I am trying to save to my computer a concert, which has been recorded on minidisc. It’s the first time I am using Audacity. The first attempts aren’t good at all. The quality of the sound is horrible, very distorted.
I have a Windows 8.1 64 laptop. I have a cable with 3.5 jack, which I introduce into the headphones zone for the minidisc recorder and into the microphone jack into the laptop.
Any suggestions how I might get this right?
The Microphone connection on the laptop is only to connect microphones.
Chances are good your computer has no stereo Line-In. Many laptops don’t.
I have been able to use a Behringer UCA202 to adapt stereo connections to my laptop.
Some USB Audio adapters like the Startech ICUSBAUDIO can not be used because they just duplicate the wrong connections you already have. So you do have to pay attention.
My experience corroborates kozikowski’s answer… the mic preamp on your laptop may be overdriven by the minidisc headphone out.
I use a Tascam US-144 for inputs to my laptop. A patch cord with 3.5mm stereo jack to RCA L&R jack will help here, but you’ll need a pair of RCA-to-1/4" to convert to the inputs.
After that, a USB 2.0 cable will get you the rest of the way.
There’s an updated version, the US-144mkII. For about $130 US street price, it’s a handy gadget to have.
There are some USB soundcards that will accept a digital input (thus avoiding the need to go from Digital => Analog => Digital with possible data losses).
My old Edirol UA-1EX does that, that’s one of the reasons I bought it for my MiniDisc transfers - unfortunately it is no longer manufactured, though there are still some available if you search t’interweb.