Monday, September 05, 2005

Using Total Recorder to record songs from cassette

I've sung the praises of Total Recorder (I'm using it now to record more episodes of In Our Time, and other BBC4 radio shows.)

I noticed this procedure I'd put into my old infoindex.doc (I may blog about that file one day), and thought I'd post it here so I'd have it again if I need it in future.

I did this last Christmas when porting a local group's Christmas cassette to CD. (You can buy a CD yourself here from the source.)

Required tools: Total Recorder, WinWord, ClipMate

Recording the tracks in Total Recorder
  1. In the Options>Save tab, set the folder to the working folder where the raw files will go.

  2. In the options>Split tab, split the incoming sound into separate files when there's 2 seconds of silence

  3. Set a file-name generation rule. I found this dialog box difficult to understand and the help file didn't help much. But I set the files to generate sequential numbers.

  4. In the TR interface, click the Use Save As dialog option

Now, when playing the cassette back, TR will save a new file after 2 seconds of silence. This worked like a charm. I'm always delighted when a process works the first time.

The first side that I did, I recorded the whole cassette in a giant file and then used TR to scan and split each file at the breaks. The more automatic way detailed above is the way to go.

Generating the track names
  1. In WinWord, open a new document.

  2. Type in all the song names, then set up some seq fields so that I had a template of:

  3. 01-{seq side1}, that would translate to 01-03, for example, for Side 1, Track 3.
    Side two was 02-{seq side2}.
  4. Typed in all the song titles, and added .wav to the end.

  5. Replaced spaces in the track name with underscores.

  6. Copied the track listing seq template to each line.

  7. Highlight the lines and press F9 to updated the seq fields. They should be correctly numbered.

  8. Copy each line to ClipMate.
  9. In File Manager, go to the working folder where the raw files are.

  10. In ClipMate, set the Paste Down or Up option in Clipmate.

  11. Highlight each filename in FIle Mangler, and press F2 to enter rename mode.

  12. Start pasting in the names. WIth Paste Up or Paste Down selected, you don't need to keep flipping back to ClipMate. ClipMate will automatically paste in the next line.

Them, I used Roxio CD Creator to burn the files to CD. I didn't have to clean up the sound, as it all sounded OK.

Maybe next time I'll just buy the CD.