Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

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richardcb
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Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

Post by richardcb » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:54 am

I'm about to embark on a major project to convert many of my old (very old!) audio cassettes to MP3 and plan to edit them in Audacity (in Windows 10).

As most of the recordings will be of people talking I was wondering if there were any recommended settings in Audacity to clean up the sound (remove tape hiss, etc.) and generally spruce up the audio so it sounds the best it can be, given the original source.

I'm an Audacity newbie so forgive me if I haven't discovered any ways to do this myself. Any help would be appreciated.

steve
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Re: Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

Post by steve » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:26 am

There's a series of tutorials here which should cover everything you need: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tut ... to_cd.html
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

richardcb
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Re: Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

Post by richardcb » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:32 pm

Cheers, Steve, Thanks for your help.

DVDdoug
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Re: Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

Post by DVDdoug » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:43 pm

I'm about to embark on a major project to convert many of my old (very old!) audio cassettes to MP3...
Note that MP3 is lossy compression and if you open an MP3 for editing and then re-export as MP3 you are going through another generation of lossy compression.

So, (export) your intermediate work to as WAV (and as an Audacity project if you wish) and compress ONCE to MP3 as the last step.

This isn't a real big deal because the original tapes are the "weak link" but it's good practice to compress once.
As most of the recordings will be of people talking...
If the dialog is "important" but difficult to understand, consider making a typed transcript to go with the cleaned-up recording.

richardcb
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Re: Best settings for cassette audio clean-up?

Post by richardcb » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:47 am

Thanks, DVDdoug. Great tip. I'll certainly do that before undertaking any editing.

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