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Its Not Just Vinyl Making a Comeback....

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  • Its Not Just Vinyl Making a Comeback....

    Well, it looks like it just isn't the old vinyl records that are making a comeback, it appears that cassette tapes are creeping back up too. Saw the following article over at The Wall Street Journal - "A Global Shortage of Magnetic Tape Leaves Cassette Fans Reeling". Seems a company called National Audio is one of the few left making cassette tapes. And they are now getting ready to start making their own tape as their supplier in Korea is no longer making that product.A couple of interesting sections of the article:
    “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda insisted that “The Hamilton Mixtape,” a 23-track album based on the hit Broadway musical and released last year, be available in cassette format. Brooklyn post-punk trio Big Bliss’s cassette debut last year earned music-blog reviews and gas money on the band’s first tour, even though the musicians didn’t have a cassette player when the tape was released.

    -------------------------

    Metallica is a repeat customer of National Audio, and the company’s 45 employees have produced cassette soundtracks for installments of the movies “Star Wars” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” and a surprise release by the platinum pop act Twenty One Pilots. It left the factory in unmarked boxes.

    --------------------------

    Nostalgia and analog chic aside, cassettes solve two dilemmas: the high cost of making vinyl records and getting fans to buy digital downloads, particularly when bands are touring. A hundred cassettes packaged with download coupons can be made in a few weeks for a few hundred dollars, compared with months and thousands of dollars for vinyl. They often sell at retail for as little as $5 each.

    “Plus, tapes fit in your breast pocket, which is pretty great,” says Mr. Miranda, the “Hamilton” composer.

    National Audio got small orders from Burger and other record labels. Then Pearl Jam called. The Seattle rock band needed 15,000 copies for a 2011 box set. Smashing Pumpkins followed. Metallica wanted 20,000 replicas of its original demo tape.
    Read the full article at https://www.wsj.com/articles/cassett...ape-1509723435

    Also, a sister article can be found at https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-cas...ack-1489080349

    The Mandolin Picker

    "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

    "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.

  • #2
    This is great news!* I still have my Sony Walkman from the 80s. I remember buying Close to the Edge by Yes for about 99p from a bargain bucket at Woolworths. The sound quality was rubbish but the music was so good it inspired me to 'go deeper' into Yes

    An essential extra was a pencil. Remember?


    (*not really)
    new album - smoke
    forum - the asylum

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    • daddymack
      daddymack commented
      Editing a comment
      manual rewind device...

    • Luke17
      Luke17 commented
      Editing a comment
      yup, and how can you forget taking your Beta and VHS tapes back to the video store and seeing this sign;
      'Please be kind and Rewind'

  • #3
    I seem to remember reading about this a couple of years ago. In fact, "cassettes are coming back" was mentioned in an archiving panel at the recent AES convention.

    Is the cassette revival having another revival already? Or is the WSJ just now getting the news?
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #4
      great news! now I can finally crack these open without fear of ridicule.
      https://i.imgflip.com/1yu9m3.jpg

      Comment


      • #5
        Since I use the computer for just about everything now, it's good to know that my pencils will get some use.

        Notes
        Bob "Notes" Norton
        Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
        Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
        The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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        • #6
          Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
          Since I use the computer for just about everything now, it's good to know that my pencils will get some use.

          Notes
          my pencil doesn't get as much use as it used to...
          Comes with the aging process.

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          • #7
            vintage cassettes are sometimes are spared the ignominy of being roadside kill and turned into creative art to honor some of the greatest forces in Music.
            To wit;
            https://i.imgflip.com/1yuwao.jpg

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            • #8
              I used to have a tape deck in my car that ate cassettes for lunch. No amount of cleaning and maintenance would tame the killer instinct. Maybe put it at bay for a day or two, but just when you least expect it, teeth bared, and cassette spaghetti is on the menu.

              Fortunately my cassettes were ones I made myself from my LP collection so Craig didn't get the real thing.

              I'll say one good thing about cassettes, at least they didn't fade out in the middle of a song, change tracks, and fade back in like those 8 track players did. My friend bought one, and when it did that, I vowed never to buy an 8 track, and I kept that promise.

              Notes
              Bob "Notes" Norton
              Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
              Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
              The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Luke17 View Post
                vintage cassettes are sometimes are spared the ignominy of being roadside kill and turned into creative art to honor some of the greatest forces in Music.
                To wit;
                https://i.imgflip.com/1yuwao.jpg
                I knew cassettes were good for something.
                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
                  I used to have a tape deck in my car that ate cassettes for lunch. No amount of cleaning and maintenance would tame the killer instinct. Maybe put it at bay for a day or two, but just when you least expect it, teeth bared, and cassette spaghetti is on the menu.

                  Fortunately my cassettes were ones I made myself from my LP collection so Craig didn't get the real thing.

                  I'll say one good thing about cassettes, at least they didn't fade out in the middle of a song, change tracks, and fade back in like those 8 track players did. My friend bought one, and when it did that, I vowed never to buy an 8 track, and I kept that promise.

                  Notes
                  I had an 8 track in my '75 Ford Bronco..if it started acting up, I would kick it with the right heel of my Dingo Boot between gear shifts.

                  low- tech resolution to a problem..

                  kind of like slamming your hand down on your vintage Fender tube amp head to rattle a 12ax7 pre amp tube during a bar gig that was starting to give you grief.
                  Last edited by Luke17; 11-11-2017, 04:59 PM.

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                  • #11
                    Sometimes I feel like I`m in the twilight zone... if cassettes make a comeback, I`m selling all my gear.

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                    • #12
                      I think it has nothing to do with technology, or audio, or anything like that...people are desperate for the material equivalent of comfort food. If you have two plug-ins, one with a flat interface and sliders, and another with the same functionality & quality but with a faceplate that looks like sheet metal from the 1950s with vintage knobs, people will buy the one that looks like old gear (and probably think it sounds better, too, even if it doesn't).

                      It may also involve ownership. With streaming, you don't really "own" anything any more. People like to own stuff, touch it, look at it. Looking at the home page for iTunes isn't the same thing.

                      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                      • Notes_Norton
                        Notes_Norton commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I like to own music. So I don't stream, I own music I've purchased, LPs, CDs, and Downloads.

                        I listen, and if I like it, I want to own it so I can listen to it whenever I want, take it with me in different formats, etc. A digital walkman has replaced the iPod which replaced the Cassette tape for my vehicle, but I still use those devices to re-record music I own in a higher fidelity format.

                        Perhaps I'm just old-fashioned.

                        But as far as gear is concerned, I just want it to work well and be easy to use. Sliders for some functions, knobs for others.

                        Notes

                    • #13
                      Maybe Radio Shack will save themselves from extinction by re-releasing their Supertape brand. ;-)
                      ---
                      Jim
                      Keys: Roland Jupiter-50, JX-8P; Alesis QS8.1; Korg DW-8000, Mini-Korg (original); Moog ConcertMate; Farfisa Compact Deluxe. And other assorted stuff.

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                      • #14
                        Originally posted by JazzMastaJim View Post
                        Maybe Radio Shack will save themselves from extinction by re-releasing their Supertape brand. ;-)
                        I personally liked the standard 120-minute Radio Shack tapes. Knowing that they would self-destruct, at a time and place of their own choosing but not too far in the future, lent an air of urgency to any project with which they were involved.
                        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                        • #15
                          I never used a C120 tape. I was aware of their existence but I'd heard dark tales of tape-stretch from seasoned music dogs

                          C90s were as far as I went. You could fit two albums on a C90. Not that I ever tried it, of course. Home taping was illegal...
                          new album - smoke
                          forum - the asylum

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