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Cassette All discussions pertaining to cassette decks. These include general usage, recording, playback and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Cassette Tape subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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  #1  
Old 04-15-2016, 01:47 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Reelspin I'd like to release my music on cassette, I need your advices!

Hi,

as I wrote on the introduction subforum I'd like to start a musical project based on 8bit sounds from vintage cpu and consoles (as Commodore, Atari, Spectrum etc...) and cassette tapes, so I'm here lookin' to find useful infos in order to start this little diy project.

I've got no tape equipment atm, so my idea is to buy a 4 tracks portastudio (or anything similar) for recording, a bunch of blank tapes, and a tape deck for make a proper cassette that can be listen in other player (and eventually little batches of copies).

I'd like to use nice hardware (possibly tested and/or refurbed) but I don't want to pay a crazy amount of cash in order to do it.
My budget for a multitrack and a tape deck should be from 200 to 400 more or less.
Is it reasonable or I got to spend more?

Any advice 'bout what gear should I look for?
Are there any other people here that relese their music on cassette?

...Later (eventually) I will ask about cassette artwork making...

You can pm me if you have this kind of gear that I'm lookin' for.

Thanks and sorry for my poor english and noobish questions
  #2  
Old 04-15-2016, 06:31 AM
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meezer meezer is offline
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If you want to be taken seriously, you might want to check out this site.

http://nationalaudiocompany.com/mobi...lls-P4316.aspx

I don't think anyone will want to buy any music on commercial blanks, but I could be wrong.

Good luck.
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I took a dual cassette deck to a repair shop. They told me to get an iPod.
I just want to find happiness.
  #3  
Old 04-15-2016, 07:59 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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You're absolutely right, commercial blank tapes should be only for multitracking

I manage to find some EU dealers 'cause shipping+import taxes from the US frequently make deals less actractive.

Tape duplication & dealers EU:

UK
Tapeline: https://tapeline.info/v2/
Fairview Duplication: http://www.fairviewduplication.co.uk/
Mobinenko: http://www.mobineko.com/
Bandcds: https://www.bandcds.co.uk/

Netherlands
Duplicase: http://www.duplicase.nl/

Germany
Audio Service: http://www.shop-016.de/shop-audioservice.htm

Italy
Vinilificio: http://www.vinilificio.com/?lang=en

Czech
Headless Duplicated tapes : http://headlessduplicatedtapes.cz/

Estonia
Vinylplant: http://www.vinylplant.ee

-Big thanks for this list to member sparood from the modular synth related forum muffwiggler.com-
  #4  
Old 04-15-2016, 08:10 AM
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Ghitulescu Ghitulescu is offline
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4 Portas and a cassette deck for 250?
If one asks eBay, they go each for this amount alone.

I suggest you in all the seriousness I can - let the big players revive the cassette, do not do their job, because the "pioneers" do have a very small profit return rate. Once the big ones revived the cassette, like everyone hopes for the vinyl, you have already a larger public, able to play your cassettes. Otherwise you may need to sell a cassette player together with your cassette, as a bonus.

If you create the music for yourself, you do not need a lot of investment, one PortaPro or similar suffices, and a deck for the final mastering.
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2016, 08:52 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Well, I wrote from 200€ to 400€ more or less, but I'm glad to pay something more for a nice piece of gear.

Aside from that, It's important to remark that I'd like to do this thing only for fun, I'm not interested in makin' any money, it's not my goal and I know that most people don't use cassette anymore.

But...
I got to say that expecially in the drone/noise music scene and also in the chiptune one there are many artists and bands that sell/trades cassette of their material 'cause they like this support.
In fact there are a bunch of label that publish tapes, and they often include in the cassette a digital download code so the buyer can also have .wav, .mp3 or whatever.

Probably nobody there make big money, for the most part they just cover the costs.

Last edited by rumorazzi; 04-15-2016 at 12:24 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-15-2016, 10:32 AM
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Marciume Marciume is offline
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Hey there!

I'm still recording with a 4-track Portastudio some of my own stuff and releasing stuff on k7, especially (experimental) noise/ambient/drone, grindcore, hardcore punk and extreme metal.

I do everything at home since I usually do 30-100 copies of each release. That's the real DIY way to go in my opinion, especially if you wanna be in charge of the dubbing quality and keep the costs as low as possible (I don't like retail prices above 5 per tape).
The real pain in the ass for me is printing the artwork. Depending on the release, I also do 100% DIY artwork, but sometimes I use online printing services or typographies.

As for equipment, I've paid fairer prices for my 4-track (about 65 euros, in perfect working conditions and before the silly "revival") and always buy new decks on auction sites or from people who just want to get rid of them. Good quality comes with a price for sure, but you don't need to spend 200 euros on a tape deck since you are just starting.

I speak Italian, therefore, if you need any advice, just send me a PM .
  #7  
Old 04-15-2016, 10:34 AM
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meezer meezer is offline
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Yes. DL code included gets it done in most cases. Especially with fans of genres like you mentioned. I've bought a few cassettes from the merch table at some shows I attended in recent years. They tend to be $5 with the same art/ production as the CD and vinyl releases and are shrink-wrapped as well. These might be some things buyers will expect.
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I took a dual cassette deck to a repair shop. They told me to get an iPod.
I just want to find happiness.
  #8  
Old 04-15-2016, 01:10 PM
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Hajidub Hajidub is offline
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Is the music you're thinking of making anything like the "Nerdcore" genre that's been around for a decade or more? Just curious, not crapping on your idea or anything.
  #9  
Old 04-15-2016, 01:53 PM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Thanks Marciume

@Hajidub I don't know what genre is Nerdcore, sorry.

If you like to listen something from me this is a cover of a classic Velvet Underground song in 8bit style that I did

Last edited by rumorazzi; 04-15-2016 at 02:09 PM.
  #10  
Old 04-16-2016, 08:07 PM
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Kent T Kent T is offline
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I love this awesome Velvet Underground cover. Nice modern take on a classic. And grabs my ear. Very nice sounding. Let us know when the tape gets released, I enjoyed this.
  #11  
Old 04-17-2016, 01:57 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Thanks Kent T! :D
  #12  
Old 04-18-2016, 04:04 AM
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eclectiktronik eclectiktronik is offline
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I think what you propose is do-able. The big thing to remember is that if you have technical knowledge and expertise you will have an immense advantage for various reasons:

-know what to look for when buying used machines so you don't get ripped off. There is very little new cassette equipment and 95% of what is out there will need (at least ) new rubber parts after 20-25 years!
-buy good equipment cheap and fix it yourself.
-be able to maintain it yourself : important, as mechanical devices will inevitably break down from time to time.

If you don't know much about it all, then you'd better make friends with someone locally who does!

I put stuff out on cassette but it is easier for me than for many musicians and sound artists as a) the sound pieces are created from old scratchy vinyl loops and found tapes anyway, and b) I have been working on electronic equipment for over 20 years and can use recycled material at all stages, I have an array of cassette machines for various quality levels of duplication (16x high-speed being the quickest with acceptable sound; 4x and 2x, and of course real time).

I got another portastudio not long ago as my old ones were worn out, you can still find them on ebay etc. For mastering I use a Revox B215 and Sony reel to reel (both from fleamarkets) but you can manage perfectly well without that level of quality.

Good luck and keep us up-to date with your progress. Take it slowly, read up on the equipment and brands/models (on here there is lots of great info) and don't rush to buy the first equipment you see - that is my main advice right now.
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Last edited by eclectiktronik; 04-18-2016 at 04:07 AM.
  #13  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:07 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Naughty

Hi all!
One year it's passed since my last message on this board, but today I finally manage to buy my first tape deck!

It's a refurbished Denon DRM 700A bought from a professional seller on ebay with one year warranty.
Not cheap at all (159) though
  #14  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:13 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Now it's time to find some blank tapes for experimenting, any advices?
  #15  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:58 AM
Gvoss4 Gvoss4 is offline
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tapes

You can go to EBay or Amazon. I would use TDK SA 60 or 90 or Maxell UDXLII 60 or 90.
  #16  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:21 AM
Velktron Velktron is offline
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For the kind of music you're planning on recording, I'm not sure how exactly an analog/linear multitracker would help you, esp. with only just 4 channels. Are you going to e.g. record each of the 3 channels of a C64 separately + vocals?

Then again, you might want to use it in order to give a more "dirty", "LoFi" or "grunge" sound to the music without using digital filters or perfect digital editing/sync and mixing between sources.

A regular cassette deck might be OK to produce a final "downsampled" demo cassette or two, but in no case would it be suitable for even small-scale duplication, at least not if the "master" source was the multitrack tape itself (if you create a digital master out of your final stereo downmix, then maybe. Even a professional duplicator will likely request that you submit at least a CD quality digitization as a master source).

Last edited by Velktron; 04-21-2017 at 06:23 AM.
  #17  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:06 AM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Yeah,
Probably the master source would be a digital audio from my computer/iPad/workstation, and I will use the tape deck for give some analog character to the mix.
I skipped the 4-track option 'cause it seem a little impractical.
As a 4-track tape alike device I got a Teenage Engineering OP-1 (not in the sound but in the philosophy).
And of course for doing very limited batches of cassette for trade/sell cheaply.
  #18  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:18 AM
nobody nobody is offline
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Just wanted to say nice cover tune. I loaded this page, got kinda pissed about the auto-starting music, but then ended up digging it.
  #19  
Old 04-21-2017, 02:14 PM
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rumorazzi rumorazzi is offline
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Thanks @nobody, I'm glad you appreciate it ;)
...And I'm sorry for the auto play thang, it's the only board where embedding SC work this way.
  #20  
Old 04-21-2017, 11:21 PM
Nick Sunn Nick Sunn is offline
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I traded concert tapes with folks in Italy , forty years ago.
Some of those Cassette tape collectors had the BEST QUALITY concert tapes of the "big 3"----BEATLES/paul --------DYLAN-----ROLLING STONES
They had the lowest generation copies of live concerts and studio sessions.
They had every big Artist that you could think of too.
It was then that I realized that ITALY had some of the most rock music crazy collectors in the whole world. I also got a chance to visit there at the same time in the Seventies for the first time, and was just blown away by the beauty of the Italy, the Italian women, the spirit of the people there, the cities, the countryside, everything! Anyone who has never been there, should try to go there at least once every ten years. It is more important than a bucket list, maybe do it someday thing!

Hey, I almost forgot about the topic. I would NOT choose an old four track cassetteStudio to make your MUSIC, because it will sound like Sh-t and will limit how good it could possibly sound. Cassette4trkStudios were barely adequate for demos in the eighties for bands/musicians on a LOW BUDGET. Everything TODAY is a thousand times better than that junk!
Don't even waste your time messing with that obsolete junk!
RECORD YOUR MUSIC, USING QUALITY TECHNOLOGY. You don't need to spend a whole lot to get the job done. DIGITAL is your friend!
If you do want to RELEASE your Music on the cassette format, that is Okay , but as always YOU DO WANT THE FINISHED PRODUCT TO BE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY, so that does mean that the TAPE PRODUCT chosen must be a very high quality brand/type of Cassette AND the Quality Control of actually recording/DUPLICATING the Cassettes MUST BE OF THE STRICTEST HIGHEST QUALITY STANDARDS SUCH THAT EACH AND EVERY Cassette is Of The Same Exact Top-Quality.
You will need to carefully select the firm that does provide your cassette stock and duplication of your Music release. Anybody or any firm or fool can do the artwork and J-card inserts, etc, but it does matter that you get the BEST POSSIBLE Tape production. The Cassette Tape STOCK is most critical. Crap tape will equal mediocre Cassette Tape release at best!
Still, it should be easier to get a decent sounding release on cassette than choosing to issue it on Vinyl because of the Limitation requirements of the Vinyl format!
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