View Full Version : recording from tapes

19-08-2002, 05:09 PM
I have saved tracks from Cd to Media player.

How do I save ordinary tracks from a home sound tape on to Windows Media player so that I can put them on to disc.?

Do I need a special program?

19-08-2002, 05:27 PM
You will need to feed the tape signal into the line input socket on your sound card, from the line out socket on the tape deck (NOT the speaker socket)

This months issue of PC User magazine has a free program for recording LPs onto CD, would be suitable for Tapes I think.

Not sure if Media Player can record analogue to file. Cds are different, as they can be "ripped" electronically from the CD drive. Be aware that recording tape will not give you any better sound than currently on the tape, in fact slightly worse, as it will lose a bit in the final transition.

19-08-2002, 05:34 PM
It's free and will do it just fine
Second, you'll need a double ended 3.5mm Headphone Jack Style Cable!!!
Then, plug one end into a stereo headphone jack and the other into your mic or line-in jack. Load up Goldwave, hit play on your stero and record on Goldwave (Hold Ctrl for the first time) and you can adjust the levels by using the volume knob on your stereo!!!

I do that all the time at church for recording the messages and digitally encoding them to MP3's. you'll need to download Lame or Blade Encoder, just search google and extract the files to your windows directory!

Hope this helps


19-08-2002, 06:01 PM
Hi, there was a recent thread discussing vinyl to CD and the same rules will apply to tape. Have a look at some of the suggestions in there and Bruce Buckman has put a couple of good links in there as well.


As with recording anything the quality of the original effects what it will sound like at then end so for your tapes make sure you FFWD then RWND a couple of times so the tape is not too tight.

Hopefully you can get some decent sound off the free software suggested. The benefit of professional software like Soundforge/Cool Edit etc enables the recording to manipulted afterwards so the decibels are pumped up as needed without losing too much definition and has many other features like fade in-out which can be handy if the end of the track sounds poor and you have enough of the song to meet your tastes. But these are professional tools and can be quite expensive.


19-08-2002, 07:04 PM
Hi Alan: Lots of good advice there, but don't feed your audio into the soundcard mic input. It is not a stereo input. One connection on that socket provides a small DC voltage needed to operate the typical pc electret mics. Use the soundcard line input to connect to the tape line output.

I use MusicMatch to record to hard drive, from many sources, like tape, vinyl, vcr, etc. It works fine. In MM one can select the desired input, and also select the record mode such as MP3, WMA, and the desired bitrate. Of course once recorded you can burn the CD.


The basic version is free.

19-08-2002, 07:27 PM
Also the volume control on your stereo may not (should not) control the "line out" level, and stereo "line out" is often 2 - RCA sockets, not a 3.5mm socket

Agree with Bazza, never use mic input, as besides the voltage issue the signal level and impedance are mismatched and increase distortion.

20-08-2002, 04:35 PM
Really, I use it both ways, from my stereo headphone jack (With the volume knob always controlling how loud it is, Pretty crap stereo if it doesn't, and simply pumps out at max through headphones) to the line in jack of my laptop, this has enabled me to get lovely recordings of things of video cassette for example, as that runs through my stereo. I was able to do a recording off the movie The Wedding Singer, and I got Linda's Song recorded just fine, using Goldwave of course. I also play MP3's through many sound systems, plugging it into the mic jack of a stereo system and the headphone jack of my laptop! Its best to turn it right down at the source end otherwise as stated, it will distort. But doing a recent disco for the church youth group using this technique proved very effective, compared to having to change CD's all the time. It does work, and very easily too, just play around for half and hour and you'll get it no sweat!


BTW, Since recording Linda's Song, 4 other friends have made cables using parts from DSE, and now run a cable from their PC's, usually in one room, to their home theatre systems, usually in a second room!!!!

20-08-2002, 05:35 PM
The "headphone socket" is NOT the line out socket. The impedance mismatch is quite severe when you do that, and your "lovely sound" would be even nicer if it was matched. (mismatch about 4:1 impedance wise and 20:1 voltage wise?)

Of course the volume control works on headphone out, it shouldnt on line out as the levels are pre-matched to international standards to line in. Then you never need to worry about settings, its always optimum.

In real figures the Line In is around 1 volt audio (as is Line Out)
The microphone input is 0.05v. You need to have the stereo audio running at low level (down in the noiser part of its range) or you will overload the Mic input.

20-08-2002, 05:37 PM
hmm... okay, it still works but, and as of yet, no damage has been done to any audio equipment, thanks anyways!


21-08-2002, 09:57 AM
Thanks to all who replied. Wonderfull. Now all I have to do is apply it.