:
    - get a minijack-to-minijack cable or RCA-to-minijack cable.
    - connect to the output on a (normal, non-bargin basement) tape machine/stereo.
    - connect other end into an audio-in minijack-to-USB/Thunderbolt adapter, or a dock (I've the CalDisgit TS3+ dock anyway).
    - download software Audacity or use native GarageBand, as per your choice.
    - follow this video using Audacity on separating cassette's tracks:


    (cleaning recordings he deals with too, if you have the time/patience, depending on cassette tape type, it may be worth it to you or not.)

    Enjoy.
     
  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #9
    A MacBook Air would require a USB audio device as it has no audio IN jack...I probably should have expounded before for the OP.
     
  8. PracticalMac, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Houston, TX
    #10
    It has been mentioned before, but getting a simple but quality RCA to mini-jack cable is key (and keep short as possible too to avoid signal loss).

    Here is a simple google search.

    Oh, and get a QUALITY TAPE PLAYER. Cheap ones will have more noise. You can get a used Sony for a steal.


    Finally: DO NOT use USB tape players! USB is known to have pops and drops in transferring live (real time) media.
    Anyway, for price of USB player you can do above and get best quality.

    Watch the "8-Bit Guy" (link above), and this one by Technology Connections for key info.

     
  9. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #11
    And the fundamental rule of thumb applies with any analog-to-digital conversion work...

    If the source is available in digital commercial formats already, don't waste your time unless it's rare and hard to find stuff. Buy a copy (even a cheap CD off Discogs.com, and convert to file!).
    You'll simply never achieve the quality off a cassette tape, compared to that of a commercially produced release, most of the time.

    Of course, most do this conversion for person stuff, so bare that in mind.
     
  10. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Houston, TX
    #12
    Beg to differ on this rule.
    Low demand, small run stuff may use poor source material and basic digitization (no remaster) just to make a quick buck.

    Always that small, tiny, quantity of media you can do better at home with a great source.
     
  11. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #13
     
  12. PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    Houston, TX
  13. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

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    May 16, 2015
    #15
    Uh, maybe this one.
     
  14. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #16
    If there is such a thing today I want it to electronically remove hiss, pops and what not. Many years ago I saw a software that did this then I threw away all my analogs on the last move.
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #17
    There is a plugin called "Decrackler" (I think!), that should still work with the Audacity app. It would do at least some filtering, and pop removal.
     
  16. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #18
    I have a few boxes of old cassette tapes up in the attic, both home-made and commercial. A couple years ago I decided to digitize them. I still had a high quality deck up in the attic too, so I just plugged it into my audio interface.

    Anyway, I was surprised by how terrible most of those tapes sounded. I didn't even bother with most of them. There were a few with sentimental value, like recordings of live concerts and my daughter when she was a kid so I saved those. Then there were about 3 or 4 that sounded really good for no obvious reason. I think print-through is a big problem with old tapes, where the signal from one part of the tape bleeds into the section wrapped around it on the reel. Also, I re-used the same tapes over and over and listened to them a lot, so that didn't help either.

    If you want a real shock, take a look at your old videotapes - I have boxes of them too. Thought it would be cool to digitize some of them - until I watched a few. VHS quality just doesn't cut it today, I was shocked that we used to think these looked so good! Didn't waste my time digitizing any of those. :)
     
  17. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #19
    Any good way to digitise personal VHS tapes?

    I have a couple of old VCR's, so do you buy a scart to USB cable or something else. If so, is there a Audacity type video utility to make this easy?
     
  18. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #20
    Good article here - https://southtree.com/blogs/artifact/how-to-digitize-your-vhs-tapes

    If you have a pile of VHS tapes in a box, and they have just been stored for a long time, then be ready to do the transfer, as tapes deteriorate through time, and you may end up with the VCR player heads suddenly getting caked over with flaked-off magnetic coating from the tape. It's simply something that you need to be aware of when that the little LED comes on, telling you that the heads need to be cleaned, may be quite visible (and truthful), particularly when playing that family reunion video that you got from your uncle, and hasn't been played in 25 years.
    Anyway, when you start that project, keep your VCR head cleaner handy. You will likely use it several times!
     

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