I am using Audacity 1.3.6 on a Windows XP machine. I am trying to convert my audio cassette tapes into CDs by connecting my hand held cassette player to my computer through the Line In port and my earphone jack on the player. Audacity is set for play trough so I can hear what I am recording and it sounds very good to me, while it is recording. I then split the recoding up into indivual songs with the “Label at selection” fuction and export the file as MP3s. Then I use Nero 7 to burn the songs to CD. Problem is that when I play the resulting CD in my player the songs are very muffled and sound like the bass is way to much. I can get some relief from this by turning the bass off on the CD player.
By now you may realize that I am completely new to this whole concept and do not understand all the terminology used in some of the posting or manuals that I have been reading. Also I checked several web sites for plugins as suggested in some of the postings for a plugin to use for exporting MP3s and installed lamedropXPd3.0-3.98.2. for Audacity.
Can someone please provide me some very basic instruction or suggested readings to resolve this problem.
It sounds like you have done your research and your method is just about right, but there is one small step that can be easily improved on.
Standard audio CD’s always use “uncompressed” audio and not MP3’s. Nero will accept MP3’s and if you select “audio CD” as the type of CD to burn, then Nero will automatically uncompress MP3’s to create a standard audio CD that will be compatible with virtually all CD players. However, converting files to MP3 will always introduce some amount of sound quality loss.
When you export from Audacity, you should export the files as 16 bit 44100Hz WAV files. These are the correct standard for CD’s. Nero can then use these WAV files directly without having to convert them, which is quicker, and better sound quality than doing it from MP3’s.
This one is difficult to give a definitive answer to. You are comparing the sound of the tape, playing from your hand held cassette player, to the sound from your CD player. The trouble is, I don’t know which of these devices is producing the most “true”, “high quality” reproduction.
Good quality tape players and good quality CD players are both capable of producing accurate and high quality sound when played through high quality speakers or headphones. However, inexpensive players, particularly portables, may not give such good sound. Some CD players will have “bass boost” that is intended to “enhance” the sound - usually to compensate for small poor quality loudspeakers, or cheap headphones. If you are listening through good speakers/headphones, then bass boost should not be necessary.
If you have some reasonable quality headphones plugged into your computer, then you can listen to the recordings from within Audacity before you Export. If this sounds good, then Export as WAV and burn to CD. You can then play the CD in your computer and it should sound just as good as it did when you played the recording in Audacity. (the volume level may sound different, but the sound quality should be just the same.
I went to export a file as you suggested in a 16bit 44100Hz WAV file format but was unable to find that format in the drop down list for exporting files. There was one format of the type WaAV (Microsoft)signed 16 bit PCM, is this what you referred to in your post. Do I need to change some configuration settings in Audacity to ensure that the exported files are of the type you spoke of?
To set the Export format to 44100Hz, just set the “Project Rate” to 44100 before you export. The Project Rate is set in the little box in the bottom left of the main Audacity window.
Which version of Audacity are you using? (Look in “Help > About Audacity”)
If it’s Audacity 1.3.x, then after checking that the project rate is correct, you select “Export” from the File menu and set the file type to “WAV, AIFF and other uncompressed types”, then in “Options” select “WAV (Microsoft 16 bit PCM)”.
In Audacity 1.2.x you need to go to Preferences (from the Edit menu) and in the “File Formats” tab, set the “Uncompressed Export Format” to “WAV (Microsoft 16 bit PCM)”.
I am using 1.3.6. There is no file type of only option for “WAV, AIFF and other uncompressed types” as all inclusive file type. In this Audacity version the possibilities are for Wav (Microsoft signed 16 bit PCM or AIFF (Apple) signed 16 bit PCM or other uncompressed files. There are no options available for the first two file types, only the uncompressed files type, and it can be set as you suggest in your response. I guess the “other uncompressed file” with options set to WAV (Microsoft 16 bit PCM) is the way to save the files, correct?
Well I took the advice / suggestion of the Form and I ended up with a much better recording. However now I am noticing that there is a definite hiss or humm showing up between tracks. From Reading the Audio Processing section of this board I think it may be from the tape noise. Can someone suggest the best way to remove this noise? I have tried the "Noise Removal Utility” (with settings up to max) but this doesn’t appear to be causing any effect on the recording, at least not to my old ears… It may be that I am not doing this process correctly so if someone is knowledgeable in this please step me through it.
I am using Version 1.3.6 on an XP machine