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  1. #1
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    Recording analogue music

    Does anyone know if it is possible to get ordinary audio tapes onto the computer? I ask because I have a load of old audio tapes that I'm probably going to chuck, but I'd like to copy some of them to MP3s to use on my DAP Jukebox (20Gb hard disk - ~340 CDS - carry your entire music collection with you in a machine the size of - and looks like - a portable CD player!) first.

    This machine does have a 'line in' jack which they say can be used to 'record' from external sources - I'm not up enough on audio stuff to know if this would mean from an ordinary tape deck or not!

    Any help from audio experts would be gratefully appreciated!
    Beryl M


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    Re: Recording analogue music

    Hi Beryl!

    Well, it depends upon your computer and its software. First, does your "line-in" jack go to the motherboard itself (in which case you have a built-in sound card) or does it go to a separate sound card that is plugged in to one of your expansion slots? (This is just to help me understand your system...)

    In either case, you should be able to record digital sound files using that jack. Now, on to the next problem. Do you have any software that will perform recording operations? If you have a built-in sound card (where the line-in jack leads to the motherboard) and your machine was purchased with software pre-loaded, you may already have some software application that will handle the recording chores. If not, you will want to troll the internet to look for a freeware or shareware software package that will do the recording for you. I use either GoldWave Studio (www.goldwave.com) or Creative Sound Studio, a package that came with my sound card. In either case, as well as in other software, all you would have to do is to choose the proper command from the software's menu to allow recording -- ususally this will create an open ended sound file (usually in .wav format) although in GoldWave Studio you have to enter a time for the length of the file (as in 4:00 minutes, or whatever the length is for your music selection. Hint -- make it longer than you need, you can always trim off the blank space at the beginning or end of the sound file once you have captured it to your hard drive.)

    Finally, getting the sound into the computer. The line-in jack -- whether motherboard based or sound-card based, will most likely want an amplified signal, such as comes out of your amplifier and heads out to your speakers. So, if you have a power amp that your tape deck is plugged into, take the sound from the "Play Out" or "Line Out" jacks on your amplifier and into the jack on your computer. If you have one of those self-contained tape deck units, the "Line out" jack from there might just work by itself, without an exterior power amp. Try it out and see.

    The procedure would be to cue up your tape (or record, this works with vinyl too...) so it is ready to play; initiliaze the recording file in your software, and let the music play. After recording, you can save the file to your hard drive (again, usually with a .wav extension). Its pretty easy really, after you have it all setup.

    This may be beyond what you want but I offer it anyway for completeness.Once you have captured the digital sound file you should be able to edit it a little (depending upon which software package you are using). Sometimes there are filters you can run on the file to reduce tape hiss, noise, pops and clicks, etc. And of course you can trim any empty soundspace in front of where the music starts or behind where it ends. You can even do fade-ins or fade-outs, normalize the sound (make it as loud as it can be without distortion) and even run an equalizer on the file to punch up certain sound frequencies.

    Also, once you're done with the sound file and have it the way you like it, you can usually run another conversion filter that will take the .wav file and transform it into an .mp3 file format (of course you'll lose a little of the sound quality). But if you're only going to play it on your computer or another MP3 device -- it doesn't matter. If you have a CD burner you can usually take the original .wav files and burn an audio CD (Roxio CD Creator software does a good job here...) which you can then play in any standard CD player -- although some older CD home players, some older car CD players and older portable CD players as well as some early-generation DVD players will balk at playing such home-recorded CD's -- they will skip like crazy or not play at all.

    Well, hope that helps you in your quest. If you need furhter advice or questions answered please feel free to either continue the post here or e-mail me directly: <tim@autumnstar.net>

    Good luck!

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    Re: Recording analogue music

    Wow! <img src=/S/brainwash.gif border=0 alt=brainwash width=15 height=15>

    Many thanks, Tim - on a quick reading I *think* I understand most of what you say, but I'm not going to have a chance to look into it for a little while as I'm tied up with a big project at the moment (and anyway my main computer doesn't have sound at all at the moment - don't know why, I had a graphics resolution problem, and when we fixed that, the sound was gone! You don't know anything about Creative SB cards running under WinMe, do you? <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>) Life's never simple!

    Anyway, once again, many thanks, and as soon as I get a chance I'll be following your suggestions step-by-step to see what happens!

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    Beryl M


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    Re: Recording analogue music

    Hi Again, Beryl!

    I have used Creative SB sound cards before (I have a Creative Audigy card now), but I have little experience with Windows ME. My wife has it on her laptop and she can't wait to get me to upgrade it to Win 2K. I have heard that there are various technical issues with various sound cards and Windows ME.

    Offer still stands -- when you get around to doing any recording, if you need some help or pointers, feel free to ask. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Recording analogue music

    **hyperlink added by KT**
    Hi, Beryl -
    I had been wondering the same thing and, after doing a bit of web searching, I found all the information I needed - literally just yesterday!
    http://music.cnet.com has LOTS of free information - not only on how to do it, but links/reviews on various shareware/freeware programs as well as major software products that can help you do the job.
    Their instructions are clear and concise, and they even have lots of info on recording MP3s from LPs (you may not remember them) as well!

    Good luck, from someone in the same boat!

    DJ
    Have a cookie -

    Don

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    Re: Recording analogue music

    Many thanks, I'll have to check that out!
    Beryl M


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    Re: Recording analogue music

    **hyperlink added by KT**
    Just came across this post. You may have already made a decision. If not, I've been using a piece of shareware called Sound Recorder and Editor (http://www.polderbits.com). I think it is free for a couple of weeks and then there is a very small fee ($12? maybe). Anyway, I used several pieces of software a while back and none could beat this one. It's straight forward, simple, and most importantly it works.

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    Re: Recording analogue music

    Thanks for that, SB1, in fact I haven't been able to do anything about it yet so I will probably follow up your link when I do! Unfortunately I've lost the sound completely on my PC at present (the suppliers are doing their nut trying to work out why!) and anyway my MP3 player's 6Gb hard disk is full, so until my 40Gb upgrade arrives (it's in the post) I can't really do anything!

    <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>
    Beryl M


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    Re: Recording analogue music

    tim

    Just browsing thru the lounge and saw your post that mentioned goldwave. If you have the same version as I do (goldwave 4.25), then you can configure it to record "unbounded". In other words, there is no preset file size and the file will expand as required. It's not immediately obvious, and I used Goldwave as you described for quite a while before discovering the setting.

    Check under the Properties of the Device Controls -- Record tab.

    Hope this helps.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Jack MacDonald
    Vancouver, Canada

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