Tape Gear!


That is my method 90% of the time. I only use a splicing block if I need to make very precise edits


What are everyone’s thoughts on multiple generations of recordings to the same tape? How many times do you record over the same tape before moving on to a fresh one? Are there any qualities of heavily rerecorded tapes that you like? Do you avoid this all together and only record to tape once?


It’s funny — I have 2 or 3 reels of fresh tape I could use when making new loops, but more often than not I’m just grabbing an old loop from last year still hanging on the doorknob that I’ve probably recorded over a dozen times.

I suppose, in the end, it’s a matter of what kind of texture you’re after. If I’m setting up an otherwise pristine modular patch, there’s magic in using a heavily used loop in a delay line to add imperfection, stuttering, etc…


Well I’ve always wondered how this works with tape delays. I mean, you are constantly recording and erasing. How often does the tape need to be changed on those?


:slightly_smiling_face: change tape to taste


added a switch to disengage the erase head of my reel to reel :slight_smile:

taping a bit of tinfoil over it works OK on less hi-tech recorders too


I believe it depends on what sound you want. Old worn tape is likely to produce a little more noise and cloudiness on your repeats, and that could be a good thing.


woah, that’s in amazing condition! I believe Pete Swanson uses one of those for his solo stuff + when he was doing Yellow Swans.


i’m on the marantz pmd 222 as well, did the pitch mod, love it. it wasn’t getting much attention last months until i spent last weekend in a studio recording the album of the trio i play in. i borrowed the studio space echo (re-201) for all the delays on the album, loved it (never used one before,only had the boss pedal digital emulation).
well, back home i got back to the 222 and i’m really amazed by how good it sounds. it can be clean or saturated as hell, it can work wonders when you eq the return channel AND use his tone knob in different combinations. i then send the return channel to the doepfer a-199 spring to get the 'verb too. lovely combo.
but: for the first time i experimented with reamping some stuff on it, I LOVE IT!!! i placed my sennheiser mkh416 (half shotgun, supercardioid condenser mic, very very detailed especially on the mid-hi\hi range) on the internal speaker of the marantz. i layered the original digital recording with the tape recording miked with the 416 and then used the 222 again for echoes.
the original voice is a mangrove. this is the result (pretty clean, i used std speed and max pitch to have the best resolution, i can degrade it pretty much if i want, lowering the speed of recording):


I bought this Yamaha MT-100 MK2 a while back to record and play tape loops on. Everything seems to work and it plays and records on cassettes fine, but has a problem whereby when I play a looped cassette, the left turning wheel needs to be engaged to play, but also seems to not have enough power turn the left cog and the machine stops after a few seconds because of this.

Is anyone familiar with this machine/problem and can help me out? I thought perhaps there’s a way to get inside and break a connection to stop the machine recognising when the left wheel isn’t engaged, therefore not stopping the loop, but I’m not experienced in this kind of thing at all. Would greatly appreciate any help.


Finally getting around to looping on my Uher 4400


@1049 not quite sure what the real problem is but I suspect the following: your tape loop might be too tight. i can’t really tell by the image or video but your loop can be completely loose and should on no occasion be ever too tight. the tape being hard going makes your machine assume you arrived at the end of a regular cassette and stop.

in many cases the left turning wheel is only ever powered for rewinding anyway but I am not sure about this specific model of recorder. but generally one can assume that this is the case in most gear.

for playing tape loops, one does not need any of the turning wheels at all. the tape is usually moved by the pinch roller on the bottom right alone, whilst pressing on the capstan. you might need to adjust the pressure settings there if anything. even a regular cassette is primarily moved by the capstan/pinch roller. the turning wheel inside the cassette just winds your tape up and has not much to do with actually moving your tape forward. if you buy factory made endless cassettes only one, if any, of the turning wheels in the case ever engage with the winding mechanism and the tape is solely moved forward by the capstan/pinch roller (but perhaps kept tidy by one turning wheel if it’s a long loop).

not sure if this will help you trouble shooting but it might be something to look at if you didn’t do so already…….


I bought this a few weeks ago on ebay…

sold ‘for parts’ , but after replacing the belts and fixing one of the control boards (blown IC) today,
its now rocking on all 4 cylinders again :slight_smile:

a big solid beast, sounds great and with a lot of ‘character’,
really looking forward to recording some tracks on it.


how difficult were the belts to swap ? any tips …I have one and I need to do it. When i was using it in the 90’s it was a great machne.


belts were very simple to swap,

this video covers it really well

I also had to change the pinch roller (which had also turned to rubbery goo), so check that too - this was a little more involved, but not really hard to do.

only thing I wanted to replace but haven’t yet, is the idler tyres, but I just can find any the right size yet ( in Europe, any suggestions gratefully received :slight_smile: ) , but these are not too bad on my unit.


Any recommendations for a good source of tapes?


@mateo perhaps http://www.tapeline.info? what kind of tapes are you after?


looking for tapes for using with my 4 track: wondering if I should contact a duplication place or try my luck with branded NOS tapes from amazon etc.


personally, if i wanted to achieve top results for recording my own stuff on a 4-track i would try to opt for TDK SA-X or Maxell XLII-S or their little inferior siblings (like TDK SA or Maxell XL or the likes)…….
i have been using such tapes (especially TDK) for more than 2 decades now for all sorts of purposes with great results. generally, these kind of cassettes are advocated for all over the internet by other tape enthusiasts as well…….

so yeah, probably NOS instead of duplication services in your case i would think……

that might be of interest as well: http://www.tapeheads.net/showthread.php?t=15460


i’m puzzled; kind of expected nobody to record on type 1 tapes anymore, but so far i keep seeing ordinary ferric tapes everywhere i look. am i missing something? why isn’t e.g CrO₂ the standard these days?