Cassette tape revival

Doraemon

Well-known Member
What’s up with this trend of (some) bands releasing albums on cassette tapes again? Is it all because of Stranger Things or Guardians of the Galaxy, or something else? Have you bought any since 2000?

I just did, due to nostalgia and FOMO. Seemed like a fun way to support the band in the age of streaming, since I don’t have a CD player any more and not into collecting limited edition triple sided purple glitter vinyls or whatnot.

On a related note, some decades ago I used an app (was it Sound Forge?) that captured the noise print - recording of empty tape - and applied that to the rest to denoise it. Is there still such a thing (for Mac) or something better for tape recordings?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member

Doraemon

Well-known Member
Well, it's a very nitche market. Here's a list of 200, that were released in 2022.


In the synth/modular world, cassettes are quite popular, still (independent releases) ..... and there's also a kind of built in love of lo-fi there.
This must be a country specific list or something, since it's missing a lot mentioned here. Including the one I just got. It may be a niche format, but I see a lot of well-known artist names...
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
This must be a country specific list or something, since it's missing a lot others mentioned here. Including the one I just got. (PT/CC) It may be niche, but I see a lot of well-known artist names.
Well, that list was published in April, and updated in May (2022) so I'm sure there have been other releases. By "niche market", I'm not referring to the artists releasing ..... I mean the consumers buying.
 

Doraemon

Well-known Member
Well, that list was published in April, and updated in May (2022) so I'm sure there have been other releases. By "niche market", I'm not referring to the artists releasing ..... I mean the consumers buying.
Oh, I see. I read "the list will be updated every month" and didn't notice they stopped in May.
Still, it feels like there are a lot more major releases these days than let's say, ten years ago...
 

planoranger

Junior Member
You can .... but gone are the days of going into a stereo store and finding walls of gear, everywhere you look. :cry:
I share your sentiment. Of stores that no longer exist, what I really miss the most is Tower Records. They had EVERYTHING (recordings). If they didn't have it, it just wasn't ever recorded.
 

Doraemon

Well-known Member
Can you even get cassette players anymore? I guess what they say about fashion is true here: "Wait 20 years, and it will come back in style."

What's next, reel-to-reel tapes and shellac records**?

** Yes...that WAS a thing back in the 1940's
Some original players can go for crazy prices on ebay, like first generation Sony walkmans, used ones starting at around $600.. Great excuse for gadget hoarding, you never know.. :) But online you can find new, noname cheap players, too, some with USB connection.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I have a bustub (in storage) of cassettes I've collected since a kid. My car has a cassette player. Age does not treat tape well. I stopped using the cassette player because the tape themselves keep breaking.

I'll probably just end up throwing them all away.
 

JoeVermont

Active Member
The free audio editor Audacity has a decent noise removal tool. Sound Forge, Audition, and probably every other editor has noise reduction tools as well. The rush back to cassettes and Vinyl LPs was sort of mystifying to me - but I believe it has something to do with actually having the physical media and taking a break from yet another digital device. Here on Drummerworld I heard about a book called The Revenge of Analog (real things and why they matter). Vinyl LPs, notebooks, board games, even newspapers are hanging on if not actually making inroads back from their digital grave yards.
 
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Mediocrefunkybeat

Platinum Member
My last album was released on cassette only. I mean, I dubbed them all and it's not like it was a commercial effort. Very DIY.

I enjoy the format. They're not particularly 'good' but if I want perfection, I'll go digital. I like having the physical object and I enjoy interacting with cassette tapes and vinyl records - not because they're practical. My car has a cassette player too which is quite a good unit. I buy a lot of my new music on cassette but this is similarly DIY releases from very small artists. I usually get a digital copy too.

Digital is better in every meaningful way. But it's not as fun.
 
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JimmyM

Platinum Member
I’m not buying into any of the nostalgia for records or tapes. If someone else wants it, have fun, but I’ll take boring old digital any time.
 

JoeVermont

Active Member
Digital is better in every meaningful way. But it's not as fun.
That is a great point. Consumers have shown time and time again that quality isn't the only factor. It's a weird mix of convenience, size, cost, trendiness, nostalgia, and of course, quality. I can literally listen to any LP or song I want through Amazon Music - or even YouTube. Yet, I'd rather grab a $6 used Roberta Flack LP at a local shop and slap it on my 40+ year old turntable. It kind of defies logic, but.... there it is. 🙄
 
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