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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in search of a program that would allow me to use my Mac (Pismo or G4 Sawtooth) to do audio recordings for a radio broadcast (onto cassette tape). I would like to blend music into the background of voice at various volumes. Do i actually need a soundboard for something like this, or is there software that can accomplish this? How does one hook up to a basic stereo for the actual recording? Or, would I do it all on my drive and then somehow upload it to a cassette recorder? As you can tell, I am new to Mac recording. Any cheap but good shareware programs out there that you recommend?
 

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Best software that is FREE is Protools FREE. You can download it at www.digidesign.com in their download section. It runs on OS 9 and not 10. It's an 8 track recording software that is a "slimmed" down version of what the profestionals use. A very useful program. Perfect for radio promos or whatever you throw at it. As far as getting the sound on your tapedeck....just take the audio out on your Mac and run it into the audio in on your deck....hit record on your tape deck and press play in ProTools and there ya go!! Happy recording


Sean.
 

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just take the audio out on your Mac and run it into the audio in on your deck.
If you want a little more detail on how to do this... all you have to do is get a converter cable from radioshack with a mini stereo plug on one end and two RCA plugs on the other end. Plug the mini-plug into the Mac and the RCA plugs into the stereo. Actually I think the converter cable has female RCA plugs so you can just add a cable with male plugs on each end.
 

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You can also download Deck 3.5 from Bias . They make great audio editing software and they have a full-featured trial available for download. They have both OS X and OS 9 software available.

Out of curiousity, what type of cassette recorder are you using? Are you going to go from your mac to a portable recording unit or to a home stereo unit? That will influence what type of cable you would need from your friendly neighborhood radio Shack. ;)

Also...why would you want to take a digital source (your Mac) and copy to analogue (your tape)? You will lose a lot of quality in the transfer...especially tape hiss.
 

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I would recommend downloading ProTools Free (OS9) or TC Works Spark ME 2.7 (OSX). They're both free downloads.

ProTools does better with multitrack recording (more than 2 channels) while Spark is great for stereo files.

In each case, you have to hunt around a bit at the sites to find them, but they're there.

DigiDesign ProTools Free

TCWorks Spark ME
Go to: Products: Spark: Spark ME

" ... Also...why would you want to take a digital source (your Mac) and copy to analogue (your tape)? You will lose a lot of quality in the transfer...especially tape hiss. ..."
My guess is they want it on cassette tape. As for sound quality, no radio broadcast is as good as a cassette tape, so the point is moot.

If you aren't all that familiar with sound recording, these applications may be a bit much as far as the learning curve goes. Personally, considering what you want to do, I would just use iMovie and export it as a Quicktime file (audio 16bit 44.1Khz stereo) and then by using the audio adapter mentioned earlier, record the finished audio to cassette.

You could record the audio on your Mac with a Griffin iMic and a suitable microphone (about $75), or (perhaps easier) record the voice on a cassette recorder, upload that to iMovie, add music via the CD drive, and export to Quicktime and then back to cassette.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really appreciate all the help. I have checked out ProTools. Definitely a big learning curve for someone who hasn't done any digital audio. Basically, I want the ability that multitracks give me of dubbing in music behind vocal. That is what tracks do? Tell me if I'm wrong.
 

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I would really look into iMovie. At least, I would try it first, as it will do the job and may be easier to learn (those free programs don't come with good manuals or any support).

iMovie will easily mix 4 tracks down to 2, which is all you need. Record your audio (you can do it a number of ways, including borrowing a DV camera. Just ignore the video and import the audio).

Powerbooks generally have audio-in which might be missing on a G4 desktop, so use that machine if you can.

Then iMovie willl also add any 2ch stereo music you can get on the computer. Ignore the video part; it's a good audio editor by itself. You can do some good editing with iMovie.

Export as a Quicktime file and to record to cassette, hook up everything and select play movie. The audio will go straight to whatever you hook it to (ie your cassette deck).

If you want, after you export the Quicktime stereo track from iMovie, open it up in Spark ME and run the Normalizer Filter at -0.3dB setting, then save. That will give a good level for the radio.

Record the cassette with Dolby B (and mark that on the tape prominently) and that will give you a S/N of 45-60dB which means the radio's own noise level (-10 to -40db) will be higher than any tape hiss. In other words, tape hiss over radio is inaudible.

For hardware, you need a stereo pair of RCA-RCA connectors and the Radio Shack 2.5mm "Mini" Phone to 2 RCA jacks adapter, about $8.

You will use these to get sound from a cassette player and (by plugging them into different ports/jacks) to dub the final QuickTime file to the cassette deck. If you use a DV camcorder, of course, you need the firewire cable as well.

To use a microphone for voice, you may need an external one you can plug into the Mac. However, a cassette/microcassette recorder with built-in mic or a DV camera will be easier to use (they're portable).
 
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