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 Post subject: Recording Volume
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:46 pm 
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Hi all,

I'm new to all this and am hoping for some advice. I'm trying to copy my old cassette tapes to my laptop using Spin It Again.

I'm using the play(out) of my RS-BX501 Stereo Cassette Deck to the microphone jack of my laptop.

I've set the volume in Control Panel / Sound / Recording / Microphone / Levels and setting the volume to zero.

If I set it to 1 or higher and I try to record it becomes destorted with the volume levels appearing in red on the recording wizard. Leaving it at zero I can record my tapes without a problem but when I play it back it's not very loud.

To try and adjust the recording volume in Spin It Again I'm going into Level Wizard
SoundCard (1) - Microphone (Conexant High Def)
Source Master Volume
I start playing the tape and press Start
It says Listening for Audio
After a while it then says "The Software has not detected any audio. Please check your cables and connections, and run the hookup wizard. Otherwise start playing a song"

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can adjust the recording volume or what I'm doing wrong

Thanks in advance


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Hi
I'm doing tapes myself right now.
Click on the speaker icon in the bottom right corner of your computer. You should see a slide bar [Right bar] that says 'Line In' at the top. Lower the volume there for a start. If that doesn't work let us know.
Don


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 Post subject: re
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:24 am 
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Microphone jacks are mono unless the laptop is fairly new and has a line in/mic jack in one and switches from one to the other depending on what is plugged into it.
If it remains in microphone mode, there is a mic boost from within windows sound properties that will cause the signal to be much to strong/loud.
Go into windows sound/recording properties, find the microphone settings and look for a boost check box and uncheck it. It is usually in an advanced area of the properties dialog.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:29 pm
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Thanks for the response guys

Don, unfortunately I have a 2 year old HP Pavillion laptop and I only have a mic in, headphone and spdif jack and not a "line in" option.

Eric, I went into Sounds / Recording / Microphone / Advanced

I then de-selected "Enable Audio Enhancements" and gave it another try.

The volume levels looked fine and I ran the wizard and this time it detected the source and was able to analyse.

Unfortunately when I came to play it back in i-tunes the quality has suffered greatly with a lot of "shhhh" in the background. It also doesn't seem to have made much of a difference in volume levels either

Am I suffering because of only having a "mic in" and not a "line in"?

Thanks


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 Post subject: re
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Yes among the issues you have described, microphone inputs are mono, so you are not getting the stereo music recorded, just one side.
You might want to consider a USB audio interface such as this m-audio transit. Note that i have never tried this specific model so I am not saying it will definitely work, but it should. Or maybe someone can chime in with an audio interface they know for sure works.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Hi
Another thought, if you also plan to record Vinyl you could buy a USB Turntable [also available off the SIA recommended list] with Stereo inputs that you could plug you tape deck into.
Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:13 pm 
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I've been using a Xitel INport for my turntable for years and love it. I recently bought a second one on eBay to replace the phono to 3.5" Y cable I've been using for my cassette deck and am very pleased with that decision as well. INport retails for about $80, same as the unit Don references, and the retail unit comes with a 30' (yes thirty foot!) shielded stereo phono cable. Although they're very popular, you can acquire a used unit at much less on eBay if you're patient, especially if you don't need the cable and just want to buy the adapter.

Don't know about other brands of USB converter, but the Xitel unit has very good signal to noise and the analog to digital conversion before the signal hits the PC means you don't have any issues with ground loop hum, cross talk from other sources etc.

Apple Mac users seem to swear by Griffin Technology's iMic product. You don't care that it doesn't come with PC software since you already have the best :D The Griffin product only has a 3.5" input plug, but they supply a stereo phono to 3.5" adapter.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:29 pm
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Thanks again for all the responses.

I had a look at both products you have mentioned. I'm thinking of buying the following XITEL INPORT:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0000DEB82/? ... 23o1an3p_b

So it looks as though I just need to connect my cassette deck to this and then it connects straight to my laptop via a usb cable which I can then record with great quality using SIA.

The only thing that bothered me was that in the reviews section someone had written "You can not record straight from a turntable you will need a pre amp to do this."

Ellett I know I'm using a cassette deck but I just want to be clear that all I'll need is this. As an enthusiast I don't want to be paying £100's on equipment. If this is all I'll need then I'll order it today :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:43 am 
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Most cassette decks put out a signal of the appropriate strength to input directly into an INport or into a sound card line in. I assume your deck has an output level control? If so, it has its own preamp built-in and you can use the control to get the approximate level you need and then use sia's recording level control and/or wizard to set the exact level you'd like for each cassette.

Turntables have two additional requirements; the signal isn't linear and needs to be equalized (reshaped) before it goes into your audio input device, and cartridges vary in their output levels and often need some additional preamplification.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:19 am 
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Hi again Ellett,

The cassette deck I have is a Technics RSBX501

http://www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page ... uct_ID/533

I think this has the pre-amp built in that you're referring to although I'm not very clued up on this as you may have already guessed :oops:

I'll go ahead and order the Xitel Inport and let you know how it goes :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Posts: 290
Hi
I'm curious. Do you also plan to get a USB Codec to connect to your computer, or do you plan to use some other method? Your problem appears to me to be adapting your computer to accept a sound device input that has volume controled stereo sound.
Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:53 pm 
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Hi Don,

To be honest I've no idea. I had the naive idea when I started that I could just simply buy a cassette deck, plug it into my laptop and then use SIA to convert my cassettes digitally and play them through i-tunes.

I now realise this isn't an SIA issue, but do you know what specific hardware I am going to need to connect my Technics RS-BX501 to my HP Pavillion dv2275ea laptop to use SIA or is there a site that might be able to answer.

I appreciate all the help given so far.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:46 pm 
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Posts: 290
Hi
I believe that you will need a USB Codec. The one I have is called an ADS Tech Instant Music Codec. They are not expensive, i.e. $40-$60. Mine actually came with SIA software, so it is very compatable.
You plug it into a USB Port on your computer and plug the Tape Deck into it using RCA cords. With your deck, you can also plug in your turntable to the deck input as it appears to have a preamp. Codecs are available at lots of places. I bought mine from a store caled "Office Depot".
I gather you are in England, so you might have to call an Electronics shop.
All the Best
Don


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:51 pm 
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The Xitel unit performs the same function as the ADS unit Don mentions or the M-Audio unit Eric mentions. They're all unidirectional hardware-based codecs; inputting analog audio over phono cables and outputting digital audio over USB.

Your deck should output an appropriate signal voltage for the Xitel or any other converter. Your problem is that unlike most desktops and all sound cards, your notebook doesn't have a Line In. If it did, you could use that. Mic In is mono and is set up for the different characteristics that a microphone has from a standard stereo playback device such as a cassette deck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:58 pm 
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By the way, I looked at the Amazon UK listing you referenced and that's a decent price. Xitel is an Australian company that's been around for decades, and I understand from British friends that they're widely distributed in the UK. If you read of a red box version of the product, the only difference between red box and green box is the inclusion of declicker software, and since you have sia, you don't care.


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