Home Tape / Timecode Multitrack Method in Detail

Yamaha KX-260 Stereo Tape Deck

I’ve talked recently about the use of a timecode sync in home multitrack tape recording, and for this post I’m going to expand on that with an example recording, then a breakdown of exactly how the track was put together. Continue reading

Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Portastudio Recording

Tascam Four Track Level Meters

Most people with a major interest in tape recording will probably know a fair bit about Portastudios. But whatever your experience in this field, I bet there’s at least one thing in this collection of obscure facts that you didn’t know about the world of Tascam four-track tape machines… Continue reading

Why Use Audio Cassettes in the Digital Age?

Sony Metallic 60 Cassette

The answer was once obvious. Decades ago, people used compact cassettes because there was no other media upon which they could conveniently preserve sound at home, and because cassettes allowed pre-recorded matter to be played in places where the delicacy and static requirements of vinyl disc turntables were impractical. Continue reading

1990 Memorex dBS+ 60 Audio Cassette

Memorex dBS+ 60 cassette

I can’t help feeling that I’ve been harsh with Memorex tapes over the course of this blog. The generation with which I had the most affinity (early ‘80s) were not well designed for the long term, and the high bias variants I used did not produce the sparkling trebles of their rivals. But in a recent test, I found that the actual tape contained in an early ‘80s Memorex MRXI (a normal bias Type I) acquitted itself very well sonically once the design flaws in the cassette were resolved. That prompted me to evaluate a later Memorex Type I… Continue reading

The Lore of Lo-Fi Cassettes

1970s Audio Cassettes

Technically, it’s an abomination. Inaccurate sonic reproduction, often lacking high end definition, drizzled in haphazard distortions, subject to random pitch fluctuations and topped off with a hissy backdrop. But to some, these technically woeful traits have come to represent beauty, character, charm. Why? Why do some of us prefer a bad recording to a good one? Why do we actually like lo-fi? Continue reading

1980s Sony BHF 90 Audio Cassette Dismantled

1980s Sony BHF90 Dismantled

Firstly, I should mention that this is not the 1983 BHF 90 I photographed previously (or indeed the 1981). This is another variant with a few small detail differences from the ’83. Continue reading

Rhythm Divine 1 and 2 Audio Cassettes

Rhythm Divine Audio Cassettes 1 and 2

Whilst my street-cred mates would never have anything to do with compilation albums, I didn’t have the slightest problem with the idea. Right from as far back as I can remember I was pestering my Mom for K-Tel double albums and playing them repetitively until the record player needed a new stylus. Continue reading