I am inputting audio from a cassette and when I burn the project to an Audio CD, it sounds a step below from the original. Where is the setting in Audacity that does not change the step? Does this have to do with pitch?
To sum, the output from Audacity is a step below, compared to the source or original.
Effect → Change Speed can be used to change the speed & pitch together (just like changing the speed of a an analog tape or record). You may have to experiment to get the timing/pitch exactly right, but that should fix your problem.
The USB cassette deck is most-likely the problem…
Here’s what sometimes happens - There is a clock (oscillator) for the sample rate (44.1kHz, etc.). If the “cheap” clock in the cassette deck is different from the clock in your soundcard, or the clock in your CD player, the playback speed/pitch will be different from the recording speed/pitch.
A similar thing sometimes happens when recording with a good quality USB audio interface (with an accurate clock) and then playing-back on a “cheap” consumer soundcard (with an inaccurate clock).
If your soundcard and your stand-alone CD player both show the problem, that would point-to a recording problem. (If you record and playback with the same cheap soundcard/device, you won’t have a mismatch and you won’t notice the problem until you play-back on a different system.)
If you have a desktop or tower computer with a regular soundcard, try recording from the tape machine’s line-out or headphone-out, into the soundcard’s line-input. (Most laptops don’t have line-in and the mic input won’t work properly.)