There wasn't any forum here for this type of tech question, so I figured I'd put it here.

I got a couple of informational cassette tapes from a friend and they are really good, and I'd like to record them onto my computer so I can burn them into a CD that I can listen to in the car. I don't think I've owned a car with a cassette player in it in about 4-5 years. I have this stereo boombox with a cassette player on it, and I ran a male/male audio cord from the headphones jack on the stereo into the microphone jack on the computer. It sounds perfect coming through the speakers on my computer and it sounds good while I record it as a .wav file. Only problem is when I play it back, it has this fuzzy sound on it and I can barely hear the guy talking. I can make out what he's saying but the fuzzy noise makes it undesireable to listen to.

Any help? :-|

13 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by DMR


It could be line noise, or the amplification / deamplification of the sound. You will want to use line in and line out if possible, and high quality shielded cables. It would even help if you could ground the units together.

IF you still have noise, you can purchase an isolation transformer, and wire yourself an adapter. I do that with some of my ham radio circuits to cut down on hums.



1. Headphone outputs and mic/line inputs have different impedences and signal levels. Although you can usually get away with connecting a h/p out of a consumer audio device into the mic/line input of a sound card, it doesn't always work. If you have or can borrow a normal tape deck with true line-level outputs (as opposed to the boom box with only a headphone out), you might get better results by connecting the outputs of that type of deck to the line input of your soundcard. Of course, you'll need a stereo RCA->stereo mini-plug adaptor to do it, but those are cheap and easy to find.

2. However- you said that the tape sounds fine on your computer speakers when playing it in and when recording it. That's because in both cases you are listening to the source (input) to the sound card at that point, not the recorded/converted output file (yes- even in the recording phase). This might mean that the problem lies not with your wiring or connection scheme, but with your recording software. Give us more detail/info on that.


I ended up trying SoundForge and it worked out a little better. It didn't cut the background "buzzing" out completely, but its enough to where I can put it on CD and listen to it without getting annoyed. Thanks for the help.


It's been a long time since I've used Sound Forge, but my guess is that you could try using its own equalizer/filter settings (or a plug-in) to notch out the buzz without perceptively altering the overall audio quality.

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