Transferring Audio to MP3

old audio tape cassettes and player

You may have a boxful of old cassettes that you’d love to enjoy again and preserve forever. Now you can! These old tapes can be sensitive so they must be handled with care. We only use them once as the source tape for playback in order to convert or digitize your old audio cassettes to CD or MP3s.​

Over time the quality of the sound degrades, and through the digitization process we can often enhance the playback quality by optimizing audio levels and reducing noise. These cassettes are prone to higher noise levels of humming and hissing. Not to mention the familiar crackle and pop! Generally, the optimization process also raises the vocal level too. Perhaps you’re familiar with the problem of the sound getting quieter and quieter, and you just can’t seem to turn the volume up high enough to hear it well without distorting the sound.

So transferring your cassettes to mp3 is not just a preservation and re-enjoyment job, but really a restoration of your memories and sounds that underpin them. So pack ’em up and send them over!


Repair of Damaged Audio Cassette Tapes​


Don’t throw out your cassettes just because you think they’re no longer playable! Even if the tape itself is broken, twisted, wrinkled or has the familiar “sticky tape syndrome” – they are not beyond recovery. We can fix these problems before we use them as the original for playback.​

Typically, audio tape is prone to the sticky tape syndrome (also called sticky shed syndrome), and can easily affect tapes within 15 to 20 years. This happens because magnetic tape contains iron oxide, and the glue that holds the thin plastic over it (the carrier) deteriorates. Some of these glues – called “binders” stop working completely over time because of moisture absorbtion, called hydrolysis.​

So how do you know your tape is afflicted? One major sign is that the tape just won’t rewind. The reel of the tape may start to screech and squeak. Try to pre-empt this and have them restored before it’s too late. In the event that it is too late, we may still be able to recover it. What we do is bake it! Yes, but only for a short period. This drives the water molecules from the binder usually long enough for a quick transfer into a digitized format.​

Digitizing Vinyl Records – LP to MP3​


Just like your cassettes, your beloved records can also be digitized. Over the years records become fragile and degrade. Also, with each play, the quality continues to degrade, and many of these records simply cannot be replaced any more. What you have now needs to be preserved.

We handle each record very carefully and only play it back once for the purpose of digitizing and permanently preserving your favorite sounds.

Once the record is in a digitized format, we can apply a fair amount of technology to clean it up.

Records are prone to crackle and pop, as well as hiss and hum. We apply what are called “noise reduction filters” to remove these background noises. Your old vinyl records will sound better than ever!​​

Reel to Reel Audio Tape Transfer to MP3 or CD​

movie camera and reels

Just like with cassettes and LPs, we treat your sensitive reel to reel tapes very carefully and only play them once for the digitization process. Reel to reel audio has it’s own set of noises that become more and more pronounced over time, but they can also be removed. Following digitization of your reel to reel audio into mp3 or CD formats, and using similar technology of digital sound filters, we remove these “noises” fro the background. Our system identifies and isolates these sound, and deletes them! So what you have left is beautiful sound, permanently memorialized in digital MP3 format so you can enjoy it anywhere and everywhere again.​

This can get complicated for most folks, and unless you’re an AV buff, buying and learning new software may also bee daunting. At AV Video Workshop we do this every day. Which means a professional look, using professional equipment. It also means that in most cases, it can be done quite quickly. Since this is personal to your footage, you may not want to leave it up to us do decide what’s important! So give us a call and we’ll book an appointment to get it done for you as quickly as possible.

Micro Cassette Transfer and Digitization to mp3 or CD​

CD Music Library image

If you’ve read the above sections, and particularly on cassettes, then the same processes apply to transferring you micro cassettes to digital formats. You have a choice between CD for mp3 formats. Or can have both of course.​

The beautiful thing about new technology is that it can not only recover, but improve and quality of the sounds you had grown to love all those years ago. These old LPs, cassettes and 8-tracks are memories and experiences of our pasts, embodied in sound.


All tape based audio technology has a predetermined useful life. By nature, tapes – whether on reels or in cassettes – are fragile and prone to environmental condition. But even what would be “ideal” conditions, they will still degrade over time. The other reality of these technologies is that because they rely surface contact to create sound, there is inevitable depredation in quality after each use. Modern digital technology does not rely on surface contact, so there’s no degradation of sound quality, and since the format is digital, it’s not impacted by environmental conditions.

So whether you have cassettes, LPs, or reel to reel audio, send them in to us for conversion into CD or mp3 formats. Or have both!

Recent Audio Cassette to Digital Conversion Project

1500 Audio Cassette Tapes Archived and Enhanced to Digital Files

AV recently transferred and enhanced 1500 audio cassette tapes for a local Big Sur educational center. These tapes held the cherished audio recordings of their guest speakers over the past 50 years. The educational center wanted to protect their tapes from deterioration and natural disasters as well as make the recordings editable for current and future projects. Luckily, AV’s audio cassette to uncompressed WAVE file with level optimization and noise reduction was perfect for this task!
AV used high quality professional Sony audio cassette decks to capture the audio into Sony Sound Forge. AV also fixed any tapes that required repairs such as felt replacements or tape splicing. Once the audio was digitized, AV applied level optimization to balance the audio at approximately -6 db (equal to 0 db analog). Each audio recording was also trimmed to remove any extra dead-air at the beginning and end.
The files were output at 44 kHz / 16 bit which is the professional grade output for analog sources. Every file and tape was also labeled by number so it’s easy to find which recording came from which tape! As a result, the educational center received back their original cassette tapes as well as their digital WAVE files on a USB Hard Drive! Now, they can conveniently play, edit, and share their new enhanced audio recordings! Con’t Reading… 

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