This would cause the magnetic tape to be fed out through the bottom of the cassette and become tangled in the mechanism of the player. In these cases the player was said to have "eaten" or "chewed" the tape, often destroying the playability of the cassette. The first cassette machines e.
Early machines required attaching an external dynamic microphone. Most units from the s onwards also incorporated built-in condenser microphones, which have extended high-frequency response, but may also pick up noises from the recorder's motor. A portable recorder format still common today is a long box, the width of a cassette, with a speaker at the top, a cassette bay in the middle, and "piano key" controls at the bottom edge.
Another format is only slightly larger than the cassette, known popularly as the "Walkman" a Sony trademark. The markings of "piano key" controls soon converged and became a de facto standard. They are still emulated on many software control panels. These symbols are commonly a square for "stop", a vertically pointed triangle with a line under it for "eject", a right-pointing triangle for "play", double triangles for "fast-forward" and "rewind", a red dot for "record", and a vertically divided square two rectangles side-by-side for "pause".
Stereo recorders eventually evolved into high fidelity and were known as cassette decks, after the reel-to-reel decks. Hi-Fi cassette decks, in contrast to cassette recorders and cassette players, often didn't have built-in amplification or speakers. Many formats of cassette players and recorders have evolved over the years. Initially all were top loading, usually with cassette on one side, and VU meters and recording level controls on the other side.
Older models used combinations of levers and sliding buttons for control. A major innovation was the front-loading arrangement. Pioneer 's angled cassette bay and the exposed bays of some Sansui models eventually were standardized as a front-loading door into which a cassette would be loaded.
Later models would adopt electronic buttons, and replace conventional meters which could be "pegged" when overloaded [ clarification needed ] with electronic LED or vacuum fluorescent displays , with level controls typically being controlled by either rotary controls or side-by-side sliders.
Unlike typical cassette decks that use a single head for both record and playback plus a second head for erasing, the Nakamichi , like the better reel-to-reel recorders, used three separate heads to optimize these functions. Other contenders for the highest "HiFi" quality on this medium were two companies already widely known for their excellent quality reel-to-reel tape recorders: Tandberg and Revox consumer brand of the Swiss professional Studer company for studio equipment.
Tandberg started with combi-head machines, such as the TCD , and continued with the TCD 3x0 series with separate playback and recording heads. All TCD-models possessed dual-capstan drives, belt-driven from a single capstan motor and two separate reel motors. After a disastrous overinvestment in colour television production, Tandberg folded and revived without the HiFi-branch these came from. Both cassette units possessed double capstan drives, but with two independent, electronically controlled capstan motors and two separate reel motors.
The head assembly moved by actuating a damped solenoid movement, eliminating all belt drives and other wearable parts.
These machines rivaled the Nakamichi in frequency and dynamic range. A last step taken by Revox produced even more-advanced cassette drives with electronic fine tuning of bias and equalization during recording.
Revox also produced amplifiers, a very expensive FM tuner, and a pickup with a special parallel-arm mechanism of their own design.
After releasing that product, Studer encountered financial difficulties. It had to save itself by folding its Revox-branch and all its consumer products except their last reel-to-reel recorder, the B While some [ who? Technically, both camps in this debate were still within the original cassette specification as no tolerance for frequency response is provided above HX Pro was adopted by many other high-end manufacturers.
As they became aimed at more casual users, fewer decks had microphone inputs. Dual decks became popular and incorporated into home entertainment systems of all sizes for tape dubbing.
Although the quality would suffer each time a source was copied, there are no mechanical restrictions on copying from a record, radio, or another cassette source.
Even as CD recorders are becoming more popular, some incorporate cassette decks for professional applications. Another format that made an impact on culture in the s was the radio-cassette, aka the " boom box " a name used commonly only in English-speaking North America , which combined the portable cassette deck with a radio tuner and speakers capable of producing significant sound levels. These devices became synonymous with urban youth culture in entertainment, which led to the somewhat derisive nickname "ghetto blaster.
This also led to such cultural practises as breakdancing. Applications for car stereos varied widely. Auto manufacturers in the U. In the s and s, as the cost of building CD players declined, many manufacturers offered a CD player. The CD player eventually supplanted the cassette deck as standard equipment, but some cars, especially those targeted at older drivers, were offered with the option of a cassette player, either by itself or sometimes in combination with a CD slot.
Most new cars can still accommodate aftermarket cassette players, and the auxiliary jack advertised for MP3 players can be used also with portable cassette players, but was the first model year for which no manufacturer offered factory-installed cassette players.
Although the cassettes themselves were relatively durable, the players required regular maintenance to perform properly. Head cleaning may be done with long swabs, soaked with isopropyl alcohol , or cassette-shaped devices that could be inserted into a tape deck to remove buildup of iron-oxide from the heads , tape-drive capstan, and pinch-roller. Some otherwise normal recording tapes included sections of leader that could clean the tape heads.
One of the concerns of the time however was the use of abrasive cleaning tape. Some of the cleaning tapes actually felt rough to the touch and were considered damaging to the heads. Similarly shaped demagnetizers used magnets to degauss the deck, which kept sound from becoming distorted see Cassette demagnetizer.
The Compact Cassette originally was intended for use in dictation machines. The cassette soon became a popular medium for distributing prerecorded music—initially through The Philips Record Company and subsidiary labels Mercury and Philips in the U. As of , one still finds cassettes used for a variety of purposes, such as journalism , oral history, meeting and interview transcripts, audio-books, and so on. Police are still big buyers of cassette tapes, as some lawyers "don't trust digital technology for interviews".
Prerecorded cassettes were also employed as a way of providing chemotherapy information to recently diagnosed cancer patients as studies found anxiety and fear often gets in the way of the information processing.
The cassette quickly found use in the commercial music industry. One artifact found on some commercially produced music cassettes was a sequence of test tones, called SDR Super Dynamic Range, also called XDR, or eXtended Dynamic Range soundburst tones, at the beginning and end of the tape, heard in order of low frequency to high. Many consumers objected to these tones since they were not part of the recorded music. News reporting, documentary, and human interest broadcast operations often used portable Marantz PMD-series recorders for the recording of speech interviews.
The key advantages of the Marantz portable recorders were the accommodation of professional microphones with an XLR connector , normal and double tape speed recording for extended frequency response, Dolby and dbx noise reduction systems, manual or automatic gain control AGC level control, peak limiter, multiple tape formulation accommodation, microphone and line level input connections, unbalanced RCA stereo input and output connections, live or tape monitoring, VU meter , headphone jack, playback pitch control, and operation on AC power or batteries optimized for long duration.
Unlike less-expensive portable recorders that were limited to automatic gain control AGC recording schemes, the manual recording mode preserved low noise dynamics and avoided the automatic elevation of noise. Beginning in , Tascam introduced the Portastudio line of four- and eight-track cassette recorders for home-studio use. In the simplest configuration, rather than playing a pair of stereo channels of each side of the cassette, the typical "portastudio" used a four-track tape head assembly to access four tracks on the cassette at once with the tape playing in one direction.
Each track could be recorded to, erased, or played back individually, allowing musicians to overdub themselves and create simple multitrack recordings easily, which could then be mixed down to a finished stereo version on an external machine. Multi-track cassette recorders with built-in mixer and signal routing features ranged from easy-to-use beginner units up to professional-level recording systems.
Although professional musicians typically used multitrack cassette machines only as "sketchpads", Bruce Springsteen 's Nebraska was recorded entirely on a four-track cassette tape. Most cassettes were sold blank, and used for recording dubbing the owner's records as backup, to play in the car, or to make mixtape compilations , their friends' records, or music from the radio.
This practice was condemned by the music industry with such alarmist slogans as " Home Taping Is Killing Music ". However, many claimed that the medium was ideal for spreading new music and would increase sales, and strongly defended their right to copy at least their own records onto tape.
Cassettes were also a boon to people wishing to tape concerts unauthorized or authorized for sale or trade, a practice tacitly or overtly encouraged by many bands, such as the Grateful Dead , with a more counterculture bent.
Blank cassettes also were an invaluable tool to spread the music of unsigned acts, especially within tape trading networks. Various legal cases arose surrounding the dubbing of cassettes. Amstrad , the House of Lords found in favor of Amstrad that producing equipment that facilitated the dubbing of cassettes, in this case a high-speed twin cassette deck that allowed one cassette to be copied directly onto another, did not constitute copyright infringement by the manufacturer.
As an alternative to home dubbing, in the late s, the Personics company installed booths in record stores across America that allowed customers to make personalized mixtapes from a digitally encoded back-catalogue with customised printed covers. Educational, religious, corporate, military, and broadcasting institutions benefited from messaging proliferation through accessibly priced duplicators, offered by Telex Communications , Wollensak , Sony , and others.
The duplicators would operate at double or greater tape speed. Systems were scalable, enabling the user to purchase initially one "master" unit typically with 3 "copy" bays and add "slave" units for expanded duplication abilities. The Hewlett-Packard HP was one of the first desktop computers in the early s to use automatically controlled cassette tapes for storage.
It could save and find files by number, using a clear leader to detect the end of tape. These would be replaced by specialized cartridges, such as the 3M DC-series.
Many of the earliest microcomputers implemented the Kansas City standard for digital data storage. Most home computers of the late s and early s could use cassettes for data storage as a cheaper alternative to floppy disks , though users often had to manually stop and start a cassette recorder. However, IBM cassette tape was seldom used, as by floppy drives had become commonplace in high-end machines.
Nintendo's Famicom had an available cassette data recorder , used for saving programs created with the hardware's version of BASIC and saving progress in some Famicom games. It was never released outside Japan, but the North American versions of some of the compatible games can technically be used with it, since many early copies of two of the games Excitebike and Wrecking Crew are actually just the Japanese versions in a different shell, and Nintendo intentionally included compatibility in later prints of those titles and in other games since they were planning on releasing the recorder in the region anyway.
Among home computers that used primarily data cassettes for storage in the late s were Commodore PET early models of which had a cassette drive built-in , TRS and Apple II , until the introduction of floppy disk drives and hard drives in the early s made cassettes virtually obsolete for day-to-day use in the US.
However, they remained in use on some portable systems such as the TRS Model line —often in microcassette form—until the early s. Floppy disk storage had become the standard data storage medium in the United States by the mids; for example, by the majority of software sold by Atari Program Exchange was on floppy. Cassette remained more popular for 8-bit computers such as the Commodore 64 , ZX Spectrum , MSX , and Amstrad CPC in many countries such as the United Kingdom   where 8-bit software was mostly sold on cassette until that market disappeared altogether in the early s.
Reliability of cassettes for data storage is inconsistent, with many users recalling repeated attempts to load video games;  the Commodore Datasette used very reliable, but slow, digital encoding. They found use during the s in data loggers for scientific and industrial equipment.
Streamer cassettes look almost exactly the same as a standard cassette, with the exception of having a notch about one quarter-inch wide and deep situated slightly off-center at the top edge of the cassette. Streamer cassettes also have a re-usable write-protect tab on only one side of the top edge of the cassette, with the other side of the top edge having either only an open rectangular hole, or no hole at all.
This is due to the entire one-eighth inch width of the tape loaded inside being used by a streamer cassette drive for the writing and reading of data, hence only one side of the cassette being used.
Streamer cassettes can hold anywhere from kilobytes to megabytes of data. The PXL was a camcorder that recorded onto compact cassettes. Elcaset is a short-lived audio format that was created by Sony in that is about twice the size, using larger tape and a higher recording speed. Unlike the original cassette, the Elcaset was designed for sound quality. It was never widely accepted, as the quality of standard cassette decks rapidly approached high fidelity.
Technical development of the cassette effectively ceased when digital recordable media, such as DAT and MiniDisc , were introduced in the late s and early-to-mid s, with Dolby S recorders marking the peak of Compact Cassette technology. Anticipating the switch from analog to digital format, major companies, such as Sony, shifted their focus to new media. It was aimed primarily at the consumer market. A DCC deck could play back both types of cassettes. Unlike DAT, which was accepted in professional usage because it could record without lossy compression effects, DCC failed in home, mobile and professional environments, and was discontinued in They are not perfect, in fact, they are far from perfect.
This is Wavesfactory's tribute to the sound that shaped their childhood. They discovered the passion for music between quirks and random fluctuations. Watching the meters move as they sang into an old microphone. Red peaks and analog saturation. Rewind, listen again. Cassette is an audio plugin that emulates the sound of vintage cassette tapes and decks.
It has been carefully modelled after exhaustive analysis of a high number of sound signals recorded into real tapes. As a result, you get the same sound and behaviour of the original units. Magnetic tape is not sterile media. Because of that, it will impart its own sound signature to signals recorded into it. These include a different frequency response, frequency-dependent saturation, high-frequency compression, hiss, asperity noise and much more. Reproduction systems will also induce their fingerprint: wow, flutter, random high-frequency loss, crosstalk between channels, stereo unbalances and other.
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Bananarama WOW! Results pagination - page 1 1 2 3. You may also like. Savings are here! Get what you love for less. Originally, most cassette singles were released in a thick paper sleeve that slipped over the outside of the cassette.
This was then usually shrink wrapped in cellophane plastic. Some singles contained one song on each side, much as 7-inch rpm records had done, but others repeated the songs on both sides. In some markets, cassette singles generally used the same packaging as standard cassettes, a rigid plastic box with a folded paper inlay insert. As the cassette maxi single or extended play EP was released,  more intricate packaging was incorporated that looked similar to the packaging of a regular album cassette.
Unlike a full-length cassette album, these were generally only one two-sided inlay instead of an extended fold-out the latter as required for song lyrics, and other additional information usually found on albums. Maxi-singles usually contained four or more versions of a single song; i. Alternatively, some cassette singles contained differing versions of two different songs, as in a ' double A-side '. Although the cassette had reached a high level of popularity by the late s, due to the ubiquity of mobile devices such as the Sony Walkman ,  the boombox , and car audio cassette players, cassette singles never rivalled gramophone records to even near the same extent as cassette albums had done.
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