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Tape Machines

Updated Video! Suitcase of Drone: Ambient Tape Loop Music

This is the official recording and live setup of Austin based experimental musician Amulets. This rig (lovingly called the Suitcase of Drone) is compromised of numerous effects pedals and two 4-track tape recorders playing back handmade tape loops of varying length. We previously featured a version of the Suitcase of Drone back when we published our […]Read More »

FLASHBACK: 1987 Tascam Porta Two Cassette Four-Track Tape Recorder

FLASHBACK 1987 Tascam Porta Two Cassette Four-Track Tape Recorder BACKGROUND The Porta Two is a portable cassette four-track tape recorder manufactured by Tascam in 1987. Teac/Tascam are a huge influence in home recording. The Teac 144, the first cassette four-track recorder, was released in 1979. The 144 kicked off the cassette recording revolution. The Tascam […]Read More »

Learn Basic Tape Machine Maintenance & Repairing Tape Decks For A Cause

PLUS: Teaching Valuable Skills to Those Who Face Barriers to Employment Troubleshooting used to be a part of daily life for anyone who owned a piece of electronic equipment – especially tape decks.  There was always a chance of dirty contacts or tape paths, bad tubes, alignment issues, or the ever-present user error. Recently my […]Read More »

Performer's Comprehensive Analog Tape Glossary

Acetate Tape Acetate Tape refers to the material used as the base for tapes manufactured from the early ’50s through the 1970s. During the 1970s, polyester became the preferred base material for analog tape. It’s worth noting that each material has exhibited problems over time. Acetate becomes brittle if the oxide has dried out. The […]Read More »

MUST WATCH: The Suitcase Of Drone - You Gotta See It To Believe It

My name is Randall Taylor and I am an audio + visual artist from Austin, Texas. I make ambient/drone music with tape loops, samples, field recordings, guitar pedals, and live guitar loops. I play these tape loops through old 4 track recorders in a setup I like to call the Suitcase of Drone. In these […]Read More »

BUYER’S GUIDE: 6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Tape Machine

WHAT TO WORRY ABOUT Skip a lot of heartache and get a “modern” tape machine – something post 1975-ish (this varies depending on manufacturer) and that is a professional-grade machine.  These will have all the features you need to make recordings, and were built to be repaired, aligned, and heavily used.  They also tend to […]Read More »

Why Ditching Your DAW & Going Analog Renews Studio Focus

The Howling Tongues Get Blown Away By Analog Tape We recorded our debut album to 2” tape on a 24-track Studer at Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN. That whole experience opened our eyes – we weren’t staring at a computer screen and we were thrown into the fire. We weren’t editing, adjusting, shifting, nudging, cutting; […]Read More »

How To Successfully Achieve Analog Warmth With Digital Tape Plug-Ins

AND THEN THERE WAS PRO TOOLS… Recording has been a part of my life for more than 35 years. I started in the analog tape world, and I’m still in the analog tape world at the studio that I work at. I was introduced to digital recording in 1982 with a Sony PCM-F1, so I […]Read More »

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