Cassette Tape to MP3

By maXimus4444 ยท 42 replies
Jun 21, 2006
  1. maXimus4444

    maXimus4444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 86

    Ok, here's the low down...

    Yes, you were definitely right when you said time would be the biggest investment of the job. :)

    I decided to go ahead and use audacity. Mainly because its free and easy to use. I have also been recommended to use Freecorder. I haven't heard much about it but for now I'll stick to audacity.

    Everything is ready and setup except for the deck. I'll be purchasing a new deck during the week. (Thank you for all of your input, it has helped immensely.)

    Is there any advice on bitrates, or recording settings? If you couldn't tell, I'm not an audio guru. Any help on this topic would be wonderfull!

    Well you all have been more than helpful, and until next time

  2. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    So do I say to the guy that you don't want his no service requiered Nak CR-5?
  3. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    24bit recording, at 96KHz if possible.. but if you're pressed for space, or your soundcard cant handle it then 24bit +44.1KHz or 44.8KHz is still good.

    save it at least a 128kbps .mp3 or.aac file.. but the higher the bit rate the better, although it will take more space on the hdd. Wav files or AIFF are raw audio..
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    It would be good to save the original WAV recordings if possible. And then use them when editing, when burning to CD, mixing, running filters on, etc... Then just save the MP3 version for its portability. Keep the WAV as your "master".

    Note that Audacity doesn't export to MP3 without installing the LAME plugin (
    So you want to export WAV first, then MP3 the mixdown after editing. If indeed there is any editing or filters you need to run.

    Good luck
  5. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    He has a Audigy 2 ZS, 24/96 is possible. If saving to MP3, 16/48 can be used.

    Or FLAC. (OpenSource Lossless format, Audacity is probably able to handle it.)
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Thanks for mentioning FLAC, I haven't heard of it, sounds good.

    I just tried it and it does make files nearly twice as big as MP3. But that's to be expected when creating lossless files. And yet, it's still 2.5 times smaller then WAV. So it will save some space.
    Good find. I just don't know how well audio-editing apps can work on them directly, even IF they can to begin with.
  7. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    That's true there are lots. But FLAC has better features then most, is more "open" in terms of source code and license etc...
    And because you can get the source, there is much better chance of seeing support for it in more places, like the Java port for example, which wouldn't happen if you only get proprietary binaries. Plus FLAC apparently has support even in hardware devices. Streaming, putting a CD album into one file with a cue sheet. And more stuff.
    Heck, looked real good to me. Except for the file size changes. But I've been having so much trouble lately just trying to convert WAVs to MP3s that I'm actually looking for another format to use.
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Try AAC instead of MP3.. If you got a keen ear you can hear the difference is much better than the equivilant MP3 encoding.. and i think the file size is about the same, just better compression algorithem
  10. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Yeah, but still sounds like it's compression algorithm is coming from MP3. (Sounds baaaaaaad)
  11. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    The compression algorithm is totaly different from MP3. Although they both cut data out on what we can't hear with our ears (perceptual coding), the actual maths is totaly different.

    Mp3 = Mpeg Audio Layer 3 = 112-128kbps, stereo, ratio of 1:12
    AAC = Mpeg Audio Layer 2 = 256-192kbps, stereo, ratio of 1:6

    The better the ratio, the better the sound/wave trueness. AAC being the sucessor of MP3 has a ton more features etc. Of course, thats probably a realy cut down version of what is to be explained but you get the drift.

    Try it for yourself: get a wave file, say for the original, then encode it into MP3 and the wave again to AAC. Compare. You'd aggree that AAC sounds more fuller in the frequency response..

    Few articles for you..
  12. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    That's what I meant, they produce the same artefact sound that I HATE TO HEAR... Scrapping the whole song!
  13. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    You must have some cranking speakers Dragon! If you can detect a little annoyance like that.
    My speakers are so so, but I don't have problems listening to most any format.
  14. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    yeh true, but you gotta remember what bitrate you encode them into.. its no use encoding 64kbps (real bad artefacts.. cringe..) and then listening it through some JBL monitors... even 128's not deemed worthy of the file for me nowadays.. i'm gone to 192kbps+.. it just pays off to have a 200gb sata hdd purely for audio :D. Gotta love Protools' lossless recordings...

    lol.. yeh.. curious. What is your setup? do you listen through monitors through a pro soundcard, or consumer based stuff? and how loud do you set it to lol...
  15. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    You can even hear them with the cheap white speakers that come with your computer.

    But it's true that with good speakers and a good amp you hear more.
  16. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Well then, we can aggree to the fact that there are some that are worse, and some that are better than mp3..
  17. aksd

    aksd TS Member Posts: 51

    I have a project now of taking cassette tapes and coping them to CDs. The way i'd like to do it would be through my comp. encoded, edited and burned, since they're recordings of meetings, i'll have to go throught and cut parts out, before the finished product. I'll need to have good sound quality. The quality of the recordings aren't the best, but you can still hear what needs to be.

    It was a little difficult tracking with what was said on the first page, but it seems I'll need a new sound card and tape deck. I'm going to look into a tape deck over the next few weeks, and for the sound card a few were listed on the first page but it was too much data for me to think with. What would be the best card to get without having to pay an arm and a leg to get it? Creative was said to have good features but poor quality, which other brands should I look at? I have good quality cables and sony soundforge, so they won't be a problem, budget isn't a issue ether, it just has to be cost effective.
  18. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Creative's X-Fi Elite Pro seems pretty good(On the digital side, the analog amplifying stages seem pretty cheesy) , but it costs a lot of money. It's the only 24/192 card I saw that doesn't have a codec, but uses separate DACs and ADCs instead. That's a big ++, as long as your hardware is compatible with the card. (Has some issues with some hardware)

    If you look at other cards, M-Audio's Audiophile 192 seems good.
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