Any tapeheads here?

Talk about anything in general here.
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Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

I've been getting into Compact Cassettes and VHS tapes recently, and I really enjoy them!

I've been making both cassette and VHS mixtapes with whatever I can get my hands on. I actually got myself a TEAC W-1200 cassette deck, and is the top of the line deck you can get today, and using the right tapes, any recording you make with it sound 1:1 with the original, even if you only use stuff still in production! I've been recording songs off of Youtube, SoundCloud and Spotify. I have made about 25 mixtapes full of my favourite internet songs, and it's fun to shuffle between them and listen to random songs as I browse the web or work on projects.

I've also been making VHS mixtapes full of Youtube videos I enjoy, or films I can only get from streaming services. The quality is pretty bad by today's standards, but I still enjoy them, and the mechanical nature of them, like hearing the tape being pulled out to be played, and hearing it eject. Nothing beats it! I've made mixtapes of TF2 Gmod videos and Jehtt's Sonic Edits.

Does anyone else like to do this kind of thing?
Last edited by Cobra! on Sat Feb 04, 2023 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

I'm absolutely into tapes! I mostly listen to bought tapes though, as they are coming back big time in the punk scene with vinyl becoming so expensive. Here's my collection so far. Also, recently I got a nice storage solution for my various mixtapes/project tapes, it's tidy as heck! :D

I'm using a 1989 Pioneer CT-W700R.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by tsvety »

Starfighter wrote: Fri Jan 20, 2023 10:35 pm I'm absolutely into tapes! I mostly listen to bought tapes though, as they are coming back big time in the punk scene with vinyl becoming so expensive. Here's my collection so far. Also, recently I got a nice storage solution for my various mixtapes/project tapes, it's tidy as heck! :D

I'm using a 1989 Pioneer CT-W700R.
how neat!

I have two decks, one being a very nice nakamichi. I don't really have any tapes, and suspect that both are out of adjustment. How can one verify playback speed?
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by msxdotgay »

Cassettes and VHS is super fun to play around with, I can make just about anything look and sound like it came from the 1980s

Plus decent cassette and VHS decks are pretty cheap second hand, a thrift store by me always had a few VHS decks in stock

One thing I will say: if you're looking to get a VHS deck, look for one with Hi-Fi Stereo
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

msxdotgay wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:33 amPlus decent cassette and VHS decks are pretty cheap second hand, a thrift store by me always had a few VHS decks in stock
Well in the case of cassette, I would recommend people buy one of the few good new decks. JVC, Sony, TEAC and TASCAM still make proper mid-range and high end decks, and I want people to buy them to show those companies there's still a demand for them. I don't want to see that cheap and nasty mechanism every no brand deck uses to be the only one left on the market.

Tapes, too. Maxell still make their UR cassettes and one company started making Type IIs again.

VCRs are of course sadly no longer being made, but tapes are. You can still get TDK tapes from Amazon easily (At least in Scotland you can).
tsvety wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:08 amI have two decks, one being a very nice nakamichi. I don't really have any tapes, and suspect that both are out of adjustment. How can one verify playback speed?
You can get devices that measure it for you. Techmoan on YouTube uses one all the time when reviewing cassette decks. I can't imagine they're very cheap, though, so I would just find any tape with audio on it and judge it by ear. (Unless someone else has a better idea)
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by sacrebisous »

Oh dear, I've only gotten into tapes recently but I'm hooked. It was all because I wanted some physical Tropical Fuck Storm releases really badly so I bought the last cassette... I've had this old Aiwa CSD-EX110U boombox I adopted from my parents for a while that I decided to pop it into and its really just such a cool experience. Plus the tapes themselves just look sick as hell!! I recently picked up the tape for Denzel Curry's latest album and I can't stop looking at it.

We've got a few more things around here I could test out (Mom found an old cassette player in her closet and I dug a tape deck out of ANOTHER closet recently) so I'm really looking forward to this new obsession of mine. Looks like I gotta add a cassette collection to my website as well........
Cobra! wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:09 am Well in the case of cassette, I would recommend people buy one of the few good new decks. JVC, Sony, TEAC and TASCAM still make proper mid-range and high end decks, and I want people to buy them to show those companies there's still a demand for them. I don't want to see that cheap and nasty mechanism every no brand deck uses to be the only one left on the market.
I didn't even know JVC still existed!!!! My god. I need to get one of their decks ASAP. :love:
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now, we're not insane, we're just pretending... 'least i think we are...
well, who really cares that much anyway?
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

Here are my two best links on this topic:

Vintage Cassettes - Look at, compare, admire, laugh, reminiscence around thousands of scanned tapes from the past.

Tapeheads.net Forums - I believe this is the forum for tapes, I've at least never seen anything better/bigger.


tsvety wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:08 amI have two decks, one being a very nice nakamichi. I don't really have any tapes, and suspect that both are out of adjustment. How can one verify playback speed?
As Cobra! said there's gadgets out there that does just that but they're... not cheap. The way I do it, is I record a song onto tape, then I play the song from that tape and from my PC/CD player at the exact same time and if they start going out of sync I know if I need to increase or decrease the speed. :) This isn't a scientificly perfect way going about it, but it's good enough for my ears and completely free.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

Hey, do you guys know where I can go to discover new music to put onto tape?
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by tsvety »

Cobra! wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 2:09 am You can get devices that measure it for you. Techmoan on YouTube uses one all the time when reviewing cassette decks. I can't imagine they're very cheap, though, so I would just find any tape with audio on it and judge it by ear. (Unless someone else has a better idea)
Starfighter wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 9:29 am As Cobra! said there's gadgets out there that does just that but they're... not cheap. The way I do it, is I record a song onto tape, then I play the song from that tape and from my PC/CD player at the exact same time and if they start going out of sync I know if I need to increase or decrease the speed. :) This isn't a scientificly perfect way going about it, but it's good enough for my ears and completely free.
OH! Using a known good tape with a known song! I really like that idea. I can also detect an EQ issues from that if I assume that the tape is a perfect reference...
Thanks for the idea!

Recording and then playing the same tape won't work as the same distortion is applied and then removed.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Serah »

Cobra! wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:43 pm Hey, do you guys know where I can go to discover new music to put onto tape?
Bandcamp is my main go-to!

Tape is a fun medium. I have fond memories of the mailtrading and bootlegging cultures surrounding it getting me access to media I would have had no other way of viewing as a kid. Especially fan translated stuff from East Asia like anime and martial arts movies and stuff. I never listened to too much music on cassette until I was an adult, though. I'm very much a child of the CD era but I've always kinda fucked with the crusty sound quality of my mum's old cassettes and I used to get audiobooks on cassette from my local library. Like to grab tape released of new doom, dungeon synth, or house albums when they drop. Just feels right for those styles of music, you know?

I also have a ton of nostalgia for software on cassette! We had an old ZX Spectrum when I was a kid and loading games from cassette was definitely much more of a hassle than the cartridges on the Mega Drive we also had but those cool loading screens made it all worth it. And once the game loaded you were committed! The oldest computer I have currently is a Commodore Amiga 1200 which has a built in floppy drive but I've been thinking of grabbing a Spectrum again and actually using actual cassettes for the memories, rather than exclusively using a flash memory solution.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

I would love to get myself a old computer with a tape drive! I'd like to experience making software for one, or pirating games by downloading the sound files for them and recording them back to tape :p

Apparently you can make Commodore 64s and ZX Spectrums using only new, aftermarket parts. So maybe that's the route I'll go.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Serah »

Cobra! wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 3:32 am Apparently you can make Commodore 64s and ZX Spectrums using only new, aftermarket parts. So maybe that's the route I'll go.
Oooh I'll have to look into that, I'd never considered it. Could be a fun project!

And yeah, I kinda love the idea of recording software to tape to run it on the original hardware! Apparently some radio stations in the 1980s would broadcast games over the airwaves that you would record to tape and then play on your computer. I believe NOS in the Netherlands was the first to do it. Downloading data from the internet is definitely more convenient than recording the harsh screeches of a game broadcast over radio but I can't help but love the idea, regardless.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by sixeyes »

Love tape!

I don't really record mixtapes (although that's a very fun idea i think - and i'm big into creating playlists), but i do buy new on bandcamp. Also i use them a lot for my "music" "production". I use handheld tape recorders such as the Sony TCM-20 with a removed erase head to layer sounds and create... atmospheres, or something. You can listen to recordings of that on my tape canon page, if you want.

For listening and recording at home i've been using a Fostex X-15 "four track" thingy, but it's slowly falling apart. I've replaced the belt with a rubber band and it's not right, i lost the screws to keep it together, and lately the preamps (or something?) have starting to behave very strange. (If anyone know of a reputable seller of four track devices in the EU, please let me know!)
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by nitronine »

I collect VHS tapes! Been doing so for about 2 1/2 years now. I've got about 200 now, give or take.

I'd consider VHS tapes to be one of my special interests. I love the way they look, I love the way the videos on them look, I find the sounds they make soothing and nostalgic.
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

nitronine wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:43 am I collect VHS tapes! Been doing so for about 2 1/2 years now. I've got about 200 now, give or take.
Nice!
nitronine wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 5:43 am I'd consider VHS tapes to be one of my special interests. I love the way they look, I love the way the videos on them look, I find the sounds they make soothing and nostalgic.
Yeah, I actually tend to prefer to watch films on VHS (or Laserdisc) over DVD or Blu-Ray, especially if the VHS is widescreen or open-matte!

I'm fascinated by how long VHS lasted as a pre-recorded format. Lasting about 30 years! It's always interesting to hear about what films got VHS releases that you didn't expect, like Cars, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Polar Express and Batman Begins!
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

I'm willing to bet you've all seen hbomberguy's video "The Power Of VHS"? :)
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Re: Any fellow tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

I got a cassette case today and one that looks like a briefcase!

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I also got a bunch of VHS tapes of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog a few days ago, and am watching through them. I decided to rewatch a VHS Mixtape I made of AoStH YTPs (As well as Jehtt's Sonic Videos), and huh, the quality on the mixtape is way better!
Starfighter wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 11:55 am I'm willing to bet you've all seen hbomberguy's video "The Power Of VHS"? :)
I did, it was a good watch.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by galat »

I got into collecting tapes a few years ago as well as recording mixes :D I also do the art for them, some ive traded away but I have a few mixes for home listening. My machine is a 1992 Sony one I think, nothing special but it works ok. Half of the collection is inherited from my parents the rest are secondhand or off bandcamp. I got around to tracking it on discogs here which was a good idea I think.
Ill take a nice pic of the mixes designs if anyone here wants to see them, and the collection too when I can!
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by littlebeggar »

I don't have anything to play it on right now, but I DO have the first album I bought with my own money (Jagged Little Pill by Alanis on cassette, that my mom promptly took away from me because she said Bitch in one of the songs...) as a kind of memento. (the second album I bought with my own money was the Kiss From A Rose single. Ah, memories...)

You might enjoy https://syriancassettearchives.org/about, I know I heard about it from a yesterweb-ish person on a different platform but I didn't note who, so I think it will be new to most people here!
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

My deck just ate one of my tapes. :(

I also noticed the tapes I make with it play slowly on other decks, they sound stuttery? Do I need to replace the belt?
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

Cobra! wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 1:26 pm My deck just ate one of my tapes. :(

I also noticed the tapes I make with it play slowly on other decks, they sound stuttery? Do I need to replace the belt?
Time to clean! :) One of my tapes got stuck a month ago (I was able to get the tape out pretty much unharmed) and after a good clean it has been smooth sailing.

Initially I'd say if tapes sound slow on other decks then either 1) they're too slow or 2) your deck is too fast, but if they're stuttering I'm kind of stumped. Going from slow to fast to slow like a wavy motion would be the belt 9 times out of 10 but I don't know when it's stuttering. Do they sound fine when played on your deck?
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

Starfighter wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 2:30 pm Initially I'd say if tapes sound slow on other decks then either 1) they're too slow or 2) your deck is too fast, but if they're stuttering I'm kind of stumped. Going from slow to fast to slow like a wavy motion would be the belt 9 times out of 10 but I don't know when it's stuttering. Do they sound fine when played on your deck?
Yeah, plays just fine on the deck I recorded it from.

It might be a wavy motion, it's hard to describe. It certainly seems to struggle to keep the tape playing at a constant speed.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by sixeyes »

I've heard the description "wow and flutter" a lot, sounds a bit like your waves and stutter, hehe.

IIRC it could be anything in the mechanics, some of the handhelds are full of grime and stuff, that has an impact. I don't know if you're supposed to oil these things? I clean mine with isopropyl alcohol ever so often (but maybe that's only supposed to touch the tape head? 😬)
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Incredible.

Post by Starfia »

This conversation is blowing my mind. I grew up documenting some childhood adventures with a portable cassette recorder which was an early present from my family, and in grade school I came to master near frame-perfect splicing between the two VCRs we had for editing purposes. But the ability to digitize any and all of that preceded my shipping of those physical items to places that could re-use or recycle them. I gave them a final hug beforehand, but otherwise haven't thought much of them.

It had never occurred to me that future appearers might find them foreign and fascinating enough to collect or work with them beyond that time, let alone a term to refer to such people, or that I'd be prompted to orient myself to that perspective and newly appreciate the meticulousness and care involved in constructing and assembling those things which to me have always just seemed like everyday objects.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and links. ^ ^
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

sixeyes wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:05 pm I've heard the description "wow and flutter" a lot, sounds a bit like your waves and stutter, hehe.

IIRC it could be anything in the mechanics, some of the handhelds are full of grime and stuff, that has an impact. I don't know if you're supposed to oil these things? I clean mine with isopropyl alcohol ever so often (but maybe that's only supposed to touch the tape head? 😬)
VWestlife does loads of videos on cassette decks, and made a video serving as an introduction and if I recall correctly, he also touches on cleaning the decks, and you’re supposed to clean everything, the erase head, play head, pinch roller and even the capstan. The manual for my TEAC also says to clean everything. I tend to do it before recording a new song to make sure I get the clearest sound possible.



I think the issue was that I played a tape on it that was kind of stuck and hard to turn, which caused the whole mechanism to slow down. I found the solution later was to fast forward all the way through the tape and rewind back again, but perhaps the damage is done… just as well I got a 2 year warranty on the thing!
Starfia wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:43 pm This conversation is blowing my mind. I grew up documenting some childhood adventures with a portable cassette recorder which was an early present from my family, and in grade school I came to master near frame-perfect splicing between the two VCRs we had for editing purposes. But the ability to digitize any and all of that preceded my shipping of those physical items to places that could re-use or recycle them. I gave them a final hug beforehand, but otherwise haven't thought much of them.
Oh man that sounds like a good skill to have! Sorry to hear you felt you had to give them away, though.
Starfia wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:43 pm It had never occurred to me that future appearers might find them foreign and fascinating enough to collect or work with them beyond that time, let alone a term to refer to such people, or that I'd be prompted to orient myself to that perspective and newly appreciate the meticulousness and care involved in constructing and assembling those things which to me have always just seemed like everyday objects.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and links. ^ ^
Hey, you’re speaking as if I never grew up with the formats myself. :P
Tapes were a big part of my childhood. I remember always recording Cartoon Network on them, not any particular show, just the entire channel, and whatever was on at the time. Also recorded lots of Robot Wars episodes. Today I only have a Robot Wars recording I did back in 1999. It’s a bit of a personal treasure to me, to think that recording is 20 years old now, and plays just as good as when I first made it.

I also remember every car had that kind of deck you just slotted a tape into like a game cartridge and it played automatically.

Of course then we switched over to CDs and DVDs. They were amazing at first, but over time, I found myself going back to tapes. They’re unreliable, wear out, and the quality leaves a lot to be desired in most cases, but I love them!
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:29 amVWestlife does loads of videos on cassette decks
I want to throw Techmoan into the mix as well talking about youtube channels with cassette content! :) Here's a filtered view to his cassette videos: [get some snacks or a beverage and click me]
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

Starfighter wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 8:16 am
Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:29 amVWestlife does loads of videos on cassette decks
I want to throw Techmoan into the mix as well talking about youtube channels with cassette content! :) Here's a filtered view to his cassette videos: [get some snacks or a beverage and click me]
The thing that bothers me about Techmoan is that he seems to think the only cassette mechanism being made today is that cheap and nasty one all the no name brands use, which is simply not true. TEAC still makes some good mechanisms. Perhaps not the best if you have golden ears, but for someone like me they're more than good enough. Sony and JVC are still making their own decks, too.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:04 pmThe thing that bothers me about Techmoan is that he seems to think the only cassette mechanism being made today is that cheap and nasty one all the no name brands use, which is simply not true. TEAC still makes some good mechanisms. Not the best, but for someone like me they're more than good enough. Sony and JVC are still making their own decks, too.
I've noticed his stance on the newer decks as well, but it doesn't bother me. Well, if he did full on reviews of newer decks that are completely fine and called them awful I'd be a bit disappointed, but he doesn't do that. :) There's a lot of cool cassette videos on old oddities that's great!
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Re: Good skill / growing up

Post by Starfia »

Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:29 am Oh man that sounds like a good skill to have! Sorry to hear you felt you had to give them away, though.
I don't think I thought it was necessary, but I'd reached a point of knowing I probably shouldn't keep every single meaningful physical artifact from childhood when digitizing them had become possible. Digitization was cool too; not unlike having a technological version of a box with infinite space and even better quality retention. So I made peace with the idea that the meaningfulness itself existed mainly in my head and managed to minimize my physical possessions, which is a habit I've come to recommend.
Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:29 am Hey, you’re speaking as if I never grew up with the formats myself. :P
You're right. What I found incredible was the idea of the perspective any tape enthusiast would have who grew up after they scarcened. (I made no assumptions about you personally.) I never missed them too much since I think modern formats are "just better" on balance, but I can appreciate along with you the value of the distinctive qualities and imperfections of those media now: the noise and sound signature of the tapes, the feeling of the length of the unwritable tape at the start and end playing through, the resistance and mechanicalness of the machinery that played them, and all that.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

sixeyes wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:05 pm I've heard the description "wow and flutter" a lot, sounds a bit like your waves and stutter, hehe.

IIRC it could be anything in the mechanics, some of the handhelds are full of grime and stuff, that has an impact. I don't know if you're supposed to oil these things? I clean mine with isopropyl alcohol ever so often (but maybe that's only supposed to touch the tape head? 😬)
Okay, turns out the wow and flutter is even on the TEAC. I’m going to contact them about that, I hope that isn’t just a quirk to this model, especially considering how much I paid for it…
Starfighter wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 1:10 pm I've noticed his stance on the newer decks as well, but it doesn't bother me. Well, if he did full on reviews of newer decks that are completely fine and called them awful I'd be a bit disappointed, but he doesn't do that. :) There's a lot of cool cassette videos on old oddities that's great!
I think the thing that bothers me is that people will think this as well and flood to buy older decks, causing bad actors to buy them beforehand and shoot the prices up, and there's no need if a new Sony or JVC does the job just fine for your average Joe Bloggs.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by sixeyes »

Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 10:56 pm
sixeyes wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:05 pm I've heard the description "wow and flutter" a lot, sounds a bit like your waves and stutter, hehe.

IIRC it could be anything in the mechanics, some of the handhelds are full of grime and stuff, that has an impact. I don't know if you're supposed to oil these things? I clean mine with isopropyl alcohol ever so often (but maybe that's only supposed to touch the tape head? 😬)
Okay, turns out the wow and flutter is even on the TEAC. I’m going to contact them about that, I hope that isn’t just a quirk to this model, especially considering how much I paid for it…
Could it be an issue with the tape? Old, thin, sunbaked, etc... (like, cassettes with lengths > 90 minutes will need to have thinner tape for it to fit...)
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

sixeyes wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 10:50 am
Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 10:56 pm
sixeyes wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:05 pm I've heard the description "wow and flutter" a lot, sounds a bit like your waves and stutter, hehe.

IIRC it could be anything in the mechanics, some of the handhelds are full of grime and stuff, that has an impact. I don't know if you're supposed to oil these things? I clean mine with isopropyl alcohol ever so often (but maybe that's only supposed to touch the tape head? 😬)
Okay, turns out the wow and flutter is even on the TEAC. I’m going to contact them about that, I hope that isn’t just a quirk to this model, especially considering how much I paid for it…
Could it be an issue with the tape? Old, thin, sunbaked, etc... (like, cassettes with lengths > 90 minutes will need to have thinner tape for it to fit...)
I use new Maxell UR tapes. Sometimes recordings on them do turn out odd. Could be that?
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by sixeyes »

Cobra! wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 2:28 pm
sixeyes wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 10:50 am
Cobra! wrote: Thu Feb 09, 2023 10:56 pm

Okay, turns out the wow and flutter is even on the TEAC. I’m going to contact them about that, I hope that isn’t just a quirk to this model, especially considering how much I paid for it…
Could it be an issue with the tape? Old, thin, sunbaked, etc... (like, cassettes with lengths > 90 minutes will need to have thinner tape for it to fit...)
I use new Maxell UR tapes. Sometimes recordings on them do turn out odd. Could be that?
Yeah, maybe. Long shot perhaps. If you have other ways to record, you could cross check?
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

sixeyes wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 8:08 pm
Cobra! wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 2:28 pm
sixeyes wrote: Fri Feb 10, 2023 10:50 am

Could it be an issue with the tape? Old, thin, sunbaked, etc... (like, cassettes with lengths > 90 minutes will need to have thinner tape for it to fit...)
I use new Maxell UR tapes. Sometimes recordings on them do turn out odd. Could be that?
Yeah, maybe. Long shot perhaps. If you have other ways to record, you could cross check?
I'm actually re-recording an old mixtape I had on the TEAC, and so far, the TEAC is far clearer, and not noticing any wow and flutter.

I'm doing a re-recording because I want to eventually do streams with the tapes playing in the background to see if I can fool people into thinking the songs are being streamed from Spotify or something. :P
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by galat »

here is a pretty low quality pic of some mixtapes ive made- photographing cassettes is near impossible in this light lol. I use those Maxwell UR 90 tapes (havent gotten around to making mix labels to cover the fugly branding) and havent had any issues i could blame the tapes for while recording afaik. Ive always recorded through PC but recently figured I could do it with my DAC and I think that helped recording quality a bit :P

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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

galat wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 7:17 pm here is a pretty low quality pic of some mixtapes ive made- photographing cassettes is near impossible in this light lol. I use those Maxwell UR 90 tapes (havent gotten around to making mix labels to cover the fugly branding) and havent had any issues i could blame the tapes for while recording afaik. Ive always recorded through PC but recently figured I could do it with my DAC and I think that helped recording quality a bit :P

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Do you make the artwork on a PC and print them off? How do you know the boundaries and size of artwork you need for the images to print off?
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

galat wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 7:17 pmsome mixtapes ive made
Those are absolutely gorgeous! Well done! What are those paper ribbons on the outside called? I have a few cassettes with those as well and I never really understood what I should call them. I usually go with "the paper thingies around the outside".
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by galat »

Starfighter wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 9:33 pm
galat wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 7:17 pmsome mixtapes ive made
Those are absolutely gorgeous! Well done! What are those paper ribbons on the outside called? I have a few cassettes with those as well and I never really understood what I should call them. I usually go with "the paper thingies around the outside".
Theyre called obi strips! Japanese products (cassettes, cds, books) tend to have them listing the Japanese info for the product. They look cool so some people in collecting communities seek versions with them out specifically.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

galat wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 10:47 pmTheyre called obi strips! Japanese products (cassettes, cds, books) tend to have them listing the Japanese info for the product. They look cool so some people in collecting communities seek versions with them out specifically.
Thank you! And that also makes sense, my tapes that have those are from Japan or inspired by japanese subgenres.

Edit: They remind me a lot of the video game equivalent, the spinecard. At first I thought that's what they were called as well but it didn't seem to apply to other products for some reason.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by galat »

Cobra! wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 8:36 pm
galat wrote: Mon Feb 13, 2023 7:17 pm here is a pretty low quality pic of some mixtapes ive made- photographing cassettes is near impossible in this light lol. I use those Maxwell UR 90 tapes (havent gotten around to making mix labels to cover the fugly branding) and havent had any issues i could blame the tapes for while recording afaik. Ive always recorded through PC but recently figured I could do it with my DAC and I think that helped recording quality a bit :P

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Do you make the artwork on a PC and print them off? How do you know the boundaries and size of artwork you need for the images to print off?
I make them on PC and print them! this site has many templates for different j-cards. Sometimes i draw the images separately and then align them in boundaries, add text etc. Its a bit of trial and error to get the size and colour right and cutting it out tho. I either use a cardstock or plain paper for it.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Starfighter »

I was gifted a tape yesterday with an O-card. No plastic, nothing, just a paper sleeve for the cassette. Are there any nifty ways to make this packaging more sturdy? I feel like it's going to wear and tear very quickly. I was thinking of covering it in clear tape, but it might end up looking really messy since I don't have any broad tape rolls.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by galat »

Starfighter wrote: Wed Feb 15, 2023 12:20 pm I was gifted a tape yesterday with an O-card. No plastic, nothing, just a paper sleeve for the cassette. Are there any nifty ways to make this packaging more sturdy? I feel like it's going to wear and tear very quickly. I was thinking of covering it in clear tape, but it might end up looking really messy since I don't have any broad tape rolls.
I think tape could look weird unless you lay the tape very carefully, and runs risk of tearing the label. I also got an o card style recently- if there is space between tape and card maybe cut some cardstock and place it in there to give it some structure? Last resort is just keeping cassette separate if you plan on playing it alot.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

VWestlife just released a video of a new low-end deck, and the wow and flutter on it when playing tapes is actually really good! Like on par with some high end decks!

Recording is another story entirely, the quality sounds dreadful, but it honestly seems like the quality of low-end stuff is going up again, which is surely a good sign.

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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by deathbyindierock »

i love tapes!!! I've been a huge fan of compact cassettes for years, i love to buy music on them and make mix tapes and experiment with them in general! I've put out a couple small runs (mostly just for myself and my friends) as well!! its so much fun designing and printing a j-card and there's something meditative about dubbing tapes ha. I'm friends with some locals who run a tape label but i think they're pivoting away from that cause its such a time sink lol

I kinda miss the early revival of tapes in the 2010s, everything is sooo hard to find now : (
there was this store called "the dupe shop" that used to be around here in Toronto, but they didn't survive the pandemic, it makes me really sad. They were owned by the people who run https://duplication.ca, which is a rad site in general btw for getting NOS and genuine new tapes! I've used them twice and nothing but good experiences! They're really keeping new presses alive in NA tbh

anyway I knew someone who worked there, and right down the block there was a thrift shop and she would go pilgrimaging it regularly, which was super convenient for them cause they could buy stuff, repair it, and then keep it or sell it in the shop. Not so convenient for me who was looking for a sweet bargain on a nakamichi lol. But now they're gone and the value village is closing, such is life

but yeah apparently you used to be able to get 4-tracks for pennies on the dollar but times change i guess
right now i really want an 8 track reel to reel for makin music but thats a whole other thing
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by RogerMexico »

I have a couple vaporwave cassettes laying around, but they aren't something I actively collect. VHS on the other hand I have a modest collection, nothing fancy.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by marsworms »

I started getting into VHS tapes and cassette music not too long after I got into indie small web design, just last year! Mostly been collecting horror movies with some other genres; really interested in possibly branching out into vintage anime VHS tapes if that's something any of y'all are familiar with! I have a pretty basic set up at the moment, a VCR I got last year and a contemporary cassette player from Jensen, I forget what the brand and specs and such are on my VCR right now though, I'll have to check. Any of y'all have sites or pages on your sites dedicated to tape collecting? I was wanting to find people on neocities and elsewhere who are also interested in analog technology and horror media! Was really happy to see this thread when I came back to check on the forum after a while away.
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Re: Any tapeheads here?

Post by Cobra! »

marsworms wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2023 3:43 pmAny of y'all have sites or pages on your sites dedicated to tape collecting? I was wanting to find people on neocities and elsewhere who are also interested in analog technology and horror media! Was really happy to see this thread when I came back to check on the forum after a while away.
You know what? That’s not a bad idea. I’m not into horror at all (though I do love a good thriller), but I am very passionate about analogue media, and I think can be higher quality than digital provided everything else about a song or video is the same. (It took digital 20 years for home digital media to catch up to Laserdisc quality and over 15 years for digital to catch up with analogue to achieve High Definition, after all.)

That reminds me, I was thinking of making a list of VHS tapes that I’ve watched and whether they are Pan and Scan, Open Matte or natively 4:3, and whether Widescreen or Laserdisc versions exist, to help collectors determine what analogue format they want to get a film in. Would have been very handy to me if such a thing existed, but afaik, nothing does, so maybe I should make one myself and help others out.
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