How can I record music without noise from a cassette deck to a sound station?

gus pedigo December 17, 2010

I record music from a cassette deck to my sound station via mixer board. The problem is when I play it back it sounds like it’s going through a pipe. Or to be more descriptive, as if I run it through a flange.

How can I get the sound to get cleaner. Is there a gizmo for that or a download?

  1. Daniel Contarelli
    December 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

    My advice is to record the thing without any filter, both on the deck player (so, without Dolby, eq, etc. on the playback side) and none in the input side, if possible, with an dedicated audio card, as Oron Roffe says. Record as natural as possible and over a RAW format (WAV or AIFF) with at least 44100 Hz and 16 bit of resolution (if more, the better). That will give a noisy track but with the maximum of information. Once you have the file on any sound editor (I prefer a VST capable one, as Wavesaur or Audacity, as Ryan Dube says), you can treat it with a noise removal filter (as Christian Budde's Noise Reduction). Generally, this kind of filters let you choise a noisy but musicless section (the in-between tracks is perfect) for make a zero (silent) base, and it works from there. Read the filter's manual, they have instructions and useful information. Also (but this is optional), you can apply a compressor filter for further enhancement.
    Good recording!!

  2. Ryan Dube
    December 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Gus, if worse comes to worse you can try the noise canceling tool in audacity. If you have a silent spot (where there's only noise in the audio), you can highlight that section and Audacity will actually go through your entire recording and remove the noise.

    Be forewarned, it's not perfect and some people don't like it - but I've personally used it often and it's saved me a number of times where I had some horrid background noise I wanted to dampen. It's worth a shot anyway....

  3. Oron Joffe
    December 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Odd, the flange effect is usually the result of *too much* cleaning.... The only other thing I can think of is if the cassette uses noise reduction (Dolby B or C or DBX) and you are playing the tape without it, or vice versa.
    As an aside, in my experience, the best way to convert the sound is to use a good quality external USB soundcard (or USB preamp) rather than the built in sound card. This ensures the conversion is done in an electrically 'clean' environment, and the quality is usually much better.