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Tech: tapes to cd

frogprince 01 May 05 - 12:18 PM
Clinton Hammond 01 May 05 - 12:23 PM
Peace 01 May 05 - 02:34 PM
Nick 01 May 05 - 02:55 PM
frogprince 01 May 05 - 03:36 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 01 May 05 - 03:50 PM
Gypsy 01 May 05 - 11:15 PM
Clinton Hammond 01 May 05 - 11:27 PM
GUEST 02 May 05 - 09:08 AM
pavane 03 May 05 - 07:56 AM
kendall 03 May 05 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,MMario 03 May 05 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,JimmySeal 03 May 05 - 12:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 05 - 01:13 PM
frogprince 03 May 05 - 02:43 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 05 - 02:50 PM
kendall 03 May 05 - 03:02 PM
frogprince 03 May 05 - 03:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 03 May 05 - 03:32 PM
M.Ted 03 May 05 - 05:07 PM
robomatic 03 May 05 - 05:58 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 03 May 05 - 07:11 PM
frogprince 03 May 05 - 09:53 PM
Gypsy 03 May 05 - 10:18 PM
kendall 05 May 05 - 07:40 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 May 05 - 05:31 PM
Gypsy 06 May 05 - 10:54 PM
robomatic 07 May 05 - 07:38 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 May 05 - 01:21 AM
GUEST,AnneMC 11 May 05 - 03:34 PM
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Subject: Tech: tapes to cd
From: frogprince
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:18 PM

Tried searching old threads, but didn't find quite what I'm looking for. Just got a tape deck from ebay to sit by the 'puter. With line out on the deck to line in on the computer, the sound comes through fine, and volume level sets about the same as for internal computer sound. But if I hit record, the wave recording comes out so faint it's worthless; the line or wave volume controls don't seem to do much of anything for it. If I put the tape line output into mike in, it overdrives worse than Aerosmith. Any suggestions, before I drive myself nuts trying?


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 01 May 05 - 12:23 PM

turn UP the Gain on your line in...

And if, in fact that doesn't work, record the wav, then edit the wav to increase it's volume... easy sneasy


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Peace
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:34 PM

Contact George Seto. He knows how.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Nick
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:55 PM

Clinton is dead right but just in case you don't know how to do what he suggested -

Down in the right hand corner of your machine next to the time should be a speaker icon. Double click on it and you can change all your input and output volume levels.

If you don't see line in and microphone - go to Properties and tick the Recording box - you will then see the volume controls for recording. Make sure you have Line in chosen if that is what you are using


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: frogprince
Date: 01 May 05 - 03:36 PM

Hot dog! I got the computer without a manual, and I had found the other volume controls, but hadn't found how to get to the recording level adjusts. Mucho gracious.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 01 May 05 - 03:50 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Brucie. That's exactly the trick. Most computers have the recording volume set low. They HAVE to be adjusted before ANY recording function can be done.

Let us know if you have any other problems, Frogprince.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Gypsy
Date: 01 May 05 - 11:15 PM

Thats right.......and man, is it great to take old, fragile, tapes, and turn them into little plastic discs! The next one will be a turntable........


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 01 May 05 - 11:27 PM

"and turn them into little plastic discs!"

CDR's do not last forever...


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 05 - 09:08 AM

>CDR's do not last forever...

What sort of lifespan is currently thought likely, with reasonable storage conditions?
Surely a better bet than cassette tapes?


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: pavane
Date: 03 May 05 - 07:56 AM

I still have cassette tapes recorded in the early 1970's, including some live performances, which seem to play OK. I have a project in hand to copy them to CD though!


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: kendall
Date: 03 May 05 - 12:28 PM

Can someone explain in detail how to do this? The are 4 jacks in the back of my tape deck, two of them are for output. In the back of the computer there are jacks with symbols but nothing in print. Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 May 05 - 12:35 PM

Kendall - I've seen two types of symbols used - a music note with an arrow and a little speaker with sound waves.

when the sound waves/arrow point TOWARD the speaker/note - that is the jack for "sound in"


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: GUEST,JimmySeal
Date: 03 May 05 - 12:59 PM

I've heard that CDRs have a lifespan of about 10 years whereas regular CDs last about 50 years, but things may have improved since I heard that. You can always store your sound files on your hard drive or on the internet, and if anything happens to your CDs you'll have the files there (and if anything happens to your hard drive, you'll have the CDs).

The line in port on a computer sound card is usually the blue one. Do the jacks on the back of your tape deck look like the ones to the right of the device in this picture?:
RCA jacks
Those are RCA jacks and the red one is for the right channel and the white one is for the left channel. If you go down to radio shack, they'll probably give you the wires you need to hook it up for about $10.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 05 - 01:13 PM

Whatever you do to move the sound files onto CDs, KEEP the old cassettes. They may come in handy again when the next generation of recording media is invented.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: frogprince
Date: 03 May 05 - 02:43 PM

So I located my recording level control, and got a wave recording that doesn't sound half bad played back in the computer. Tried putting that straight on cd and found out the cd player couldn't recognize it. Put it in music match jukebox and hit "burn cd"; ouch;
made a working cd that sounds like a badly damaged grammaphone
cylinder played at double speed; so bad it gives comic relief for the frustration. I take it I need some more processing with the right software, or somethin', to get the rest of the way. Guide me, oh, ye groovin' 'catters...?


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 05 - 02:50 PM

You need to save it as a WAV file on the computer, do your cleaning in an editing program (remove pop, hiss, whatever) then burn it to the CD. I haven't fooled with MP3 files (because I didn't have a program that would do it on my old computer) but that is another avenue. You may have to go from WAV to get to MP3. I won't say more because I haven't done it yet myself to tell you how to go about it. There are several good discussions of how to do this--scattered around Mudcat. Try doing a search on all of the "Tech" threads. You're bound to hit a dozen or more that are on this topic right away.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: kendall
Date: 03 May 05 - 03:02 PM

It looks to me like the jacks on the tape deck and the jacks in the computer are totally different, so, I assume that radio Shack would have the right patch cord?


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: frogprince
Date: 03 May 05 - 03:15 PM

I got the connectors from radio shack okay, and saved a wave file in the computer okay. Just (I hope) gotta pick out a suitable editing program. I'm not going for MP3s for now, just usable cds. I need more than just "cleaning up", as the playback speed was way off; is that 'cause my "byte rate", or "sampling rate", or whatever ya call it is way off from the standard 44,100 for audio cds?.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 May 05 - 03:32 PM

What software runs your CD burner? I use Nero, and it has a WAVedit program to do what you need. You have to poke around in your Nero files to find it. Roxio has an editing program also. You should be able to fix the speed with either of these programs.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: M.Ted
Date: 03 May 05 - 05:07 PM

You probably have not properly set the recording parameters in the software. You should check all the settings on your recording program before you re-record the sound file--It pays to check the recording program's webpage   for operating instructions so you know what the thing can do before you record--it saves time and CD's--

Also to make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of the program. And if you have trouble getting it to do what you want, there are lots of freeware and shareware recording programs available(we talk about this all the time, so there are a number of threads about it).

The first problem you had (CD wouldn't play) was because you burned the music file to the CD as data instead of music. In order to play on a CD player, music has to be burned to the disk as music--

My suggestion is to try a different recording program. You usually will not have the same recording problems with a new program, and if you're lucky, it will just work--


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: robomatic
Date: 03 May 05 - 05:58 PM

First off, produce a good playback. Have an adequate tapedeck. Make sure it is putting out stereo signal if the tape is stereo, and set to Dolby if the tape is Dolby. In general, unless you 're working with a studio, your computer should be used to record the best possible sound. You can 'process' but with cassettes it shouldn't be necessary. So you want the gain set up as high as you can in order to have the best signal to noise ratio.

You probably know all that!

You want to feed to your computer's 'line-in' plug. Hopefully you have a decent sound card. Doesn't require big bucks but on an older computer you want a good sound card. Recent motherboards do pretty good A/D if all you're doing is recovering cassettes.

One thing I've noticed is that a lot of stereo cassettes, even from good companies, have different gains from left to right and may have different gains from side A to side B. An expert's expert told me that is because the outfits had margins of error of 3 dB per track! The ear is actually not too good at distinguishing between 'em, but it shows up on the wave imaging software so I make adjustments to even out the tracks by eye, if it makes sense. I've been doing a lot of classical and it may be the kettledrums on the left are supposed to show up a lot louder than the triangle on the right (or vice versa).

I purchased Cool Edit Lite some time ago and it has served me very well. Unfortunately Adobe bought Cool Edit and as far as I KNow only sells the high-end of the program anymore. But there should be other programs available.

For long term storage of a lot of stuff you really care about, how about purchasing some good hard drives on sale, duping your wave files onto them, and keeping one or two backups away from your equipment. Reason for this is, hard drives are pretty good at storing a lot of music and you can recover them to fresh CD's or whatever comes next.

I too have cassettes from the 70's in very good condition. I've revcovered from reel to reel tapes from the 60's and 70's where about 5% of them showed some severe degradation. Ever 'baked' a tape? It works! I haven't had to do that with cassettes.

The durability of CD's has been grossly grossly exagerrated. For one thing they are subject to all sorts of scratches, and the cheaper ones, even if you bought thempre-recorded, often have their music recorded on the 'upper' side so that if you scrape the upper part of the CD you are losing data, quite likely making them unplayable. I've borrowed CDs from the library and they are just scratched all to hell on the lower portion. Generally they are still playable, and if a severe scratch goes only into the clear plastic layer, it can usually be sanded and buffed out and the sound restored.

Another aspect of CDs that I am not up on is if there can be some sort of oxidation or breakdown in the extremely thin metallic layer which is supposed to be sandwiched within the plastic.

As for the 'delicacy' of magnetic media, again, look at your cassettes. They're pretty durable. My confidence in hard drives comes from the nature of magnetic media. Good magnetization occurs over a portion of a tape or hard drive called a 'domain'. Keeping it from being affected by other forces is not too hard. A great deal of the mechanical surroundings of the hard drive case not only phyically isolate the magnetic media, but prevent anything but the very strongest magnets from being able to get close enough to affect those 'domains.' The other enemy of magnetic media is heat, but that was just as true of your old LPs.

So bottom line, ain't nothin' perfect, but right now I have the contents of 110 cassettes recorded onto my hard drive at original quality, and I've duped that hard drive to a backup which is in the closet. I feel better about that than if I had them all on CDs and not on the hard drive. Both is better.

I buy good hard drives on sale: You can get 3 Gigs per US$ these days and they're getting cheaper and larger.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 03 May 05 - 07:11 PM

YEs, once you have the ability to record from the tape machine onto the computer you need to record it properly. FIRST:

What is the program you are currently using?
If it is one which came with your computer system, I would recommend switching.

Quite a number of people like Goldwave or CoolEdit '96. Both are available by download, with some limitations I believe. If you have a SoundBlaster (NOT equivalent) you might have their Recorder program. Next set up the recorder program to allow you to hear the sounds coming off the line-in. (NOTE speakers on Computers ARE NOT the same as Hi-Fi. Keep the record volume slightly below "standard". Once you've recorded it. LISTEN to the recording. (If you can try to record EACH track separately. Taking ONE HUGE track and splitting it up is easy enough, but WHY bother if you can avoid it.) When you listen, try to put the output into your stereo to REALLY hear how it sounds. As you're playing it, try and adjust the speed of playback. Once you have that set so it sounds proper, SAVE it out again! When you have finally finished them all, try to listen to them using a program other than the REcording program. If it still sounds OK, THEN run your CD burner software. I RECOMMEND staying in WAV format at this point. Then burn a CD with the un-processed files.

Once you have that, THEN clean the WAV files of pops, clicks, etc. And when you finish with this processing, BURN ANOTHER CD with the CLEANED up files. THEN DELETE the original sound files. (Now you didn't REALLY overwrite the original files, did you?). NOW, BURN the cleaned up audio files onto an AUDIO CD (up to now, you've only burned a copy of the WAV files as a CD-R and NOT an Audio CD) and listen to how THAT sounds on the Stereo's CD player.

Anyway, Go read a number of the posts here at the Mudcat. We've gone into the steps in DETAIL in previous threads. What I've outlined above is strictly that. Broad Strokes or a Methodology.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: frogprince
Date: 03 May 05 - 09:53 PM

The first cd, which wouldn't play in the regular player, was done with Adaptec Easy CD Creator, which came in my Hewlitt. Actually it looks like it didn't play because the program fluked and didn't "close" the record. The second, which played after a godawful fashion, was done with Musicmatch Jukebox. I tried again with the Adaptec, and almost got a decent copy; the first few seconds sound sloppy, as if maybe my drive isn't getting up to speed; then it isn't bad. I am using dolby.
If I get my act together, I may go on to use this to archive my vintage stuff. But just now I have a more esoteric/eccentric goal. I'm a non-instrumentalist; I work up my original stuff in the computer. I got wavemaker to convert midis to wave, but it's pretty disappointing; not bad on piano, dismal sounding renderings of most instruments. So I'm connecting the tape deck to the computer headphone jack, and actually getting a pretty decent tape, even for play on the good sound system. Just have to watch for those hitches in midi playback, but my luck has been good on that. Then I'm putting it back in line in into the computer. I've got my levels sorted now so I have a decent wave recording, if I can just get from there to a good cd. Worst case, I use the tape and do rewinds. Best case, with George and all's good counsel, I'll get some decent cds. Sure appreciate the good words.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Gypsy
Date: 03 May 05 - 10:18 PM

Man, what brand of tapes are people buying that i don't know about? If i can get a tape that i play, to last round about 10 years, i am happy. It is not the demagnetization (which does happen occasionally) but the stretching of the tape. Once that happens, you be out of luck on recovering it. Reel to Reel is sturdier, but mine was stolen......and with the advent of cd's have no plan on replacing anytime soon.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: kendall
Date: 05 May 05 - 07:40 PM

The 90 minute tapes do stretch. i have half a dozen Memorex 60 minute tapes that were made over 20 years ago and they still play.


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 May 05 - 05:31 PM

My dad was the AV librarian for several years before he retired from a local college. It was a long time ago now, but when those 90 minutes cassette tapes came out they seemed great. I may still have a couple around, but he stopped ordering them for use at the school because they could fail very quickly. The tape is thinner in order to get that much on the reels.

A quick glance at eBay shows 139 reel-to-reel tape recorders, most appear available for reasonable prices.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Gypsy
Date: 06 May 05 - 10:54 PM

Yipetty! thanks for the great shopping opportunity. I still have my doubts on cassettes.....i have commercial tapes that have stretched on me, as well. Mebbe i play them too much! LOL!


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: robomatic
Date: 07 May 05 - 07:38 PM

AUDIO CDs versus CD-Rs.

There is no quality difference there. CDs vary in quality all over the spectrum, and problems can also exist between certain CD burners and certain brands of CDs that don't 'like' them.

There are some Audio CD players which will only play Audio CDs. Audio CDs come with a digital code that tells those machines "OK play me." Computers and most hifi CD players will play any CD-R that is burned correctly with audio files.

I have favorite brands and I wait for them to go on sale. I don't buy Audio CDs (any more).


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 May 05 - 01:21 AM

Robomatic, your last post begs the question: What are your favorite brands of CDs?

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: tapes to cd
From: GUEST,AnneMC
Date: 11 May 05 - 03:34 PM

I have an Apple Mac computer (eMac) and play and save tracks from CDs in iTunes.
Has anyone with a Mac got a system for inputting tracks from a cassette tape deck into iTunes or any other Mac application and then burning to CD ?
I knew someone who tried some small device that was an intermediary between tape player and Mac computer, that apparently converted tape tracks to the computer, was not always successful with it, but he has moved away . Anybody know what it was called?

Anne


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