Friday, April 1, 2016

A return to tape

There's no  need recheck your calendars as this is not an entry from 1996 actually but this very year that I wasn't really expecting to make not least as I think I wrote some bits around that period as I'd moved over to a portable digital enclosed disc system called MiniDisc because of my inability during the 90's to use reel based recorders and physical trimming and joining of program on tape and finding cassette wasn't quite doing what I wanted for a one format for all recording needs.
That system came to the end of its road with the discontinuing of both home recorders first,followed by portables together with its re-recordable discs and so for just carrying portable music around, I copy it to Micro sd card and put in a portable audio player which is currently my Fiio X3.
Sometimes you do need a quick means of recording something and I do have a number of pre-recorded cassettes bought during the Nineteen eighties that have things that aren't easily found on cd or other digital forms never mind tapes of various chart shows with voices of DJ's some now dead like Tommy Vance of the BBC I like to listen to.
That's why given the issues around the reliability of my last home MiniDisc deck like it died a few weeks ago (!) it was a Yamaha KX-393 cassette deck  I've gotten that had it not been for falling in love with a Sony MiniDisc unit in February of 1997 I'd of considered buying new!
It's a simple model in some ways, in that it only has one head to record and playback with outside of another for wiping any previous recordings and only records and plays in one direction so you turn the two sided tape over by hand.
On the other hand it has a thing called Play Trim that helps tapes recorded on other machines keep their sparkle by making the high notes clearer when playing back and the ability to match individual blank tapes to the recorder for the best possible sound.

Like most home decks it has switchable Dolby B type noise reduction for reducing the noise on tapes played back and then  featured C type that is more effective at reducing hiss but sounds really bad on machines without it which some of my legacy tapes were made with unfortunately between 1985 and about 1990.
A girltastic  offering from the UK's Boots The Chemist bought and recorded in 1986 from my original 45's when I had better paws for writing with complete with the very stickers that festooned my original portable player in addition to every tape I made.
Just to keep Marmalade amused, I have a copy of the Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon  where at the last twenty or so seconds of the second side having had two minutes of silence I put the striking clocks from the start of 'Time' so it plays that and on a machine that reverses, will go to the first side again and start with the heartbeat intro to 'Breathe'!!!

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