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How to Clean up Cassette to Digital, Need Help
post May 3 2003, 00:27
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Thanks in Advance for any help one of you might offer.

I am far from an Audio Pro, yet have been trying to take some old cassette tapes and restore the sound quality they originally had, and enhance it even. As for this file in particular it seems to have lost its high's and mids. When I run it through a simple EQ plugin I just dont get the clarity I need, it just sounds worse.

Here is the steps I took in recording this tape.

#1 - Used a brand new Sony Tape deck , with preamp mixer and got the sound quality as close to 0 DB as I could (as reccomended by many audio recording sites I have read). I recorded at 44.1 hz, 16 bit through my SBLIVE card. I saw no loss in quality from tape to digital.

#2 - I then loaded Wavlab and watched the spectrum analyser and saw the highs and some mids were very low. I tried to raise this up in value but it just made the sound even more distorted than it already was.

I have many tapes like this I would like to restore, re-master (or whatever the term is). I have attached this file (in original .wav format) and uploaded it to the alt.binaries.sound.mp3 newsgroup. The topic is called:

"Sound Pro's can you give tips on how to fix this Audio File? Email - Trick@lvcm.com"

You can also download the .wav file clip at - http://www.lvcm.com/trick/badwav/badwav.wav

Any help on cleanup (what software/settings to use), examples , web links on fixing this sorta of stuff is GREATLY appreciated!!!! Heck if someone wants to clean it up themselves and email it back with the steps you used to do it, that would even be better.

This advice would be Pricessless, thanks again in advance to anyone who can help this audio newbie.

Email - trick@lvcm.com



PS - I have read about the CEDAR system, is this hardware based only???
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post May 7 2003, 14:43
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QUOTE (Pio2001 @ May 3 2003 - 01:39 PM)
An MA-XG won't hurt. But in 2000, when I still recorded on cassettes, the MA had a case labeled "super precision anti resonance cassette mechanism" while the SA didn't. The flutter affecting the Bias 10 kHz calibration tone was indeed lower on the MA tapes.
I can still measure it, if anyone needs it.


Yes, but the problem is the lack of reference. It is easy to set the alignment right for a given tape, but how to set it back after this, in order to record new tapes ? The only reference I could find was pre-recorded tapes. And some of them had so weak a buffer that the tape was not properly pressed against the head. So be careful, if you turn half a revolution clockwise, remember to turn half a revolution counterclockwise after the recording.
Having a reference for speed is easier, because TDK tapes display their lenght in meters. I then calculated, granted that the tape is 135 meters, and the speed 1+7/8 ips, that a 90 minutes TDK tape should run 47 minutes and 15 seconds per side. Exeeding the rated lenght allows them to guarantee 90 full minutes even on mistuned deck (the tolerance is +/- 2 % for consumer gear and +/- 0.5 % for professional gear, IIRC, or maybe there is a 1% in them...)


Dolby C and S can be applied on recent tapes, granted the head is properly aligned. Old tapes loose treble, and the decoding process doesn't match the encoding process, so that the sound is "pumped" when dolby is set on playback as well as on record. Playing an old Dolby tape without Dolby doesn't harm much. It even helps to recover some of the lost treble. Dolby B is very sensitive to this problem.

Hmmm ... AFAIK, the TDK SA showed that SPAR-casing, too (at least until 1996 when I stopped using Compact Cassettes as a medium) ... might be that TDK removed the original SPAR-casing from the SA series for price reasons, though. TDK SA-X and MA-X had a casing named SPAR-II which was believed to be even better when measuring flutter and overall phase stablility ...


When it comes to aligning the heads, a useful method is to record a perfecly correlating (L=-R) white or pink noise (can be created via cool edit and then be burned to CD) to a good and phase stable cassette before screwing the playback head for a specific recording ... for switching back to the old position, simply play the tape, put the amp to monaural output and you will hear high frequencies on a misaligned deck ... now turn the screwdriver until the high frequencies are no longer heard ... this is the position in which the reference tape has been recorded before.


IIRC, dolby circuitry needs a perfecly calibrated tapedeck as well to work correctly (calibration is 10k BIAS and record level @ 315 Hz) ... if you play a tape that has been recorded with dolby and switch dolby off, you will hear more treble but less bass (due to compression during recording) ... remember to take care of this by using a parametric EQ afterwards ...

When it comes to "pumping" sounds (most likely on old cassette tapes), it definitely is better to switch dolby off completely ...

This post has been edited by JeanLuc: May 7 2003, 14:44

The name was Plex The Ripper, not Jack The Ripper
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Posts in this topic
- cupelix   How to Clean up Cassette to Digital   May 3 2003, 00:27
- - dreamliner77   JUst a thought If you are recording the wav's...   May 3 2003, 00:41
- - TwoJ   Hi Cupelix PSS - Cedar is a company that does aud...   May 3 2003, 01:49
- - Pio2001   24/96 soundcards should bring nothing for recordin...   May 3 2003, 02:17
- - cupelix   Thanks for the helpfuls replies guys. In response ...   May 3 2003, 02:49
- - TwoJ   Sorry Pio2001 - I didn't mean to imply that sw...   May 3 2003, 03:18
- - woody_woodward   This topic is fascinating to me. I've done se...   May 3 2003, 06:19
- - Andavari   I'm interested in what the results would and w...   May 3 2003, 06:48
- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ May 3 2003 - 01:17 AM)1-I sh...   May 3 2003, 09:37
- - Pio2001   QUOTE (cupelix @ May 3 2003 - 04:49 AM)As far...   May 3 2003, 14:39
- - cupelix   I dont know if any of you bothered to download the...   May 4 2003, 00:36
- - woody_woodward   I tried downloading the WAV from your original pos...   May 6 2003, 19:15
- - Xenion   Nakamichi Tapedeck + Nakamichi High Comp II => ...   May 6 2003, 19:21
- - Mac   I want to have a go with your file, but I also rec...   May 6 2003, 22:09
- - _Shorty   usually when it doesn't state which type of Do...   May 7 2003, 02:56
- - DickD   First, I'd agree that you should leave some he...   May 7 2003, 13:25
- - JeanLuc   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ May 3 2003 - 01:39 PM)An MA-...   May 7 2003, 14:43
- - 2Bdecided   I think the same name has been applied to differen...   May 7 2003, 17:19
|- - knutinh   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ May 7 2003, 17:19) IIR...   Oct 17 2013, 07:56
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (knutinh @ Oct 17 2013, 07:56) QUOT...   Oct 17 2013, 12:47
- - gleib   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ May 3 2003 - 05:39 AM)QUOTE ...   May 7 2003, 18:48
- - raynault   I do A LOT of Tapes, mine are all voice. First u...   Oct 16 2013, 05:26
|- - pdq   QUOTE (raynault @ Oct 16 2013, 00:26) Fir...   Oct 16 2013, 13:33
- - 2Bdecided   As neither tapes decks nor soundcards universally ...   Oct 16 2013, 14:20
- - AndyH-ha   There is nothing in the signal path to vary the le...   Oct 16 2013, 22:01
- - raynault   Usually the "pre amp" in the tape player...   Oct 24 2013, 17:40
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (raynault @ Oct 24 2013, 17:40) Dav...   Oct 25 2013, 09:54

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