Tape to PC

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Devils Advocate
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Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:55 pm

A good mate was here today and mentioned he'd got loads of old cassettes from the 80's 90's which he'd love on CD. I looked at the kit I have here and decided it may be a bit of a hassle sorting it.

Anyhow, we then phoned an outlet specialising in just this and they quoted "from £10 per tape", bit steep I felt.

So, I've just googled "Tape to PC" and it threw this up http://www.amazon.co.uk/Portable-Casset ... B003O43UII

Anyone ever tried them? Looks too good to be true for the price.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby El Cid » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:21 pm

It's not rocket science. All you need is any old cassette player and a lead to connect it to the PC. These units have a USB cable but you could do it with using the headphone jack.

I would assume this unit sends a digital signal through the USB lead rather than an analogue signal via a normal connection.

There is plenty of free software to handle the conversion to MP3. I have a friend who makes a fair amount out of converting audio and video tapes and he swears by Audacity - I really cleans up the signal and removes tape hiss. His latest customer said the conversion sounds better than the original.

Sid

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:26 pm

It's far from rocket science Sid I agree. Just wanted to know if anyone had used the module I linked to with any success.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby gerryh » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Not that I have ever converted cassette tapes but I would certainly endorse Audacity for cleaning up noisy recordings etc and it's free.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:32 pm

Thanks Gerry.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:36 pm

The heads on all of my cassette players are rather worn so I bought one of these which worked perfectly:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/TEVION-CASSETTE ... B00IIRUAZC

Although it mentions recording to SD card or USB you can also feed it directly into a PC.

Unfortunately it no longer seems to be available from Amazon but there may be other outlets.

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:40 pm

That looks the business Beachy, thank you. What sort of price was that if you don't mind me asking. The bloke's looking at a couple of hundred quid plus for a firm to do them for him so I think he'll pay decent money for an in house solution.

Numpty question, I take it a c90 takes 90 minutes to copy?
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby El Cid » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:13 pm

The player will only run at normal speed so it takes the full 90 minutes.

Copying CDs is different as they are digital and can squirt the data in as fast as they can read it, typically 20 times the playing speed.

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:18 pm

Yes, I thought so Sid, thanks for that, a long drawn out process then.

I must be fooling myself though as I could have sworn I had a cassette deck in the 80's that had a "tape to tape" facility and recorded at a much higher speed than normal play, as I say maybe I'm imagining that one :think:
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby markwilding » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:29 pm

That's why it costs so much. This type of thing is time consuming. I've done it a couple of times with music.
Personal video on tapes is the same problem but necessary to do because that really can't be replaced

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby El Cid » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:34 pm

Devils Advocate wrote:
I must be fooling myself though as I could have sworn I had a cassette deck in the 80's that had a "tape to tape" facility and recorded at a much higher speed than normal play, as I say maybe I'm imagining that one :think:
No, they did run faster, but only about 2x speed and that results in serious loss of high frequencies on the copy. Of course, these boxes were typically nasty cheap devices such as Amstrad and they produced crap quality in the first place!

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:42 pm

Sid, would I use Amstrad? :mrgreen:
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby El Cid » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:43 pm

Well, you do like a Caterham!

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:18 pm

I think the Tevion was about £40. Someone brought it from the UK for me. I think it came from Costco but I have had a look around the internet and it doesn't seem to be available now.

I agree about the double speed cassette to cassette dubbing. I had a Sony music centre. Well, I still have it but neither of the tape decks work now. Not only did it lose high frequencies but the pitch was a bit iffy as well.

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:41 am

Thanks chaps for that. I've actually found a couple of those Tevions for sale Beachy, I've earmarked them plus a couple of others so I'll let Paul make a choice on which one he wants, just hope I don't get asked to do the rips though!!

Thanks also for confirming what I thought about 2x speed dubbing, I thought I had a deck with that facility in the 80's, it's also now ringing bells that using HS dubbing did lose something in the recording.

Out of interest, I've not owned a cassette deck since the early 90's until recently. I was at a hifi auction and there was an interesting looking and very early (1974 as it turns out) Technics top loading deck there. I wasn't interested but the bidding stalled and I stuck a hand up.

I have to say after hooking it up in a system it's not half bad at all with a decent cassette in it.
But then again the Japanese early Technics was superb I'm told before going mainstream, I never owned any of their "proper" stuff at that time.

Thanks again.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby El Cid » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:45 pm

Devils Advocate wrote:
Thanks also for confirming what I thought about 2x speed dubbing, I thought I had a deck with that facility in the 80's, it's also now ringing bells that using HS dubbing did lose something in the recording.
It's obvious if you think about it. You would be very lucky to be able to record a 15khz sound on tape in the first place, but if you did and played it back at 2x speed the frequency would increase to 30khz but the deck could only dub that at 15khz. On playback at half the dubbed speed the note would only be 7.5khz.

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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:03 pm

Yes, I agree with what you say say Cid.
In reality I only had a cassette deck at home to record stuff for the car, I can't recall ever really spending much time actually using it to listen to in the house.
I do remember that decent quality. ie chrome tapes etc. made a hell of difference to the end result.

It was funny the other week, on the hifi forum I get ideas from there was a bit of a bunfight going on about cassettes and cassette decks, as believe it or not there are still a lot of Nakamichi worshipers out there.

The argument centred around the merits of Dolby NR, I had my views but it got far too feisty for me to mention them :mrgreen:
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby gerryh » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:26 pm

Do you still have a cassette deck and I think you have a Behringer UCA222 USB sound card?
If so then all you need is the Audacity software and you can easily convert cassettes to digital output.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby Devils Advocate » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:43 pm

Gerry, I don't have the Behringer anymore but do have 2 other DACs/souncards............same thing though, USB on one end and phonos on the other.

Are you thinking simply hook the deck up to the laptop via a DAC, hadn't thought of that?

Thanks for that.
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Re: Tape to PC

Postby gerryh » Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:48 pm

Yes and use Audacity for the clean up/ conversion.
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