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Best cassette tape recordings you have ever heard.
Old 25th November 2019
  #1
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Liquidaudio's Avatar
 

Best cassette tape recordings you have ever heard.

I read somewhere that Bob Dylan's Mercy was mixed down to cassette because he liked the sound of it better than reel to reel. Any other tracks or albums you know of that were perhaps recorded with a 4 or 8 track midistudio but sound amazing? Here I am again with the controversial threads.


Old 25th November 2019
  #2
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Many releases from 1985-1988 sounded great on casettes, often better than on later cd releases in my opinion.
Things like Dizzie Gillespie 'Closer to the source' or Miles Davis 'Tutu'.
Old 26th November 2019
  #3
Gear Head
 

Ween’s Pure Guava (and The Pod as well)
Old 26th November 2019
  #4
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Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen.

Recorded on a 4 track cassette.
Old 26th November 2019
  #5
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Here's a transfer I made of Herbie Hancock - Rockit off of my Nakamichi MR-1

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B75...ew?usp=sharing
Old 26th November 2019
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen.

Recorded on a 4 track cassette.
Then transferred to 24trk, mixed with a Neve. So, not exactly pure portastudio.
Old 26th November 2019
  #7
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The Springsteen album proves you can track great stuff with just cassette tape. Mixing only elevated it more.

If I wasn't told that it's cassette I would think it's all 2" reel to reel. It's a standard example of a cassette recorded album though. I'm looking for some hidden gems.

Thanks for the transfer file Bcgood, sounds great. But yeah Nakamichi, great deck.

Never heard Pure Guava.
Old 26th November 2019
  #8
666
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elkcloner View Post
Ween’s Pure Guava (and The Pod as well)
My man
Old 26th November 2019
  #9
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 

Boys with the bass.

And of the first song I ever recorded...
Old 26th November 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Then transferred to 24trk, mixed with a Neve. So, not exactly pure portastudio.
I just read up on the story a couple weeks ago and that was conveniently left out. I don’t doubt you, I know your history. You know if they did overdubs?
Old 26th November 2019
  #11
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The high-end Akai Tape-Decks like the GX 95 and GX 75II. The heads are nearly indestructable. The Tascams are pretty good, too. Portishead mastered one or more tracks of their record "Third" on a Tascam Cassette 112 MKII.





I still have one of the higher middle-class Akai models, my friend had the GX95. My tape deck is good, but the GX95 had an incredible sound and much tape saturation. On cheaper tape-decks you often overdrive the electronics before saturating the tape. On the Akai not so.
Old 27th November 2019
  #12
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proxy's Avatar
 

I'm pretty sure the string session for Portishead's first album went to that Tascam, or one very similar.

The behind the scenes book has great details about the recording process.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
The high-end Akai Tape-Decks like the GX 95 and GX 75II. The heads are nearly indestructable. The Tascams are pretty good, too. Portishead mastered one or more tracks of their record "Third" on a Tascam Cassette 112 MKII.





I still have one of the higher middle-class Akai models, my friend had the GX95. My tape deck is good, but the GX95 had an incredible sound and much tape saturation. On cheaper tape-decks you often overdrive the electronics before saturating the tape. On the Akai not so.
Old 27th November 2019
  #13
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vernier's Avatar
Cassette is probably too small to let enough magnetic particles through for decent recording.

That said, I'll record and mix on cassette, if need be.
Old 27th November 2019
  #14
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I did some very nice audiophile minimalist live to stereo mic recordings on a Nakamichi 550 and a Eumig. They sounded lovely.
Old 27th November 2019
  #15
This record was done on 4 track cassette tape. Not exactly high-fi but I love the vibe.

Old 27th November 2019
  #16
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Dylan’s Oh Mercy was mixed to DAT not cassette.

I interviewed Malcom Burns for Tape Op years ago and we talked about this album, the Neville Brothers and Emmylou Harris albums... all mixed to DAT. Lanois preference was 16 bit 44.1k.
Old 27th November 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Dylan’s Oh Mercy was mixed to DAT not cassette.

I interviewed Malcom Burns for Tape Op years ago and we talked about this album, the Neville Brothers and Emmylou Harris albums... all mixed to DAT. Lanois preference was 16 bit 44.1k.
Awesome thanks for the info, I was misguided. You gotta love internet folklore..
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquidaudio View Post
Awesome thanks for the info, I was misguided. You gotta love internet folklore..
Apparently "Ballad of Hollis Brown" on "Yellow Moon" was mixed to cassette, though. That may be where the rumour mill got started (and probably mixed up with the DAT story)

https://books.google.be/books?id=Fnr...others&f=false
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Dylan’s Oh Mercy was mixed to DAT not cassette.

I interviewed Malcom Burns for Tape Op years ago and we talked about this album, the Neville Brothers and Emmylou Harris albums... all mixed to DAT. Lanois preference was 16 bit 44.1k.
This is very interesting. I always thought my old Sony DAT machine sounded special. I'm a big fan of Lanois and his productions. I wonder what it is about DAT that he prefers?
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicnomad View Post
This record was done on 4 track cassette tape. Not exactly high-fi but I love the vibe.

The way the sound on this wavers, it must have been done on a deck with the belts going bad. Call me crazy but I have a Tascam 234 4 track cassette deck on the way (that has had new belts installed to avoid this extreme wow and flutter).
I don't really know what I'll use it for besides just fun. I have a case of unopened chrome cassettes laying around that I can now put to use. I was very surprised when I looked at the specs for this deck. Much better than I expected.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
This is very interesting. I always thought my old Sony DAT machine sounded special. I'm a big fan of Lanois and his productions. I wonder what it is about DAT that he prefers?
Hey Rob,

I’ve been a fan of both Daniels and Malcolms work for years.

Lanois and Malcolm also used Sony DAT machines as well as the Panasonic’s.

Daniel believed in keeping it 16/44.1 as that was the CD spec. He wanted to make sure his mixes translated to what the final product would sound like.

I just went back and transferred all my DAT tapes from the 80’s and 90’s into my system. I was quite impressed with how good they all sounded ( about 40 different DAT tapes). Really the are sonically better than most ITB recordings I hear today. I think it was because we were still using consoles, tape machines (sync’d to MIDI) and outboard gear.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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I have a Tascam 112 mkiii I think. I bought it to do cassette transfers to CD for a client. Sermons/teachings I dumped to digital and then added 5 min breaks. It was 10 to 15 years of his life’s work all on cassette and recorded from all over the world. I keep it around just in case.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
The way the sound on this wavers, it must have been done on a deck with the belts going bad. Call me crazy but I have a Tascam 234 4 track cassette deck on the way (that has had new belts installed to avoid this extreme wow and flutter).
I don't really know what I'll use it for besides just fun. I have a case of unopened chrome cassettes laying around that I can now put to use. I was very surprised when I looked at the specs for this deck. Much better than I expected.
Totally, you can make quality stuff on the better Tascam 4-tracks. The extreme wow and flutter is an interesting quality on this record though, cause it kinda fits that jangly chorusy vibe he was going for back then. Not for everything of course
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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I have a bunch of song ideas on cassette from decades ago and I recently went to listen to see if there were any seeds worth dusting off and turning into songs. I was worried they may not play. Well they did play and much to my chagrin there were a few ideas where the fidelity floored me. I cannot explain how the fidelity can have been so good on a cassette but to my ears it sounded amazing. Whoda thunk it?
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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If you don’t have to bounce tracks and you go in with great mics and preamps it can sound great.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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I am surprised no one has written yet that great paintings are made by painters, not paintbrushes.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Wasn’t it Time out of mind that was mastered from cassette? Could be mixing up my memories, but seem to remember Dylan liked the sound of the cassette sequence that Mark Howard made for him better then the mastered version.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Then transferred to 24trk, mixed with a Neve. So, not exactly pure portastudio.
Long-time lurker here but I had to ask…

Respectfully, what’s your source for this?

Because the published accounts I’ve read say they had to use the original cassette (as mixed down from the portastudio on to a battered boom box).

In the Dave Marsh biography, Two Hearts, Chuck Plotkin is quoted as saying that they *tried* transferring the 4-track to studio tape and remixing. But “the better it sounded, the worse it sounded.”

And so: “we had no choice left but to take his original cassette mixes and try to master them.” The cassette was transferred to 2-track 30 i.p.s. for mastering (another story in itself).

Interview with Bob Ludwig here (in German) where he also says the producers remixed on Neve and SSL, but “Bruce preferred the cassette version”.
https://www.soundandrecording.de/sto...er-bob-ludwig/
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