How to convert audio tape to MP3

Last updated on February 20, 2011 by , Posted to record audio

audio cassette

Surely, many of you kept the old recordings on audio cassettes. Now the audio tapes are far behind in all respects from the modern media players. But the old tapes produce pleasant memories and losing them would be very disappointing. The best way to keep old recordings will be digitizing them into MP3.

The digital remastering requires a lot of expensive equipment, software and highly skilled personnel. Can I do it at home on a PC? Let's try it. This example goes through a step by step procedure that would be used to record from an audio cassette directly to MP3. I hope your cassette player is still working?

mp3 recorder

First of all, we need an audio recording software. Our cassette to MP3 recorder is a good choice because it support real-time noise reduction.

The audio will come in through the line-in port of the sound card. It's almost always a stereo input. After installing and connecting the cassette player to the sound card of the computer, you can continue.

Download and install i-Sound Recorder from our site:

Start the i-Sound MP3 Recorder. Our first main task will be to configure the Noise Reduction properties. Then we rewind the cassette and record it in MP3.

Open Settings->MP3 and select 44100Hz sampling rate, Stereo, 128 kbps bitrate. These settings provide a good balance between quality and file size.

compression options

Open Settings->Mixer and select the "Line-In" input. Play the cassette. You should be able to hear the audio through your sound card's speakers (I recommend good headphones which will allow you to hear some of the finer audio details). Adjust the cassette player's volume so that it is as loud as possible without any distortion. Use the VU meters to be sure. When you reach that point, turn the volume down a bit more to make sure there won't be clipping in any louder parts of the recording.

low-pass and high-pass filters

Open Settings->Filters. We'll start by removing the tape Hiss. Activate Low-pass filter and move slider to 18000Hz. Next, decide whether or not you need the notch filters. If there are fluorescent lights in the room you are in while doing the recording and/or your equipment outputs an annoying 60Hz tone or buzz, these check boxes will take care of that sort of humming noise. It is easy enough for you to check each one as you listen to the output and see if they help or not.

Rewind your cassette. Play the cassette and click on the Start button. When the song or cassette is finished, click the Stop button. You should have an MP3 file ready for playback.

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