another audio question

Discussion in 'OS X and OS X Apps' started by penmanila, May 21, 2004.

  1. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    is there any software and/or hardware/software combination that will allow me to transfer and digitize a voice recording from a cassette player to my mac?

    i do loads of interviews in my line of work, and the interview's easy but transcription is always a pain. of course the ideal software (maybe still in heaven) is something that will automatically download and transcribe (into text!) the interview, but mayeb that's asking for too much. it'll be enough for starters to be able to offload the voice track from the tape and convert it to a digitized file.

    any ideas? thanks in advance!
     
  2. El CaMOTe

    El CaMOTe Guest

    Dunno if IMic can do it. It has a mic input for sure and maybe also a line in also. Shouldn't that do ?? Am I missing something here ?:roll:
     
  3. exie

    exie Guest

    See if this helps.
     
  4. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    thanks, exie, that AudioX program looks very interesting. now, does anybody know if iMic is the interface i need to connect my tape recorder to the mac? will buy it asap if it is! :)
     
  5. McArenas

    McArenas Member

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    Sir Butch.. have u tried playing with the Audio/Line-in port of your powerbook. I haven't tried this but it might work.

    1) Use a male to male mini plug to connect your cassette player's headphone to the 'Books audio/Line-in port.

    2) Launch AudioX or AudioHijack. Select the Line-in as your SOURCE.

    3) Hit play button on your cassette then PAUSE muna (this will allow you setup the receiving end).

    4) Hit record on your AUDIOx then release PAUSE from the cassette.

    Let us know if it works.

    [Edited on 5-22-2004 by McArenas]
     
  6. caloysam

    caloysam Guest

    @penmanila
    yes, you can use imic to connect your recorder to your mic. just make sure to turn the switch to the proper side and start recording from the input device, in this case your recorder, and document the audio using the software recorder of choice.
     
  7. Kenneth

    Kenneth Moderator

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    iMic is quite an expensive solution for something as simple as this.

    Butch, if your cassete player has a baby pin line out, I suggest you buy a cheap P20 double baby pin and connect the other end to the line in of your mac. You can always buy cheap adaptors if your cassete player requires. You can find these at RGY Enterprises at the ground floor of Virramall. They're at the lane near the entrance to the pond if I remember correctly.

    I use freeware Audio In
     
  8. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    thanks for the tips, guys. i'm using one of those male-to-male plugs i've had from way back but never found a use for (this is why i'm a pack rat!), and audioX. it seems to be working just fine--but dang, does this thing eat up megabytes! something like 3 MB per minute, and i have hours of tape to digitize. (i'm using the IMA-4 16-bit mono compression suggested by audioX.) i guess i'll just have to dump everything later onto CD.
     
  9. McArenas

    McArenas Member

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    Sir Butch, if audioX's output kills much of your precious MB, i suggest you get Audio HiJack Pro. You can directly digitize your recording into MP3.
     
  10. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    thanks again for that suggestion. audio hijack pro is great (although it takes a bit of learning)--cut my filze size down to about 1 MB per minute of mp3 recording. the nice thing is playing it back on itunes (and my ipod) so i can use the equalizer, and also work on the file anywhere.
     
  11. opd

    opd Active Member

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    what about using garageband to record audio in? the mp3 file can go to your ipod. and if you are transcribing from your powerbook, just change the tempo to say, half, when there is a phrase you have a hard time understanding.
     
  12. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    hm, i never thought of garageband... but thanks for the idea. audio hijack pro has worked best so far.

    now if someone can only teach me how to remove the background buzz and hiss from these .mp3 files.... :)
     
  13. maitani

    maitani Member

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    For your intended use, Amadeus II (http://www.hairersoft.com/Amadeus.html) may be the ideal software. It has the built-in capability to clean up recordings. They have a demo available so you can try this one, too.
     
  14. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    thanks for that idea! i'm trying it out right now. what command should i use or look for? "suppress white noise" or something like it? so sorry, but am an audio idiot. :)
     
  15. maitani

    maitani Member

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    Try “Denoising”. (1) Select a piece of your recording containing only noise (like tape hiss and ambient background noise before the spoken words come in). (2) Select the menu item "Sample noise". The plugin will scan the selected noise and construct a noise profile. (3) Select the whole recording. (4) Select the menu item "Suppress noise". This will remove the background noise from the selected part of the sound, according to the noise profile constructed.

    BTW Amadeus has the ability to save your recordings in MP3. Since you are not recording music, even a bitrate 64 kbps may be enough. This should cut down your file sizes by an order of magnitude!
     
  16. rcs

    rcs Member

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    Hi--

    I've learned a lot from all the replies
    but there could also be other paths to explore
    both involving doing away with the cassette player.

    1) Use your powerbook. I use my iBook's
    built-in mic to give it spoken commands.
    I'm sure there's software out there
    that will allow you to record voice
    digitally. My old PB540c had this
    powerstrip app that allowed you to record
    stuff quite discreetly.

    2) Switch to a digital voice recorder.
    Most of these double as thumb drives.
    I passed on the fancy iRiver types and
    picked up the less cute 128Mb Megasttick
    for about Pesos5k. 256 models are
    also available. when you don't need
    the space, you can fill it w/mp3s.
    When you do, my friend
    has used it to record a 4-hour meeting.
    Voice recordings are saved in WAV and
    are pretty clear (no hiss). When done,
    stick it into your USB port, turn it on.
    It appears as a hard disk on your
    desktop. Double-clicking the file brings
    up QT if i remember right. But it's
    a breeze to bring it to iTunes.

    The upshot is, it saves you time.

    rcs

     
  17. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    thanks again for your thoughts.

    we could, of course, use the powerbook itself to record--i also used spoken commands with my old pb's (until the novelty wore off)--but obviously even a powerbook isn't all that portable when it comes to interviewing, esp. on the road.

    i'm more interested in the USB digital mp3 layer-recorder combos. i was looking at them in the mall earlier this week and have been thinking of getting one, but wasn't sure how well they actually performed as recorders--how sensitive are they, and how clear is the playback? (your message clarified some of that.) if other people could chime in with their experiences, i'd much appreciate it. brand recommendations welcome.

    there's another way--adel uses his tungsten T for interviews. i guess i could try that, too, and see how clear the output is and how much space a minute of recording (i need at least an hour) consumes. my tungsten has a 128 mb card. but i wonder if the tungsten battery itself will hold up to an hour's worth of recording. i could use a power cord, but i think i'd rather have a USB thingie powered by a tripleA battery i can quickly replace.

    [Edited on 5-27-2004 by penmanila]
     
  18. elbert

    elbert Active Member

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    Hi Butch,

    Sayang, you're using an iPod mini. Otherwise, I would recommend the Belkin Voice Recorder.
    [​IMG]
    I've tried it out, pretty cool! I had my wife used it for a lengthy interview. All the voices were audible and it's great to be able to transcribe via iTunes or the iPod itself.

    I can lend it to you for a test drive. But then again, you'll be needing a 3G iPod.

    Just let me know.
     
  19. penmanila

    penmanila The Pinoy Penman
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    i was also looking into that option, and was sadly aware that it works only with the regular ipods. who knows, i just might get a bigger ipod at some point--especially if i come across a bargain i can't resist. :) (although i have to admit that i haven't even filled up my mini yet, and don't get to use it all that often.)
     
  20. rcs

    rcs Member

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    Here's a sample uhh sample:
    Megastick (MSI) 128
    (cheapest in market
    last time i checked)
    on a table about one and a half feet away
    from my mouth. The chatter in the
    background is the TV more than 8 feet
    away.

    Wav file attached, unconverted
    just dragged from the stick.
    about 10+ seconds, 220+k

    rcs

     

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