When César asked for some Ópera tape dumps, those tapes where in cpcmaniaco's house since he was scanning the covers & inlays by then. I think we dumped them with a walkman-to-usb tape player, which is sometimes useful as César can tell you -I think last time he was in Madrid, Rafa and him managed to dump some tapes successfully with this same device.
Indeed, i confirm that César did effectively some dumps of his own tapes via a walkman to usb-tape player indeed.
At home I have other tape players which I use on a day-to-day basis: a Scisys SV-1400 and two Philips, D6350 and D6450 (the first one has polarity control and the second one pitch control, but it's not commonly used on Amstrad tapes).
In fact the main rule is simple and easy : less possible noise before filtering the WAV. But i agree that not all the tape recorders are suited for tape dumping.
Using different tape players allows me to dump tapes without tweaking the azimuth alignment, as you may know.
My hint : there's no need to tweak the azimuth alignment. Each tape has its own sound level, and you must make varying the sound level not on the recorder side, but on the sound tool recorder side. That's really how things must be done.
My own tape recorder has always the same sound entry level. Everything is driven accordingly from goldwave. that's how i get perfect, low noise WAV dumps.
Also, I switch between them depending on the recording level of the tapes, and even the manufacturer of them: I know it's better to use the D6450 to create a proper .wav of Sygram or PPP magazine-covertapes, but the Scisys is superior in order to dump tapes produced by CBS (Erbe, MCM).
I don't understand the idea or the reasoning behind this. You normally should be able to dump ANY tape with ANY working tape recorder.
Seriously, do you see me changing my recording hardware when a collector send me 90 tapes to dump in 2 days ? No, i set the right sound level PER tape. And it works everytime, so if it works for me, it should works for you
Of course I use Goldwave and the line-in connector, on a computer dedicated to it (no other programs are running at the same time I am recording the sound).
Ok, then i don't understand how your signal can be this much full of noise and bleeding noise. I asked César to let me check the dumps you did.
I'm sorry, because i sound or my words seems to be hard or not nice at all, but truth must be said :
just by looking the signal of your wavs indicate the settings you use for recording are incorrect. I know you dumped a lot of tapes, and i have no idea of how you achieved to make CDT out of them, it's an entire mystery to me
And you know like me that the tools used to process the tapes afterwards need to seperate or distinguish what is noise from what is data.
I do know which is the best recording level to create a .cdt (or a .tzx, or a .tap) and I do know which tools where at hand until now.
I apologize : I just can't agree with you on that point. The recording level of the dumps you did is more than 2 times higher than needed, and this brings a problem : the noise gets mixed up with the sound data.
Samp2cdt is fucking disgrace to anyone in the CPC communauty, and since day one. César could explain you that not only it calculates the timings of the tapes out of nowhere, but even worse, most schemes are incorrectly supported.
Never mind too the buggy and useless tools we used for CDT reversing back to WAV......
Ubercassette is unsuited for the CPC, never mind the timings support, and also the schemes support.
that's the root of the creation of CSW2CDT. Right now, all the speedlock schemes are completely supported and correctly this time, now the timings are picked from the WAV dumped and injected in the CSW, and finally used in the final CDT.
The reversal of the CDT is also working correctly, as we tested it on 1000 tapes dump i did on a real CPC 464.
Even more, my procedure was similar to that used by César (I processed the .wav through a Butterworth filter using CSW for ZX Spectrum, then converted it back to .wav... César's tool is definitely much quick to use, and handy!).
My procedure is the following : i first make a WAV with the lowest possible noise, so when i pass it thru the CSW filtering tool, i get a CSW that is incredibly clean, making right away a CDT that doesn't need to be clean up afterwards.
I'm happy that what César did in term of UI is indeed very quick to use and handy. I asked him to create an the UI due to the huge amount of tapes i had to dump and process. As you know maybe, Loic Daneels regularly sent me an industrial quantity of original CPC tapes to dump. this means 2 things : 1) no time for fiddling with the hardware 2) no time for using the command line.
the UI is really very pratical, and i hope everybody will find it so
As I told César, the only thing I missed on his alpha version was CDTcheck to check the CRC of standard blocks and note its name down, and CPCTape's Studio-like-utility to swap blocks between .cdts.
Ok let me bring my own view on this statement. There is no more need for CDTcheck. CSW2CDT is doing the job already. If you process a tape that use custom Amstrad CPC blocks, if the filtering was made correctly, you will get the CRC OK inside the log. So CDTcheck is made completely redundant and useless. CSW2CDT will not flag a block as OK if this one is wrong or incorrect. you will get -- instead of OK.
Since CSW2CDT is equipped with a cleaning routine (-5), there's no more the need to use even Tapir or CPCtapeXP for moving blocks.
The internal IA recognize automatically which type of protection or encoding system is used.
The only thing you have to take care of, is the entry WAV sound level and noise. CSW2CDT will never process correctly a WAV where the noise level is too high, as i have been able to see in your dumps or those of other people.
I am really glad you have finally managed to make a working tool to dump tapes. I congratulate you for finally creating a program that will allow us to dump tapes that where impossible to make work on an emulator unless you loaded them as .wav.
I am the one who has asked to Cesar to do something about the tapes. Samp2cdt was just a source of problems, and César was aware of those, we had numerous chats about this matter.
But I am not so happy with the secrecy you have followed these years, when I asked César again and again to have his program and test it myself too.
Many people (aside you) have hammered me or César to get access to the tool. But the tool was not mature enough. We had a big number of regression during the 2 years of the development of CSW2CDT, and i was personally AGAINST any release, not only César, because the tool was not mature enough.
Since the dumps you did were not good enough, (i'm sorry to tell it, and i hope you won't get vexated about it), but truth has to be said one end for all
This would have been another problem to deal with. You can't tweak, refine and enhance such a program with bad/noisy/filthy dumps.
CSW2CDT has the excellent support you noticed because all the dumps i sent to César were the best he could possibly have in input to test the program during his infancy.
It's even probable that Samp2cdt failure was due to the fact that the program was tested with wrong or bad dumps.
And I am not definetly happy if you try to give me lessons on how to do something I have been doing quite successfully for years -
you did a lot of CDT, there's no questions about that. But look at the glass in the opposite side : Kukulcan had to clean up a lot of the spanish tape dumps (and my own ones too !) because the CDTs were dirty. He spent a lot of time on cleaning them, and i helped him with my own tapes, as well as those submitted by you and our others spanish friends.
It's not about giving a lesson, i feel myself not very pleased to have such a chat or discussion, because i knew you would not react well (who would ?).
But you can turn around things in every possible way : you did a lot of dump, OK, but the WAVs i saw were just done..... in a careless manner.
Just to illustrate, if i want to get the same result as you, i just have to pull up the sound level on my recorder to the maximum, and then do the same in goldwave.
We are in 2017, i started to dump tapes in 2003, and during these years i have found the best possible parameters, allowing to make the best dumps (almost as good as if i had an industrial tape recorder).
César could confirm himself the quality of the WAVs i did. It's not words, it's effective.
.....at least, with the tools and knowledge I had at hand/or I have been able to develop -not with your help, until recently.
We used the same tools. CSW from Ramsoft and Samp2cdt. If you developed a tool for tapes, i'm not aware of it, and i never heard about it.
So many thanks for your work, but please don't be so patroniser with us
Thank you very much Jaime
In my name and César's ; I'm not patronising with you at all Jaime, it's a difficult chat to have, because i know that people feel bulied or brutalized since i talk about settings and quality of the dumps, this hurts people personally because quite a number thinks they're doing it fine. I recognize that Samp2cdt due to its bugs and uncareness, allowed to do things that would normally be not possible to do.
For instance, since CSW2CDT inject the timings from the tape, this means that if you feed in it a very noisy WAV, the timings will possibly be wrong, and this means that in the end the CDT will have a defect. shame : there is no possibility to ensure the timings are OK. The CSW must be good and fully working. Next, it's not because you can load a CSW inside CPCE that it could be processed, indeed, if it contains too much noise, the encoder will have troubles to make a good CDT.
I know for a fact that there is no generic solution or a good set up. I try to do my best to help people to use the best possible parameters, but it changes depending of the tape recorder you use. That's why i always use the same tape recorder, otherwise you have to change each time your settings, and that's too problematic and it takes too much time.
In the end, don't take it too much personal ; I have to say that all the spanish people i talked with are very nice. Either Rafa, yourself or Mauricio, you're very cool guys