Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

WAV Recording From Micro-cassette player/recorder

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:57:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Hello,

When I connect my micro-cassette player/recorder to the
sound-card of my PC, and play a tape containing family
conversations thru the computer's sound-card & speakers, it
sounds about as good as one would expect.

But when I use recording software (set to 44 100 Hz (CD) &
16-bit) to make a WAV recording of the same conversation (same
tape input), it sounds noticeably "muddier" on playback.

Is this quality loss in recording to be expected with the above
settings?

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 2:57:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" wrote ...
> When I connect my micro-cassette player/recorder to the
> sound-card of my PC, and play a tape containing family
> conversations thru the computer's sound-card & speakers, it
> sounds about as good as one would expect.
>
> But when I use recording software (set to 44 100 Hz (CD) &
> 16-bit) to make a WAV recording of the same conversation (same
> tape input), it sounds noticeably "muddier" on playback.
>
> Is this quality loss in recording to be expected with the above
> settings?

Do you have more than one input (the one from your micro-
cassette player) enabled/turned up?

Are you recording "stereo"? The channels may be cancelling each
other. Recommend mono.
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 3:08:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <j4ibc1tio22q5tvdvg4f9lgcfmktdiqpjq@4ax.com>,
tbl <please_no@spam.net> wrote:

>When I connect my micro-cassette player/recorder to the
>sound-card of my PC, and play a tape containing family
>conversations thru the computer's sound-card & speakers, it
>sounds about as good as one would expect.
>
>But when I use recording software (set to 44 100 Hz (CD) &
>16-bit) to make a WAV recording of the same conversation (same
>tape input), it sounds noticeably "muddier" on playback.
>
>Is this quality loss in recording to be expected with the above
>settings?

Shouldn't be. With those settings, you ought to be able to get a
recording which is audibly transparent - the quality of the digital
recording should be far superior to the source material (the
microcassette) and thus should sound identical to the source material.

Something isn't right.

--
Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO
Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
Related resources
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 4:54:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 1 Jul 2005 16:05:47 -0700, "Richard Crowley"
<richard.7.crowley@intel.com> wrote:


> Do you have more than one input (the one from your micro-
> cassette player) enabled/turned up?


Hmmm... Yup, sure do (defaults) will definitely check this out!
Thanks!


> Are you recording "stereo"? The channels may be cancelling each
> other. Recommend mono.

Mono is what I've been using.

Thanks for the ideas, Richard. I'm off to investigate your first
one right now!

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 4:55:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 01 Jul 2005 23:08:22 -0000, dplatt@radagast.org (Dave
Platt) wrote:


> Shouldn't be. With those settings, you ought to be able to get a
> recording which is audibly transparent - the quality of the digital
> recording should be far superior to the source material (the
> microcassette) and thus should sound identical to the source material.


Superior to the original? Is that really possible?


> Something isn't right.


That's what I was hoping to hear.

Thanks for your reply.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 8:25:28 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

In article <9epbc1tutkinr3o762ruvas9016g7q99rj@4ax.com>,
tbl <please_no@spam.net> wrote:

>> Shouldn't be. With those settings, you ought to be able to get a
>> recording which is audibly transparent - the quality of the digital
>> recording should be far superior to the source material (the
>> microcassette) and thus should sound identical to the source material.

>Superior to the original? Is that really possible?

What I meant is: the sonic limitations and flaws in the original
material, are so much greater than any flaws or limitations inherent
in a CD-quality digitization, that you should not be able to tell the
difference between the original, and the recorded-and-played-back
copy.

If the signal is being audibly degraded by being recorded and played
back, it's a sign that something's wrong with that process!

--
Dave Platt <dplatt@radagast.org> AE6EO
Hosting the Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 11:11:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
news:j4ibc1tio22q5tvdvg4f9lgcfmktdiqpjq@4ax.com
> Hello,
>
> When I connect my micro-cassette player/recorder to the
> sound-card of my PC, and play a tape containing family
> conversations thru the computer's sound-card & speakers,
it
> sounds about as good as one would expect.
>
> But when I use recording software (set to 44 100 Hz (CD) &
> 16-bit) to make a WAV recording of the same conversation
(same
> tape input), it sounds noticeably "muddier" on playback.
>
> Is this quality loss in recording to be expected with the
above
> settings?

Just monitoring an analog source uses different paths and
functions of the sound card than does recording and
playback. When the paths are different, the sound quality
can be different. Usually, recording and playing back is
much more of a test of the quality of the sound card.

Which sound card is this?
Anonymous
July 2, 2005 3:26:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 02 Jul 2005 00:55:49 GMT, tbl <please_no@spam.net> wrote:

>
>> Shouldn't be. With those settings, you ought to be able to get a
>> recording which is audibly transparent - the quality of the digital
>> recording should be far superior to the source material (the
>> microcassette) and thus should sound identical to the source material.
>
>
>Superior to the original? Is that really possible?

No, of course not. What he meant was that the digital system has
capability to record anything the cassette could send it - and more.
Whatever problems you're having are not down to inherent limitations
of the digital system.

Problems with recording - digital or analogue - usually centre on one
of two things.

Incompatibility of signal and input. VERY few signals are ideally
compatible with a computer Mic input, but this seems the obvious one
to use! You'll get SOMETHING from a headphone output to a Mc input,
but it won't be good.

Bad signal levels. If your source has a fixed output level and you're
feeding a standard computer sound system without a controllable preamp
or mixer in between, you just have to trust to luck that levels are
optimum. Mostly, of course, they won't be. If the input is too low
you'll get a noisy recording. If too high you'll get digital
overload, which is really nasty distortion resulting in an unusable
recording.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 12:53:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 07:11:31 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
<arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:


> Just monitoring an analog source uses different paths and
> functions of the sound card than does recording and
> playback. When the paths are different, the sound quality
> can be different. Usually, recording and playing back is
> much more of a test of the quality of the sound card.
>
> Which sound card is this?


The folded sheet of paper that is labeled "User's Guide" is
titled "DCS S819 PCI Sound Card". In the Win2k Device Manager it
seems to be listed as (or having) an ESS controller. One of the
chips on the board is labeled with "ES 1938". Bought about
2/4/2001.

Thanks for your explanation. It certainly makes sense.

I would have guessed that a micro-cassette mono voice recording
would have posed no challenge to *any* reasonably modern sound
card, but perhaps I should not guess so much.

BTW, the two softwares that I've tried recording with are Nero
WAV editor and JetAudio.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 10:03:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
news:46vdc19vk7hinon4trjq4udrfet5ktvh5s@4ax.com

> On Sat, 2 Jul 2005 07:11:31 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
> <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:

>> Just monitoring an analog source uses different paths and
>> functions of the sound card than does recording and
>> playback. When the paths are different, the sound quality
>> can be different. Usually, recording and playing back is
>> much more of a test of the quality of the sound card.

>> Which sound card is this?

> The folded sheet of paper that is labeled "User's Guide"
is
> titled "DCS S819 PCI Sound Card". In the Win2k Device
Manager
> it seems to be listed as (or having) an ESS controller.
One
> of the chips on the board is labeled with "ES 1938".
Bought
> about 2/4/2001.

Oh, the ESS 1938 chipset - well known to be noisy while
recording.

> Thanks for your explanation. It certainly makes sense.

> I would have guessed that a micro-cassette mono voice
recording
> would have posed no challenge to *any* reasonably modern
sound
> card, but perhaps I should not guess so much.

This sound card is (take a breath) 4 years old. The
performance of bottom-buck audio interfaces has improved
quite a bit in the past 4 years.

> BTW, the two softwares that I've tried recording with are
Nero
> WAV editor and JetAudio.

As a rule, in situations like this one the software isn't
the problem - the hardware is.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:57:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 4 Jul 2005 06:03:37 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
<arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:


> Oh, the ESS 1938 chipset - well known to be noisy while
> recording.


Aha!


> This sound card is (take a breath) 4 years old. The
> performance of bottom-buck audio interfaces has improved
> quite a bit in the past 4 years.
>
> As a rule, in situations like this one the software isn't
> the problem - the hardware is.


More traction. Thanks for helping to focus on the root of the
problem.

Sounds like it's time for a trip to my trusted computer store.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 8:23:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
news:46vdc19vk7hinon4trjq4udrfet5ktvh5s@4ax.com...
> I would have guessed that a micro-cassette mono voice recording
> would have posed no challenge to *any* reasonably modern sound
> card, but perhaps I should not guess so much.

It's a simple matter to test the actual soundcard performance with the free
software available at http://audio.rightmark.org

MrT.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 8:23:41 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 4 Jul 2005 16:23:40 +1000, "Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote:

>
> "tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
> news:46vdc19vk7hinon4trjq4udrfet5ktvh5s@4ax.com...
> > I would have guessed that a micro-cassette mono voice recording
> > would have posed no challenge to *any* reasonably modern sound
> > card, but perhaps I should not guess so much.
>
> It's a simple matter to test the actual soundcard performance with the free
> software available at http://audio.rightmark.org


After all my Googling, I didn't see that one. Thanks!

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 6:52:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Mon, 4 Jul 2005 16:23:40 +1000, "Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote:

>
> "tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
> news:46vdc19vk7hinon4trjq4udrfet5ktvh5s@4ax.com...
> > I would have guessed that a micro-cassette mono voice recording
> > would have posed no challenge to *any* reasonably modern sound
> > card, but perhaps I should not guess so much.
>
> It's a simple matter to test the actual soundcard performance with the free
> software available at http://audio.rightmark.org


Simple, eh? <sheepish grin>

That seems to be what the author thinks, as well.

I gave it a couple of hours, but only got error messages. At
this 5, I can't remember what they were, but I do remember seeing
several messages about those errors on the web page for RMAA, and
will go back and take another look when schedule permits. It
seems to me that not many of the software author's comments were
very helpful (more condescending, than anything), but I will give
it another go.

If I can't get RMAA to tell me much about the card I have, I
think I'll just give priority to the clock, and pick up something
like the Turtle Beach Catalina (around $50 US).

Unless, of course, some kind, educated soul feels like telling me
a better choice for the money. All I need at the moment is the
best possible (within reason) digital recording from 20-year old,
analog, microcassettes.

I've spent a number of hours (dialup) trying to find reviews that
might give me a better idea of what to buy, but just never found
anything that very closely tested for, or talked about what I
need to do. If I were smarter about audio electronics it would,
no doubt, help, but the real world (clock) is closing in.

My worst fear is that after buying a new card and spending the
time to install it, the problem remains unchanged... been there,
done that with other computer problems.

Thanks again for the tip on RMAA.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 5:02:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
news:khfqc1pptv3o5n6g4os2k6d5nomesau02l@4ax.com...
> > It's a simple matter to test the actual soundcard performance with the
free
> > software available at http://audio.rightmark.org
>
>
> Simple, eh? <sheepish grin>
>
> That seems to be what the author thinks, as well.
>
> I gave it a couple of hours, but only got error messages. At
> this 5, I can't remember what they were, but I do remember seeing
> several messages about those errors on the web page for RMAA, and
> will go back and take another look when schedule permits. It
> seems to me that not many of the software author's comments were
> very helpful (more condescending, than anything), but I will give
> it another go.
>
> If I can't get RMAA to tell me much about the card I have, I
> think I'll just give priority to the clock, and pick up something
> like the Turtle Beach Catalina (around $50 US).
>
> Unless, of course, some kind, educated soul feels like telling me
> a better choice for the money. All I need at the moment is the
> best possible (within reason) digital recording from 20-year old,
> analog, microcassettes.
>
> I've spent a number of hours (dialup) trying to find reviews that
> might give me a better idea of what to buy, but just never found
> anything that very closely tested for, or talked about what I
> need to do. If I were smarter about audio electronics it would,
> no doubt, help, but the real world (clock) is closing in.
>
> My worst fear is that after buying a new card and spending the
> time to install it, the problem remains unchanged... been there,
> done that with other computer problems.
>
> Thanks again for the tip on RMAA.


I'm sorry you are having problems. However I strongly advise you to take
some time to learn what is happening with your current system. You are
probably not connecting things properly or setting mixer levels etc.
incorrectly.

A new sound card may have far better performance than your current one, but
you still need to know how to install and use it properly.

Take some time to learn, and you will be rewarded by the knowledge.

BTW the RightMark web site even has tests of many soundcards for you to
compare.


MrT.
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 5:02:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote in message
news:42cdecdf$0$20028$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...
>
> "tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
> news:khfqc1pptv3o5n6g4os2k6d5nomesau02l@4ax.com...
>> > It's a simple matter to test the actual soundcard performance with the
> free
>> > software available at http://audio.rightmark.org
>>
>>
>> Simple, eh? <sheepish grin>
>>
>> That seems to be what the author thinks, as well.
>>
>> I gave it a couple of hours, but only got error messages. At
>> this 5, I can't remember what they were, but I do remember seeing
>> several messages about those errors on the web page for RMAA, and
>> will go back and take another look when schedule permits. It
>> seems to me that not many of the software author's comments were
>> very helpful (more condescending, than anything), but I will give
>> it another go.
>>
>> If I can't get RMAA to tell me much about the card I have, I
>> think I'll just give priority to the clock, and pick up something
>> like the Turtle Beach Catalina (around $50 US).
>>
>> Unless, of course, some kind, educated soul feels like telling me
>> a better choice for the money. All I need at the moment is the
>> best possible (within reason) digital recording from 20-year old,
>> analog, microcassettes.
>>
>> I've spent a number of hours (dialup) trying to find reviews that
>> might give me a better idea of what to buy, but just never found
>> anything that very closely tested for, or talked about what I
>> need to do. If I were smarter about audio electronics it would,
>> no doubt, help, but the real world (clock) is closing in.
>>
>> My worst fear is that after buying a new card and spending the
>> time to install it, the problem remains unchanged... been there,
>> done that with other computer problems.
>>
>> Thanks again for the tip on RMAA.
>
>
> I'm sorry you are having problems. However I strongly advise you to take
> some time to learn what is happening with your current system. You are
> probably not connecting things properly or setting mixer levels etc.
> incorrectly.
>
> A new sound card may have far better performance than your current one,
> but
> you still need to know how to install and use it properly.
>
> Take some time to learn, and you will be rewarded by the knowledge.

Not to pile-on, but I agree completely. Unless your sound card is
broken, the symptoms sound more like operator error (unfamiliarity
with the process and equipment). Installing a new sound card will
do nothing but deplete your bank acount. And it is not clear to me,
at least, how making measurements is helping?
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 10:00:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Richard Crowley" <richard.7.crowley@intel.com> wrote in message
news:D al7cg$va6$1@news01.intel.com...
> Not to pile-on, but I agree completely. Unless your sound card is
> broken, the symptoms sound more like operator error (unfamiliarity
> with the process and equipment). Installing a new sound card will
> do nothing but deplete your bank acount. And it is not clear to me,
> at least, how making measurements is helping?

Well, once he has determined how to use his current set-up properly, he can
then determine fairly easily, and at no cost, whether his current soundcard
is adequate for his purposes or not.
He can then determine whether to buy a new one based on knowledge rather
than ignorance.

I think we are in agreement that it is unlikely to be a problem when
recording from a micro-cassette player however. But it's not impossible I
guess.


MrT.
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 10:00:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 9 Jul 2005 18:00:36 +1000, "Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote:



> Well, once he has determined how to use his current set-up properly, he can
> then determine fairly easily, and at no cost, whether his current soundcard
> is adequate for his purposes or not.
> He can then determine whether to buy a new one based on knowledge rather
> than ignorance.
>
> I think we are in agreement that it is unlikely to be a problem when
> recording from a micro-cassette player however. But it's not impossible I
> guess.


In trying to use the RMAA tool, I can't seem to find a gain level
that the tool will accept. It either tells me the volume is too
loud or too soft--no in-between. If I try to run a test anyway,
it tells me that no data was produced.

I'm really beginning to think this card is defective or not
working as the designers intended, for whatever reason.

I noticed a blurb on one of the Audacity pages that mentioned
something about IRQs and different slots, so I'm going to look
into that next. If that doesn't get me anywhere, I might just
opt for a SB Live at a local store for about $15.

Thanks for the inputs.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 10, 2005 7:11:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"tbl" <please_no@spam.net> wrote in message
news:ac00d1pe7ggd9dks2rrsfseissb376o4f7@4ax.com...
> I'm really beginning to think this card is defective or not
> working as the designers intended, for whatever reason.
>
> I noticed a blurb on one of the Audacity pages that mentioned
> something about IRQs and different slots, so I'm going to look
> into that next.

I doubt it is an IRQ problem in your case, but I would check first to see if
there are later drivers than the ones you are using.

> If that doesn't get me anywhere, I might just
> opt for a SB Live at a local store for about $15.

The SB Live should be adequate for your purpose, and may be worth a try for
the minimal cost involved.

MrT.
Anonymous
July 23, 2005 9:50:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 15:11:09 +1000, "Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote:


> The SB Live should be adequate for your purpose, and may be worth a try for
> the minimal cost involved.


Finally got it installed today. Problem solved! Recordings
sound as clean to me as directly playing.

Thanks for all the help, everyone.

--
tbl
Anonymous
July 25, 2005 8:00:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sun, 10 Jul 2005 15:11:09 +1000, "Mr.T" <MrT@home> wrote:


> I doubt it is an IRQ problem in your case, but I would check first to see if
> there are later drivers than the ones you are using.
>
> > If that doesn't get me anywhere, I might just
> > opt for a SB Live at a local store for about $15.
>
> The SB Live should be adequate for your purpose, and may be worth a try for
> the minimal cost involved.


Success! Got the SB Live 24-bit card and did a "drivers only"
installation, and the wav recordings are now as clean as a
play-thru, as far as my ears can tell. It appears that the
DCS/ESS card was the problem.

Thanks for all the help.

--
tbl
!