Digitise old LPs and cassettes the easy way
Magix Rescue Your Vinyl & Tapes is a useful way to accomplish a task that sounds as though it should be fun but can actually be very time-consuming.
Rescue is a Windows program designed to record audio on an LP or cassette and save it as a file on your computer’s hard disk, where it can be played back and transferred to a portable music player. A battery-powered pre-amplifier is supplied along with cables for connecting your LP or cassette player to your computer. The pre-amplifier is also used to boost the sound of the source cassette player or record deck if it does not produce a loud enough signal.
Rescue makes audio capture a doddle, gives good guidance on optimum recording levels and saves audio as CD-quality WAV files by default (it is also possible to save straight to MP3, Ogg Vorbis or FLAC). The conversion process – capture, clean, master, export – is simple and logical.
The editing tools are straightforward and, while not as powerful as professional audio software such as Cubase or Logic Pro, provide everything you need to tweak your converted music.
The strength of Rescue has long been the cleaning presets – there are 60 new ones here – and these do most of the work, removing hiss, clicks, pops and crackles. If this smoothes things out a bit too much so that recordings sound dull, the mastering tools sort it out quickly. It adjusts the stereo effect of old recordings, as well as adding brightness and volume to punch up performances so they sound good on a wide range of playback devices.
With all these tools you can be as lazy or as active as you like, relying on the wizards or loading individual effects and twiddling with the settings to achieve more precise results. Custom settings can be saved and then re-used, though we found the presets and the wizards to be good enough.
Version 4 also adds support for the high-speed dubbing mode that is a feature of some tape decks and can help speed up recording times. It also adds more cleaning and mastering presets, the ability to add reverb or echo to the entire recording (although use this with caution) and can rejig some of the wizards to make them much easier to use and more effective.
Even after all this, there is still more legwork to be done – it is still up to the user to add track names, artwork and so on – but Rescue is an effective tool for preserving hard-to-find, favourite or original recordings.
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Makes light work of converting records and tapes to digital
Range of effective, easy-to-use cleaning wizards; Supports high-speed dubbing from cassette decks; Has fine-tuning and audio-cleaning tools; Brightens old, dull recordings
Doesn't automatically fetch track data and album art
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