Cassette to CD
How to guide.

I have been asked to explain how to record cassette audio onto a CD so that it becomes less difficult to find the music track I want in short order. As you know, there is a vast assortment of accompaniment tracks and music on cassette that would be really great to have on CD. I have moved all my cassette tracks to cd just because I want to preserve the tape from damage. Guess what, I can usually repair the audio on a tape that a cassette deck chewed up and spit out! I'll explain that after we get the audio onto the computer in a form that we can edit.

    First and foremost, you MUST have a decent soundcard! Like a Soundblaster Live or similar. They are cheap enough, ($20 up on Ebay). If you have a $10 el-cheapo sound card, you will never be able to get the "hiss" out.

    Second, you need a fairly sound recorder / editor application. If you have a CD burner, (a must in this exercise) you will more than likely have Nero Burning Rom. Nero has included a FANTASTIC Wave Editor application that I just love to use!!! You can adjust the audio level up and down, it has a graphic eq. to set the audio quality how you want it. It has a noise reducing tool etc. You can also expand the display of the wave file and cut out all of the dead air (silence) from the front and end of the recorded audio file to clean things up a bit. etc etc

    Third, a cassette DECK, not a cassette player. The difference is simple. LINE LEVEL OUT! If your player has line level out, I guess that will work. I just went to the Salvation Army store and got a Panasonic Cassette Deck for $12.00 and helped a good cause at the same time.


Now we have all the ingredients for the cake, we can start baking. On the back of your computer, you will notice the speaker out, microphone in, line in and line out jacks.

The above picture shows a SB Live card. (My baby) One of the great things about this card is the fact that it has a marvy MIDI wave table device that will bring midi files to life!!


On the back side of your cassette deck, there will be line out (play) jacks. (Left and Right)

Use a PC to RCA cable (supplied with most sound cards) to connect the tape deck's output to the Soundcard's line IN jack. (below)


After you get the cable connected and the tape deck powered up, insert a tape and press play. Set the playback level for the "line in" (make sure it is not muted)

and set the record level (select the device) for "line in" in your sound mixer. (Options / Properties / Record)

Now you can fire up that Nero Wave Editor (or whatever application you want to use), Microsoft sound recorder is no good as there is a short time limit on how long you can record. (30 seconds I think)


I have Nero, so screen shots are from the Wave Editor that was supplied with it.

The highlighted area is where I started the Nero recorder before I pressed play on the tape deck. I can cut this section out before I save the wave file so the resulting audio has no dead space on the front of the recording.

I then use Nero Burning Rom to create an audio CD.

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Last updated on 12/06/2007