View Full Version : transfering Audio from Cassette tapes

21-04-2004, 10:49 PM
Could anyone tell me how to transfer songs from Cassette tapes to computer?
I am using a laptop. The sound card does not have a line-in socket.

21-04-2004, 11:38 PM
you say no line in, how about a micophone socket, that will allow a audio input for recording. I have done it on a desktop, so I believe there is no reason why it should not work on a laptop

Good luck

21-04-2004, 11:53 PM
Yes- there is a mic. input. I will give it a try.

22-04-2004, 11:30 AM
Using the mic-input will cause serious distortion. You will need what is called an "attenuator" to reduce the audio level down to one suitable for Mic input. Godfather or Graham L will be able to help you in more detail regarding this.

Of course it doesn't hurt to try, but when you do, make sure the volume from your cassette player is turned very very low.

22-04-2004, 01:54 PM
As Somebody says, the line audio levels are far too high for the mic input.

It's also advisable to check the mic socket connections of your soundcard.

I use the SB live card, & on this & many other cards, the mic socket connections are very different from the line input socket. i.e.

The line input socket is a stereo input, connecting the L & R channels to the tip & ring of the 3.5mm stereo plug.

The mic socket is a monaural input, connecting the mono mic audio to the tip of the 3.5mm plug. But the ring of that plug provides a small DC voltage from the soundcard, to operate the typical pc electret mics.

If these connections are the same on your soundcard, you'll see the problems. Only a monaural input, the need for an attenuator, and the possibility of feeding the DC voltage to your casette player.

Goodluck, if you decide to proceed.

22-04-2004, 06:37 PM
no you wont need an 'attenuator' all you need to do is to reduce the input level in the microphone properties.......that'll work fine..I've recorded heaps of stuff from my tape walkman to the puter by doing that.....it's just that the mic socket has a pre-amp and you got to make sure the input level is LOW........try it and see.....you mayber will need some program later to remove the tape 'hiss' and other extra noises tho...

22-04-2004, 07:46 PM
It can be done, but there will still be problems. Using an attenuator will be much more likely to remove issues such as distortion and equipment damage than simply turning the input level down low.

There is a significant voltage difference between line and mic input levels (from 0.5-2v - Line level, to several millivolts - Mic level). The excess voltage can cause damage to some equipment as it simply isn't designed to take so much power. Whether or not damage is caused, the excess signal strength will cause the preamp in the mic input to clip, and therefore cause severe distortion.

http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/line_to_mic.html is a site with a very basic attenuator circuit.

23-04-2004, 12:29 AM
Thats good information Somebody, Spot on.

But for HP4200's information, if he is handy with a soldering iron, after constructing the attenuator, can you advise how he will connect the L + R stereo audio from the casette player, via the attenuator to the soundcard monaural mic input?

More soldering needed I guess.

23-04-2004, 01:13 AM
Grateful for replies from Bazza/Somebody/Drcspy. Tks. folks.
Could I use a external USB soundcard with Line-in/Line-out sockets?
Soundblaster has an external card with digital output. Has anyone tried this card?

23-04-2004, 09:41 AM
Using an external soundcard with Line-in would be the simplest solution, and also allow you to record the audio in Stereo.

If you can borrow one from a friend, colleague etc. it will save you the expense of buying one ($100+)

Graham L
23-04-2004, 03:10 PM
Too high an input isn't really going to damage anything. Just your ears and aethetic feelings from gross distortion. :D The preamplifier just "saturates", when its output level reached its supply voltage. It might amplify voltages by 20dB (x100) or thereabout, but it can't produce an output of hundred of volts just because it gets a volt or so. It can only swing a but less than its supply voltages. What it can do is distort.

A mixer will often set the levelafter the preamplifier.

The best solution is to use a sound card which has a line level input; either a USB one, or on someone else's computer.;-) This will both get around the level problem and give both channels.

23-04-2004, 04:01 PM
Have a look at this thread (http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/thread.jsp?forum=1&thread=31554) for some tips on copying audio cassette tapes. ...

(Infringing no doubt on Susan B's copyright of Re: Music
Posted on Nov 28, 2003 7:38 PM by Susan B)