to make a mix
Like others, this low-tech
guide shows how to inexpensively bring your old cassette tapes into a new world of digital audio.
Bypass unreliable CD burners, hiccuping
burned CD-Rs and CD-RWs, as well as unnecessary in-computer
tape drives like the sucky
PlusDeck. This page shows how to find and aquire music
from the Internet, how to use just a couple of
cables and some free software to save your aging cassette tapes from muffled doom, how to explore
the mysteries of mixing, how to store your mixes in the right
format (MP3 for listening, WAV for future editing), and how to
play your new mixes on most existing equipment or on a short
list of tried-and-true digital music players. (See a
list of my mixes here.)
cassette picture courtesy of the Says-It
With a few things you probably
an Internet connection,
a computer with a sound card,
a tape deck,
a pile of aging cassette tapes,
and a few additional things that
should cost less than $20,
and, if you want to record streaming audio,
you're ready to make a mix.
So, gather some audio files...
from old tapes, CDs, radio, even
by running a Y cable from your home equipment to record old
tapes and more to your computer's sound card
- Run the
Y-cable from the audio output of your tape deck, TV,
VCR, DVD player, or stereo receiver to your computer
sound card's (blue) line input.
- Run the Y-splitter cable
from your sound card's light green speaker output to your
computer speakers and also to the 3.5-mm
male-to-male cable, and connect the other end of the
male-to-male cable to your sound card's light blue Line-In input.
Audacity's input to Line-In.
use Audacity to make a single mix
that's your project? A mix tape? No, a
mix tape is not a project. It's something
you do between bong hits."
- Will & Grace
- Cut and paste
your audio files into an Audacity file,
saving your work often.
Audacity's Amplify on to raiseor
lower volume to keep it relatively
uniform between different selections.
save them intelligently...
save as an MP3 for listening, save as a WAV for editing in the
- Save your mixtape file for for
listening by exporting it as an MP3, which saves
- But if you think you might
want to edit the file later (and if it's a mixtape, you
will), save a copy as a WAV, because WAV files do not
degrade when re-imported into Audacity for future editing.
...and listen to your music anywhere you go.
to your music
a short list of recommended listening devices
- Digital files are so much more
convenient than tapes, it's worth it, I think, to get an MP3
player and use it either to connect your existing equipment
or a short list of new digital playing devices.
Hope this guide helps.