Cassette duplication


Hope things are going well.

What I’m trying to figure out is how to have a digital master in multiple cassette duplication, plus how it might be possible to set up a home-made multiple cassette duplication system.


  1. Is it possible to daisy-chain cassette recorders to create multiple copies of cassettes from the computer or CD player?
  2. Or, is there a special adapter, cable, or jack that would allow several individual cassette players to attach directly to the computer or CD player to duplicate from them as a master?

    Thank you, and have a great day!
    Ms. Cosby Gibson
    New York State

<<<1) Is it possible to daisy-chain cassette recorders to create multiple copies of cassettes from the computer or CD player?>>>

You’re making audio cassettes? Voluntarily?

Ahem. It’s possible to do that, but rarely desirable. Each cassette machine will receive the accumulated distortion of all the machines that came before. Much better to drop by Radio Shack (or equivalent) and pick up a bunch of “Y” audio cables. Bring out the Line-Out of the computer and split it with Y cables until the desired number of signals has been reached. I’ve seen 10 machines successfully run like that.

The key is that the Line-Out of a computer isn’t really Line-Out. It’s really a headphone port and has a lot more horsepower to drive multiple devices than everyone thinks. So electronically, this is a perfectly valid thing to do.

You will run into the Standard Multiple Machine Problems:

OK, start them all at once. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

They all have to be plugged into the same wall power or they may interfere with each other.

You are distributing unbalanced audio, not broadcast audio. Unbalanced or “HiFi Audio” wasn’t designed to go long distances, so you may find that the light dimmer in the dining room can be heard in the duplications. If you play your cards right, you can hear the taxi drivers calling on the street outside.

Buzz and hum can come from some very amusing places. I tried to record my stand-alone FM receiver and couldn’t do it because the ground from the roof antenna didn’t get along with the wall power for the computer. What. Yes, disconnect the roof antenna and all the buzz in the system vanished. There are devices to get rid of that.


You need to keep up with boards better Koz :slight_smile: - Cosby has already explained in an earlier posting on a different thread that she is making “albums” of her own music (that she records with Audacity) for elderly relatives of hers who do not have computers or even CD players - odd to comprehend in this modern digibit world, but …

And personally I’d still voluntarily make cassettes if my car still had a cassette player - great for time-shifting radio programmes and then once heard the tape can be re-used and re-recorded again, and again - unlike the CDRs that I now use, record, play and throw away - 20c a pop is not a lot but I do hate waste and it’s not very eco-warrior friendly …


<<<unlike the CDRs that I now use, >>>

You need to get out more. Have you tried to buy a stand-alone CD player? I wanted to replace the one that failed on my sister. Can’t do it. I have installed DVD players in locations I needed to play CDs. I may do that again.

No, for the car you’re supposed to plug your iPod in which not only gives you instant access to every song you ever bought–in any order–but on-line versions of, at least in my case, all the radio shows I missed over the weekend because I was too busy.

Infinitely recyclable. No beer mats, and you can take it into the Tesco with you when you go in for beer and crisps.

That’s not what I actually do. But that’s what I’m supposed to do. If I didn’t have a fifteen year old car, that’s what I would be doing.


I do have an iPod and one of those FM transmitter gadgets that sends a signal to the radio (The car stereo does actually have an AUX in at the back - but it is being used for the CD autochanger that we had installed - partly cos when we bought the car the salesman had no idea that it could have iPod connectivity). The trouble is that my iPod is full of music (and I have more music in my iTunes library than can fit on my 30gb iPod). So there is no space for the odd radio show to be temporarily loaded on. My next purchase is probably going to be a 160gB iPod classic - this will than hold all my music (with some good headroom) - :bulb: and then the 30gb ipod can be liberated for timeshifting radio shows in the car …

:smiley: ROFL - yeah, that is until the battery fails, or the unit malfunctions - then it gets recycled to the tip and you buy a new iPod …


Thank you everyone for your great responses! I really appreciate the information. :slight_smile:

Mr. Koz, thanks for telling me about the Y cables. So it’s okay to have successive cables attached to each other?
Interesting about the hum phenomenon. I bet it takes a bit to figure out exactly where the hum is coming from!

Yes, cassettes are out dated, but as WC pointed out they are for older relatives, as well as older audience members.
(I sing/songwrite, and play guitar. Visit my “my space” if you like.) So, I will duplicate my cassettes until the last cassette machine has crumbled. :laughing:

Thanks again very much and have a great day,


I couldn’t find a good Britishism for beer. Here, it would be the 7-Eleven for a six-pack and chips. Depending on your background, that’s a seven course meal.

<<<So it’s okay to have successive cables attached to each other? >>>

As long as you don’t go insane and make thirty connections with cables that go between all the rooms of the house. Keep it modest and make sure all the connections are firm and plugged all the way in. For example maybe the whole thing spread out on a very large dining room table. On newspapers or towels so you don’t scratch anything. You can get a very nice six or seven connection power strip from any hardware store.

Another trick is to keep the power cords and the audio cables away from each other (within reason). They don’t get along. I cured a hum problem once by breaking up all the neat wire bundles that somebody made with the power cords wound tightly around the audio cables. It looked professional, organized, competent, and very designer, but it didn’t work very well. mmmmmmmmmm. You could hear the hum level go down each time I snipped apart one of the tight bundles.

<<<I bet it takes a bit to figure out exactly where the hum is coming from! >>>

They’re called Sneak Paths and people have been known to make their professional reputations by being able to find them.


Thank you so much Mr. Koz, I will limit my cable. Good thing you told me, as I’m the type who would run cables all over the house, ha, ha!

That’s cool about the sneak paths. Electricity sounds really wild!

Have a great day, and thank you again,