Old Rave Tape Recording

First post on here and first time using Audacity.

I’ve an old rave tape that i’d like to record.
I’ve got my stereo headphone socket to my line in on a laptop, i’ve got sound and recordings, saved as WAV.

My thing is, looking at YT videos, it looks like my peaks are too high, as the blue sound wave bit is hitting the outside of the graph a really lot.

I’m not sure how to reduce, i did see someone say to turn down this mic volume, but it’s just really quiet now?
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i should say, windows 7 and Audacity version 2.3.0

I’ve got my stereo headphone socket to my line in on a laptop

Are you sure? Most laptops only have mic-in and headphone out. The mic input will “work”, but it’s about 100 times too sensitive, it’s usually mono, and it’s often noisy.

A line-input works with line out (The RCA outputs on a tape deck or DVD player, etc.) and it also works with a headphone otput.

If you have line-in and the signal is still “too hot” reduce the recording level (the microphone icon in Audacity). 0dB (1.0 or 100%) is the “digital maximum”. Your analog-to-digital converter will [u]clip[/u] (distort) if you “try” to go over 0dB. If the recording is distorted, lowering the volume after recording won’t help.

It’s usually best to shoot for peaks between -3 and -6dB so you have headroom for any unexpected peaks. Nothing bad happens when you get close to 0dB, only if you try to go over. And, you can go quite a bit lower with no issues. Then, you can Amplify to bring-up the volume after recording.

You can use a desktop/tower computer with a regular soundcard (or soundchip) or you’ll need a USB audio interface with line-in. The Berhinger UCA202 is popular and inexpensive. (Don’t get a regular “USB soundcard” because they are like laptops with only mic-in and headphone-out.)

Hi DVDdoug,

Your right, it’s a mic in.
I’ve just ordered one of the USB audio interfaces and also cables to suit

I’ll try again once they arrive

Thanks for the tips & info.

ok, got that Berhinger UCA202, wired it in, windows seen it and installed the drivers.

got cables from my stereo headphone socket into the input of the Berhinger UCA202 and the USB cable into my laptop.

I’m not getting any sound now?

I can get sound from the wee headphone jack on the Berhinger UCA202, but no matter what of the settings on the ribbon (MME etc)

You have to enable the Berhinger USB device in Windows recording devices,
only then can Audacity (& other software) “see” it and record from it …

https: //wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Mixer_Toolbar_Issues#Mixer_Toolbar_issues_and_input_device_selection

Thanks Trebor,
That link helped.

Got it recorded now, still with a lot of spikes going off the graph, is this a problem?
Audacity Spikes.JPG
Also, any links to try to get rid if the hiss and clean it up?

Try turning down the recording volume slider

Audacity has noise-reduction which can reduce hiss. NB: unlike other effects, noise-reduction is a two-step process …
https ://manual.audacityteam.org/man/noise_reduction.html

Trebor & DVDdave,

Thank you for the tips on getting this tape recorded, got it all sorted now.

Happy days :smiley: