Digitize Cassette Tapes from Deck to SP3

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by MMS, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. MMS

    MMS New Member

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    Hi,

    I've been trying for quite a while to digitize some old cassette tapes using my SP3 and Audacity. I have several problems. First, the cassette deck I'm using only has headphones out. I'm using a 3.5 mm to 3.5 mm cable. So, I have an adapter that takes converts that headphone jack to 3.5 mm. I then plug the other end into my SP3 and try to record from the deck. I've tried every recording option (headset microphone, microphone array, stereo mix) and every playback option (speakers, headphones) in every combination and still can't monitor the recording - therefore, I can't record because I can't set the proper levels and I'm unsure the sound card can record anything. I can hear the tape if I use the converter and headphones...any suggestions??

    MShepp
     
  2. ramiss

    ramiss Member

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    Get a USB sound card and record from that.
     
  3. Spider

    Spider Super Moderator Staff Member

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    MShepp,

    Try running your line from the headphone out on the deck to the microphone in of the computer using Audacity multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows. Worked great for me, but it's been so long I can't remember any of the details.:(

    Audacity®
     
  4. rjwerth

    rjwerth New Member

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    For an number of reasons, your method isn't going to work very well. Find yourself an external DA/AD USB converter (there are literally dozens to choose from) and attach your deck that way. If this isn't something you normally need, check Craig's list for professional audio interfaces people are selling from their home studios. You can find them at nearly any price point.
     
  5. MMS

    MMS New Member

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    Hi All!! Thanks for all the advice...

    Some background... when I first tried this I did have it working for a couple of minutes but I stopped the process to get a head cleaner for the deck. Then, when I went back to re-create the settings later, it didn't work. So, technically I'm thinking it should work again...

    Next - I'm doing this with my SP3 which only has the combo microphone/headphone jack and I suspect that might be the main problem. So I'm interested in the USB sound card angle but, again I am limited by the SP3 which only has one USB input...so will it work in a hub? Also, will it work with the deck output - it is the headphone jack output, adapter and a 3.5 mm cable?

    And, how do I record to it using Audacity - where do I set the new card as the one to record to?

    Lastly, is a USB sound card the same as a DA/AD USB converter???
     
  6. rjwerth

    rjwerth New Member

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    To start your search, try googling any of the following: MOTU, RME, Sound Blaster, M-Audio. That's just for starters as there are dozens of options. You only need one USB port but yes, most will work with a hub. I do not use audacity but most likely, there is a place in their options menu to select your audio source. You will likely need one more cable adaptor to go from 3.5mm (or 1/4") stereo to either RCA or 1/4" mono pair.
     
  7. ramiss

    ramiss Member

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    The reason I would emphasize a USB sound card (which technically is an A/D and D/A converter) is because they record in stereo whereas I'm quite sure the SP3 Mic input is mono. Set your USB line In as the default recording device in Windows if Audacity doesn't have a setting.
     
  8. Eldergeek

    Eldergeek New Member

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  9. MMS

    MMS New Member

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    Eldergeek, that sounds good...have you used it with the mic/headphone input on a Surface Pro 3?
     
  10. musika

    musika New Member

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