first time user

I’m attempting to convert old Cassette tapes to digital. I’ve plugged a cassette player into the mic, started up Audacity,
not sure which microphone in Audacity to choose so I’ve tried them all, hit record and started my player.
result: Nothing.

Just to be sure my cassette player (20-30 years old found in a closet) was working, I plugged headphones into the player and found that I was good to go. The problem is with A) Audacity (or my ignorance of proper procedures) -or- B) the computer mike — turned on? right mike?

any ideas would be appreciated

Computers haven’t had good stereo connections in years. Even Macs gave up.

I use a Behringer UCA-202 stereo adapter. It’s designed to connect older analog equipment to your computer.

That also gives you a convenient place to plug in your headphones to see if the sound made it that far.

If you want to continue to mess with the computer (laptop, right?), then we should wait for a Windows elf. There’s ways to check what that one single audio connection is doing and how it’s configured. Some laptops have a headset connection with a mono microphone and you will never get a stereo recording.


I’ve plugged a cassette player into the mic

The microphone input can “work” but it’s “wrong” for a line-level or headphone-level connection and you’ll usually get very-poor poor quality. Since you’re getting “nothing” you may have a combination microphone/headphone jack and you’d need a 4-conductor TRRS plug/adapter to make the microphone connection (and you’d still have the “wrong connection” and poor quality).

The line-input (color coded blue) on a regular soundcard in a desktop/tower computer is fine. Do NOT buy a regular “USB soundcard”. They are like laptops with only mic-in and headphone-out. You need a line-input.

For more information - [u]Tutorial - Copying tapes, LPs or MiniDiscs to CD[/u]

If you do have a desktop, your soundcard is actually a card and should look lot like that.

From the top: Stereo Out (Headphone Out), Stereo In (the one you want) and Microphone In with 5 volt computer phantom power.

Your adapter cable should look a lot like this.


I have desktop machines with theatrical surround sound and those are a good deal wackier. Consult your instructions.