Spoken-Word-Audio-Filter: What is the best way to get audio from tapes to my Powerbook?
October 9, 2006 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Spoken-Word-Audio-Filter: What is the best way to get audio from tapes to my Powerbook?

Here's the deal: I'm using a Marantx PMD222 cassette analog recorder to field record interviews (and sometimes sounds) of New Yorker's for a project of mine. I want to use the original tapes as masters, but then convert them to a .wav file in order to create a digital master. I can then downsample it to whatever I need. The intended output is primarily through the web, but with a view toward compiling a CD for distribution.

The PMD222 has a RCA jack out (mono) so I figured I could use the Edirol UA-1EX connected to my PowerBook as the input. I'm not looking for 100% studio sound, nor could I afford it - I would be willing to spend about $200.

Are there any other ways I could convert the analog to digital using my powerbook? Is the Edirol UA-1EX a good product? Are there any other proiducts out there which would be better?

posted by plemeljr to Technology (4 answers total)
Powerbook's dont have line in?
posted by SirStan at 11:36 AM on October 9, 2006

Response by poster: Powerbooks do have a line in, but I don't really trust it. I guess I'm looking for a few steps up than just plugging it into my PB.
posted by plemeljr at 11:44 AM on October 9, 2006

On the cheap end, the Griffin iMic (US$40) USB audio device should work just fine for this, with better quality than most on-board sound cards. It supports up to 48kHz and 24-bit samples. It only has 1/8" stereo jacks, so you'll need a converter cable to hook it up to your tape player.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:37 PM on October 9, 2006

I'm using the iMic right now to digitize a giant stack of vinyl, and I would recommend it for your task. It's a small USB item with a line in and a line out (for monitoring) that lets you record to a laptop without HD sound contaminating your recording. It comes with an RCA-to-1/8 adaptor.

It also comes with Final Vinyl, a decent recording application that allows you to set cue markers and trim out noise and unwanted tracks. You can set cues as you monitor, or just save to a single file, if you want to get the audio on your HD fast and edit later.

This lets you save separate track files (in .aiff format) from a single recording like one side of a tape.

It's well under your budget, even if you need to buy another HD to save the files to.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:00 PM on October 9, 2006

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