As some of you have certainly noticed, I have been experimenting with tape in the last weeks pretty much. Tape, precisely! This old things. Also known as magnetic tape. At this time, 40 years ago all the rage and now? Noone knows it no more. The Kids today listen to youtube playlists… The retro craze in the audio world is still going on and there are very expensive Retro Style plugins that emulate the old devices. But how actually sounds the original? How does it sounds when one rears a tape and the music runs over it? In what frequency bands are cuts and how does it support the music at all? I have bought an old AKAI 4000DS MK2 Tape machine for testing purposes. It´s not the highest quality machine, but still good enough for Experimenting purposes.
I can say that a totally wacky and interesting universes open up and it will totally change my way how i work with sound. Who ever noticed how it sounds and how it feels if you manipulate a Tape running through a Machine will understand my thoughts and experieces
Also, when i „overdrive“ the Preamps and the Tape and it get´s „Oversaturated“
Wow! For this sound aesthetic most plugins can pack and go home! Because this Devices are so unique today. We should all go and buy old tape recorders or pick them from our basements and just play with them
Of course, till now I use the AKAI 4000DS MK2, which I bought for € 47 at Ebay not as a „serious“ Studio Equipment. That Machine has not been Serviced since 40 years, what should soon change. Luckily I found and met a very nice guy at Tape Control who wants to take this baby and will refurbish it.
Despite its slightly broken left channel it provides a variety of sound manipulation options. Please find here some tests and improvisations with an approximately 1 meter long tape loop. Who´s not familiar with loops: It´s just a piece of reel cut out and glued together, so that it runs in a circle … and later more. Happy listening!
The next work was one of the first i did. It is based on cassette loops .. also very good, but with this technique there arises always a „Mute“ when you stop recording.