iMac audio input - compatible source devices

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bensabio, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. bensabio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    #1
    Specifically, I want to digitize a lot of old audio tapes. Can I just play them on a good deck and feed the signal into the audio input of my iMac (assuming I can adapt the output plug to fit the input jack)? If the sound goes through the system, I have Audio Hijack Pro to record it. I know that iMic is a way to do it, but I'm not sure I can find the one I used to have! :confused:
    Thanks for advice.
     
  2. Felias macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    You can switch the audio port from output to input in the system settings. Then you can plug in any sound source, may it be digital or analog (afaik it chooses the correct method by itself, but you might also have to set that).

    Then you should be good to go :)
     
  3. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
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    UK
    #3
    Ive done this before with my old iMac G4. I used Audacity (free to download). It was easy to use and you can export as mp3 or wav.
     
  4. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #4
    Thanks for the tip. But why do I need to switch the audio port from output to input, when I've already got an audio input jack?
     
  5. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #5
    That's great to know! I assume you just plugged the tape deck output into the iMac audio input jack without "switching from output to input" as Felias suggests (I've got a reply query out for him). Is that right? (I've got Audacity as well as Audio Hijack Pro and maybe some other audio software). Great to know I won't have to worry about finding my iMike (right?).
     
  6. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Just plug a 1/8th inch stereo jack into the iMac audio in. check in system preferences > audio... that your input is set to 'built in line in' and not 'internal mic'. Press play on your tape deck. Press record in Audacity then play around with your input/record levels.

    Your recording with correct levels should look like this......

    http://lobo.ruivo.org/~landgraf/pics/audacity/audacity.png



    When your done export as WAV or MP3.
     
  7. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #7
    Thanks. That's what I'd hoped i could do. (I might use Audio Hijack Pro, though, since I'm used to it. But will try Audacity too.)
     
  8. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #8
    Software to change audio "tape speed"?

    Now that I've got your attention :), I wonder if you've ever run across software that can take a digital recording and change its speed in the same way it would change if it were done with tape: i.e., change the pitch as well.
    Here's my problem: some of my tapes were recorded at 1 1/8 ips, but the only playback equipment I have can't play at that speed. I suppose I could play it at 3 1/4 ips (which would be 2X original speed) while dubbing to another tape recorder at 7.5 ips and then play that into the computer at 3 1/4, recovering the original speed, but I'm afraid it would take a toll on quality (the tapes have marginal sound quality as it is.) So I'm wondering if I could just send the chipmunk version (at 3 1/4 ips) into my computer and then slow it down to original speed and pitch with some kind of software. I hope this hasn't been too confusing. (I know that Garage Band can probably slow things down, but will it change the pitch accordingly? Maybe it can.) Any ideas? Or experience doing this??
     
  9. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Cubase. Logic. Audacity. Adobe Soundbooth. Any of those can change the speed and pitch.

    Though if you were to slow down once recorded on your computer the quality will be terrible.

    If you can only record in too slow or too fast. Choose too slow then speed up in one of the above applications. Or look on ebay for an old tape deck that you could use to play back at the original speed.
     
  10. makinao macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    #10
    bensabio: Audacity has a "change speed" option that does both pitch and tempo changes simultaneously.

    mjsmke: I think you have it upside down. The general rule of thumb in audio tape is the more tape exposed in a given time, the better the quality. On the other hand, changing speed in a computer does not significantly change the quality. By transferring a 1 7/8 ips tape at 3 3/4, then slowing it down in the computer, I doubt that the sound quality will get better. But it can't get worst.
     
  11. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Thanks for the correction.

    I'm only going by some audio work i've done in the past where the quality dropped when i halved the tempo of an audio file.
     
  12. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #12
    mjsmke and makinao, you guys have been really great!! I'm so grateful for your knowledge and experience, and will try using Audacity to slow down the speed and pitch of my original 1 7/8 ips tapes after sending them native to the computer! I'll let you know how it goes. Will be another couple of days.

    Thanks again.

    Ben
     
  13. bensabio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #13
    just to be clear, I meant "sending them native" at 3 1/4 ips, as makinao suggested, then slowing them down to half speed (and pitch lowered accordingly) with Audacity.
     

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