Recording from Nakamichi cassette deck

Not only am I new to Audacity, I am not an intuitive computer operator. I am attempting to convert my cassettes to cd. I use Windows 10 and downloaded Audacity and followed the instructions to create a working window recording the cassette. That’s as far as I got. I was not able to forward through the recording to label tracks. I decided to skip that and keep it as one long track and wanted to try to at least burn it that way. I followed those directions but this task was unable to be performed. As a last resort I tried to listen to the recording. It sounded like it was being played underwater at a slower speed.

I tried several times to read the instructions and forum advice, but to no avail. I am afraid that doing this through a forum will not help either (I tried doing something similar through emails when trying to learn about torrents- that didn’t go to well). I tried finding vids on youtube but couldn’t find one that covered my issues.

So with that said, is there anyone who can help me via phone or remotely? I recorded my entire record collection before selling it last year and am in desperate need of help converting the tapes to Cd. I have a Nakamichi deck. I am fine with analog, but digital/computer stuff just baffles me. I am in the Philadelphia/S Jersey area.

Thanks for any help


There is no help by telephone or by remotely taking over the computer. You might be able to find paid for software that offers that.

Make sure you are using the current Audacity 2.1.2 from You can check the version you have now at Help > About Audacity… .

Here is our Tutorial about splitting up a long recording:

And here’s the Tutorial about burning to audio CD:

You need to choose the correct Audacity recording device you are connected to in Device Toolbar. Assuming this Nakamichi is a standalone cassette deck, connect it to the computer’s blue Line In audio input that is meant for strong signals, not to the microphone input.

If your computer only has a microphone input, you may not be able to record the cassettes properly. You will definitely want to turn off microphone enhancements ( ) because these enhancements may be giving you the underwater effect. Choose 44100 Hz project rate bottom left of Audacity.

If these are stereo tapes, set the microphone to record in stereo ( ).

If you still get mono or distorted/speed-changed recordings then the recommendation is to buy a USB interface such as one of these that has a proper Line In: Connect the cable from the tape player to the USB interface, connect the USB interface to the computer, then choose the USB Audio CODEC or similar recording device in Audacity.


I am not an intuitive computer operator.

Relax, take a deep breath, and take it slowly! You’re going to have to learn new concepts, new terminology, and new software…

There are 3 steps. Take it one step at a time… You got ahead of yourself worrying about how to split the recording into individual songs before you got a good recording.

1. Recording/digitizing. Audacity can do that, but sometimes it can be tricky to set-up the 1st time and if you have a laptop computer you may need additional hardware.

2. Editing. That can be as simple as trimming the beginning & end or splitting into individual tracks, or it can involve noise reduction and/or EQ, etc. Audacity can do that too, although there are specialized applications for removing vinyl “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”.

3. CD burning. You’ll need 3rd party software for CD burning. BTW - There are burning applications that can make a CD from one big WAV file by using a Cue Sheet to place the track-markers. But, you’d have to learn how to write a cue sheet. (That’s a good way to do it if you have a live album without silence between tracks.) And, if you are making MP3s (or another digital format) you’d want individual tracks anyway.

So with that said, is there anyone who can help me via phone or remotely?

There are services that will digitize records & tapes for you, but I assume it would cost you more than buying CDs or MP3s so it’s probably not worth it unless the music isn’t available digitally.

Thank you for the replies. This is going to rattle my brain and frustrate me to no end i am sure!

I have a Nakamichi (BX-2) that I used for my digital transfers (and te original recordings) - and as Gale suggests I used an external USB sound card (in my case an Edirol UA-1EX no longer commercially available, but you may find old stock somewhere if you hunt). This produced excellent results.

This set of tutorials from the Manual covers what you are trying to do:

And if you do acquire a USB souncard this tutorial should help:
bearing in mind that a “USB cassette deck” is just a cassette deck with a built-in USB soundcard

This workflow may be useful to you too: