Problems Digitising Cassettes.
I guess this is a project known by thousands maybe millions. However I
am running up against problems. Remounting a spool of tap into another
shell is easy enough. So too is reattaching lead in / out tape - 3M
sticky tape is ideal, using a sharp pair of scissors to trim any
But the real problem is the actual playing of the cassette tapes.
I use iMic and Behringer devices for the actual digitisation,
capturing with Audacity. I then do a Save As... in WAV, FLAC and MP3
(320 kbps) formats.
I have a variety of double cassette decks - all relatively brand new.
They have auto-reverse and switch from the first cassette tape to the
I always clean the heads manually first, then run a head cleaning
cassette, before mounting the cassettes. The cassettes are then
rewound forwards and backwards to even up the tape layers.
I have to assume that the read head azimuth settings are OK. I have no
way to adjust them.
So far so good.
BUT the digisations are far from perfect.
The first side of cassette one is nice and clear but the sound gets a
little 'muddy' (loss of clarity and treble) towards the end of that
side. The cassette then reverses direction and the 'muddiness' becomes
This effect is repeated when its the turn of the second cassette.
Sometimes when I'm busy after the second cassette has run its course,
the first cassette starts up again. This time the recording has lost
all treble, and the digitised recording s all but unlistenable.
This is driving me mad, and has wasted so much time. But it indicates
a serious sticky-shed issue, likely exacerbated by the cassette
pressure pad forcing contact onto the read head.
Now I have bought a second hand Nakamichi DR 10. This has one
difference to the above decks. It has a cassette pressure pad lift-up
device, so that the tape passes across the read head passes across
with very little pressure. Hopefully this will keep the sticky-shed to
What I do find strange is that others maybe with even simpler tape
players manage to digitise their cassettes with no reported quality