Author Topic: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer  (Read 918 times)

Offline AngusMcCoatup

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #18 on: Friday 29 May 20 09:22 BST (UK) »
Note that recording "through the air" with a microphone is going to seriously reduce the final recorded quality as it will pick up all sorts of background noises including hum from the cassette player itself.

Much better to use a cable direct from cassette player to PC/laptop. But if recording through a microphone connected to the PC/laptop is all you have, then it's far better to do that than lose the recordings all together.

Offline Ian Nelson

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #19 on: Friday 29 May 20 10:13 BST (UK) »
Unwanted noises come from a million different sources including USB hum and even the transformer hum of your own computer, but these are identifiable and removable. 
This is a snippet of an Audacity recording of an Introduction to a Narrated Audio Book ... the straight line is SILENCE after removing all unwanted background noise and what is left is my voice enhanced by Amplifier, Filter Curve, Equalisation and a few other secret ingredients. 
Angus is right ... copy it anyway you can so that it is not lost, it can be sorted with Audacity. cheers, Ian
Norfolk, Nelsons of Gt Ryburgh, Gooch, Howman, Ainger, Couzens, Batrick (Norfolk & Dorset), Tubby ( also of Yorkshire) Cathcarts of Ireland, Lancashire & Isle of Wight) Dickinsons of Morecambe and Lancaster. Proctor & Threlfall of Westmoreland and Lancs, Wilson of Poulton-le-Sands. Mitchells of Isle of Wight. Hair of Ayrshire, Williamson of Tradeston, Glasgow. Nelsons in Australia with Haywards Heath connections.

Offline jayaygee

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #20 on: Wednesday 10 June 20 22:33 BST (UK) »
My apologies for not getting back to you earlier.

I recorded one tape directly from my cassette player to the computer and the result, although a bit muffled, is not at all bad in my very unprofessional opinion.  The file saved in m4a format - should I convert it to WAV format with an online converter?

Thanks again to everyone for your help.

Judith
BDF Twigg, Ellingham, Gates
BKM Bilbey, Collins, Brandon, Norwood, Smith
HAM Holloway (Romsey area)
HRT Brooks (Tring area)
LDN Saunders, Beedle
MDX Saunders
MLN Maitland, Robertson, McGlashan(all Edinburgh)
OXF Morby, Cross, Gardner (all Banbury area)
SAL Jones, Mathews, Higginson, Davies, Gobourn, Blount
WAR Pritchard (Birmingham)
WRY Dickinson, Atkinson, Mellon, Pritchard, Ashforth, Helliwell, Hague, Dungworth (all Sheffield area)


Offline Ian Nelson

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #21 on: Thursday 11 June 20 14:56 BST (UK) »
You presumably have an Apple iphone or computer because Mp4A (Audio) has been adopted by Apple as an improvement on Mp3 Audio files. (Mp4 is a Video File, very common usage). You don't need to convert them at the moment but if you want them to be able to be played on Anything or Improved using Audacity you could convert them to WAV (Windows Audio Visual) files, just because that has been the standard file format for yonks and has no loss of detail due to Compression as in Mpeg files.
Norfolk, Nelsons of Gt Ryburgh, Gooch, Howman, Ainger, Couzens, Batrick (Norfolk & Dorset), Tubby ( also of Yorkshire) Cathcarts of Ireland, Lancashire & Isle of Wight) Dickinsons of Morecambe and Lancaster. Proctor & Threlfall of Westmoreland and Lancs, Wilson of Poulton-le-Sands. Mitchells of Isle of Wight. Hair of Ayrshire, Williamson of Tradeston, Glasgow. Nelsons in Australia with Haywards Heath connections.

Offline jayaygee

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #22 on: Thursday 11 June 20 20:48 BST (UK) »
I don't have anything Apple and recorded using Windows 10.  I didn't see any choice for the format, but my computer skills are not that great so I may well have missed something.

I wonder if I can take up your very kind offer to improve the recording using Audacity.  I would do the conversion to WAV beforehand, of course.

Judith
BDF Twigg, Ellingham, Gates
BKM Bilbey, Collins, Brandon, Norwood, Smith
HAM Holloway (Romsey area)
HRT Brooks (Tring area)
LDN Saunders, Beedle
MDX Saunders
MLN Maitland, Robertson, McGlashan(all Edinburgh)
OXF Morby, Cross, Gardner (all Banbury area)
SAL Jones, Mathews, Higginson, Davies, Gobourn, Blount
WAR Pritchard (Birmingham)
WRY Dickinson, Atkinson, Mellon, Pritchard, Ashforth, Helliwell, Hague, Dungworth (all Sheffield area)

Offline Ian Nelson

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #23 on: Thursday 11 June 20 22:03 BST (UK) »
Just to be sure I'll check with the Rootschat Moderators that you can Private Message me and Attach the Mp4A files.  If not, I can privately send you my alternative anti-spam email address and you can email them direct to me.   Audacity has an added feature which Converts incoming files to WAV for ease of manipulating them and can Export them in various formats so you can have multiple copies which can be played on Any player or device. I'll let you know as soon as I know, cheers, Ian
Norfolk, Nelsons of Gt Ryburgh, Gooch, Howman, Ainger, Couzens, Batrick (Norfolk & Dorset), Tubby ( also of Yorkshire) Cathcarts of Ireland, Lancashire & Isle of Wight) Dickinsons of Morecambe and Lancaster. Proctor & Threlfall of Westmoreland and Lancs, Wilson of Poulton-le-Sands. Mitchells of Isle of Wight. Hair of Ayrshire, Williamson of Tradeston, Glasgow. Nelsons in Australia with Haywards Heath connections.

Offline jayaygee

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #24 on: Thursday 11 June 20 22:18 BST (UK) »
That's very kind of you, Ian.  Many, many thanks.

Judith
BDF Twigg, Ellingham, Gates
BKM Bilbey, Collins, Brandon, Norwood, Smith
HAM Holloway (Romsey area)
HRT Brooks (Tring area)
LDN Saunders, Beedle
MDX Saunders
MLN Maitland, Robertson, McGlashan(all Edinburgh)
OXF Morby, Cross, Gardner (all Banbury area)
SAL Jones, Mathews, Higginson, Davies, Gobourn, Blount
WAR Pritchard (Birmingham)
WRY Dickinson, Atkinson, Mellon, Pritchard, Ashforth, Helliwell, Hague, Dungworth (all Sheffield area)

Offline Ian Nelson

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #25 on: Friday 12 June 20 11:04 BST (UK) »
I am awaiting a reply from the moderators.  However, although I use Windows 7 I have checked out Windows 10 Voice Recorder and it has a few limitations which cannot be altered.  It Saves your incoming Audio as an Mp4A Audio file, which is compressed to reduce file size but LOSES sound quality as it does so.  Although technically those files can be Converted to ANY other file format, they cannot IMPROVE the Quality that has been lost already by Windows 10.   
Possible workarounds.
Download Audacity for FREE.   It does many things just like a Paint program but you will never use 90% of those features.  It is simplicity itself to RECORD your tapes into a MONO-Track in Audacity and Save them as WAV files, unaltered, just as the sound left your cassette player but with some added hiss, rumble and whatever, but that can all be removed.   If you choose that method I can process them through Audacity or even give you instructions for DIY.  It is not difficult if you follow the steps.
The reason for not recording or converting your original tapes is that they will already not be of Studio Audio quality originally and any Conversion will lose data and worsen the End Result.   
A poor 2nd is to record from the cassette player speakers into a mobile phone which can then send the files to a computer by any means.
Any WAV file can be Improved using just 5 features in Audacity and Saved again in almost any Format you like.
Hope this helps.
https://www.audacityteam.org/download/
Norfolk, Nelsons of Gt Ryburgh, Gooch, Howman, Ainger, Couzens, Batrick (Norfolk & Dorset), Tubby ( also of Yorkshire) Cathcarts of Ireland, Lancashire & Isle of Wight) Dickinsons of Morecambe and Lancaster. Proctor & Threlfall of Westmoreland and Lancs, Wilson of Poulton-le-Sands. Mitchells of Isle of Wight. Hair of Ayrshire, Williamson of Tradeston, Glasgow. Nelsons in Australia with Haywards Heath connections.

Offline jayaygee

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Re: Transferring audio cassette recordings to computer
« Reply #26 on: Friday 12 June 20 11:47 BST (UK) »
Thank you for your very helpful advice.  I will re-record the tape as you suggest and attempt to improve it myself with Audacity.  It's always good to learn something new and useful and I do have about ten tapes of my mother-in-law telling her life story!  I obviously wouldn't expect you to work on all those! The one I have done at present is of my father talking about his experience in WW1 and his childhood - it is the only copy and is therefore very precious.  I'll let you know how I get on and get back to you if I have problems.

Coincidentally, I see you have Dickinson among your research interests - it's my maiden name, but my family is from theSheffield area.

Once again many thanks for your help and very clear advice about how to proceed.

Judith
BDF Twigg, Ellingham, Gates
BKM Bilbey, Collins, Brandon, Norwood, Smith
HAM Holloway (Romsey area)
HRT Brooks (Tring area)
LDN Saunders, Beedle
MDX Saunders
MLN Maitland, Robertson, McGlashan(all Edinburgh)
OXF Morby, Cross, Gardner (all Banbury area)
SAL Jones, Mathews, Higginson, Davies, Gobourn, Blount
WAR Pritchard (Birmingham)
WRY Dickinson, Atkinson, Mellon, Pritchard, Ashforth, Helliwell, Hague, Dungworth (all Sheffield area)