Transfering MD Recording to Computer

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bdengler, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. bdengler


    Jan 23, 2000
    New Albany, Ohio
    Do any of you know how to transfer a recording from a Mini Disc (e.g., Sony MD's) to a computer?

    Thanks, Brian
  2. You're welcome. The information was in the FAQ at the top of this forum. By the way, it may not have been mentioned in that thread but it would be worth installing an audio editor to record the MD playback. Audacity ( is a free audio editor - much superior to Windoze Sound Recorder. It's worth checking out if you want to record in your material (and if you're not able to use a digital transfer).

    Cheers! Mike
  3. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Digital transfer is only possible with Hi-MD; if it's standard MD, can't be done.

    If you'll be doing this regularly, and if you have to go through an analog (real-time play) step anyway, you might want to use that for some cleanup. I wire my MD into an component-type equalizer, then to the sound card line input - gives me an opportunity to do some (judicious) cleanup and re-balancing of the sound between the MD unit and the PC.

    +1 on the Audacity suggestion.
  4. Ned Starks Head

    Ned Starks Head Yis, actually.

    Sep 25, 2004
    Charlotte NC
    Not to highjack this thread, but....
    I use a Sharp MD MT-15 minidisc straight to the line-in with Audacity to record. Can you give any more specific information on what kind of component type equalizer?
  5. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    Sure. I use a regular 'ol 10-band home-stereo equalizer. There are probably dozens that fit the bill, but here's one, just to give you an idea (not a recommendation of this particular one, just for clarity of the type I'm talking about):

    You'll also need two identical 1/8" stereo miniplug to dual RCA jack cables (Radio Shack stocks them). Plug the miniplug into your MD unit's headphone out (or line out if it has one), then plug the other end into the RCA jack inputs of the EQ. Using the other cable, RCA jack outputs from the EQ back to 1/8" stereo miniplug into the Line In of the sound card. Test-play your recording (through good PC speakers or good headphones), set the EQ sliders as you think best, then record the same way you always have.

    I also have a Hi-MD unit, which is capable of USB uploading - but I still do it this way, because the EQ'ing makes a big difference. Go easy with those sliders, though - if you push 'em too much, the resultant files can sound pretty ratty. Just use them for some *gentle* correction, especially if your recording is unbalanced in the first place (one of the mics too close to the tambourine, for example).
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    It most certainly can. I do it all the time.

    As described on the other thread, the required hardware is a sound card with a digital in and a MiniDisc desk with a digital out.

    And there are software packages which will do EQ and other effects much cleaner than any analog device. I recommend Cakewalk Pyro which is very inexpensive, and SoundForge Studio, which is much better but a little more expensive. I'd try the filters in the aforementioned Audacity.
  7. rboyce


    Oct 12, 2003
    Boston, MA
  8. bigbeefdog

    bigbeefdog Who let the dogs in?

    Jul 7, 2003
    Mandeville, LA
    The majority of standard MD units don't have a digital output. If you have one that does, you're fortunate - but for most, analog is the only way.

    As for the software editors vs. hard EQ, I find it much easier to "ride gain" during the upload with the hard sliders at my fingertips. Guess I'm still "old school" in that regard....
  9. Ned Starks Head

    Ned Starks Head Yis, actually.

    Sep 25, 2004
    Charlotte NC
    Thanks BBD, that clears it up. Usually when recording, I've just been trying to get the levels balanced while standing near the mike before the take, as most of the preset equalization effects Audacity has are....well..... crap. Already have a couple of thos cables too.