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Author Topic: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS  (Read 588 times)

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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« on: June 28, 2020, 03:00:25 PM »
I would like to transfer some old cassettes.  I have a working tape deck and am running Catalina and Mojave on separate computers.  I can't figure out how to get line in audio on either one.  System Preferences > Sound only gives option for built-in microphone, nothing for external microphone.  Furthermore there is no option for toggling the physical jack from headphone to any type of input.  Does anyone have experience with this?  What are my options?
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Offline dyneq

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 03:06:46 PM »
What hardware do you have?

Offline nassau73

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 04:03:20 PM »

Offline botz

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 04:05:44 PM »
I would like to transfer some old cassettes.
Out of curiosity;  whatcha got?

Offline morst

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 04:12:04 PM »
I would like to transfer some old cassettes.  I have a working tape deck and am running Catalina and Mojave on separate computers.  I can't figure out how to get line in audio on either one.  System Preferences > Sound only gives option for built-in microphone, nothing for external microphone.  Furthermore there is no option for toggling the physical jack from headphone to any type of input.  Does anyone have experience with this?  What are my options?
There is an app on Mojave which controls sound input & output. It's called AUDIO MIDI SETUP
On my machine it's located in the Applications folder > Utilities folder

On the left side it has a sidebar panel which lists all available inputs and outputs. When you click on each of them, you can adjust settings like # of channels, bit depth, sample rate, and format (float or integer? Mine doesn't offer options other than integer right now)
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 04:27:36 PM »

almost any basic external sound card from the cheapest motu or focusrite is gonna sound a lot better than the built-in line in
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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 05:15:18 PM »
Does this help?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJPz6azGnBc

Unfortunately not as Macs have not had line in ports for many years.  That YT vid is from 2009.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 05:19:42 PM by tapeheadtoo »
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 05:23:27 PM »
What hardware do you have?

Desktop #1:  (2017)  4.2 GHz i7 / 32 GB running Catalina
Desktop #2:  (2013)  3.5 GHz i7 / 32 GB running Mojave
MacBook Air:  (2014)  1.7 GHz i7 / 8 GB running Mojave

No sound cards for any, just "built in microphone"
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
Recorders: In use--Tascam DR-2d, Sony PCM-A10, Sony M10, Zoom L-20R; collecting dust--Ediirol R-09, Zoom H4n, Zoom H6, Cymatic LR16
Video: In use--Panasonic VX981, Panasonic ZS100, GoPro Hero 8; collecting dust--Sony HDR-CX520V, Sony HX9V, Panasonic ZS3/ZS7

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 05:25:23 PM »
yeah thats less than ideal. those arent really made for music/ too much noise inside your computer to have analog signals going to it. the type of computer doesnt matter, they all use cheap 'soundcards' internally
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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 05:25:46 PM »
I would like to transfer some old cassettes.
Out of curiosity;  whatcha got?

I'm in the process of dispatching 1,300 Yes and Yes-related cassettes.  Mostly shows from 1969 - 1999 (started trading on CD after that).  The bulk of them were transferred to CD years ago but I have about 100 more tapes that need to be transferred--interviews and solo shows.
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 05:29:19 PM »

There is an app on Mojave which controls sound input & output. It's called AUDIO MIDI SETUP
On my machine it's located in the Applications folder > Utilities folder

On the left side it has a sidebar panel which lists all available inputs and outputs. When you click on each of them, you can adjust settings like # of channels, bit depth, sample rate, and format (float or integer? Mine doesn't offer options other than integer right now)

Found it in same location in Catalina.  Only input option on left is "built in microphone."  I read somewhere that the single audio port on recent/current Macs, though labeled "headphones" can also double as input but I cannot figure out how to make it happen.
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
Recorders: In use--Tascam DR-2d, Sony PCM-A10, Sony M10, Zoom L-20R; collecting dust--Ediirol R-09, Zoom H4n, Zoom H6, Cymatic LR16
Video: In use--Panasonic VX981, Panasonic ZS100, GoPro Hero 8; collecting dust--Sony HDR-CX520V, Sony HX9V, Panasonic ZS3/ZS7

Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 05:32:09 PM »

almost any basic external sound card from the cheapest motu or focusrite is gonna sound a lot better than the built-in line in

Hmm.  So something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-External-Headphone-Microphone-Desktops/dp/B01N905VOY/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=external+sound+card+mac&qid=1593379858&sr=8-7
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
Recorders: In use--Tascam DR-2d, Sony PCM-A10, Sony M10, Zoom L-20R; collecting dust--Ediirol R-09, Zoom H4n, Zoom H6, Cymatic LR16
Video: In use--Panasonic VX981, Panasonic ZS100, GoPro Hero 8; collecting dust--Sony HDR-CX520V, Sony HX9V, Panasonic ZS3/ZS7

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 05:57:46 PM »
if the tapes are important to you, id spend a little on an interface

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/AudioBoxUSB96--presonus-audiobox-usb-96


in reality, for most cassette transfers the quality of the deck itself (and whether it is aligned and calibrated) will be the limiting factor
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Offline jb63

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 05:59:26 PM »
I can send you my old SE-U55

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Onkyo-SE-U55-USB-Digital-Audio-Processor-for-computers-Japan/293626730464?hash=item445d8457e0:g:UYUAAOSwo69excLw

No one seems to want it but it does an excellent job at 16/44 cassette transfers. I don't need money, just more Yes recordings.

There is almost no learning curve.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 05:30:32 PM by jb63 »
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 05:59:36 PM »
you can also use any of the numerous digital recorders by tascam, zoom, and others, which can also be found starting around $100 and are a useful addition to your toolkit. even the small voice recorders by olympus and sony will offer better performance than the mac line-in
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2020, 06:00:54 PM »
I can send you my old SE-U55

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Onkyo-SE-U55-USB-Digital-Audio-Processor-for-computers-Japan/293626730464?hash=item445d8457e0:g:UYUAAOSwo69excLw

No one seems to want it but it does an excellent job at 16/44 cassette transfers.

There is almost no learning curve.

^thats what you want! and a generous offer.
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Offline Fatah Ruark (aka MIKE B)

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2020, 06:12:57 PM »
you can also use any of the numerous digital recorders by tascam, zoom, and others, which can also be found starting around $100 and are a useful addition to your toolkit. even the small voice recorders by olympus and sony will offer better performance than the mac line-in

I was wondering if anyone was going to post this idea.

I use my MixPre-6 to record tapes and vinyl to convert to digital.

The extra step is a PITA, but it's really not that bad.

Looks like the OP has plenty of options from their sig.

Tape player > Line in on the M10 will work great.
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Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2020, 06:15:21 PM »

Tape player > Line in on the M10 will work great.

really any of the modern digital recorders do fine when fed a nice hot line signal
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Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2020, 06:54:03 PM »
I can send you my old SE-U55

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Onkyo-SE-U55-USB-Digital-Audio-Processor-for-computers-Japan/293626730464?hash=item445d8457e0:g:UYUAAOSwo69excLw

No one seems to want it but it does an excellent job at 16/44 cassette transfers.

There is almost no learning curve.

Appreciate the offer.  I found this: "To record from an analog source with the SE-U55 (using a Mac), you go into the analog line in or use the mic input."  Do you know how this would work with my current hardware?  None of my three units seem to have inputs...
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
Recorders: In use--Tascam DR-2d, Sony PCM-A10, Sony M10, Zoom L-20R; collecting dust--Ediirol R-09, Zoom H4n, Zoom H6, Cymatic LR16
Video: In use--Panasonic VX981, Panasonic ZS100, GoPro Hero 8; collecting dust--Sony HDR-CX520V, Sony HX9V, Panasonic ZS3/ZS7

Offline tapeheadtoo

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2020, 06:57:52 PM »

Tape player > Line in on the M10 will work great.

really any of the modern digital recorders do fine when fed a nice hot line signal

Ah!!  Now I'm getting it!!  So obvious in retrospect, I feel a little silly.  I've got literally about a dozen decks within a few feet of me.  D'oh!!  Thanks to all who replied, I appreciate it!
Mics: Schoeps MK4, DPA 4061, AT953, Shure MV88
Preamps/BB: Nbox, tinybox, ST-9100, CA-UGLY, SP-SPSB-10
Recorders: In use--Tascam DR-2d, Sony PCM-A10, Sony M10, Zoom L-20R; collecting dust--Ediirol R-09, Zoom H4n, Zoom H6, Cymatic LR16
Video: In use--Panasonic VX981, Panasonic ZS100, GoPro Hero 8; collecting dust--Sony HDR-CX520V, Sony HX9V, Panasonic ZS3/ZS7

Offline jerryfreak

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Re: Transferring cassettes on Mac OS
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2020, 09:05:13 PM »
i feel silly for not seeing your sig!

the M10 would be fine for cassettes
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