Tape Gear!


Portland’s very own David Chandeler (Solenoid / DJ Broken Window / community library) shared his magic formula
with the world back in the1990s of 37.2 cm to get 7.8 seconds. That was a breakthrough.
In 2009 I started making these configurations which extended David’s loop a bit further.


I love doing this but I sometimes encounter sync issues due to the tape speed not being super stable. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you deal with that?


I made this today, which I’m hoping at my slower speed will give me about 20 seconds


@marcus_fischer @iain those little plastic bits are the spooling things from the corners right? Do they just stay in place in their own?


Yes I just take them from other cassettes that I can’t make into loop tapes. They’re Superglued in place


If you’re never seen them check out Justin Lakes tape loops, they are crazy. He does a noise project called Shredded Nerve.


I have a restored Wollensak 8075 8-track deck (arguably the best, fwiw) and a bunch of sealed blank tapes. This thread is getting me to use it for something other than excercise bike jams- gonna try sending stereo mixes to it tonight.


the first 5 tapes I tried either snapped or the pinch rollers are deteriorated and sticky, but the final one worked perfectly. recorded directly from modular to 8-track, then re-played and recorded into my main multi-track (tascam dp-32). sounds way better than I thought it would.

4 ‘programs’ at 20 mins each w/ no rewind or indication of where I am on the tape should lead to some interesting results over time.


the trick is to print as you’re sending, not after - set up a stereo track to record the playback head of the tape machine as you’re sending the DAW signal to the tape input. there will be the natural delay between the record head and playback head, but you can set up a pre-recording click to sync to after the fact, just drag the taped channel back so that the clicks line up. this way any tape wobble will remain synced, since the wobble will simultaneously affect the record and playback heads. you can emphasize the abnormalities by fucking with the tape as it records without everything getting off sync, emphasizing the weird tape vibe.


Any time I try to make ones that complex, the tape just jams, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. But they do look cool


Wanted a weird looking player to take simple loops out live.

Got this.

It’s computer-compatible.


Oh amazing thank you! I should have thought of this. Alternatively you could set the tapes click track as the master tempo in Ableton so the rest of your track follows the unstable tape speed. I also would love to try to record a clock to one track of the tape and use it to sync the modular.


I found a used Sony reel to reel recently that was in pretty bad shape. Swapped out the old tin can leaky caps with newer ones, replaced all belts, cleaned the inside and outside, demagnetized and cleaned tape heads and now it’s working! I use it for tape delay effects and long tape loops. Working on a project right now with it. I’ve also done the 4 track tape loop thing, but it’s so frustrating to make those little tape loops. I’ve had a couple snap during live performances too.


Could not find a lot informations about this guy. What do you mean “computer compatible”?


I was taking the piss. It says “Computer Compatible” on it. Which I’m supposing is because it was intended for use in the 80s when computers like the Spectrum et al used to use cassettes for data storage.



Haha and yeah I remember those times…I borrowed one of these computers from a friend in early 90s


I love tape gear, I got several cassette machines:

Tascam portastudio 246
(4 track cassette recorder)

Denon DRM-700A

Marantz CP-430
portable tape recorder

Sony WM-D6C
Professional Walkman

National Library of Congress C-1 tape player

Olympus Pearlcorder S912
microcassette dictaphone


I’m using computer data tapes from the 80s which have been kept in terrible conditions to make my tape loops. They have an instant Basinski feel to anything you record on them


Any good resources for learning how to do this stuff?


I’d love to hear some of your stuff with these loops!