Tape to MP3 - improving sound quality

Hi all
I have some homemade tapes I want to put on mp3. Some of them are just spoken word and I think I’ve figured out how to reduce the hiss on these, but when I try doing one of a concert with a lot of noise, if I play it too loud from the cassette player then the sound is distorted; if I play it too quietly then I just get the hiss. I’ve tried ‘noise repair’ but don’t do a good job of it as i don’t really know what I’m doing! Any help for a novice gratefully recieved. Thanks.

How is the cassette player connected to the computer?

There’s only so-much you can do with a bad recording… There’s a reason that pros still record in soundproof studios with good equipment, etc.

Noise reduction works best when you don’t really need it… When you just have a constant low-level background noise. If the noise is bad, sometimes you get artifacts (side effects) and “the cure can be worse than the disease”. You have to play with it to see if you can make an improvement…

If you don’t “try to” go over 0dB digitally you won’t add any additional distortion. Otherwise digital recording levels are not that critical. You can amplify after recording.

As long as you don’t go into clipping, changing the volume doesn’t change the signal-to-noise ratio or the quality but higher volumes make background noise more noticeable. It doesn’t matter when you increase the volume… Increasing it digitally will be about the same as turning-up the volume when you play back… The signal and noise are increased together.

You can try the Graphic Equalizer Effect to see if you can “improve” sound… Again, you’ll just have to experiment with it.

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