Name is Mike, in El Paso TX. I’m a retired Army veteran, served in combat. I am also a ham operator, and good in electronics. Software is my weak point.
HP Envy Desktop.
Intel I-7-7700 CPU at 3.6 GHz.
16 GB ram
Windows-10 Home edition.
Running 64 bit.
Audacity 2.3.3, fresh download and install.
Connections. Cassette player, home-made stereo cable connecting the stereo headphone output jack of the cassette player into the LINE INPUT (NOT MICROPHONE INPUT) on the rear of the computer.
Where I am at.
Nearly 30 years ago, on Christmas Day in 1990 I was cooling my heels in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) waiting for Gulf War-I to kick off. I had a small ham radio station on the air, and that day I made a 3-hour long recording on Cassette Tapes, of a short-wave broadcast from a station named “The Voice Of Peace” from Baghdad. They played a lot of period music (mid-late 80s) and about every 10 to 15 minutes there was a “propaganda bulletin” about how we were all going to die a horrible death in the Iraqi Desert. I have years ago turned over all my uniforms and combat trinkets and souvenirs to a museum. All I kept was the gold KLM medal the Kuwaiti Govt presented me, and the audio cassettes of this radio station.
There is no real “problem”, but a few things I’d like to master quickly. I have attempted a couple of short recordings to attempt to learn the software before trying to record the whole 3 hours. In addition, this is an older cassette player (not on batteries thankfully) and I am fearful of damaging the tapes. I’d like to get them recorded ASAP before anything happens. So far everything seems OK. But “shit happens”.
These tapes mean a lot to me. As you might imagine, hearing these recordings after 30 years is stirring up memories, and I’m not able to fully concentrate sometimes. Here is what I am seeing, and what I’d like to compensate for before making an official run at the full 3 hours.
#1. While recording, is there any way to hear the play back? If there is, I have not discovered it by accident or in the FAQ. I would like to listen to it, and mark the time of particular segments if possible.
#2. The LEFT channel is 2 to 3 dB lower in volume than the right channel. I have not yet discovered how to individually compensate the channel gain for this.
#3. Because this was an “Over-The-Air” shortwave broadcast recorded on my ham radio receiver, it contains noise. The actual recording was done with a cable from receiver to recorder, so the noise is only the noise on the radio frequency.
Here is the catch. What I am seeing is that infrequent and short duration (µ-seconds) high amplitude pops in the recording seem to be driving the total audio level lower. The pops record to 100%, but the actual desired audio seems lower. Its there a way to compensate for this in either recording OR editing, say by increasing the recorded level 1 dB at a time until the recovered audio is good and clear, and the noise pops are clipped? Or perhaps a way to CLIP the spikes, much like trimming the taller blades of grass with a mower.
I know it sounds like I have a clue here. If I do, it is minimally! If I succeed in this, I imagine it may have some historic value. I hope to post it to my You-Tube channel where all can hear it. Thanks in advance for any help anyone may be able to throw my way. I appreciate it.