Tape Deck Sound Not Registering (Flatline)

I have a new TEAC cassette deck connected with RCA cables to a Dell Laptop “Mic” jack. Audacity settings are MME >> Speakers (Realtek High Definition) >> Stereo Mix (Realtek High Definition) >> 2 (Stereo Recording Channel)

When I press record Audacity is not picking up the sound. All I have is flatlines. What am I doing wrong. I’ve been trying to figure this out for about 4 hours now.

Please Please Help…

At least a couple of related things:

  1. the Audacity input you should be using should be using I snot "stereo mix - that’s for recording whatever is playing on the computer (try playing any audio from websites or iTunes and record with those settings and you’ll see what I mean). Ideally you should be looking for a “Recording Device” in the Device Toolbar with “Line In” - but see the next point …

  2. The mic input is not where you should be plugging in on the laptop you need a line-in socket, but unfortunately most laptops no longer are fitted with one of these (a few have one that can detect the signal level and auto-adjust accordingly).

The basic problem is that a mic signal is very much lower than the line-level outputs from your TEAC deck, so even if you reset the Device toolbar to accept signal from the mic input you would end up with a seriously overloaded signal.

You are going to need something like the Behringer UCA-202 which will take your line level output and convert it to a digital signal for delivery to your PC via USB. See this sticky thread: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/sound-card-reviews/8375/1

Have a read too of this set of tutorials in the Audacity Manual: http://manual.audacityteam.org/o/man/tutorial_copying_tapes_lps_or_minidiscs_to_cd.html