cool tapes i find and cassette related equipment.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

a person asks for an ipod/walkman comparison

the advantage that a walkman has over an ipod is tunable tape compression.  if you've been making tapes for a long time, and you make lots of mixes on certain brands of tape you can get your touch together on hitting things to tape in a certain way that brings out the bass and squishes the cymbals in a really cool way.  i haven't been able to replicate this in a DAW.  one can get fairly close but it's a simulation of something easily done on tape.  also like if you watch a movie, they use filters to adjust the color palette in certain ways.  most films aren't just a "picture" of a scene.  the colors are processed to create a thematic unity therewith. a really badass filter to run music through is just a slight amount of surface noise or tape hiss.  this is why many hip hop records and experimental guys will cut in a sample of a run out groove off a vinyl record.  it adds a very flattering filter to the music.  one which a person making a cassette can control.  {tape type, machine type, how hard the tape is hit} if you ever go to a live show and you see the lights on stage, they'll pump some smoke out there to give the light something to bounce off of.  filter.

i'm a big believer in using the right tool for the job.  if you want to take a zillion songs and pack lightly, of course the ipod.  if you really want to juke, you're going to need some cassettes, a walkman, and some badass headphones.  

i should also mention pause button editing, and controlling how tight the gaps are.  this can be done digitally in a DAW, but the basic itunes software does not allow this type of creative listening as far as i know.