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Thread: Best Way to Post Mystery Tune?

  1. #1
    Clueless in Seattle

    Question Best Way to Post Mystery Tune?

    Hi! This is my first post. I'm an old guy in my seventies and over the last few years my musical taste has shifted more and more toward ambient music.

    Back in the mid 80s, a friend gave me a home recorded cassette copy that he labled in ballpoint pen "Bushido." It consisted of just an organ and a piano. I still have the cassette, but never play it anymore because I'm afraid that by playing it I'll end up destroying it.

    I'm not at all tech savvy, so I don't have a clue how to copy the tape to my computer. And then, if I can get it onto my computer, how I could send it to this forum to see if any of you could help me identify the artist(s).

    So I'd be grateful if someone reading this could point me toward instructions on how to accomplish those two tasks.

    I've been disabled by chronic illness for over two decades, and have to scrape by on a small monthly Social Security benefit, so all of my hardware consists of ancient hand-me-downs. And, when it comes to music copying software, free-ware would be definite plus.

    I'm looking forward to meeting and getting to know some of you here,

  2. #2
    Hi there Will.

    The easiest and cheapest (by no means best) method; presuming that there's a headphones output on your cassette player and a microphone input on your computer is to get a 3.5mm jack to jack cable and plug it from your cassette headphones output to your computer microphone input:

    A cable like this.

    You can pick up a cheap one of these for probably about $5 or so.

    You can use a free program like Audacity to record the microphone input.

    If you do this; you might want to try it with another less precious tape first to make sure you have the levels right and it all works.

    To then share it you can create a free dropbox account which allows you to store files online. You can make files public and share the links. This means that someone here could download it and listen to it.
    Last edited by Inertia; 07-06-2014 at 01:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Clueless in Seattle
    Thanks a million for that detailed reply, Inertia.

    As a matter of fact I did try just what you described, many months ago, but was unable to figure out how to get Audacity to record the playback from the cassette deck. All I got was a loud hissing sound. So I gave up.

    But, based on what you posted, it looks like I was on the right track (no pun intended) but just had something wrong in either the connection or the Audacity settings.

    So I'll give it another try and let you know how it goes. I'm disabled by chronic illnesses that severely limit how much I'm able to do each day, and some days I can't even keep up with the most basic tasks of daintily living, so it may be a day or two (or three) before I can tackle this project, so I hope you'll still be here when I post back my results.

  4. #4
    I'll still be here for sure.

    As for the hissing sound; check your sound card routings or incoming recording settings. I assume you're on windows?

    For windows Vista, 7 & 8 you can open the start menu and search 'Sound'. Under Control Panel in the search options it will have a link to the sound properties.
    Open the Sound Properties and click on the recording tab.

    There might be a couple of options in there. For example on my laptop I have:

    Via High Definition Audio

    Stereo Mix
    Via High Definition Audio

    In my case I would right click on 'Microphone' and select 'Set as default device'.

    Sound Props.jpg

    (If you're on Windows XP Start>Control Panel> Sound Properties)

    Once you've done that check your recording settings in Devices in the Audacity properties (ctrl-p) make sure that your microphone is set to be the input device.


    Also in the Audacity properties, check the 'Quality' tab (4th one down) and make sure that the 'Default Sample Rate' is set to 44100 Hz.
    If you have a slower computer change the Default Sample Format to 16-bit.

    32-bit is nice, but some would debate whether you need that quality. CD quality is 16 bit and if you're recording from a tape, it's unlikely that 32bit is going to make it sound any better.

    I hope this helps. Let me know how you get on
    Last edited by Inertia; 07-08-2014 at 10:52 PM.

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