Poor quality playback for recording

I am a brand new user of Audacity and have read the Manual sections related to getting starting, recording etc. I am attempting to transfer recordings on cassette tapes to my computer and ultimately getting them loaded on my iPad. I just purchased a Pyle PT-659DU dual cassette deck. It has built in capacity to transform analog data to digital. There is a USB port on the back of the deck that I have plugged in to my HP 17-g121 wm laptop. I am exporting my recording to a wav file. When I play it back it sounds very muffled and muddy. The actual playback of the cassette through my sound system is a of a much better quality. I have no technical training in recording or electronics so I have no useful experience/knowledge to draw from. I appreciate any guidance you can provide. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

The actual playback of the cassette through my sound system

With that cassette machine?

Pyle PT-659DU doesn’t apparently have a headphone connection. If you plug it into your music system with the RCA connections, does it sound OK?

The Tape Type and Noise Suppression settings (Dolby??) have to match the tape type. Those settings aren’t optional and they’re not automatic.

If you have a working cassette machine, you could be a candidate for a simple analog to digital converter such as the Behringer UCA-202 or the more comprehensive ART USB machines like the Dual Pre.

I have “Y” cable splitters from my keyboard music system and that’s how I captured my “theater” music clips.


Sorry to be slow getting back on this. I realize I left off some information on my original post. I am using Windows 10 and the version of Audacity I am using is 2.8.2 With regard to your comments when I plug into my system with the RCA connectors it sounds very good. I am running it into a Yahama AW16G Studio in a Box. When I am attempting to transfer the cassette’s on to my computer I use my AW16G to listen to the recordings while I have the tape player connected to the computer by the USB port on the cassette player. I don’t know if that makes a difference. The Dolby settings are also the same. I don’t want to spend anymore money as I just bought the tape deck. One of the features on the Audacity software that I would like to be able to take advantage of is the ability to slow a tape recording down a bit. I have some old tapes of bands I used play in that were made from a reel to reel tape but the cassette recorder recorded them too fast. My old cassette machine had pitch control but the transfer mechanisms are shot and would a lot of money to repair. Any other ideas? Thanks for you response by the way.

When I play it back it sounds very muffled and muddy.

It’s VERY odd that there would be something wrong with the USB audio… Are you listening with the same speakers (or headphones) in both cases?

Audacity itself doesn’t mess with the digital audio stream but sometimes Windows does, so make sure [u]Windows “enhancements”[/u] are turned OFF.

You should be able to record with the AW16G, but apparently it doesn’t have a USB port so it looks like you’d have to burn a CD and rip the CD to get the audio onto your hard drive.

I have been doing the recording on the AW16G and burning a CD but will check the Windows Enhancements and make sure they are off. Thanks!