Recording Casstte Tapes

I have an old cassette player and a bunch of old cassette tapes. I think Audacity can help me record those but I don’t know what the settings are. Any help will be appreciated.

I plug a stereo cord into the cassette player and the other end into the “Mic” plug on my PC. But when I set Audacity into “Record” mode I don’t get anything. What are the settings I should have to record the cassette tapes, or do I need other software to first get the tapes to play through the computer?

I’m using Windows 10 and Audacity 2.1.0



As it says in our setup Tutorial for recording a standalone cassette deck, the “mic” port on your computer is meant primarily for weak signals from computer mics and is thus unlikely to be suitable for the stronger stereo signals from a cassette deck.

If you have a second blue “Line In” input on the computer, connect to that. If not, and the tapes are high quality stereo music, you will probably want to buy a USB interface with a proper stereo “Line In” input meant for strong stereo signals.

As always, you have to choose the device to record from in Audacity’s Device Toolbar.

If you decide to record using a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio input on the computer, make sure the computer’s built-in sound device has proper audio drivers meant for Windows 10. See


I plug a stereo cord into the cassette player and the other end into the “Mic” plug on my PC. But when I set Audacity into “Record” mode I don’t get anything.

As Gale says, the mic input is “wrong”. But if you are getting “nothing”, you may have a newer laptop with a combination microphone/headphone jack. Regular headphones will work, but if you want to use a microphone you need a 4-condcutor [u]TRRS plug[/u] for the microphone connection.

On we state that a TRRS input is simply “wrong”, even with the adaptor. My understanding is that unlike laptop TRS “mic” ports which are sometimes “stereo compatible” and so can adjust (poorly) to stronger stereo signals, TRRS input is almost always mono and always mic level (so very hard or impossible to stop tape/LP recordings distorting).

Is that fair comment?


I am trying to record from a cassette in a walkman via a standard double-ended mic cord, using the latest Audacity. I have windows 10 and a blue plug-in at the back, but so far not getting any sound coming through into Audacity. What settings do I need?

The “latest Audacity” is 2.1.2 from our site I suggest you double-check at Help > About Audacity… that you have 2.1.2.

As explained above, you have to choose the device you want to record from (Line In in your case) in Audacity’s Device Toolbar. Click this link to read more: Device Toolbar.

Note that if you want to listen while recording, enable Transport > Software Playthrough. If you want to listen without recording, click in the Recording Meter, as well as enabling Software Playthrough.

If you need more help, please start a new topic so that if Robert replies we can focus on his issues here.