Cassettes to Computer
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Downloading Music Files
Cassettes to Computer
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Transferring cassettes to computer - mp3

Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead - Europe '72

How to Copy cassettes to your computer.  

Reflections - Jerry Garcia

Directions for transferring cassettes to computer - mp3

How to Copy cassettes to your computer!   Below are instructions provided By Joe Prisco

First you must have the following hardware:

1. cassette deck (no reason to leave out the obvious)
2. sound card on your computer
3. a stereo cable appropriately outfitted to run from one to the other.

In my case, that means about three feet, with a 1/8" jack at one end (to plug into the sound card, at the back of the computer) and a 1/4" jack on the other, to go in the headphone jack on the cassette deck [under $10 at Radio Shack].

You can also run the signal out of the usual jacks in the back of the cassette deck, [RCA pin jacks] just like regular hookup to a receiver, which looks a little nicer but makes no difference in signal.

4. A CD burner in your computer, plus the software to run it (almost always included with the burner itself). Easy CD Creator is a popular CD-creating program; my burner came with Rome. It doesn't matter which one you use. -------------------------------------------------

Now comes the online part: the world of shareware. Perhaps you know that 'shareware' means programs for sale online that are available to try for free; if you find that it meets your needs, the creator asks that you send in money for 'registration'.

Here they are:    is the home of Cool Edit, the most popular shareware for recording and editing is another popular editing/recording program.

Since both are available as free trial versions, try both and see which you prefer. Cool Edit is the one most often mentioned by name (SoundForge is another), but Goldwave is what I have used for the past 8 months. All such programs allow you to record and alter sound: correct for errors of pitch, volume, and balance; delete or add empty space, connect broken halves
and that's without getting into the effects: equalization (graphic and parametric), flange, echo, plus more.

Also, you might try these two programs -- they aren't large and they come in handy: is for cutting larger tracks [tape side] into smaller tracks [songs] -- essential to conversion from tape or LP; otherwise each tape side would be one long track [unless you record each song individually]. Burning software usually has some ability to do this as well, but CD Wave does it easier, better, and faster. is for another function -- ripping tracks from CDs. While you CAN simply record tracks from CDs by playing a CD player into the computer (just like playing a cassette deck into the computer), this eliminates any analog steps: strictly digital-to-digital, and consequently much faster; volume is already set; and it preserves all the index points
[track splits]. This is a particularly useful program if you want to
resequence a CD -- just rip the tracks, reorganize as desired, and burn to a new disc.


Allright then: now you are ready to try your first conversion!

1. Run the cable from the cassette deck to the soundcard.
2. Somewhere in your computer is a program that controls inputs on your soundcard; you'll have to set it to accept signals through whatever input you're plugging into.
3. Play a cassette, and adjust the incoming level so as to accept it as loudly as possible without distorting, just as if you were recording.
4. Open your recording program (Coole Edit, Sound Forge, Gold Wave), and create a new file (click 'new') of the necessary duration -- that's right; you have to tell the software how long a song you intend to record.
Click 'record' to start, 'stop' to stop, 'save' to save.

*A tip: always go a little high, because you can just delete the extra
unused time -- but not too high; the more time, the longer it takes to reserve the necessary disc space. I record 90-minute tapes at 47:40 a side, just to be sure. Nothing so aggravating as having the recoding space run out five seconds before the song does, and have to start over again.

After that, you handle and edit the music files just like any other,
drag-and-drop as you like. Use CDWave to split the tape sides into songs.There's more, but this should keep you busy for a few weeks ....

Thanks for reading our Joe's instruction on transferring tape to computer.


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