[X-Newbies] Re: Mac - audio input

Charles Martin chasm at mac.com
Thu Apr 28 23:36:43 PDT 2005

> From: Michele Forrester <macuzr at insightbb.com>
> Subject: [X-Newbies] Re: iMac - audio input

> An off the wall question...will this also allow you to use cassette
> tapes from that same turntable system?

No. Turntables are turntables and do not handle cassettes tapes or  
anything other than records.

If you meant to ask "can you use the *iMic* to convert cassette tapes  
to digital files" then the answer is YES. The iMic has two settings:  
mic level (used for microphones and turntables w/o pre-amp) and  
"line" level (used for amplified sources like cassette decks).

> With all this information I think I can DO this myself!

You CAN do this yourself. We believe in you! :)

> Are there any
> tips/ideas for the beginner record to CD maker?

Here's the step-by-step.

You'll need the following:
1. A turntable or cassette deck (and records or tapes, obviously)
2. An iMic
3. The Final Vinyl software supplied with the iMic (Toast's "Spin  
Doctor" software can also do this)
4. A fair amount of hard drive space (a couple of gigs)
5. iTunes and a CD burning device

Okay, plug the iMic into the computer, and the turntable or tape deck  
to the iMic. Use the "mic" level for turntables, use the "line" level  
for tapes.

Next, fire up the "Final Vinyl" or "Spin Doctor" software. Adjust the  
prefs to reflect that you're recording from a turntable or a cassette.

Start the record. Quickly press "record." Don't worry about  
separating the songs at this point: we'll do that later.

(Pause to flip record or tape if needed)

Save the resulting AIFF file to disk. It's huge!

Use the software to "divide" the main file by song (or however you  
like). This will result in several smaller AIFF files. "Spin Doctor"  
also allows you to polish up the sound (get rid of crackles and pops  
in the case of records, or hiss in the case of tapes).

At this point, you have a complete album or tape of material. If you  
own Toast, you can just drag these files directly into Toast (set for  
"Audio CD") and burn a CD.

If you don't own Toast, drag the files into iTunes. Depending on how  
you have iTunes' preferences set, it will convert them to MP3 or AAC.  
You can click cmd-i on each track to give it it's proper name and  
other identifying information.

In iTunes, create a "playlist" containing the songs you just  
imported, and press "Burn." You can even make a simple "album cover"  
for your CD if you're using the current version of iTunes (4.7.x).

There's obviously more to it if you're going for a professional- 
quality transfer or are planning to do this to huge batches or  
different types of recordings, but that will get you from album/tape  
to CD with acceptable quality intact. Have fun!


FL-MUG: central Florida's Macintosh User Group.
Meetings: second Thursday of the month, 6-9pm,
at the Orlando Science Center.

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