Transferring Cassettes to PC

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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Folderol »

In the past, I've gone a far as setting the azimuth for best results for each track when I've suspected that they weren't all recorded at the same time, or even on the same machine!

Not something I ever want to do again!
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Tim Gillett »

It gets worse. Different azimuths, different tape speeds, different track formats, different NRs, all on the one tape! It underlines the limitations of mass, automated, or even just unattended tape digitization practices. But try and convince some managers of that...
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by RichardT »

Making sure the deck is working properly is far more important than the bit depth! That said, I agree that 24 bits is the best option for recording the transfer.
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Tim Gillett »

RichardT wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:27 pm Making sure the deck is working properly is far more important than the bit depth! ...

Indeed it is, not least because it is a large part of ensuring no damage either mechanical or magnetic is inflicted on the tape. For well preserved 50 year old tapes, their most dangerous time is likely when simply being played. But how do we achieve that in practice? Quality tape machines are likely to be decades old with few spare parts available (eg: the crucially important tape head) and even fewer skilled personnel to service them. How can the average person even test the machine's condition on all the relevant criteria? Specialised tools are also needed. This is another area where 'standards' are difficult in practice to achieve. So much easier to simply insist on the 'standard' of a 24 bit record depth. It looks impressive on paper.
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Hmmm.... I think what you're trying to say is that the chosen 16/24 bit word-length doesn't determine the quality of the cassette transfer source, and that the mechanical condition and electrical alignment of the cassette replay machine are critical in extracting the maximum audio information (ie. sound quality) from the tape.

This is all true... although wandering into the realms of professional audio restoration rather than meeting the needs of someone with a casual amateur interest in transferring some vintage personal cassette recordings.
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Tim Gillett »

Yes and amateur or pro, the result can only be as good as the playback allows.
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Re: Transferring Cassettes to PC

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

I wrote a blog post on cassette transfer specifically for the casual amateur. In the hope that kerb has not been scared off/ bored by this debate :lol:
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