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Reel to Reel Tape
What is needed to transfer old tapes to CD
Question:©Basically, I am looking for a decent reel to reel to play some of my old tapes from years ago that were origianlly recorded off the RCA portable. Ultimately, I would like to transfer them to a more lasting format. I would welcome any advice or recommendations you might have for me.
Answer: A portable mini deck: While I very likely have a similar deck that I could offer to you I wish ot mention that these little portable decks are handy but not necessarily the best decks if it comes to speed stability as employing electromechanical technology for speed regulation, instead of the more accurate and modern electronic circuitry. Also not the best in sound quality either. But if the deck has worked well for you in the past in this regard, for the lowest cost choice instead of replacing the dekc I could repair yours. If I myself need to transfer audio material form reel to reel tapes I usually record and restore old tape recordings digitally and then edit, and output sound recordings on the computer. A computer used for sound recording / editing would allow to output to audio CDs, to data CDs or DVDs for archiving, to MP3 files that can be e-mailed or played on portable players or in the car. For recording digitally likely you can use your already existing home computer or lap top to do the same, but there are several
options to achieve sound input / recording on a computer, which I will elaborate briefly: 1) to use the built-in soundcard for input 2) to use an external sound interface (higher sound quality and also would allow to hook a turntable to the computer to record your record collection) 3) to use an external recorder and import the sound files from it.
Option one requires simply an audio cable adapter (can provide); two requires the purchasing of an audio interface (If I sell $95 and includes software) and three the purchase of a stand alone digital recorder (about $175 with memory cards etc. - would also allow to do more recordings - it is portable, has built in microphones and records in stereo at professional studio quality)
Alternatively if having only a few tapes to record that would not warrat to purchase a deck: I am offering professional tape to CD transfer services, but that may not be the elast expensive way to go, if having lots of tapes, as I bill by the hour. For the highest quality product It usually takes about two times the resulting total play length in work time.
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