Best value (IE cheap) USB soundcard for laptops?
May 13, 2006 at 4:17 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

muckshot

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Hey, I don't know much about USB soundcards, but I need to pick up something that is relatively cheap to connect to a laptop in order to record some old tapes (read: cassette tapes, remember those??). The only computer I can use for this is a laptop, so I need something that works via USB. My hope is to get these old things digitized before they get any older. I have a decent tapedeck so the source ought to be fine, but it's getting the signal into the computer that is the problem.

So, any suggestion? I am more than willing to buy something used off eBay or whatever. M-Audio transit? I don't really want to spend more than about 50$ on this (so a new bithead is out of the question), anybody want to give me a clue? Remember, I only need it to get a clean signal into the computer, it doesn't need to be low latency for Midi or anything, it just needs do the job at hand. Thanks
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May 13, 2006 at 4:47 AM Post #2 of 7

ComfyCan

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Here's what I did: gave away all my cassettes to a music lover of lesser financial means. I've been replacing them with new or used cd's from e-bay or other sources. You can buy used cd's pretty cheap, and with EAC or Easy CD-DA w/error correction, you can get bit perfect sound that I don't think you'll ever get by digitizing tapes. I could see donig it with old vinyl if you had the right gear (a big if), but I just can't imagine being happy with the results using casette tapes.

Of course, as Dennis Miller so elequantly puts it, I could be wrong.
 
May 13, 2006 at 5:45 AM Post #3 of 7

muckshot

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Well, I would except this stuff can't be found on CD, not yet anyway. Ultra obscure stuff, mixed in with various demos, DJ mixes from 10 years ago that are impossible to find now (even on cassette), live stuff I recorded etc etc. So, thanks, but I really need to find a suitable soundcard, then I can get rid of the tapes AND ditch the tapedeck.

So if anyone has any suggestions, please post em
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May 13, 2006 at 8:56 AM Post #4 of 7

dj_mocok

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If your purpose of getting the soundcard is only for this transfering, if you have a friend with an MD recorder, you can just borrow the MD for a day, and then record it using the line in in the MD, and then you can just transfer it to your PC and then format it to MP3.
It's not as direct as using soundcard, but if you wanna save money, that's an option.
 
May 13, 2006 at 3:49 PM Post #5 of 7

fiery

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dj_mocok
if you have a friend with an MD recorder, you can just borrow the MD for a day, and then record it using the line in in the MD, and then you can just transfer it to your PC and then format it to MP3.


Good suggestion dj_mocok. Or if they know someone with a DAP that can line-in record direct to MP3, like the iAudio X5, use that to help take out one step in the process.
 
May 13, 2006 at 3:57 PM Post #6 of 7

sgrossklass

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I'd grab something like a Live! 24-Bit External, or perhaps a used M-Audio Transit if that's within the budget. You can't really go wrong with the Transit, it's a quite commonly used device that appears to have good recording quality.
 
May 13, 2006 at 8:19 PM Post #7 of 7

muckshot

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Thanks guys, I think I will try to track down a cheap SB Live! USB or an M-Audio Transit - I'm hesitant to buy anything SB, but they're really cheap on ebay and will probably do a decent job getting these tapes converted over... perhaps
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The MD/DAP idea is good, but I don't know of anyone who has anything suitable, and I'd prefer the PC route. If there are any other ideas for a cheap external soundcard with inbound recording, lemme know. Thanks again for the help.
 

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