How to Digitize Your Old Audio Cassettes from the 80’s

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How to Digitize Your Old Audio Cassettes from the 80’s

No matter how old or young you are, or of what generation, there is one constant that everyone can agree on: music.  Music is part of so many of our memories, and can bring back feelings of nostalgia. Sometimes, the music that we have on audio cassettes can be difficult if not possible to find on CD or other format.  Or, if you have a mixtape that you made or was made for you, you don't want to lose something so unique, but cassettes just aren't practical anymore. This is where converting audio cassettes can be the best idea to preserve those memories and that music.  But, how do you get started?

Clean Before You Convert

Once you pull those old, dusty cassettes out of storage, the first thing you need to do is get them cleaned up and ready for conversion.  Dust can do some serious damage to your cassette tapes, and can prevent you from getting the purest sound and smoothest conversion possible.  A simple way to clean them is to take a soft, dry cloth and dust them off, being sure to keep your fingers themselves away from the tape. Wet-based cleaning is absolutely NOT recommended!

Know Your Equipment

Now that the cassette tapes are clean and dust-free, it's time to check your equipment.  You're going to need a cassette deck with a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a double-ended 3.5mm audio cable.  Your Mac or PC can be used as well, as long as it comes with a sound card complete with a line-in port. You'll need to plug the 3.5mm cable into your cassette player and then into your computer to forge the connection between the two.  With all your equipment on hand and ready to go, the last step will be to choose the audio recording software that best suits your needs. A few free options are Quicktime and Audacity, although they don’t offer the most sophisticated software options out there.  If you're looking for optimal sound and resolution, you may want to consider purchasing professional software such as Sony ACID Pro, Sound Forge, or Adobe Audition. After you've chosen your audio software, be sure to check that the sound card is detecting the input sounds correctly, and make any volume adjustments that you'll need to make.  Then, press the PLAY button on the cassette deck simultaneously as you press the record button on your computer.

Optimize and Separate the Tracks

Whether you're recording a music album or just creating something special, you may want to consider using audio editing software to separate the tracks.  You'll need to work on these tracks individually to ensure that they maintain a crystal-clear sound. This requires advanced audio software technology, technological know-how, and patience.  With that process finished, you'll need to convert the files to a .wav format by using another audio converter program, before burning the completed tracks onto a Compact Disc-Recordable (CD-R) disc.

As this process is lengthy, time-consuming, and requires a bit of know-how, you may want to consider a professional service to do this for you.  We at Keepsake Solutions understand that music is very important, and that whether you're preserving the past or working towards your future, you deserve the best service possible.  Our team of knowledgeable professionals are determined to deliver a product to you that is not only up to your standards, but promises to take you to that next level.

 

 

Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you'd like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.