Minidisc to mp3 stereo question

Simon asked me a question about getting music from his minidisc in to his computer.

He is considering buying the audio editing program SoundForge and needs to record audio from his minidisc which has a click track on one side and the rest of the music on the other and wants to know if he needs to kepp everything in stereo:

Hi There,
I have read the article by Kenny Campbell about converting Mini Disk files to MP3 files. If i purchase a program such as SoundForge, and record the backing tracks up onto that program, will it still keep the click to one side and the track to the other if i am using just the 6mm Jack output from the small mini disk player? Would i need to use a ‘stereo’ lead as opposed to ‘mono’? Any help you can offer would be great.

Hi Simon

Yes, you would need to use a stereo cable to preserve the seperation of the music you have on both sides.

Stereo simply means 2 channels of music running at the same time – one channel of music on on the left side and one channel of music on the right side.

So if you have a minidisc with stereo audio on it which has say, a click track on the left and the rest of the music on the right, you need to preserve this stereo seperation when you record it in to your computer.

SoundForge is a particularly good audio editing program and will certainly record both the left and right channels from your minidisc and keep the seperation.

To do this, there are two important aspects you have to keep in mind.

1. You need a stereo cable from your minidisc to your computer. Your local computer or hi-fi store will be able to supply the correct cable off-the-shelf if you tell them exactly what you’re looking for.

2. You need a sound card installed in your computer that is high quality and can record incoming signals in stereo.

Cheap computer soundcards sometimes only have a mono mic-in or a mono line-in so just check the technical spec of your soundcard as this type of sound card won’t do. You need a sound card installed in your computer that will allow you to input a STERO signal in to your computer.

If you don’t have a stereo soundcard in your computer then it may mean a trip to your local computer store (or you can buy one online probably for a lot less).

Most sound cards are of the type that require you to grab a screwdriver, open up your computer and physically install the hardware. But there are also external soundcards on the market which simply plug in to the USB port so are easier to install. External sound cards were primarily designed for use with laptops but work just as well on desktop PC’s.

If you’re using an extermal soundcard just make sure you follow the instructions carefully to ensure there are no conflicts with your internal soundcard – you may need to uninstall the drivers and software for your internal sound card before you will be able to run your external sound card.