Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

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markjazzbassist
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Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:55 am

Hello -

i'm record analog and mix to analog, just doing cassette stuff. i would like to get a mixdown to digital to put on bandcamp though to sell with my tapes. my problem comes with i don't want pro tools and all that, i don't want to stare at a computer and have to learn a new program to just throw these up so people can listen to clips online. is there a simple solution where i can just send audio in and hit record and then stop and have them all on a flashdrive or something simple? maybe SS recorder or something? I"m recording to cassette so it doesn't need to be hifi or expensive. just simple.

any suggestion will be appreciated

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:37 am

Maybe a Zoom recorder (or equivalent)? My writing partner uses a Tascam version.
I get wanting to avoid the computer route but if you've got a computer (which you obviously do) a cheap 2 channel interface and the most basic software (Garageband, Audacity, Reaper) may be cheaper and easier to deal with. It'll save the step of transferring the digital into the computer. Software will also give you multiple output format options (WAV, MP3, etc, etc).

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:49 am

something has to do the A to D conversion. And something has to upload to the interwebs. the simplest is a USB interface attached to the computer. You don't need much - 2 inputs. and you don't need to learn much more than arming a stereo track to record and hitting play and record. You also want something that is better than the built-in sound card on a computer because those are typically super noisy.

I have transferred stereo cassette -typical RCA outs to a 1/4" unbalanced and into my interface. hit play on cassette. hit record in software (so you don;t get the "clunk" when it starts). easy peasy.
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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by drumsound » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:30 pm

Yeah, one of the small recorders will work, but you're just adding steps. Something simple like Audacity or Sound Forge (is that still a thing) saves you the step of recording to a Zoom recorder and then transferring to the computer.

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:46 pm

drumsound wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:30 pm
Yeah, one of the small recorders will work, but you're just adding steps. Something simple like Audacity or Sound Forge (is that still a thing) saves you the step of recording to a Zoom recorder and then transferring to the computer.
yeah but i don't want to have to edit and chop and bounce and all that. i'll do that on the mix and just need a digital rip of it.

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:12 pm

Just cause it's got all that doesn't mean you have to use it.
What you're asking for is basically a modern DAT machine. There's not much like that out there these days beyond the hand held recorders. Computers have taken over almost everything.

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by kslight » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:26 pm

What about one of those old HHB direct to CD recorders? Seems like that would be the ticket. But you'd still have to dump it into your computer.

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by Snarl 12/8 » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:36 pm

This sounds like a job for Audacity.
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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by The Scum » Thu Apr 23, 2020 9:50 pm

"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by Scodiddly » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:35 am

kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:26 pm
What about one of those old HHB direct to CD recorders? Seems like that would be the ticket. But you'd still have to dump it into your computer.
In retrospect those things sucked.

Another vote for Audacity. You'll need to trim beginning/end anyway, so why not just record and do that in the same place?

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by psinglet » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:11 am

I've been doing a lot of transfers during the quarantine, from cassette, DAT, reel and turntable. I have been using a Behringer UMC202HD interface (under $100 IIRC). It has a mic/line option and can handle line level signals. I tried my Presonus Audiobox first. It apparently only has mic-level inputs. It worked, but you had to be careful not to overload the mic pres, so I switched over to using the Behringer.

I have been using Sound Forge as software. Yes it still exists, I have been using it since version 3 or so when you had to install it using floppies. I picked up my copy of version 11 not too long ago on Humble Bundle for under $20, but it is not available there anymore. The 'Pro' version is $399 on Sweetwater, but there is an 'Audio Studio' version for $60. I have used Audacity before, but never found it as intuitive as Sound Forge.

Woot has been selling the Zoom H4n Pro for a while for $179 if you wanted to go that direction.
https://electronics.woot.com/offers/zoo ... t_elec_8_4

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by kslight » Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:11 am

Scodiddly wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:35 am
kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:26 pm
What about one of those old HHB direct to CD recorders? Seems like that would be the ticket. But you'd still have to dump it into your computer.
In retrospect those things sucked.

Another vote for Audacity. You'll need to trim beginning/end anyway, so why not just record and do that in the same place?
I mean, could make the same argument about cassettes if we are gonna go down that route, just trying to think of non computer options...

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by drumsound » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:20 pm

markjazzbassist wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:46 pm
drumsound wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:30 pm
Yeah, one of the small recorders will work, but you're just adding steps. Something simple like Audacity or Sound Forge (is that still a thing) saves you the step of recording to a Zoom recorder and then transferring to the computer.
yeah but i don't want to have to edit and chop and bounce and all that. i'll do that on the mix and just need a digital rip of it.
I'm talking about playing your mix into the computer. So, do what you're doing, and then play the mix tape into the computer. Cleaning heads and tails is possibly the simplest part of that process.

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:17 pm

drumsound wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:20 pm
markjazzbassist wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:46 pm
drumsound wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 1:30 pm
Yeah, one of the small recorders will work, but you're just adding steps. Something simple like Audacity or Sound Forge (is that still a thing) saves you the step of recording to a Zoom recorder and then transferring to the computer.
yeah but i don't want to have to edit and chop and bounce and all that. i'll do that on the mix and just need a digital rip of it.
I'm talking about playing your mix into the computer. So, do what you're doing, and then play the mix tape into the computer. Cleaning heads and tails is possibly the simplest part of that process.
yeah with a little portable PCM recorder its even simpler though. Press play on cassette, press record on recorder, then press stop. do that a few times. then connect via USB to computer and drag files to computer, then go to bandcamp and upload and change names/etc. I wouldn't have to open a program, wouldn't have to edit, chop, fade, etc. I think i will do the little portable PCM recorder. Cheap too, seeing Tascam DR-05 for under 100

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Re: Digitizing Analog Songs, need suggestion on small, easy no screen options

Post by jimjazzdad » Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:27 pm

You won't get any cheaper and easier than a simple USB interface (lots <$100) and Audacity (free!). If you can use a tape recorder, you can use Audacity, And with a small PCM recorder you are going to have to get the files on a computer to upload to Bandcamp...with the USB>Audacity method they are already on your hard drive. I have transcribed hundreds of analog projects to digital this way.
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