Using cassettes in Garageband

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by pmcbroom, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. pmcbroom macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010
    I'm doing one to two hour interviews on cassette tape (I don't like the sound of digital recorders) and need to get them into the MP3 format. I understand I
    can use garageband to upload the audio and then transfer into iTunes for MP3 conversion.

    Is this a good pathway? Will it work? Will I overload the software or the computer (emac G4) by converting so much analog audio? Maybe there's another way, but it doesn't appear to me that any of the software, such as Express Script, can do it.

    Thanks much for any help.
  2. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    Yes it will work fine if you use the correct equipment.

    If your eMac has one, you can use the built in sound card of your Mac and the line-in port. You need to get a cable/ adaptor from your cassette deck to the line-in input.

    Open Garageband, create an audio track and record the input in real-time. Make sure the signal is not clipping (in the red) and you will be fine.

    A better option is to use an audio interface and plug the outputs from cassette deck into it's input.

    Why do you not like digital recorders??? You can record at higher fidelity, sample rate and bit depth than analogue cassette. Then connect the digital recorder (if USB) to eMac, copy the file over and load it in Garageband or Audacity (free audio editor).

  3. pmcbroom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010
    Garageband overkill

    Digital recorders sound screechy to me and I understand there are difficulties in transcribing the files, using rewind, etc. (I'm practically blind from researching this topic, so I'm not sure what the difficulties are).

    Also, I've learned from this site that garageband is overkill for recording audio interviews -- too big a file, too much use of processor. One post here directed me to a product called "Quick Voice Recorder" for MAC. It's cheap at $15/
    Any feedback on this would be great!:)
  4. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    I've worked with analogue and digital recorders for years. Really don't know what digital recorders you've experienced that are "screechy". It's not my experience with decent quality portable digital recorders... the "screechy" sound could be more to do with the microphone being used and any compression taken place within the recorder. Not all recorders apply such compression.

    Garageband is a free app and easy to learn. If you still find it overkill save yourself $15 and download Audacity (FREE) which is a simple and easy to use recorder.

  5. pmcbroom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010

    The screechy sound was with Olympus voice recorder 43-228A. Perhaps because I also have digital hearing aides. Who knows?? Maybe you have a better product.

    Thanks SO MUCH for your feedback. I tried Audacity, but couldn't mount it or whatever. Maybe I should try again.
  6. Penguissimo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2009
    Ahh, that's your recording devices marketed as "voice recorders" are generally pretty terrible ;) If you can spare a few bucks, you can get a low-end portable digital recorder (like the Zoom H2) for $100-150. I've used it to record both voice and music, and you'll be floored by how clear a sound you'll get. You can even record directly to MP3 with most of those devices, which will leave you with "connect to computer drag files to desktop" as your only step for getting the recordings on your computer.

    Otherwise, the path you laid out (record into GarageBand, import to iTunes, convert to MP3) should work fine. You can also use something like XLD to convert the files afterward; you can encode voice recordings at a pretty low bitrate and still have them be audible.
  7. deej999 macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2009
    Yes that Olympus series is pretty poor. As Penguissimo says the Zoom H2 is a great recorder on a budget.

    What version of OSX is the eMac running?

  8. pmcbroom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2010
    My system

    Thanks both of you for your suggestions!

    I've just been offered a loan called the Sandisk M250. Any information on that?

    I'm running 10.4.11 on my emac.


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