GROUNDWORKS DOCUMENTATION

Creating an Audio CD

This document covers the process for creating an audio CD using the Tascam CC-222 real-time CD recorder. The Tascam deck eliminates the need to use the computer to digitize your audio before recording it to CD, and makes the process for creating an audio CD very similar to the processes for recording a VCR tape or audio cassette.

Since the Tascam deck is a real-time CD recorder, it will take as long to record your tape as it would to play it back. You can create multitrack CDs as well as CDs containing a single long track.

There are three categories of audio input to the Tascam deck.

  1. Recording a CD from a cassette tape.
  2. Recording a CD digitally, from a MiniDisc (standard play (SP) only, we cannot play discs recorded in LP format), or DAT tape.
  3. Recording you can record a CD from other audio sources, including VHS, SVHS, international VHS formats, MiniDV, DVC Pro, and analog Hi-8. You can use the Tascam CD recorder to record audio from any source that you can play on either of our audio/video racks.

You will need to gather the following items:

You'll need to bring your original audio source tape, as well as a blank recordable CD. CD-Rs can be found at most stores where electronics are sold, the Pierpont Commons Bookstore, or the Reserve Desk on the second floor of the Media Union. Many CD players will not play CD-RW's so we recommend against using them.

If you'd like to listen to your audio on headphones while you are digitizing it, you'll need to bring your own set. The Tascam Deck has a quarter inch headphone jack. Otherwise, you can listen to your audio on one of the televisions connected to the a/v rack, though you'll have to be conscientious of your volume level. Please see the a/v rack documentation for more information on how to use the GroundWorks switcher.

This process takes five steps:

  1. Setting up your audio source
  2. Connecting the devices
  3. Setting up the Tascam CD recorder
  4. Recording your CD.
  5. Finalizing your CD

Step 1: Setup your audio source

Locate the your audio source deck in the GroundWorks audio/video conversion rack and insert your media.

If you are creating a CD from a cassette tape, you'll need to check a few settings on the Casette deck, otherwise if you have settings you would like to set on any individual deck, now is the time to do it.

Locate the Tascam CD-Cassette deck in the GroundWorks audio/video conversion rack.

1.

Insert your cassette tape.

The cassette deck is on the left side of the deck. Make sure the side of the tape you would like to record first faces out.

2.

Set the "Reverse Mode" for your recording.

Depending on how much of your tape you'd like to record, set the tape Rev Mode using the selector on the front of the deck to control how the deck behaves when it gets to the end of a side.

Select the two parallel arrows to play a single side of your cassette and then stop, the "U" shaped arrow to play the first side of your tape and then continue onto the opposite side of your tape. The third selection the circular arrow setting will play your tape continuously from the first side to the second and then back again until you stop your tape.

Don't worry if your tape is longer than the space available on your CD. When the disk has run out of room the Tascam deck will automatically end your CD.

3.

Turn noise reduction on

Use the Dolby NR knob on the bottom of the deck.

Step 2: Connect the devices

Use the audio/video rack's touchscreen switcher to connect your audio source to the Tascam CD burner. If you have not used this system before, please see the document, " How To Use the Audio/Video Rack ." You do not need to complete this step to record from Casette to CD.

1.

Use the touch screen on the Audio/Video switcher to set the device that will play your audio as the Input .

2.

Set device number 6 (CD Player) as the Destination . If your source device is in the A/V Rack on the left side, you will need to route the signal to the other rack, and then into the Tascam deck.

Step 3: Setup the Tascam CD recorder

1.

Insert a blank CD-R into the CD Drive of the Tascam Deck. Make sure the recordable side of the disc faces down.

2.

Select your input.

Select the appropriate input setting by cycling through the various inputs by pressing the Input 1 Sel button. Each time you press the button the input will change.

To record from a casette tape, select Tape.

To record from either DAT tape or MiniDisc, select Coaxial.

To record from any other device, select Line 1.

The Tascam display screen will show the selected input.

3.

Turn Auto Tracking Off.

Auto Tracking is a function that will automatically create track divisions on the CD if the volume level reaches 0 for a certain number of seconds. This option only works for very specific functions. For this application, we will manually set the track divisions and not use auto tracking.

If Auto Tracking is already turned on, the word A-Track will appear in the display window, beneath where the Tape input indicator is displayed.

1. Press the Menu button to cycle through the menu options until you see A_Track> ON.

2. Turn the Multi Dial until you see the word OFF.

3. Push the Multi Dial to hit enter and exit the menu.

4

Put the CD into Record Standby mode.

Press the Record button on the right side of the deck once to place the CD recorder into Record Standby mode. The display will briefly read "Now OPC". When it is finished the CD will be paused and ready to record.

5

Set the volume levels using the Input levels knob.

If you are recording from MiniDisc or DAT you can skip ahead to "cueing your source". Because the connection between these decks and the CD recorder is digital, the volume settings from your original tape will automatically carry over to the CD.

Instructions for analog sources, such as cassette, VHS, or Hi-8: In order to achieve a high quality recording, you need to set the recording volume levels based on the volume of the tape you are recording from. The levels need to be set so that they are recorded high enough to capture all of the sound well, but not so high so that the sound "clips," or distorts.

Press the Play button to play your cassette tape, and locate an area of your tape which contains what you would consider to be a high volume area. As the tape plays, you will see the audio levels on the right side of the Tascam Deck display screen. The bar graph displayed will move up and down, or bounce, according to the volume levels of the tape you are playing. The bars on the top of the screen indicate the volume of the cassette tape. The bars at the bottom of the screen indicate the CD recording volume, and are the levels you are concerned with.

You can control the volume levels using the Input level control knob on the right side of the deck. Use the Input control to adjust the recording level, so that the loudest sections of your tape just barely reach around "0dB" on levels meters, or just where the meters turn red and registers as "Over".

You can also adjust the Input levels while the CD is being recorded, but doing so will create an uneven volume on your final CD. It is best to adjust the volume as best you can at this point, and change the levels while recording only in an emergency.

Note: If you haven't put the CD burner into Record Standby mode, as in step 3, you will not be able to see the volume levels.

6

At this point, you will also want to cue your source.

Using the source deck controls, locate the spot where you would like to begin recording and leave your tape stopped just before this spot.

Step 4: Record your CD

Recording your CD is easy, and works in the same way recording a cassette tape or videotape would work.

1.

Begin recording.

Press either Play or Pause on the CD Recorder to begin recording. Immediately after you press Play on this deck, press Play on the Cassette deck.

2.

Divide your CD into tracks.

There are two ways to separate your audio into tracks on your CD.

To separate one big chunk of audio into tracks:

If you're recording a long, continuous section of audio from a tape, but you would like to separate the audio into tracks, you'll need to do this by hand. All you need to do is press the Record button on the CD recorder once as your CD is being recorded, and a new track will instantly be created without disrupting the flow of your recording. There is no need to stop or pause the CD or tape.

To take separate sections of your tape, or change the order or the audio on your cassette tape:

To take different sections of your tape (or tapes), press pause on the CD recorder at the end of a section. While the CD is paused, locate the place you'd like to begin recording on your source tape. As in Step 1, to begin recording, press Play on the CD deck and then Play on the source deck. Whenever you Stop or Pause the CD recorder, a new track will be created.

To learn about setting up the Tascam CD Recorder to automatically create tracks, see the --- section on the left.

3.

Finish recording.

When you are finished recording, press stop on the Tascam CD writer, and on the source tape deck as well.

The Tascam display will display "PMA Writing".

Step 5: Finalize the disc

This final step allows the Tascam deck to finish your CD so that it becomes playable in standard CD players. In many ways, this is the most important step. If you forget to finalize your CD, it won't be playable in your home CD player.

1.

When the PMA Writing display disappears, press the Finalize button on the right side of the Tascam deck.

2.

The deck will now read "Finalize OK?" Push the Multi Dial to hit enter and say yes.

3.

The display will count down approximately 1 minute and 10 seconds. When this countdown is finished, your disk will be ready and you are ready to go. Remember to eject your cassette tape as well, and disconnect any connections you may have made on the audio/video switcher.

Summary

You now have a high quality audio CD which you can use in a stereo or on a computer with audio playing capabilities.

Next Steps

1.

We recommend that you test the disc in the CD-player of your stereo or discman. You can also use a computer with a CD-ROM drive and audio-playing applications such as Quicktime or Real Player.

2.

The way you choose to label your disc may affect the quality of playback. Research the best method to suit your needs by referring to the link in the Related documents section below.


Related documents

Choosing blank media for music CDs
Suggestions from www.crutchfield.com.

Detailed information on blank media
Even more info -- this time from CDMediaworld.com.

Labeling
Be sure to label your disc. Here's a link to some solutions, and issues to watch out for.

"The 7 Fatal Mistakes of Storing Data, Music, & Photos on CDs"
White paper discussing issues involved in storing data on CDs, particularly for long-term storage.

Manual for the Tascam CC-222
1.3 MB Acrobat Reader file.

This document was written by Heather Campbell.

Last modified September, 2003.