Coverting Cassette Tape

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by patseguin, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. patseguin macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #1
    I bought this ION USB cassette tape converter and the software sucks. It has no controls and merely records the playback and puts it in iTunes. The recordings are coming out to quiet and I don't want them in iTunes. Since it's Mac compatible, is there better Mac software out there to record from these cassette and have control of gain and save it to a file instead of iTunes?
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    The best way to do this is to buy a "real" tape machine. You can now buy very nice used HiFi machines for about $40. Then take the output and put it into a standard audio interface, like say a Presonus "Audiobox". The record using Garage Band. Apply whatever filter or EQ is required and save the files.

    If the unit you own looks like an audio interface to Mac OS X then you can use something like garageband to record from it.

    would never record directly to MP3 format. Don't do that. Record to an uncompressed files type 24 bits per sample then level adjust it, edit and EQ it, Finally when it is perfect export it to whatever format you like.
     
  3. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #3
    Yeah I bought that on a fellow musician's recommendation and it does seem fairly cheaply made. The software is horrible. It has a headphone jack and a usb jack and cable. I do have preamps for my MBP for recording music but they take XLR or 1/4". Not sure if I can get a USB into one of those preamps. I'd hate to have to buy a new deck but maybe that's best if I want good quality from those tapes.
     
  4. gobsmacked macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    #4
    I'd second everything ChrisA said. You could try using the headphone out and see if it's any higher fidelity than the USB. THe Ion's ADC is probably not that good (I'm being generous here) and then who knows what their software is doing to it on the Mac.
    But a used good quality cassette deck is probably your best bet. Remember to clean the heads.
    As for software GarageBand or Audacity.
     
  5. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #5
    Yeah I blindly bought it because he's a respected musician here. I'm betting he probably just googled it and posted it. It seems cheaply made I would just use a 1/4" to 1/4" to the MBP audio input?
     
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    As long as you have some kind of analog gain control between the tape deck and the MBP. Likely there is a volume control on the headphone output. Then you match the levels
     
  7. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #7
    The player itself has a volume control which I had maxed when I was monitoring USB recording and it just seemed too quiet. I remember the tape playing quite well when I had a tape deck in my audio system. Maybe if I use 1/4" and GarageBand like suggested I can get a better recording and boost the gain?
     
  8. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #8
    I would second the use of Audacity - lots of control over the recording levels.
     
  9. TwoBytes macrumors 68020

    TwoBytes

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #9
    I found these tape to USB devices but i'm not convinced the tape playback is great quality. I'm sure you can spent a little more and get something better.
     

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