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4-track cassette to PC

 
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robrtnickerson
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Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 193
Location: Kansas USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: 4-track cassette to PC Reply with quote

I need a device that will allow me to take my unmixed musical tracks from a cassette and put them onto my computing box in order to arrange them in such a way that they may be more pleasurable to hear. Presumably I will need a thing that my 4-track recorder will plug in to that will in turn plug in to my computer. I would like to hear opinions on what that thing might be, and which of these things is best. It may also be presumed that once these tracks have been rendered digitally I will need some sort of program that would allow me to do with them as I please. Thank you for your time.
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Sloan
Sexy Predator


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 11794
Location: Atlanta GA, USA!!!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably just an interface that has two RCA inputs. Should be pretty cheap and you could probably get one for USB/USB2.
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Freddy V-C
NOD FLANGERS


Joined: 17 May 2009
Posts: 4070
Location: Leeds

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I've done this before I've put a cable from the headphone output of the 4-track to the microphone input of my laptop and then just played each of the four tracks individually, recording them on the laptop. I've had to sync them up manually afterwards though.
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robrtnickerson
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Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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Location: Kansas USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm convinced that I need some sort of unit...as to not lose any of the noises in the transfer process. Are there interfaces that have tubes in them? I am quite fond of tubes. Possibly one of those ART tube preamp/DI? I don't know the ins/outs of that operation though.
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robroe
Bon Jovi Fan Club!!1


Joined: 20 Apr 2006
Posts: 44249
Location: THE WHITE HOLE

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

go here
www.rolls.com

i have this and love it. (mine is an older white model)


http://www.rolls.com/product.php?pid=GCI404

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James
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Location: Boxingham Palace

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy V-C wrote:
When I've done this before I've put a cable from the headphone output of the 4-track to the microphone input of my laptop and then just played each of the four tracks individually, recording them on the laptop. I've had to sync them up manually afterwards though.


When you do that you can do them two at a time. Pan track 1 hard left, track 2 hard right and then record it in stereo. The same with 3 and 4. Then you have two pairs of lined up tracks and other than a little time to split the stereo tracks (which depending on your software you can even do by having two separate tracks receive the left and right signals) it will take half the time.

-----

Instead of an input box which has two RCA sockets, you can just use a cable like this.



They're extremely available because of mini-disc players and now ipods. But if it's easier, or you already have one, you can just use a standard rca cable and one of these.



With that method and the one Freddy VC is using you probably want to go into the 'lin in' on your soundcard which is the light blue input if your soundcard uses the standard colour-coding. You can use the mic in input (pink) but it would have a pre-amp on it to boost the signal so using the line in is ought to leave you with a signal that's closer to the original.

There is a chance that it will sound better using a good interface, but it depends on the quality of your 4 track and of your soundcard. It will likely be fine just going straight into what you already have.
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Doog
can i get uhhh


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 19094
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

robrtnickerson wrote:
I'm convinced that I need some sort of unit...as to not lose any of the noises in the transfer process. Are there interfaces that have tubes in them? I am quite fond of tubes. Possibly one of those ART tube preamp/DI? I don't know the ins/outs of that operation though.


Just use some phono cables and your PC's line input, and give me some of that cash you're so clearly desperate to rid yourself of.

You're already using analogue cassettes; any slight additional noise will pale in comparison to what's already there.
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Al_
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Joined: 20 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done this before, albeit with some old cassette tapes, and doing things two tracks at a time can be a nightmare to get alligned right. Tape stretches, and it doesn't necessarily stretch the same amount on successive passes. If your budget can afford it and your 4-track can accommodate it; I'd recommend getting an interface with at least 4 input channels so you can record it all simultaneously in a single pass.
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robrtnickerson
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Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 193
Location: Kansas USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doog- Trust me, there is no desperate need to rid myself of non-existent cash. I was half joking about the supposed magical powers that tubes have, the other half is just stupid.

My recordings are definitely lo-fidelity, both for budgetary and artistic reasons, and my concern with going directly from my 4-track to the computer had more to do with a likely unfounded fear that I would lose a certain amount of the signal in the process. I want them to be as loud as possible. I wasn't all that worried about an extra bit of hiss or crackle. I like that thing James said about cables and only taking half the time, I'll do that. As for the concerns about the tape stretching and causing a rift in the time space continuum? I'll just blame drummer or do one track at a time. Thanks to all for input.
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oh.my
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Joined: 19 Dec 2010
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Location: Cali-for-nye-ay

PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
I've done this before, albeit with some old cassette tapes, and doing things two tracks at a time can be a nightmare to get alligned right. Tape stretches, and it doesn't necessarily stretch the same amount on successive passes.


That's what happened to me. It never did line up right.
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