Recording From Tape Player

Hello all,

I have an new laptop running Windows 11. When I record from a microphone plugged into the 3.5 mm jack, it works fine. I have a portable cassette player I wanted to record from at as well. I plugged it in using a stereo cable plugged into the headphone jack and into the laptop. When I try to record, notching comes thorough. I plugged headphones into the cassette player and I hear it fine. I’ve tried different settings in the audio setup and recording device. I have an old tape of my dad telling a joke and wanted to share it with my family. I appreciate any help you all can be. I swear I was able to record this way previously.



Does your laptop have separate microphone & headphone jacks, or a combo jack?

A combo jack needs a special 4-contact TRRS connector to make the microphone contact.

You can get an adapter cable, but a headphone or line-level signals about 100 times stronger than a microphone signal and you’ll get poor quality. (The mic input is also mono, which is not a problem in your case.)

A desktop-tower computer with a line-input (blue) will work. Or you can get a USB audio interface with line inputs, such as the Behringer UCA202, or there are lots of higher-end interfaces with switchable mic-line inputs.

Thanks for your reply. The laptop is a new Lenovo and it only has one jack.
The headphones work fine plugged int it and the mic as well.
I’ve tested the cord from the cassette player and it’s fine. Also swapped it out with two other ones. I remember recording an album with an older laptop and it worked fine.
I also tried using a preamp between the cassette recorder and the laptop without any luck.
I appreciate the help and suggestion about the USB audio interface.

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