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razor7music

[SOLVED] 4 Track Cassette to Digital Needed

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Hey All

I can Google this, but would prefer a recommendation.

I've got a few audio masters that are in 4 track cassette formats and want to transfer them to a wav file. I have a company near me that is doing stereo cassette transfers, but they don't have a 4 track player.

Any recommendations?

Thanks!

Edited by razor7music

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I have one of these......

img_3mQXEbKWDRvuRlv_r.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

....maybe see if you can pick one up cheap and do it yourself ?

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Are you talking about standard compact cassette tapes with one stereo track running on each side where you turn the cassette over to play or record the second set of stereo tracks.  Players for those should still be widely available at most thrift shops or your grandma's basement, although the quality of the tape may well have degraded and you would need to find one with the type of noise reduction used to record the originals. If you are looking for something special with four tracks on the same side/direction  of the tape then an old PortaStudio or the like would be harder to find.  The issue with those is that many of the original units had only two track output requiring a mixdown to stereo in the box. It may be difficult to pull four independent tracks out without potential synchronization problems when you try to put them back together due to tape stretch or capstan variability. 

But surely you can find a transfer service that can do something if you are willing to trust your tapes to the mail.

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Hello

Yes, these are the stereo on both sides of the tape kind.

Since this is a one-off, I was hoping to get a referral to a service that provides 4-track to digital transfers and not buy a deck that I'll never use again.

Thanks for the heads up on the NR -I read that. I also read that not all 4-track players record at the same speed. I know my Yamaha MT1X had a pitch slider, so that would have been great the keep.

We played my cassettes at the transfer company and the quality is still good. Just half the tracks are on the flip side and backwards!

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I've transferred old 4 track tapes using a regular cassette player. When you play one side of the tape it will be going forward, while the other side of the tape will be playing backwards. ( At least that is how it works with the songs recorded on my old Tascam 4 track) I usually record each side into SoundForge . I then split each stereo file into two tracks, and save each track separately,  giving me the original 4 tracks. I reverse the two backwards tracks, and then import the 4 separate tracks into Cakewalk, or Reaper to work on them. 

Edited by S.L.I.P.

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35 minutes ago, S.L.I.P. said:

I've transferred old 4 track tapes using a regular cassette player. When you play one side of the tape it will be going forward, while the other side of the tape will be playing backwards. ( At least that is how it works with the songs recorded on my old Tascam 4 track) I usually record each side into SoundForge . I then split each stereo file into two tracks, and save each track separately,  giving me the original 4 tracks. I reverse the two backwards tracks, and then import the 4 separate tracks into Cakewalk, or Reaper to work on them. 

Yeah, they offered to do that at the transfer company, but I didn't trust their ability to match each pair's timing correctly. Of course, I don't have a stereo cassette deck either.

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4 hours ago, Michael Vogel said:

After they’ve done the transfer as they offered (do one file per track) you can line up all the files in CbB.

Exactly. I haven't had any trouble lining up the tracks I've transferred into my DAW.

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Well, there was a Yamaha MTX1 on eBay for $100, which was lower than what I'd seen. Since I pay $20 to a service to transfer regular stereo tapes, I made an offer of $30 on the MTX1, with no intention of going any higher.

Yup, they accepted. So long as it works as said, I'm all set!

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