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agisthos

Transfer cassette to digital, audiophile quality

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I have a recording on cassette tape I want transferred to digital.

Its not some junk, but a demo tape and the master has been lost or is unavailable.

 

How or where would I go to get it done properly. Who has the proper ADC and cassette decks for doing this?

 

 

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I would approach a recording studio in Adelaide. and ask if your requirements can be met. 

Generally they may seek to offer you noise reduction when transferring to digital - which

for the cassette medium is very worthwhile, however get one digital copy with and one without 

said noise reduction, so you can assess which is best. 

 

There are quite a few to choose from like   https://www.jrrecordingstudios.com/services

https://www.wundenbergs.com

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Mixmasters is Adelaide's go-to studio for analog tape needs, they have all the skills and gear to convert cassettes to digital.

https://mixmastersproaudio.com.au

 

It's worth noting that your cassette tape can now be simply duplicated onto a brand new cassette with tape manufactured after 2018, they are new to the market, the first new studio grade cassette in decades, which is a much less expensive way to go if you're just wanting to preserve it's contents, if your cassette is in good condition and was properly recorded this should be a perfectly acceptable method for your needs, preserving the original analogue warmth provided you can find a decent duplicating tape recorder.

 

Another option is to find a decent tape deck to play it, record the tape into a program such as Logic/Pro Tools/Cubase/Audacity on your computer and send the file to a professional studio/mastering service for any restoration needed.

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I'm not sure why you would want to preserve a cassette onto another cassette. 

Best to make a high-res digital copy (and as noted above, a copy with and without noise reduction). 

If an analogue copy is wanted, I would put it onto 15ips reel tape. 

Not so long ago it would have been archived onto a DAT tape!

 

 

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Another thought:  some cassettes suffer the same problem as some r-r tapes - the tape sticks together.  Heating ("baking") the tape in an oven under controlled conditions will free the tape for long enough to do a transfer.  I'd suggest carefully looking at your tape, and if the oxide is being removed ask a professional tape restoration expert about baking it.

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I transferred all my tapes to CD using a CDR, CD recorder, which were made by a number of companies in the late ‘90’s ,2000’s. You just plugged your cassette player in the back, set the levels and off you went. Sure there are still some available second hand for not too many dollars.

Took me ages! 

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On 29/07/2019 at 9:19 PM, Dave Inchy said:

Another option is to find a decent tape deck to play it, record the tape into a program such as Logic/Pro Tools/Cubase/Audacity on your computer and send the file to a professional studio/mastering service for any restoration needed.

Be careful connecting an analogue source directly into a computer's line input.  PC sound cards, whether a separate card, or just a chipset on the motherboard, can often add noise to the analogue signal before it's converted.

 

A decent external sound card of some sort is much better.  I have an A.R.T. USB Dual-Pre that I use in my PA system that I put to work to do this and it worked really well.  It's ADC is only 16-bit/44.1 or 48kHz, but that is more than adequate for cassettes.  Behringer, Creative, FiiO, ASUS, etc. all make products that can be used for this.

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Thanks for the advice here.

 

There is plenty of ways to convert tape, VHS e.t.c to digital yourself but the devices all seem to be very cheap and I'm not sure they will do a decent job. This is why I want to use a studio that should have good equipment, although its possible these studios just use the same garbage ADC devices that anyone can buy. and charge a fortune for using them.

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