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audio help needed for a beginner! =)

Discussion in 'Recording' started by linny, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. linny

    linny Guest

    hey all--sorry if this forum is way out of my league, but i thought i'd ask anyway.. I have a dell digital jukebox, and just bought the fm tuner/voice recorder, which can record songs from the radio onto my ipod, or voice recordings... i'd like to use the voice recorder to recorder some music audio from some vhs videos that i have, but i've tried and the music does not come out all that clear... can anyone give me some tips how i can make the audio clearer?? or is nothing possible with such a cheap and simple recorder?? thanks in advance!

  2. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Well, since you're a chick (few and far between here) I'll see if I can help ya. :wink:

    I think that thing has some kind of built in crap microphone, which would not be great for recording any kind of clear audio. Instead, you should try using your soundcard in your computer. I don't know what you have, but it probably has some kind of 1/8" stereo line input. Get a cable like this: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/YRA154/
    Hook the two RCA plugs coming from your VCR audio into this cable, and the 1/8" end into your computer soundcard line input. Then use some kind of freeware software to record the audio from your VCR. Audacity is one. You may have something on your computer that will work. Have fun.
  3. linny

    linny Guest

    hey, thanks for your help reggie... a few questions for you... how do i know if my computer has a soundcard? where do i look for the 1/8" stereo line input? the cable cord is very short, i don't think i would be able to reach from my vcr to the computer at all... can i just plug in my vcr to a nearby outlet without having it hooked to the tv? will it still work, or is there some kind of extension cord i can use to stretch it acoss a room? where are the 2 RCA plugs usually on a vcr, and are they still on a tv that's a 2-in1 tv/vcr? what kind of freeware software would u recommend? sorry for asking questions about pretty much everything you told me, but i'm totally clueless about any kind of recording stuff... thanks again for all your help =)

  4. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Holy cow what have I done :!:
    OK I'll try... In the order they appear:

    1. Just guessing, most computers at least have some kind of integrated soundcard and I think a lot of them use 1/8" plugs. If you have speakers hooked into your computer, that would be a good place to look. There should be a hole for speakers and probably another hole or two that might be mic input or line input. I'll let you fiddle with that later to find which hole gets you the best signal (line input if you can find it).

    2. The cable I linked for you is just an adapter. You will need a set of regular RCA cables. You can get them 50 feet long if that helps. Or you can bring the VCR closer and use a shorter RCA cable. You don't really need to hook it to a TV, but it will help you find where the heck you are on the tape.

    3. Your VCR should have 3 plug output holes that accept an RCA cable. A lot of times these holes are labeled Video and Audio L R. A lot of times this can be found on the front of the VCR. I dunno about your all in one thing. Maybe not.
    Anyway, if you have the RCA outputs, we are going to focus on the Audio L and R holes. Hook your new RCA cables one each into the Audio holes, and the other ends of those into that adapter thing, and the end of the adapter thing into your computer.

    4. Now for the hard part. Assuming you have all this going, and you figured out your soundcard, you need some software. Kristal and Audacity are both pretty OK freeware. Audacity is pretty dang simple if I remember right. Google it and you will find it. Download it. Learn it. Look under all the settings and see if you can find mention of soundcard. See if you get signal from your VCR into the software. Fiddle with things until you can get something working. Learn how to export the mix as an mp3 or whatever.

    Forget all this and just deal with the crappy sound from your voice recorder.

    You owe me a candybar or something for all this. :)

    PS: A recording soundcard (M-audio Audiophile) will make this all less painful.
  5. linny

    linny Guest

    thanks a million! =)

    hey reggie--thanks a bunch for helping me out.. i do have one more question for you though... i was looking to buy the RCA cables, but are those cables the same thing as what's used for a DVD player that gets connected to the TV to transport the audio/video signal from the dvd to the tv? if so, i already have those then cause i have a dvd player.. sorry one more question in regards to your PS... is the record soundcard the thing that's in my computer?? or something else you would recommend me getting?? thanks again!


    p.s. not sure i can offer you a candy, but would a nice compliment suffice?? you are the nicest and best guy in the whole wide world!!! ;) and really smart about audio stuff!
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Re: thanks a million! =)

    Well at least I have one person fooled into thinking that. :p

    Yeah, the cables you have will work. I kinda figured you might already have some hooked up there somewheres.

    The M-Audio Audiophile is a soundcard made specifically for recording that you would have to buy and put in your computer. It already has RCA inputs just for this kind of thing. And is a lot more stable recording your audio signal than a built-in audio card.
  7. linny

    linny Guest

    one more question...

    okay, sorry reggie, i got one more question... i believe all of the vcr's in my house only have 1 output for audio, and isn't split into L/R.. will it still work to record, or is it just not possible with only 1 audio port? thanks again for all your time

  8. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Then your VCRs are liars. Burn them and throw them away.
    Or you can try using the output you have. Should work for your purposes. But I would be surprised if they don't have a stereo output.

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