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Recording from cassette tape

PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:03 pm
by John Pettit
Hi All,

I am trying to record to WavCor from a cassette tape (which I have recorded myself via a Technics Cassette Deck) to my PC. When I click on the 'Record' icon, I am able to enter a name for my new recording and it has '.wav' already in file format by default; but when I select 'Save' I get the message:
"The specified format is not supported or cannot be translated. Use the 'Capabilities' function to determine the supported format".

As '.wav' is the default format where lies my error?

I am also unable to find a 'Capabilities' function under any menu.

While we are about it (!), if able to solve the above, can I record the left channel and then convert to a mono output on both channels? I have tried using a splitter with one microphone into the two sockets on my cassette deck left and right 'mic' inputs, but only one Vu meter shows a signal.

I am perplexed! Over now to the experts!!!!

Cheers,

John

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:16 pm
by Derek
Hello John

Yes the error message is a little cryptic. It's produced by the Windows multimedia system and it usually means that the input device you've selected is incompatible with the file format you're trying to record. Use the Devices command on the Wave Corrector File menu and select your soundcard as the 'Record Device'. Please let me know if this does not solve the problem.

Unfortunately no, you cannot convert from stereo to mono or vice versa with Wave Corrector. Sorry. There is a free program called 'Audacity' that will probably do what you require.

all the best

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:20 pm
by renowden
Hi,

cassette tapes are not really a mono medium. Even the early Phillips mono cassette recorders wrote to both the left and right tracks on the tape so when you play back on a stereo deck you get an equal (or at least similar) signal on both channels. Some specialist applications may have used the media one track at a time (even all four separately) but usually you would have the original equipment available.

You should be connecting the output of the stereo cassette deck to the line in sockets of your sound card, not the microphone socket. Using a straight through cable left to left and righ to right (usually with a 3.5mm stereo jack on the sound card end) will do the job.

There are some benefits in converting to single track mono anyway even for a dual mono original recording. The digital files are smaller and you get a more even result, especially with poor quality originals. WaveCorrector works very well with single channel mono wave files.

If you do need to do this then I have done it for a mono reel to reel recorder using Audacity and will be happy to explain the method here.

Re: Recording from cassette tape

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:46 pm
by Glenn
John Pettit wrote:I have tried using a splitter with one microphone into the two sockets on my cassette deck left and right 'mic' inputs, but only one Vu meter shows a signal.

I am perplexed! Over now to the experts!!!!

Cheers,

John

This is perplexing. What type of splitter and mic are you using?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:06 pm
by dave.daniells
You say that Wave Corrector won't convert mono to stereo or vice versa, but Microsoft's Sound Recorder will, and has the virtue of being standard software within Windows. (find it from the START menu, in All Programs -- Accessories -- Entertainment)

Fire it up and you can load any WAV file. Then click on properties (in the FILE menu) where you will find an option to convert formats.

Note: WAV files are termed PCM within this program, but having accepted that one can change from stereo to mono or vice versa (although in the latter case, both channels will have the same signal). However it also performs conversions between various bit-depths and sample rates.

I've been using this for years to simplify the correction of old mono vinyl, when one channel is seriously noisier than the other. I just use repeated applications of Wave Corrector's Channel-Balance command to virtually eliminate the sound from the unwanted channel, and save the file. This is then opened in Sound Recorder and converted to mono, and then back to stereo, and then the subsequent Wave Corrector session becomes much less demanding.