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Alsandair
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:00 pm
Posts: 568
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:59 pm 
 

I know some people around here still buy and listen to tapes at least a little, and I am just beginning to do this more myself.

I am curious, do you buy cassettes because they are cheap, to complete collections/have a release that is only available on tape, or because you are partial to the medium? I suppose I'd like input mostly from people who fall into the last category. Are there specific albums/bands/genres that you think are BEST enjoyed on cassette?

Example: There are definitely certain releases I would prefer to listen to on vinyl than on CD or on my computer, and although it IS a factor - whether or not it was mastered in the analog era is not a deal breaker for me. Most doom metal, heavy metal like Priest or Manilla Road, and black metal like early Burzum or Mayhem would be examples of music I personally think is best enjoyed on vinyl. I feel like the medium enhances the aesthetic and delivery of the music. On the other hand I would have very little incentive to buy a modern death metal album on vinyl, unless I really loved the release and the vinyl artwork was irresistible.

So, which albums do you feel are best listened to on tape? Expound on your choices if you can. Is it because it's the original format of the album? Nostalgia/aesthetics? It sounds better? My cassette preferences thus far are comparable to my vinyl ones, but with more of a focus on thrash, black/thrash, black/death. The cassette version of Unchain the Wolves by Hells Headbangers caught my eye recently.

I realize this is subjective and that's good. I am also aware that many people do not care about this sort of thing.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5019
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:21 pm 
 

I like when albums are composed with longer sections in mind, and the two sides of a cassette tend to be friendly to that. Of course, music can be put to a format without that format in mind (i.e. most vinyl releases these days). For example, the ambient interludes of the first two Burzum albums frame the flow better when you listen to it in two parts. It's also interesting to hear, on some older albums, where a band would put the one radio-friendly song as the first song on the B-side - Manilla Road's "Out of Control with Rock and Roll" and Legend's "RARZ".

I also like when a release is mastered for tape, as it tends to be compressed less, and it adds a bit of warmth/fuzz if it's a little bit hot. Of course, this also doesn't matter if someone's just dubbing the CD mix onto a tape, but sometimes it's done well.

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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
Posts: 6024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:25 pm 
 

I'll grab the tape if it's the only format available, to complete the 'set' or if it's just cheap and I like the album :nods:
It's by far my least favourite format though, sounds like crap, easily damaged, small artwork, loud mechanical noises during playback etc :lol:
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heavymetalbanger1989
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:37 am
Posts: 68
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:13 pm 
 

I buy old cassettes, mostly of '80s thrash. I buy them because I prefer cassettes. I like the 20-25 minutes sides and flipping them over in the middle. I don't know why but I do. I even like the twinkling sounds at the beginning and end of some tapes. I would love to have all my favorite '90s death metal albums on tape too but it's hard to find/impossible/too expensive.

I don't know about new releases, but if you collect older releases, they sure as hell are NOT cheap. In fact many tapes of older metal are more expensive than cds, unless you happen to stumble across one at a thrift store.

I think '80s thrash is best listened to on tape. I have cd and tape versions of some albums and much prefer the tapes. Like Exodus. I listen to Exodus strictly on tape. Metallica, Testament, etc.. tapes over cds any day. And again, I don't know what it is. Maybe because tapes are more old-school and fitting for that era? I grew up with tapes and cds equally and listened strictly to cds when I first started buying music as a teenager. But I've grown partial to tapes as my favorite format.

Dreadmeat is right about them being easily damaged, though. They can get eaten easily and I'm weary of leaving a tape half-wound on either side even though I haven't heard that's bad in any way. I've gotten some tapes that got eaten on the first or second listen, ha.

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Oxenkiller
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 1319
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:16 pm 
 

I used to buy cassettes almost exclusively for the simple reason that it was the only way to listen to the music on my old 80's model cars that I drove. But I haven't owned a car with a cassette player since 2005, so....
I liked the sound of cassettes better than CD's but the dang things would always stretch and wear out. I would go through sometimes up to 3 copies of my favorate albums through tape decks wearing them out (cassettes from Elektra Records had a notoriously short lifespan.) And yeah I have many great memories of blasting 80's thrash cassettes on my car deck.

But now, my current car's CD player has become more and more tempermantal lately, and it wont even play half of my CD's anymore- tradeoffs, right??.

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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
Posts: 6024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:25 pm 
 

Over here tapes used to be $10 cheaper than the CD equivalent so I got tapes instead, I was young and foolish.
Have you ever run so fast in your life as when you hear your favourite tape getting munted in the tapedeck... :roll:
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Turner
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:41 am 
 

dreadmeat wrote:
Over here tapes used to be $10 cheaper than the CD equivalent so I got tapes instead, I was young and foolish.
Have you ever run so fast in your life as when you hear your favourite tape getting munted in the tapedeck... :roll:


was the same for me as well. a brand-new tape in ~1994 was $20, but a new CD was $30. given i was spending my parents' money at the time, tapes was a no-brainer. but i stopped buying tapes in the late 90s and started buying CDs (which i've in turn ditched for digital). tapes were always a pain in the arse. the artwork was tiny, you couldn't skip tracks, i was constantly repairing tapes where they'd been chewed by a tape deck (and it was possible to perfectly repair them... lord knows i had practice), they whirred and carried on, half the time you'd have 15min of blank tape at the end of side 1, no... i'm glad tapes are gone. vastly superior technology triumphed over the tape and no amount of misplaced nostalgia or scene points will make it a good idea to ever use them again.

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Arkhane
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
Posts: 1651
Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:00 am 
 

I had a little too much fun with the blank spaces in audio tapes. Anyone with an inch of scotch tape knows what I'm talking about. :D
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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:17 am 
 

Turner heh heh yeah man, I feel that
Arkhane Fight Club...

Sometimes releases are only available on tape, there are often tracks only available on certain formats of the release too, perhaps due to time constraints.
But tapes seem to be making a comeback, you can buy brand new stuff on tape, people are weird! :tinfoil:
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Turner
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:43 am 
 

dreadmeat wrote:
But tapes seem to be making a comeback, you can buy brand new stuff on tape, people are weird! :tinfoil:


nostalgia comes and goes in 20-year cycles, it seems. about 5 years ago everyone was right into cartoons they'd seen in the late 80s/early 90s (ninja turtles, transformers, samurai pizza cats, blah blah fucking blah) but that's largely gone by the wayside. now i guess we're gonna start doing tapes? i don't think CDs overtook them until the mid-90s at least. hell, i've already started listening to korn again. i guess the real question is, is this the 20-year tape revival, or the 40-year?

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Bishop_Drugsalot
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:42 am
Posts: 244
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:45 am 
 

I buy cassettes when it's either significantly cheaper option or the only option available.
That being said, I own like maybe 20 of them, and over half of them are black metal from Eastern Europe.
I rarely buy new albums as cassettes, Flesh Cathedral by Svartidauði being the exception since my local distro seller had the cassette on stock for 5 €.

It's a nifty format, can't deny that. I'm still on the fence whether to really dig in on it though.

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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
Posts: 6024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:51 am 
 

I was thinking of taking my walkperson for a cruise through town for a laugh, someone would probably compliment me on my cool retro iPod cover though /groan :roll:

Samurai Pizza Cats?! ha ha ha
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Ancient_Mariner
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:20 pm
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:55 am 
 

I can't see any reason to use that format with its terrible sound.

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2366
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:02 pm 
 

Ancient_Mariner wrote:
I can't see any reason to use that format with its terrible sound.

What? Noooo, tape hiss is the best. I've only found the sound quality on tapes to be noticeably detrimental to the experience if it was an extremely old, well-loved copy of an album that I bought in a pawn shop, or a Rhinocervs/Crepúsculo Negro home dub job.
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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 4584
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:43 pm 
 

Tapes started as a last resort for me (the only way I could get a copy of Cloven Hoof's debut, for instance) but a newish band that I'm obsessed with called Demon Bitch has thus far only released their material on tape. And I'm completely smitten by them, which has led me to become more and more fond of the tape format. Now I actively seek them out, not for major releases but for little demos and EPs and stuff. I think it's fun and sort of romantic.

My only complaint is that my stereo will PLAY tapes, but will not rewind/FF tapes. So I have to let the side B play all the way out just to listen to the A side again.
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Von Jugel
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:49 am
Posts: 227
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:26 pm 
 

Alsandair wrote:

So, which albums do you feel are best listened to on tape? Expound on your choices if you can. Is it because it's the original format of the album? Nostalgia/aesthetics? It sounds better? My cassette preferences thus far are comparable to my vinyl ones, but with more of a focus on thrash, black/thrash, black/death.


I think a rule of thumb with me is, as a collector, having the format that was most popular of the time. To me, having that format feels more like the "real thing".

So I have a decent sized thrash and OSDM collection of releases between 1985-1991, and for me it's the format I choose when I listen to OSDM. Yeah, sometimes you'll have a bad tape, but when the tape works right I like the hissy high-end and the dirty low-end that you get out of them, especially with the double-bass. I bought a CS reissue of Death Strike's Fuckin' Death, and to me it can't possibly sound better on CD or Vinyl.

Recent tape haul
Spoiler: show
Image

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marcomai
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:19 am
Posts: 124
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:33 pm 
 

This is all just fetishisation of formats. Usually people fetishise vinyl a lot but to see it with cassettes is happening more often.

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Delta_Wing
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:20 pm
Posts: 891
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:56 pm 
 

Von Jugel wrote:
I think a rule of thumb with me is, as a collector, having the format that was most popular of the time. To me, having that format feels more like the "real thing".

Recent tape haul
Image


Nice!!! That picture sure takes me back. I have about 90% of those and about 450 more OSDM / thrash cassettes in a box. I should dig them out.

This brings an important question to mind. How are you cleaning these? I have heard using isopropel alcohol on the small felt scrapper does a world of good in cleaning the mag tape. I am scared of trying it though. Also finding a good head cleaner for the deck is important.

Recently I found my copy of Effigy of the Forgotten on tape and popped it in an old Walkman. 1/2 way through, SCREECH, and the tape was done. I guess one of the spindles locked up and tore the tape and it came out like confetti.

Any tips on maintaining old copies????

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Von Jugel
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:49 am
Posts: 227
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:59 pm 
 

Delta_Wing wrote:

Any tips on maintaining old copies????


Nah, I guess I've just let 'em rot!

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Delta_Wing
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:20 pm
Posts: 891
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:09 pm 
 

Von Jugel wrote:
Delta_Wing wrote:

Any tips on maintaining old copies????


Nah, I guess I've just let 'em rot!


That's sort of the way I feel, so much I don't even count them as my collection. Cassette tapes are cool, but not meant for long term use. Vinyl and CD definitely have them beat in terms of longevity. I see people scared of disc rot all the time on old 1st press stuff, but honestly I have only seen it once before and it was so minor that it did not even effect the play. It was on a album I bought still in shrink wrap of all things from like '89. Tapes on the otherhand can expire minutes after getting them even if they are brand new.

I'm going to search around for ways of cleaning them and the deck properly, and break out my old Onkyo TA-2600.

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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
Posts: 6024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:16 pm 
 

Did someone say disc rot?
I was given this I think, it's totally rooted

http://dreadmeat.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/disc-rot.jpg
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Delta_Wing
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:20 pm
Posts: 891
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:24 pm 
 

Dreadmeat, Holy shit does that CD still play? I have never seen this before outside of the internet. I mean I'm sure it happens, but what's the percentage; 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000. Pretty low I'm betting compared to trashed cassettes. Me and my buddies would lose one a week easily back in the 80's and early 90's. One of friends always blew across the tape before putting it the deck. He swore by it. :lol:

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Turner
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1252
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:07 pm 
 

^ i've had that happen to a few CDs. one summer i left a bunch of CDs where they could get direct sunlight and the "foil" stuff peeled off in places. was worst with the CD-Rs - some of them were completely stripped.

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JohnTheDrummer
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 297
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:22 pm 
 

I don't do tapes, at all. Nothing but CDs.

I was in a band that only released tapes. I never really understood why, in a sense it kind of alienated a lot of our fans/friends that don't have tape players. They were in cool DVD like cases, though, so that was pretty cool :D
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Ancient_Mariner
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:20 pm
Posts: 338
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:20 pm 
 

Vinyl at least gives me larger artwork and in some cases a better sound due to less different mastering, but tape?

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dreadmeat
emere vendere cambire

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:50 am
Posts: 6024
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:18 am 
 

Pros :thumbsup:

  1. You can fit a tape in your pocket
  2. It's analogue so likely a better quality sound
  3. Some songs are only available on certain formats
  4. Some releases are only on tape [or vinyl or CD]
  5. Nostalgia buzz
  6. Collectible ie you have all formats of a release
  7. Different artwork on the tape
  8. Demo tapes!
  9. They are cheap
  10. They don't really skip when your at your jazzaerobics class
  11. Old cars have tapedecks

Cons :thumbsdown:

  1. Easily destroyed or damaged *but not easily scratched unlike CDs and vinyl
  2. Small artwork
  3. Sounds a bit wobbly
  4. High maintenance - cleaning heads etc
  5. Costs more to post than a CD
  6. You will look like a hipster if you walk around with a walkman
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Last edited by dreadmeat on Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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the_raytownian
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:09 am
Posts: 2318
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:34 am 
 

I buy/use tapes because it's what I've done all my life.

I grew up relatively poor and isolated in rural Mississippi, and for personal listening, boomboxes with tape decks were the only steady option available for a long time throughout the late 90's/early 2000's.

It was around the time that I finally got my own PC that I started getting into Grindcore and trying to make my own music. I had loads of tapes and a boombox, so I used them to record one-off "demos" early on.

I've always had tons of tapes, and I never saw any reason to throw them out, so they never stopped getting used in some capacity. Nowadays, I mainly use them for home studio recording or making mixes for friends that still have tape decks. I also buy music on tapes, but I don't "prefer" them. I am happy with whatever format is available, as long as it's not something so obscure I can't find a device to play it on.

I have no strong opinions about them. I don't feel any nostalgia for something that never went away, I just think they're convenient. I also think they sound nice in certain productions and have a lot of cool functionality via tape manipulation. I don't think they're as bad as people say they are, but they have plenty of drawbacks, too.

I like old cassette releases purely as collector scum trash, but I rarely play them, because I usually don't need to in most cases. they are just neat to have.
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KinskiTemper
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:30 pm
Posts: 39
Location: SC
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:37 am 
 

There is nothing appealing about cassettes at all whatsoever. Every time I see a modern band press a cassette I can't help but roll my eyes.

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BlackFlags
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:07 pm
Posts: 120
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:33 am 
 

I would buy more cassettes if my player weren't broken :ugh: . I only have a couple tapes myself, mostly because I found them cheaper than buying a CD copy at the time. I've one of the early Mercyful Fate demos, some Swedish death metal stuff... it's pretty good, even for the novelty of it, which I believe some people even buy them for these days.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12164
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:41 pm 
 

Never liked tapes much when I was growing up. So I never bought any, i got some for birthdays/xmas. Cd's I went all in about. I don't bother buying any new bands that release stuff only on tape, I have no problem never listening to them till it's on cd or vinyl. I have releases of my own bands on tape that I've never opened because I don't like tapes.
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Bicro
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:05 am 
 

I did for the span of a couple months, and it was kinda neat listening to some raggedy-ass copy of Butchered at Birth that had next-to-no sound quality (so you know it's good!). But then some guy spliced a CD player into the car and I used the tape deck to hammer in a stake for a tent, and that was all she wrote on cassettes.

I still have em, for sentimental reasons.

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Intraum
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:11 pm
Posts: 72
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:45 am 
 

I usually only listen to tapes in my old ass car on the way to and from work. The only reason I buy tapes still is because the are generally cheaper than cds and vinyl. Another thing I like is that they take up less space in my car. And it's also just fun to make mix tapes too.

But as an actual format for listening to music, tapes are pretty much bottom of the barrel.

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putrenista
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:17 am
Posts: 102
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:21 am 
 

I fucking love cassettes. The sound quality is comparable to vinyl and cds. They fit right in your pocket. You can get them for real cheap and there is a wealth of used media out there. There is a certain nostalgia factor involved, but I think it goes deeper than that. I like the collectability of cassettes. Also, it's about hearing the album how it was originally presented to the public in some ways.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12164
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:25 pm 
 

Hate to chime in again but when I'm on ebay looking for certain albums or in general I've seen that the tapes are sometimes getting up neck and neck with cds. and quite often depending where you go you can purchase tapes and cds at the same price of around 5 bucks. Just saying I don't really see a huge savings in collecting tape as saving dollars.
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Cold Crashing Waves
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:11 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:34 pm 
 

For nostalgic or novelty reasons I can understand, but anyone saying they listen to cassettes because "the sound quality is better" is fucking lying. The "but they're cheaper!" argument is bullshit as well.
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CorpseAltarLight
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:01 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:12 pm 
 

I buy tapes because they are inexpensive, but typically avoid albums on tape- unless that's the only format it's released on. I just go for demos, compilations, etc on tape usually.

Also, the "but they're cheaper" argument is hardly bullshit, as it doesn't take long to realize a $5-6 tape costs less than the same recording on vinyl or CD.

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Cold Crashing Waves
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:11 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 7:15 pm 
 

They're obviously cheaper but that isn't your reason for buying them, is what I meant. No ones buying cassettes because they're on a budget (if that were the case they'd just listen to music for free online) You're buying them because you think it's cool to own and listen to cassettes. You don't have to justify it with some lame excuse.
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bug_man
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 12:11 am
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Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:19 pm 
 

Cold Crashing Waves wrote:
They're obviously cheaper but that isn't your reason for buying them, is what I meant. No ones buying cassettes because they're on a budget (if that were the case they'd just listen to music for free online) You're buying them because you think it's cool to own and listen to cassettes. You don't have to justify it with some lame excuse.

i bought a tape the other day b/c no one's ripped that album to the internet and it was cheaper

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bug_man
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 12:11 am
Posts: 174
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:20 pm 
 

tapes are kewl b/c they have a good chance of dying horribly at any time, much like my aids ridden body


Last edited by iamntbatman on Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CorpseAltarLight
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:01 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:52 pm 
 

Cold Crashing Waves wrote:
They're obviously cheaper but that isn't your reason for buying them, is what I meant. No ones buying cassettes because they're on a budget (if that were the case they'd just listen to music for free online) You're buying them because you think it's cool to own and listen to cassettes. You don't have to justify it with some lame excuse.


... So where is the "lame excuse" in buying a tape of a demo that isn't available online? Your opinion is very ignorant and displays a basic lack of knowledge of how underground music works. Demo X exists, description/sample sounds interesting, and you purchase it, format be damned. It's ridiculous to think that everyone is buying tapes because they think they are "cool". Are people buying CDs because they are "cool"? The same logic can be applied to any physical format.

As for your insistence that no one buys tapes because they are on a budget- have you ever heard of Eastern Europe? There's one immediate example. "No one" seems to collapse pretty quick. What about those of us with kids, or who work low paying jobs, etc? An LP for $20 versus a tape for $5- it doesn't take an economy major to realize that if physical media is still important to those people, they might go with the cheaper option.

There's nothing worse than ignorance and blanket statements.

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