Re: [rumori] cassette pausing effect

From: Paul Smith (
Date: Sun Mar 23 2003 - 15:38:20 PST

> Doesn't a cassette deck speed up slightly just
> before it stops?

Back in the day, when I used to screw around with
cassettes, I used the pause button while recording as
a primitive/gratuitous pitch control. On certain
machines, not fully engaging pause slowed the
recording tape, in effect cramming more source sound
over less inchage, so to speak, to pitch up the
recorded sound when played back. It was not an
accurate process, it took much trial and error, but
occasionally I'd come up with something interesting
sounding. Like the "step back" effect you could do
with non-autoreverse decks. By carefully winding back
the tape so a previously recorded sound would be
"before" the record head but still "after" the erase
head, extremely short sections of material could be
mixed together, often stitched together later.

> What makes the 'ka-thunk' sound of the pause-edit?
> Does the
> un-pausing step accelerate to speed faster or slower
> than the
> stopping-slope?

The best "ke-thunks" I had were from record-to-stop,
but that was with machines with operating condenser
mics. The record head would blast that last bit of
signal as it was flying away from the tape.

>From what I remember releasing pause while in record
mode accellerated marginally faster than just hitting
play/record, but depended on the deck. Some decks
spin their capstans all the time, so they didn't fight
the inertia of the tape and the pinch roller as much.
 Use a sufficiently crappy tape, and who knows what
will happen. I've got some cassettes from Mind's Eye
in the early 80's that even bog down my Tascam deck.
I'm sure recording with them would be. . .

Pep Streebeck

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