Help with MFA sound art thesis-recording digitally to tape

Hi all,

I am in my second and final year of a MFA program and working on my thesis. My idea is to interview people, record them, and then transfer the digital recording(using my iPhone’s Voice Memo app) to my computer. Then, I edit, and record onto my tape deck. Those tapes will then be put into Califone shoebox tape players and hung in a gallery for my thesis show.

So far, all is well. I’m looking at how people of all ages accept or resist rapid change due to technology. So, I am using an old media form within today’s new media world.

Here is a wall that I have it. The digital files are exported as stereo files, yet when I record onto the tape, and insert my headphones into one of the jacks on a Califone player, I only hear the audio in my left ear.

Is there anything I need to do digitally to get the sound balanced OR is a sound mixer needed? Any advice moving forward? This is my first step into sound art creation/mixing and need some guidance.

This may be normal. What is the model number of your Caliphone player? Apparently, they made millions.

Back in the dark ages, we did news interviews on portable Sony cassette machines. Successful, too. The machines were mono. If you plug a stereo headset in, only the left side would work.


You can do a very respectable job of sound on a mono cassette. Use both left and right and the guard band in the middle for recording sound. The ffffff noise level goes way down and the sparkly fidelity goes up. Koz

I’ve bought 2 3131AV Califones, a 3120AV, and a 3110AV.

Are you suggesting getting mono headphones? I’m sure ebay has mono cassettes. I’m just looking at options and ways to produce these interviews clips, and not sure how to move forward if I want people to put on headphones and get sound in both ears or “channels.”

That adapter will plug into a mono machine and cause the sound to appear on both channels of stereo headphones. I’m sure you can do cheaper.

I got the service manual.
califone_3110av and califone_3130av are mono machines. The wires inside the machine only support the tip of the headphone plug and cable and that’s the left headphone.


Awesome! I will check out Radio Shack tomorrow to see if it’s available in store. If not, back to the forum:)

Hi again,

The jack on the Califones are 1/4mm…do you have suggestions on where to get something that connects my 3.5mm stereo headphones to the 1/4’ mono jack that the Califones have? I have a 3.5mm stereo to 3.5mm adaptor and it fits, yet I only get one channel. Is 3.5mm and 1/4mm interchangeable-both can fit inside the jack?
Hope that makes sense.

Apparently adapter’s exist to convert a 1/4inch (6.35mm) mono plug to 3.5mm stereo socket …

6.35mm Mono Plug to 3.5mm Stereo Jack Adapter …
Commonly used for connection of 3.5mm stereo headphones to a 6.35mm mono source.

If the tapes are going to be played simultaneously it will be cacophonous, maybe splash out on some mono headphones: 6 for $10 on ebay …