Jump to content
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 7 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • 0

Right/left Balance When Copying Cassette Tapes


hickory

Question

I have copied three tape cassettes using Easy Audio Capture. I still have several to be done. These are monologues, with some background music, lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. I am importing Side 1, then Side 2 continuously (ie. letting the tape to auto reverse). It is easy in Sound Editor to cut the gap between Side 1 and Side 2.

 

My question is this. I have noted that the left/right balance of the imported Side 1 is not the same as Side 2. Generally Side 1 is balanced more to the right channel while Side 2 is more balanced to the left channel, based on viewing the waveform in the SE clip editor.

 

Is this "normal"?

 

I used Sound Editor to adjust the balance and the volume. While this improves the recording, it is somewhat guessing and not all that reliable.

 

Is there any tool in Sound Editor to automatically balance the recording and the volumes so that both sides are equivalent?

 

Many thanks for any recommendations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

I have copied three tape cassettes using Easy Audio Capture. I still have several to be done. These are monologues, with some background music, lasting from 60 to 90 minutes. I am importing Side 1, then Side 2 continuously (ie. letting the tape to auto reverse). It is easy in Sound Editor to cut the gap between Side 1 and Side 2.

 

My question is this. I have noted that the left/right balance of the imported Side 1 is not the same as Side 2. Generally Side 1 is balanced more to the right channel while Side 2 is more balanced to the left channel, based on viewing the waveform in the SE clip editor.

 

Is this "normal"?

 

I used Sound Editor to adjust the balance and the volume. While this improves the recording, it is somewhat guessing and not all that reliable.

 

Is there any tool in Sound Editor to automatically balance the recording and the volumes so that both sides are equivalent?

 

Many thanks for any recommendations.

The off-balance is quite likely on the tape itself, or something with the tape deck. You might be able to determine which by stopping the tape at the end of side 1, flipping it over, and playing it in the same direction for side 2 rather than letting the cassette deck reverse itself. If the louder channel stays the same that way, rather than switching to the other channel, the issue is probably with the tape deck. If it still swaps, then it's probably on the tape.

 

As for the best way to balance them... if the actual recording is mono, then you simply record it that way initially if Easy Audio Capture has that as an option. (I usually use a different application for capturing.) Otherwise, what you're doing is probably fine, though if you're fine tuning the balance using the waveform as guide, I'd suggest listening to it through a set of headphones as you adjust the balance, since the music/monologue may note be balanced if it's a stereo recording, and it may appear to be louder on one channel than the other, while actually sounding "right".

 

But, it's the final result that is important. If you're happy with what you're finally getting, that's all that matters, and I don't have a truly "better" way to suggest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you. I understand better now what is going on. In fact, I feel pretty sure that it is the tapes. I went back to review a couple of other tape captures and they were OK. So, since it occurs on some tapes but not others, it must be them.

 

By the way, your comment "if the actual recording is mono" had real meaning. The source is in fact monoural. I have now re-captured one of the problem tapes and the problem did not re-occur. In Easy Media Capture, under Capture Settings, I chose Custom and selected Mono. That seems to do it.

 

Again, many thanks for your reply and guidance. I keep learning from you and this forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...