Converting Cassette Tape Songs to Digital

Discussion in 'Musicians and DJs' started by ako_si_Mac, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. ako_si_Mac

    ako_si_Mac Member

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    Hi everyone. First of all, there's an archived thread similar to this, but it's for converting vinyl to digital. (I don't know if I should follow the same procedures.)

    I have lots of cassette tapes of old Southern gospel songs that I can't find in iTunes, amazon or anywhere else. I want to digitize them. What's the perfect setup?

    I'm thinking of the connecting a cassette player to the following audio interfaces, and then to my mac:

    1. Behringer UCA 202 ($29 at amazon.com). According to the manual, one should connect this to a USB 1.1. So this is outdated?

    2. Audio Kontrol 1 ($299)

    3. Cakewalk UA 1G ($99)

    does anyone have any experience with these products? Does the sound improve substantially with the price increments?

    By the way, my problem is I have to also look for a durable cassette player. The Sony, Sanyo, and Aiwa ones at home already conked out. :( They kept on "eating" the cassette tape. Does anyone have a demagnetizer? Or where can I buy one?

    Or is there any shop that can digitize my cassette tape songs for a fee, like www.reclaimmedia.com

    Thanks!
     
    #1 ako_si_Mac, Mar 20, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  2. Kenneth

    Kenneth Moderator

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    Thats quite an expensive way of going about it. Have you tried doing it the dirt cheap way?

    Find a reliable cassette player. Buy a cheap double 3.5mm jack cable and connect it to the line in or mic in of your mac.
    [​IMG]
    Use Quicktime Pro or Wire Tap to record / Edit and save it. There used to be a free Wiretap Pro. Maybe somebody around here still has it.
     
  3. RC

    RC Active Member

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    I think most shops in malls already offer this....just look for those that transfer video/beta/vhs

    Sound quality won't be any good since...it comes from tape...

    @Kenneth i think you'll be needing a "stereo adapter" to go along with the player to mac set-up
     
  4. savadious

    savadious Active Member

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    Tape... ahhh... memories... tape and splicing... bad, evil memories - haha

    One thing that might help with tape is to completely fast forward the entire tape then rewind it before playing.

    Something about old tapes needing to be 'retentioned' or something - they used to say....

    Sounded reasonable so I always did it when doing anything serious... even today with new mini DV tapes I still do that out of habit...

    I hope that can help your tape eating problem !
     
  5. travism

    travism Active Member

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    I'd go with Kenneth 's suggestion... The soundcards of the macs are actually perty good. You can tweak settings in Wiretap to get some good quality recordings too.

    Btw, there are still some tape players at the SM appliance stores... I saw some tape players/recorders for a very good price. They are mostly battery powered though. But I saw some with power ports too so you could continuously record tape after tape.
     
  6. Macimus

    Macimus Guest

    Wow, thanks a lot kenneth. Me, too have a lot of cassette collection that are collecting dust in the bodega. now, I can enjoy them once again.
     
  7. Mykolant

    Mykolant PhilMUG Addict Member

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    I'm resurrecting this thread coz I need to convert a bunch of old cassette tapes (recorded over the radio - very rare content) to mp3 versions.

    Is Kenneth's suggestion still the best one to follow?

    Any updates will be greatly appreciated!


     
  8. greta87

    greta87 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    i got something from the US a few years back, Video Capture, it's plug & play with the usb port of the mac. it's a device that converts analog video/audio signals to digital. & it doesnt use the mac's resources while converting. I used it for my mini-DV conversion. it works well w/ audio only of course. I dont know if its available here but it costs around 80$US, got it from Best Buy, I think.
     
  9. 4p0se

    4p0se Well-Known Member

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  10. greta87

    greta87 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    ^I think it's similar to the Video Capture device that I posted about prior to your post. but since my post is around 3 years old, the cost should be different now.

    note however that the conversion is done in real time & will use up a lot of your memory space in your hard drive; especially if it's video conversion. I can't recall whether you can tweak the settings to make the conversion straight from analog to mp3 or some other compressed format, & not into some uncompressed file like an aiff or wav format. of course, if thats not available, you can always make the conversion into a compressed file later on
     
  11. 4p0se

    4p0se Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Is it available in the Philippines store like Sony?
     
  12. greta87

    greta87 PhilMUG Addict Member

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    you can try infomaxx since theyre one of the few shops that might carry these unusual devices. but when I was in the US earlier this year, they were still in stock in Best Buy.
     
  13. rbenzon

    rbenzon Super
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    Do you really need a dedicated cassette capture device? The more practical solution would be a combination of cassette player and a digital audio interface. If you don't have the latter and are on a budget, you can even use a Mac's mic/line input, which is connected to a built-in audio interface. All you need is the right connection, typically a male RCA plug to a male 1/8" (3.5mm) plug.

    But if you don't have access to a cassette player, you might as well resort to this alternative. At least, the connection isn't male-to-male. :D
     
  14. 4p0se

    4p0se Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Sir. ( I don't get the alternative )
     
  15. Beowulf

    Beowulf Member

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    there is a cassette player to digital encoder in CDRking :)
     

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