If you are a copyright owner and believe that your copyrighted works have been used in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, here is our DMCA Notice.

« Sensei Rebel's Archive Picks of the Week (October 2, 2006 - October 8, 2006) | Main | OCDJ Bloops Through Town »

October 11, 2006



Very nice! Personally I still love watching reel to reels do their thing but cassettes certainly remain the medium of choice for me. (Have 2 dual decks for use today, and I revitalized the reel to reel.)

I always wanted to do that kind of stuff, mashups using pause button edits but never got very far. I bought the reel to reel because it had "sound on sound" but was disappointed to find out that using it made things out of sync (the record head is after the playback head, you get a second or so delay using it.) I've done tons of pause button edits and once you figure out how the machine does it, what it sounds like, you can time them so that they work out just fine. All of my radio edits are pause button.

Great stuff. Especially loved the screaming tape deck!




Here's one of my favorite cassette-love sites:


Amazing and confusing found tapes, archives in all their twitchy glory...


Whoa! Nostalgia blast! It takes me back to the time I made a 45-minute (one whole side of a c90) remix of "Batdance." Wish I still had that, though I'm not sure how often I'd listen to it.

I had a lot of time on my hands, and not a lot of taste.


If you ever feel like a tribute to another cassette button, try "Your Music is Garbage" by Pigface. If my ears are correct, the entire track is a microcassette recording of a woman criticizing somebody's music, but with the rewind/scan button repeatedly used to sort of loop what she says. I never was into Pigface, but that song (or whatever you want to call it) is fantastic.


Great post -- some buddies and I covered some of this ground at a recent seminar:


My friend Jason is doing a research project on cassette technology that's got some fun stuff:


fatty jubbo

the pause button is great- it gives a audio artifact of a physical motion. I did a whole 20 minute piece with pausing and 30 different cassettes- usually 1-2 seconds on each pause "splice". of course, it all didn't work out so great and the piece was edited down to 2 1/2 minutes (on the, uh, computer)... but the near-randomness of the process yielded some great results.

great pause button mixes- I love the ramshackle feel of them. oh! these damn computers!


All music-recording formats are
great and wonderful in their own way.

Right now I have the following feeding into my eMac

1) - one mini-disc recorder (mini-disc...the format that never really took off...though for in-unit editing, it's the greatest!)
2) - one mid-priced turntable (dubbing three Martin Mull albums for a friend...wow!)
3) - dual cassette player (always comes in handy)
4) - standalone CD player/recorder
5) - radio tuner

If one is concentrating on the actual audio,
then computer audio editing can be as visceral and
enjoyably-time consuming as any other format.

And remember...5, 10, 15 years now there'll be
some other super-duper audio format that'll top even
today's fancy-schmancy computer digital audio editors/players.


I had a tape player that when you pressed the pause button just so while recording it would make the tape run super fast and record at the same time. Naturally anything recorded this way sounded extra slow. The other strategy was to use old batteries and play it back plugged in which had the opposite effect.

In Black Sabbath's "The Writ" from the album Sabotage there are h several hippy guitar and vocal breaks. It was easy to pause during one and then resume during a previous one. Back in high school or maybe the year after gradutation, I recorded a 30 minute remix of "The Writ" and played it about 2 hours into a teenage kegger/bake thing. Of course everybody loved Sabotage and most of "The Writ." It took a while for stoned teenage metal heads to catch on. I never did see that tape again.
So worth it.

chuckleberry slim

oh...the hours a friend and i would spend with a c90, a radio/cassette recorder,a pause button and a bag of speed....
my favourite was a whole side of talk radio,omitting the speech,leaving just sharp intakes of breath between words,umms and errs,feighned laughter and pregnant silences.
speed skills.

Kip W

I have a Golden LP version of Mr. Ed which features a virtuoso bad performance by a basso voice who sounds nothing like Ed at all. (As I often say, I doubt it's even a real horse.) Besides dispensing about a thousand "facts" that are outdated, tedious, and sometimes just wrong, he sings (with a quartet of backup singers) various edutainment songs (many to the tune of Gilbert & Sullivan airs).

Best of all, he sings the Mr. Ed theme song, accompanied by the Golden orchestra, with lots of xylophone sounds. It's been a favorite of mine since a while after a friend of mine fished it out of a dumpster and gave it to me. It's on my iPod now.

Vic Perry

a)Tape recorders! My youth! My life! I used to do loads of terrible kid comedy with cassettes that I wish I could retrieve, and "play by play" while I played "All-Star Baseball 1970". I also pre-dated the whole downloading of music crisis by freely taping hours and hours of 70's top 40 radio by scientifically placing the tape recorder near the transistor radio. Gosh, how did the music industry survive?

b)My dad brought back a tape recorder from Singapore that had multi-current settings for varying types of in-house electrical current, and when you used the wrong one, the tape recorder went really slow. This combined with a regular tape player, allowed for the holy grail of slowed down or sped up sounds. Ah yes.

c) the most interesting effect by far in the world of media deterioration is that swirling woosh effect that happens to old cassettes.

d) the most boring effect is the simple unplayability of cd's when they go....then they just go. Technological progress my ass-st-st-st-st-st-st-st-st-st-st


Then of course you could always convert your cassettes to MP3 with this 5.25 inch PC deck insert:


Or convert your MP3s to cassette


Plusdeck2C applications...continued

Peter Farris

An ex-girlfriend of mine put together a 45-minute version of Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't It Be Good" to fill a cassette side. We had a nice ride in the car to that song.

The Croce song reminded me of ni9e's Explicit Content Only version of the NWA album Straight Outta Compton. Nothing but the bad words, at http://ni9e.com/nwa.php.

Don K.

From the above postings pertaining to this pretty geeky subject matter,I see I am in the company of many fellow nerds. Any comment I'd make now would be pathetically similiar.


Flashback to my 15 min. "megamix" of "Spies Like Us"... from the radio!


Oh, I forgot to mention that I had a friend who made me an entire mix tape just from Murray Head's "One Night in Bangcock". He didn't do much mixing, just paused during the last note of the song and restarted during the first note. They sound identical and it took me a good four or five time through the song to realize that it was repeating. Of course, it's hard to tell where any of the songs from the Chess soundtrack begin or end anyway.

And let's not mention my embarassing one hour version of Information Society's "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)" that was filled with more Star Trek samples taped off the TV.


VMH - I think a remix of Spies Like Us trumps my Star Trek mix, though. What a dorky song to love! Oh wait, I was really into the System's "Coming to America" from the Eddie Murphy movie. Yikes. I shall not judge.


ahhh, the tape recorder. I too remember spending rainy days making "commercials", "dj sets", and, uh, less high minded sorts of "art" with the various tape recorders I owned. One, however, stands out: the Philco boombox I got for Christmas, probably around '80 or '81. This baby, I soon discovered, could record with either the f/f, rew. or pause button on---in this manner, I could sound very sped up or very slow or just completely fucked up---my little brain couldn't keep up with new possibilities now completely wide open to me. Alas, however, the machine couldn't take this torture for very long--I think it lasted about eight months total before it began to -gasp- eat tapes and break down. But, ah, the memories....


Before I got my iMac in 2002, I made mix tapes galore, especially for the holidays. Since then, I have tried to disseminate some select vinyl tracks and songs on tape -- including the entire 'Big Star, Small World' album many years before its official release -- by converting them to MP3 via iTunes, first using a nifty freeware program called Coaster and a dual Teac casssette deck (a real cheapy, but does the job) jacked into the iMac -- it's a 2001 Blue Dalmatian model, from a limited time when iMacs came with audio in and out and you didn't need to buy a separate audio hub for such uses.


I used to remove the cover of the deck so that every time I hit pause, I could rewind the tape, by hand, just a fraction, this would get rid of that annoying "clunk" between edits. You could get flawless punches once you figured out the amount you need to rewind.

William Young

Hey! I made that Mr.Ed Mega-Mix!

Still have the record, too.


You are indeeed said friend! Good to hear from you.

The comments to this entry are closed.