[RNLD] Digitizing tapes - what's the current best practice?

Mark W. Post markwpost at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 16 07:41:27 UTC 2012

Hi All -

We're about to embark on some pretty extensive cassette tape 
digitization over here, and I'm wondering what people feel is the 
current best practice. We plan to digitize to a PC (not to CD or DAT), 
and are prepared to pay for additional storage capacity to record at 
48/24, or possibly at 96/24 if it turns out to really be worth it. What 
I'm mainly wondering about is hardware. I often hear about getting a 
"good sound card", but I'm not exactly sure what variables to keep in 
mind. I'm aware that nowadays some people are using external "sound 
cards" with USB interfaces, and that they offer different sampling 
depths etc. But I'm not sure whether there might be less obvious 
variables (for example, might they vary in frequency response, like 
microphones? I have no idea). Also, I'm aware that there are units like 
the Tape2PC that try to do everything for you, but the units I've seen 
are so cheap that it makes me suspicious. And I'm also thinking about 
cabling, and wondering whether there's a better way than squeezing 
everything through a 3.5mm pin (I've seen that some "external sound 
cards" have RCA inputs, which must be better?).

Has anybody been doing this sort of work recently, and if so, would you 
mind sharing your strategy?

Thanks very much in advance,



Dr. Mark W. Post
Universität Bern
Institut für Sprachwissenschaft
Länggassstrasse 49
3000 Bern 9

Tel +41 31 631 37 07
Eml markwpost at gmail.com
Web unibe-ch.academia.edu/MarkWPost

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