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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Other Topics  |  Off Topic Discussion  |  the 'sound' of cassette tapes « previous next »
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Author Topic: the 'sound' of cassette tapes  (Read 1516 times)
zombie #1
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« on: July 04, 2012, 06:58:43 PM »

the last few days I've been transferring some old music I made from cassette tape to my computer, and it immediately struck me (having not listened to anything on tape for a few years) that cassettes give music a very rich warm bassy quality that I'm just not hearing from CD or mp3.

I've thought this before too. I remember being dismayed when I started replacing my cassettes with CDs about 12-13 yrs ago, to find that in nearly all cases the cassette versions sounded much better than their CD counterparts. the 2 best examples I remember being AC/DC - Let There Be Rock, and Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique, which sounded so much better on cassette than CD it's not even funny.

you hear a lot of people lamenting the demise of vinyl, but I think phasing out of cassettes has definitely been as much of a change, sonically speaking at least.

the bonus of mp3s of course is they don't deteriorate, and take up no space.

any thoughts? I thought I'd just throw this out there..
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akiratubo
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 07:04:23 PM »

I never could tell a difference between vinyl, cassettes, CDs, or sound files, except that records were scratchy, tapes hissed, and CDs would skip horribly if they got the least bit dirty.
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zombie #1
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2012, 07:08:23 PM »

I never could tell a difference between vinyl, cassettes, CDs, or sound files, except that records were scratchy, tapes hissed, and CDs would skip horribly if they got the least bit dirty.
worst was when tapes used to get mangled and you'd sometimes have to snap the tape to get it all out of the deck, lost a few tapes this way.
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2012, 07:09:24 PM »

I've noticed that myself over the years, even in cassette players that have slightly faster or slower motors than others.

I find it a bit grating sometimes, when the audio is so clear, that you can hear fingers sliding up & down frets between notes.

At WRIR, our CD players have pitch benders, but it's not the same.
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2012, 10:08:41 PM »

I have a lot of mixes I made mostly from vinyl... I rarely listen to tape... I have even fewer on vinyl now... I have my tape mixes... I don't listen to 'em much...
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Jack
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 06:37:55 AM »

I remember when the first generation of CD players came out there was some problem with them - flutter?  I can't remember.  But they got that straightened out pretty quickly.  The way something sounds when originally recorded is just "best" in the opinion of the producer anyway.  Transferring it via analog means is going to change it somewhat, which may very well sound better or worse depending on one's personal opinion.  I pretty much assume that digital recording preserves it exactly the way it was intended to sound.
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zombie #1
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 07:14:03 AM »

 I pretty much assume that digital recording preserves it exactly the way it was intended to sound.
this would stand to reason. but any music up to (at a guess) the mid 90s would not have been recorded digitally though, so that means there can be no definitive digital version of it.

I just think there's something about cassette tape that lends audio/music a certain something...
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claws
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 07:26:10 AM »

Original albums on cassette tapes was my least favorite medium for many reasons. Back in the day I didn't like listening to albums in song order. I would put the songs in my preferred order and record them from vinyl on tape.
Our car's cassette deck would eat tapes at random. I remember when I bought Klymaxx - Meeting in the Ladies' Room on cassette. Side A played fine but when the deck in the car switched to Side B it pulled in the tape. After that incident I rarely bought cassette tapes anymore. Besides, cassette tapes mostly sounded muffled in our car, which I think had to do with the Dolby B system (though our car's deck was equipped with Dolby but the tapes never sounded "right").
Anyway, after my Klymaxx tape was destroyed I bought the vinyl version which was hissy at parts. In the late 80s I bought the very same album on CD. Only then could I listen to Klymaxx without any annoying distortions  Smile
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 07:50:36 AM »

While I do prefer to listen to CDs when it comes to newer output from bands I like, for big crisp production, you can't beat an old vinyl record through a stereo system. There just seems to be more excitement when you throw on an LP, listen to the initial crackles and pops before the magic starts. I also find a lot of older CDs sound phenomenal through headphones, perfect examples of this, for me, are; "Operation Mindcrime" by Queensryche and "Hysteria" by Def Leppard. I just feel like I'm getting swallowed up in the music and can hear far more things going on.
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Raffine
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 08:22:55 AM »

Just about the most horrible sound in the world was that loud SQUEEEEEEL some cassettes would develop after several playings. My car's cassette player had an 'auto reverse' feature (it played both sides in a continuous loop) and just about every tape played in it developed this noise.
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« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 12:35:16 PM »

I've found that a lot of music I like,the older songs and artists,sound much better on tape or vinyl......CDs just don't suit them. Especially "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles....first time I heard that on CD I actually got mad. How could they manage to make it sound wobbly? Lookingup
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FatFreddysCat
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 02:10:45 PM »

I started buying CDs in 1991 or '92 and of course at first my goal was to "upgrade" all of my cassettes to CDs. Twenty years later... it's still going on. At its peak I probably had about 400 tapes, I'm down to less than 100 now but Lord knows if I'm ever going to get around to replacing'em all. The stuff that's left is either really old/out of print or was never available on CD in the first place.

....so I still have a stash of my old cassette tapes in the closet from back in the day, but it's been years since I've listened to any of'em. Now that I think about it, now that I am no longer driving a Jeep w/a cassette player in the dash, I don't even own anything to play them on anymore. I don't have the heart to get rid of'em though. They're museum pieces.
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kakihara
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« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 05:36:23 PM »

its funny, i thought i was one of the few people that actually still likes cassettes. though i mostly listen to cds because you can select songs.  i dont mention it to people for fear of being ridiculed. its sad, even people who make music dont have any concept of TONE. this is one of the reasons modern music sounds like crap. everything sounds so damn sterile and perfect now.  in my opinion sounded better because of the warmth.people mplained about the crackling and popping, but i thought thats what made it special, sometimes every listening experience was unique because of this. cds dont all sound the same either, ive bought new cds to try and show friendsthe  nce between the new one and one that was 10 years old. same artist, same album, but there was definitely  a difference. maybe its because of wear and tear. maybe they were mastered and printed in 2 different countries. dont know. my friend couldnt hear it because he only listens to music on his I-thingy now. 
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zombie #1
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« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 08:30:47 PM »

perfect examples of this, for me, are; "Operation Mindcrime" by Queensryche and "Hysteria" by Def Leppard. I just feel like I'm getting swallowed up in the music and can hear far more things going on.
I just read def leppard are re-recording their entire back catalog, so maybe you'll be able to compare them old vs new


its funny, i thought i was one of the few people that actually still likes cassettes. though i mostly listen to cds because you can select songs.  i dont mention it to people for fear of being ridiculed. its sad, even people who make music dont have any concept of TONE. this is one of the reasons modern music sounds like crap. everything sounds so damn sterile and perfect now.  in my opinion sounded better because of the warmth.people mplained about the crackling and popping, but i thought thats what made it special, sometimes every listening experience was unique because of this. 
couldn't agree more...
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Allhallowsday
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 10:33:31 PM »

I have to admit to serendipity.  I've been wondering for about 6 weeks, where is my walkman??  Question  
My car is so old it has a built in tape deck I haven't used in years ... but it did afford me the opportunity when it was new to reacquaint myself with my old mixes, mostly '80s Punk, New Wave, Hip hop, Dance...Classical - emphasis on CESAR FRANCK, RAVEL, BACH, BEETHOVEN, and my own humor tapes and Halloween music...  TeddyR  

AH!  I have so many tapes... but have lost many more!!!  Lookingup TeddyR BounceGiggle Bluesad

OH!  Oh yes!  '50s DOO WOP!!!  My friend had many many LP collections of those great '50s hit records, including a lot of radio and local city related records, some really great sh!t... hot... full of classics and not so well known minor hits, a great education all transcribed on my double header tape deck from turntable... one tape recording off the other came in real handy doing creative crap like mixing recordings and cut-up samples.   Smile
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 10:39:34 PM by Allhallowsday » Logged

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