Listening while recording

Hi, I’m a first time user of audacity, I’m on newly installed Windows7 and I’m wanting to convert my old audio tapes to CD s. I’ve made a test track and it has recorded and plays back fine, but the problem is, when I connect the lead into my audio tape player I can no longer hear the sound (in the room) so how can I do this in order to know when to stop and start the recording please. A friend suggests using a splitter jack on the output from the tape deck so I can listen on headphones, but would this affect the quality of the recorded sound? And finally, A lot of the tracks on the audio tapes are from original 78s (early blues records), should I record them in ‘mono’ mode? Thank you.

…when I connect the lead into my audio tape player I can no longer hear the sound (in the room) so how can I do this in order to know when to stop and start the recording please…

You should be able to hear the sound from your computer speakers.

A friend suggests using a splitter jack on the output from the tape deck so I can listen on headphones, but would this affect the quality of the recorded sound?

We might need to kow a bit more about your hardware & connections. A splitter (AKA Y-Adapter) may work, but headphones can potentially “load” the output and affect the sound. I assume you are connecting to a “headphone” output on the tape player? It would be easy to test that… Just start a recording and then plug-in headphones after 5 or 10 seconds. Play-back the recording and see if the sound changes a few seconds into the recording.

Connecting to a line (or tape) input into a receiver in parallel won’t affect the signal.

And finally, A lot of the tracks on the audio tapes are from original 78s (early blues records), should I record them in ‘mono’ mode?

You either record in mono, or mix-down to mono later.

In the end, it you are making a CD all audio CDs are 2-channel, so a mono CD has two identical channels.

Assuming the tapes are stereo (recorded in stereo from a stereo phonograph) you can improve the signal-to-noise ratio slightly by blending the channels and converting to mono. This is because the surface noise is random and uncorrelated in both channels, but the signal is coherent.

If you want to do click & pop removal, there is a technique where you make a stereo recording of a mono record and then copy the good channel (or best channel) into the bad channel wherever there is a click. (I use a program called Wave Repair, to fix-up digitized LPs, and this is one of its repair methods.)

DVDdoug; Thank you for your reply, I have found the drop-down menu next to the speaker icon just over half way along at the top, and changed it to ‘speakers’ and I can now hear fine what I am recording as I record it, - so simple really, Cheers! Regarding the stereo or mono recording option of mono records from a (possibly) stereo tape. I’ll read what you have posted carefully and try to understand what is best, - I suppose at the end of the day I go off what sounds best :slight_smile: Thanks again. D.L.