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Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question

29 Aug 09 - 07:46 AM (#2711434)
Subject: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Fred McCormick

I'm in the process of copying my cassette collection to comupter and have several mono cassettes which were only ever recorded on the one channel. Does anybody know whether it's possible to copy the 'live' channel to the silent one using Audacity, or indeed by any other means. It won't improve the sound quality I know. But at least I'll be able to lsten to the digitised result through two speakers.

Many anticipatory hopefuls.

29 Aug 09 - 08:36 AM (#2711443)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: s&r

Depends how it's connected, and what you're playing the cassettes on. Basically all you need to do is to make or buy a 'Y' adaptor which will connect the mono output to both the stereo inputs' or use a stereo to mono 3.5mm converter


29 Aug 09 - 08:41 AM (#2711447)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: s&r

DG2004 here


29 Aug 09 - 08:59 AM (#2711453)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)


I think the following works in Audacity. Click the down arrow next to the track name to get the track menu and select Split Stereo Track. Select all the audio on the left track and paste it to the new (separate) right track. You've now got two identical tracks.

Select the drop down again on the top track and this time select Make Stereo Track and it should combine them.

I don't know if there's an easier way - I don't use Audacity that much, depending on what I'm doing I use either Sound Forge or Pro Tools - but I think this does the job.

(Would have been quicker responding, but Mudcat went missing as I submitted - luckily I saved the text)


29 Aug 09 - 09:21 AM (#2711459)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Owen Woodson

Thanks fellas. I've just tried the procedure Mick outlined and it works perfectly.

29 Aug 09 - 10:27 AM (#2711499)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Fred McCormick

Interesting. It sounds as though I wasn't the only one having trouble. Anyway, I've managed to restore a much prized cassette to listenable standards, so I'm eternally indebted to Mick. What's more, about thirty years ago, I recorded a whole stack of stuff without realising that one of the two channels on my recording head had worn out. At last I'll be able to listen to them without it sounding as though half the band is playing through an old sock.

29 Aug 09 - 06:52 PM (#2711761)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Tangledwood

Fred,I had a lot of old cassettes somewhat like that. It wasn't that one track was totally dead, just low in volume so that the left/right balance was way off. With Audacity I think it should be possible to raise an individual channel's volume and restore some balance, even if not true stereo.

29 Aug 09 - 07:23 PM (#2711779)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Joe Offer

I think it's effect/normalize that will balance out and optimize the volume on your left and right channels. It helped me boost the volume on some speech recordings I made.

30 Aug 09 - 03:44 PM (#2712307)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: robomatic

If you convert to mp3s (for purposes of convenient listening, not storage, as mp3s are a 'lossy' format) You can convert to 'mono' and thus save half the digital storage space.

Plainly stated, mp3s typically have two tracks, but there is such a thing as a 'mono' mp3 file which consists of a single track but it is sent to each ear. Since your music is mono anyway there is nothing to be gained by converting in stereo format.

08 Sep 09 - 10:08 PM (#2719466)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Joe Offer

New Question

I'm copying a heavily-used LP record onto my computer, and there's a lot of distortion at high frequencies when the source volume is high. How can I use Audacity to filter this out?

I did my first recording at a fairly low level, and I got the distortion. Now I'm trying it with the input level set higher, which is against my instincts.

08 Sep 09 - 10:32 PM (#2719478)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Amos

Input levels won't clean it up well. Best I've done for this sort of thing is an application called SoundSoap which removes hums, buzzes and selected noise. A ten-band EQ can help as well. AUdacity probably has a ten-band EQ filter, and you will have to experiment with which bands need to be lowered to filter out the distortion.


09 Sep 09 - 06:26 AM (#2719638)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: nickp

The 'low signal' on one channel of a cassette may be due to a mono recording. The gap between the tracks (one each way) was bigger on mono than stereo so a mono recording played on a stereo player would by nature have one strong channel and one weak. The weak channel is likely to suffer far more from tape noise.

When I have a mono cassette to transfer - in Cool Edit - I transfer in stereo then delete the weak track. I select the strong one and paste it over the deleted weak track.

However, it is worth checking which is the better track - I have had a few instances where the strong on has more obvious distortion. In that case I'll use the weaker track and attempt to remove some of the hiss.

09 Sep 09 - 07:23 AM (#2719660)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: treewind

Joe - I don't think there's much you can do about the distortion from a worn-out LP. A bit of HF cut is about the only thing you can do at all easily, using the graphic EQ "effect", and it will obviously make the whole thing sound muffled.

The next most sophisticated thing would be to make the amount of HF cut dependent on the signal level. Tricky with Audacity, but in theory you could duplicate the track, apply complementary filters so one is high frequencies only and the other everything except those frequencies, then use a compressor on the HF only track, then recombine (just exporting to WAV mixes the two tracks). You'd have to do all that in parallel for left and right channels. In the end, and after a lot of trial and error, you won't cure the distortion, but you might mitigate its effect a bit without losing the high frequencies during the quiet bits. You might also get some frequency response oddities from recombining the filtered tracks.


09 Sep 09 - 12:41 PM (#2719896)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Bonzo3legs

I should think that if you buy a CD version of the LP it will be an improvement! It's possible to create a pseudo stereo from a mono source in Adobe Audition by copying the mono track and pasting it a couple of milliseconds later on the other track. So it may be possible in Audacity.

09 Sep 09 - 04:55 PM (#2720094)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: M.Ted

Don't forget, Joe, distortion on vinyl often comes from dirt, static, or a worn needle--

10 Sep 09 - 12:46 PM (#2720771)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Joe Offer

Well, it's a new needle, and I washed the record with mild soap - but the record has been well-used. It's Sandy Paton's Elektra album, recorded 50 years ago when he was thirty years old.
Sandy hated the record, and I can see why. He sings in a Scottish brogue and in the high registers of his voice - doesn't sound at all like the Sandy I knew. The musicianship on the album is excellent, but he sounds like he's trying to be somebody he's not.


10 Sep 09 - 02:46 PM (#2720870)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: M.Ted

The next step, obsessive-compulsive cleaning step would be to brush it with one of those discwasher brushes, and after that, the big leap to ultrasonic cleaning. However, it seems to me that Ron Olesko played something from that album on his show a while back. Maybe he'll let you borrow it.

10 Sep 09 - 06:38 PM (#2721076)
Subject: RE: Tech: Ticklish Audacity Question
From: Stringsinger

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