Digitising equipment?

Margaret Carew margaret.carew at BATCHELOR.EDU.AU
Fri May 14 06:39:13 UTC 2010

Thanks David & Linda

I mis-described my cable, actually I do have a twin RCA to plug into the tape deck, also an amp if I need that.

I have a little audio recorder (Edirol R-O9) but it only has 3.5mm input so I'll invest in a device to do the A-D conversion.

Cheers, Marg

-----Original Message-----
From: David Nathan [mailto:dn2 at soas.ac.uk]
Sent: Fri 14/05/2010 15:29
To: r-n-l-d at unimelb.edu.au; Margaret Carew
Subject: Re: Digitising equipment?
Hi Margaret

The setup you describe has the Mac doing the the analogue to digital
conversion. I don't have any knowledge about your model's ability in
this area but in general computers without some specialised audio
hardware are not optimal for digitising. Also, especially if you use
the higher resolutions recommended for analogue sources, you are
expecting your computer to handle high throughput, and you can
sometimes end up with "skipping" where the hard disk could not keep up
with the incoming data rate.

I would recommend you think about getting/using either a computer with
known good audio hardware (eg a desktop with dedicated sound card),
or, probably better, some kind of audio interface, which might be in
the form of:
(i) a box or device that sits between the audio source and the
computer, that does the A-D conversion, and then supplies the digital
data simply for storage on the computer, such as this one
or this much more upmarket one
(http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpremaster.htm) - and there
are others in between.
(ii) a good quality digital recorder that has a suitable line-in
connection. For example, I have used a Marantz PMD 671 to do similar
work. In this case, you create the audio files on the recorder's own
storage (CF card) and then later just copy them to your Mac.

The software doesn't really matter, as it doesn't affect the
digitising quality; in any case, if you use the solutions suggested
above you would use software that came with the interface or indeed
none at all. The good news is that you can get a pretty good idea of
the quality of any setup by making test conversions and comparing with
the original by listening carefully using some decent headphones
(assuming the cassette deck is up to scratch!). Watch out for tape
types and settings, although others probably know more about this



David Nathan
Endangered Languages Archive

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