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Audio Cassette Recording
spase
post Jun 13 2002, 03:54
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haha the original lossy format...

the more you listen, the more it loses..

anyways, i was wondering if anyone has any tips regarding recording audio casettes directly from pc?

i have a line from my speaker/headphone out that i put into my stereo system that has a Sansui D-W10 Dual audio deck... it has Dolby B and C NR (2nd and 3rd generation?)

is there any tricks i should know, or is it more like guess and check?...

...in case anyone wonders why i would go back to this amazingly good format of recorded audio... i am tired of lugging around a car adapter and a cigarette lighter adapter and a minidisc or a cd player and all the minidiscs... so i figured id make a tape or 2 to carry with me in the car!


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gdougherty
post Jun 13 2002, 08:15
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One of the biggest issues with tape is the inconsistency of the spindle speed. If you're voluntarily chosing tape then that can't be helped anyway so who cares. Live with the degraded quality, it'll still be better than the radio in most cases. Make sure you get a good strong record level into the deck, and keep the record level (if you can adjust it) down below half volume. Gain at the deck tends to be real noisy. Listen to the input or the playback off the head after its been recorded and tweak things so you get the least amount of hiss possible. Run the average up above 0dB, +4 or +6 at the peaks is good so you have a strong volume and don't have to crank it as much when playing back.

Clean your tape deck regularly too, especially the one in your car. Dirt on the heads reduces the signal strength and does more damage to the tape. Demagnetizing is good too, I used to have a cleaning/demagnetizing cassette that worked really well.

G
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spase
post Jun 13 2002, 09:15
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how about dolby?

should i record with it?

or just turn it on when i playback, or both?


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cd-rw.org
post Jun 13 2002, 09:33
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It's always BOTH with Dolby.


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gdougherty
post Jun 13 2002, 09:40
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QUOTE
Originally posted by spase
how about dolby?

should i record with it?

or just turn it on when i playback, or both?


It does help reduce hiss, but it also cuts some of the high-frequencies if you don't have dolby capabilities on both ends. It's not a bad idea for regular recording and playback. It plays havok with high-speed duplication, but otherwise is a good thing.

G
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xmixahlx
post Jun 13 2002, 09:58
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fricken buy a in-dash cd player and catch up to 1985

lol
mike


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Jan S.
post Jun 13 2002, 13:03
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This should tell you how to do everything:
http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~abcomp/lp-cdr.htm
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Pio2001
post Jun 13 2002, 15:27
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He wants the opposite ! Not recording from tape to CD, but from CD to tape !

Use metal (type IV) tapes (TDK MA are the best quality/price ratio), and Dolby C, if your car player can support it. If not, no Dolby at all.
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Jan S.
post Jun 13 2002, 15:46
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damn! I need to learn to read the question before posting.
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spase
post Jun 14 2002, 03:04
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Pio2001
He wants the opposite ! Not recording from tape to CD, but from CD to tape !

Use metal (type IV) tapes (TDK MA are the best quality/price ratio), and Dolby C, if your car player can support it. If not, no Dolby at all.


how do i know if my car can do dolby C?

it has a dolby button...

i am guessing that if i record with dolby C and i put it in the car and turn on the dolby button and its not horribly muffled or distorted, then it can support dolby C?

hope so!


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xmixahlx
post Jun 14 2002, 03:13
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if you used dolby while doing any tape trading...you would be shot on spot.

so... perhaps you should not use dolby?


i don't know...
mike


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johnicon
post Jun 14 2002, 10:09
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If you use Dolby C, you may be disappointed. I used to have an Aiwa walkman with Dolby C (rare find), and my tapes sounded quite worse than they did on my Technics deck at home. At home, in many cases, they sounded identical to the original CDs. I did a little research on the internet and found out why Dolby C never hit it as big as Dolby B did. It seems that Dolby C is very sensitive to playback head differences between decks and that would sometime make for poor quality when played-back on a different deck than it was recorded on. The symptoms included: noise-pumping, muffled high end and this weird "wow and flutter" type of sound, although that could've been the tape transport of the walkman, which are usually inferior. Dolby B is not as affected by this. So if you're making tapes for the car you might want to use Dolby B to be safe. Dolby B sucks, but it's better than no noise reduction at all. Also, use metal (Type IV) tapes. Maxell, TDK or Sony ES. Why not just by a CD or MP3-CD player?
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Pio2001
post Jun 14 2002, 11:54
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If it's just Dolby, then it's Dolby B, not C.

With some high end 3 heads tape decks (Yamaha KX-530, Teac V2030S), I got the best sound in Dolby C. Dolby B always messed things up.

The problems from one player to another may or may not occur. If a good car player, supporting Dolby C, is well calibrated, there should be no problem.
A worse problem with Dolby is the wearing of tapes : the effect is very accelerated on tapes with Dolby, because the defects are amplified, especially drop outs, and loss of treble on the tape, that leads to dynamics amplification (pumping effect), (but never wow or flutter).
That's why I advised TDK MA tapes, that are very stable. Among the worst ones are TDK SA-XS, Fuji and Scotch tapes. These three have very impressive performance the minute after they are recorded, but one month later, there's little left of what was recorded !
I always used Dolby C, maybe these tapes are not too bad without Dolby.
Keep in mind also that car players are very hard with tapes. I don't understand why, but each time I put a tape in a car player, there was a visible line on the tape after it was played (two if both sides were played).
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johnicon
post Jun 14 2002, 12:39
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A friend of mine had an old car tape deck with dbx noise reduction. It was awesome, I think it had a 95dB S/N ratio or something, and I don't remember hearing any significant artifacts like I sometimes heard with Dolby B or C. Dolby S is even better in that it sounds as good as dbx when played back on a Dolby S deck but doesn't sound like total crap when played back without Dolby (although not great, either). Why did dbx drop off the face of the consumer planet and why did it take Dolby so many years to put out Dolby S to consumers?
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gdougherty
post Jun 14 2002, 18:43
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Mike, tape traders might run high-speed dupes which have big issues with Dolby, that's the main reason, as well as the inconsistencies between decks supporting various incarnations of Dolby.

Spase, if the money is available, a CD/MP3 player seems like the best option. I think these are getting cheaper and cheaper. Combine that with the fact that S/N of a car is probably close to 20dB and any issues with slightly decreased audio quality aren't going to be audible, and a cheaper deck (hopefully with decent amp power) doesn't look too bad. I replaced the stock tape deck from my Jeep with an in-dash CD player and was amazed at the improvement over my portable CD with tape adapter.

G
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Pio2001
post Jun 14 2002, 23:05
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QUOTE
Originally posted by johnicon
Dolby S is even better


On the Teac V2030S deck, I found Dolby S to spoil the sound quality compared to Dolby C. I only used it once, on a record in which low frequencies were "clipping", if I may say.
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godzilla525
post Jun 14 2002, 23:51
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I've found the biggest problem to be the tape deck introducing terrible flutter with every single bump. (Sport suspensions seem to really aggrivate this issue.)

As a result, I always drag out the power and cassette adapters with my portable CD-Player no matter how much trouble it is. smile.gif

I also noticed that having Dolby turned on for the car deck muffles all the treble into oblivion, though having it off sounds well-balanced. (Tape is Type IV recorded with Dolby B and HX Pro--which gives me the best-sounding results. C sounds terrible.)

I'm surprised nobody said anything about HX Pro yet. ???

...This would be a stock General Motors tape deck in a '94 Pontiac Grand Prix...

TDK seems to make the best tape. I have TDK and Maxell Type II, but the Maxell simply refuses to properly record high-frequency information without the rest of the signal dropping out. The Type IV I have is from RadioShack (bought a bunch of 60 and 120 min tapes on clearance for real cheap), and the tapes "look like" the TDK Type II that I have...


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Pio2001
post Jun 15 2002, 02:01
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QUOTE
Originally posted by godzilla525
I'm surprised nobody said anything about HX Pro yet. ???


Though Dolby made it, it's not a noise reduction. (Example : Dolby made DD 5.1 also, but it's not a noise reduction either.)

HX pro is a servo adjustment for the recording bias, it improves the high frequencies stability during recording.
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xmixahlx
post Jun 15 2002, 03:34
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magnetic strip?

that is *SO* last year.

[being a jokester]

honestly, if you are going to put time into this venture, you might as well [in my opinion] just get an indash cd player [as was suggested...] and some good ty cdrs.

i find tapes so annoying...


later
mike


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JonPike
post Jun 15 2002, 06:57
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QUOTE
Originally posted by Pio2001
If it's just Dolby, then it's Dolby B, not C.


As I recall.. Dolby C was a pretty rare thing. I bought a high end $400 Kenwood car stereo, as an upgrade for my (then new) 86 GTI... they made a big deal about it having Dolby C as well as B..

And like has been said.. you MUST use the same "type" of treatment on record and playback.. so if you'r player or stereo dosen't have C...

C did sound pretty darn good, for a cassette.. And then, those new fangled CD things showed up and it was pretty much downhill for tape..

Jan.. I almost posted the same link for the excellent LP to CD FAQ.. lotta info would apply to cassette to computer recording.. uh, if that's what we were doing! wink.gif

Jon
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rjamorim
post Jun 15 2002, 07:02
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Here's an overview of Dolby's tape recording technologies:

http://www.dolby.com/company/is.ot.0011.TechOverview.02.html

Regards;

Roberto.


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godzilla525
post Jun 15 2002, 17:15
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Great link!


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