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cassette to mp3
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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

Hello again,
I have been given an'ion'...it's a gadget to convert cassettes to mp3, it will put the converted files straight into the iTunes library.
When i then edit them using Amadeus the format will be changed to amadeus and then i'll change it back again to mp3 for exporting to the web.
This is quite a lot of changes...will there be a loss of data...is there a better way...anything else you can think of that I need to know?
Thank you in advance.
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dinojrx



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 78
Location: Berlin / Germany

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

Hi,

Best will be, if you record in WAV or AIFF or something similar without compression. Have a look into the prefs of the program. The change from mp3 to amad is no problem because amad is a raw-format. But the following compression back to mp3 will cause new losses.

Regards Jan


Am 02/09/2012 um 20:44 schrieb ogyen:

Quote:
Hello again,
I have been given an'ion'...it's a gadget to convert cassettes to mp3, it will put the converted files straight into the iTunes library.
When i then edit them using Amadeus the format will be changed to amadeus and then i'll change it back again to mp3 for exporting to the web.
This is quite a lot of changes...will there be a loss of data...is there a better way...anything else you can think of that I need to know?
Thank you in advance.




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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jan.
Are you suggesting recording into Amadeus direct from the cassette player into a wav format ready for editing ? Then afterwards using their mp3 conversion to export to i tunes then onto the web.

If so I've had a look at my cassette player and it doesn't have a line-out only a headphone jack. Should i buy something else to do the job? There are so many cassettes to deal with that i may as well spend time getting the best set-up.

All the best
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dinojrx



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 78
Location: Berlin / Germany

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

The best would be to record into Amadeus and then publishing directly to the web. If there's not a special case you don't need iTunes for it. But please describe your casette deck. Is it connected via USB? Then you can maybe choose it as input in Amadeus Pro. Give us some details.

Best Jan

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Am 02.09.2012 um 21:26 schrieb ogyen <forum2mail@hairersoft.com>:

Quote:
Thanks Jan.
Are you suggesting recording into Amadeus direct from the cassette player into a wav format ready for editing ? Then afterwards using their mp3 conversion to export to i tunes then onto the web.

If so I've had a look at my cassette player and it doesn't have a line-out only a headphone jack. Should i buy something else to do the job? There are so many cassettes to deal with that i may as well spend time getting the best set-up.

All the best




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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your interest Jan,

I can see that recording directly into Amadeus saves one lot of compression loss.

I have only a portable sony cd cassette recorder CFD-S27, i think i can use the headphone socket as a line out, not sure if that's good enough. I was wondering if maybe i should buy a tape deck--some new or secondhand are still available.What do you think?

The thinking behind exporting to the web as mp3 is that we would like these recordings of teachings to be easily downloadable.

Thanks again....
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rfwilmut



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to use the Ion's USB connection to record directly into Amadeus, rather than using their software. Connect it, open Amadeus, and it should appear as a source in Preferences>Sound>Input.

Even if the Ion has analogue outputs the quality is likely to be poor - the USB connection should be better and you should at least try that directly into Amadeus before considering a new cassette deck (there is a very poor choice of new ones and second-hand might be fine, or might not).
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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really touched by the help you guys are giving me.

Thanks rfwilmut, i will try your suggestion of connecting directly into Amadeus.
Won't get a chance until later in the week, but i'll let you know how it goes.

Getting ahead of myself,but enjoying asking... about maintenance.These tapes are up to 20yrs old and i guess the Ion will fill with gunge as it will be running almost continuously.
Any merit in buying their bigger, twin Tape2pc do you think, at about £60. This is a £20 portable gadget, so maybe buy a new one as and when?
In the meantime,
Thanks again and all good wishes.
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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry,duplicate message sent!
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ogyen



Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so happy. Found time...and also the 'change output' for the Mac's sound...and the record button on Amadeus (its all new to me)...and voila...the sound wave appeared.

Thank you ,thank you!
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rfwilmut



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You asked about maintenance. It's probably difficult to buy tape head cleaner nowadays: you could try asking your local chemist to get you some isopropyl alcohol (it's not polluted the way ordinary meths is but it is legal for them to sell it). If you can't get it ordinary meths will probably do, though it's not ideal and it smells.

Get some cotton buds (Q-tips), dip one in the alcohol and use it to clean the heads and pinch roller, if you can get at them - gently!. The cassettes may will be OK - I've got cassettes going back 25 years which play OK (and open reel tapes going back 50) and mostly they are all fine. You do occasionally hit batches of tape which shed oxide (they all shed very tiny amounts but not enough to worry about if you clean the heads occasionally) - if you get one of these you'll know about it because it's usually quite bad and will necessitate cleaning the heads every few minutes. Hopefully you'll be OK.
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CDJonah_alt



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

Since you don't know what machine recorded, the suitability of any
recording recorder is, to use the technical phrase, a crap shoot. The
alignment of the recoding heads can make a tremendous difference in the
quality of the readout, and as you don't have any idea about the
alignment of the heads of the recorder(s) that recorded the material,
you have to just take your chances.

As far crud on the heads, I would clean the heads after every tape, at
least at the beginning. You can try to see how much dirt ends up on the
head and modify this suggestion depending on what you discover.

Quite honestly, don't expect too much and hopefully you will be
surprised that things may be better than you hoped.

(I created some audition tapes years ago for friends from some tape
recordings that someone else made. The best quality came not using my
tape player as the reader but using the original recorder -- almost
certainly head alignment, not that mine were bad but they didn't match
the recording machines. I wouldn't worry about the head alignment of
your machine as you have no idea what the alignment was on the recording
machine. (there are articles on the subject on the web but as I have
said, you know nothing about the recording system, I wouldn't go there).

Chuck

On 9/3/12 9:00 AM, ogyen wrote:
Quote:
I am really touched by the help you guys are giving me.

Thanks rfwilmut, i will try your suggestion of connecting directly into Amadeus.
Won't get a chance until later in the week, but i'll let you know how it goes.

Getting ahead of myself,but enjoying asking... about maintenance.These tapes are up to 20yrs old and i guess the Ion will fill with gunge as it will be running almost continuously.
Any merit in buying their bigger, twin Tape2pc do you think, at about £60. This is a £20 portable gadget, so maybe buy a new one as and when?
In the meantime,
Thanks again and all good wishes.




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Bull



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Mp3 from cassette tapes Reply with quote

I've been converting cassette tapes to mp3 for quite a while. I use a good quality cassette player connected to my Mac Mini from Headphone out to the Audio Input. JackPilot.app redirects the audio to Amadeus Pro.

The biggest headache is getting the levels right to avoid clipping. Usually I have to play a bit of the tape and watch the levels, adjusting as necessary, then rewind and record. I don't see any way to automate this procedure. A little AGC would be nice. Sometimes I've seen levels change markedly in the middle of a side of the cassette, meaning a good bit of manual intervention to get it right.

Eliminating tape hiss is a snap with AP. Just fine a bit of silence and sample, then denoise. However, if the hiss is great in magnitude, the denoising may noticeably distort the audio, and you're better off listening to the hiss.
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CDJonah_alt



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:33 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

In my local grocery/drug store, I can buy isopropyl alcohol of 100%
alcohol. I don't think isoprop is usually denatured with anything the
way ethanol is. (as my analytical chemistry prof said, ethanol is the
least poisonous of the alcohols).

On 9/3/12 11:04 AM, rfwilmut wrote:
Quote:
You asked about maintenance. It's probably difficult to buy tape head cleaner nowadays: you could try asking your local chemist to get you some isopropyl alcohol (it's not polluted the way ordinary meths is but it is legal for them to sell it). If you can't get it ordinary meths will probably do, though it's not ideal and it smells.

Get some cotton buds (Q-tips), dip one in the alcohol and use it to clean the heads and pinch roller, if you can get at them - gently!. The cassettes may will be OK - I've got cassettes going back 25 years which play OK (and open reel tapes going back 50) and mostly they are all fine. You do occasionally hit batches of tape which shed oxide (they all shed very tiny amounts but not enough to worry about if you clean the heads occasionally) - if you get one of these you'll know about it because it's usually quite bad and will necessitate cleaning the heads every few minutes. Hopefully you'll be OK.




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pm@philxmilstein.com



Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

Bull wrote:
Quote:
The biggest headache is getting the levels right to avoid clipping. Usually I
have to play a bit of the tape and watch the levels, adjusting as necessary,
then rewind and record. I don't see any way to automate this procedure. A
little AGC would be nice. Sometimes I've seen levels change markedly in the
middle of a side of the cassette, meaning a good bit of manual intervention to
get it right.

I get good results by recording at a deliberately low level -- low enough
that you're certain not to clip -- and then Normalizing later.

Quote:
Eliminating tape hiss is a snap with AP. Just fine a bit of silence and
sample, then denoise. However, if the hiss is great in magnitude, the
denoising may noticeably distort the audio, and you're better off listening to
the hiss.

A useful trick that's been suggested here in the past is to:

* Before sampling your noise selection, Amplify it by 50%

* Sample noise selection

* Restore amplitude of selection

* Suppress noise

The benefit of this is that it should halve the distorting effects of the
denoising process. If that doesn't succeed, you might want to try using some
different de-amplification ratios than 50, but 50 seems a good starting
point.


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rfwilmut



Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: cassette to mp3 Reply with quote

CDJonah_alt wrote:
I don't think isoprop is usually denatured with anything the way ethanol is.


That's correct, because it's not drinkable. Meths is ethyl alcohol (the drinkable stuff) deliberately polluted with 10% methyl alcohol (poisonous), pyridine to make it stink and a purple dye to identify it. This renders the ethyl alcohol undrinkable (not that that stops some people) so it doesn't attract tax and can be sold for various purposes.

Isopropyl is not drinkable or intoxicating, so it can be sold as it is. It is less volatile than ethyl alcohol, so it's not quite as effective as a cleaning agent, but on the other hand it doesn't contain impurities. I'm not sure to what extent the impurities matter in this context (we used to use ordinary meths to clean quarter-inch tape heads in BBC recording channels) but with the very fine tolerances of cassettes isopropyl may be better.
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