mastering for cassette

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permanent hearing damage
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mastering for cassette

Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:14 am

apologies if this has been discussed recently - found nothing in the search.

i have been going back and forth with a client who sent in their recording for cassette duplication. they are very happy with how the digital file sounds.

cassette came back sounding fine but with relatively low level compared to commercial/indie cassette releases. i assumed this was due to a lot of bass info, so i attempted another version with a high pass (6dB/oct at around 55Hz) and backed off the overall level about 1-2dB RMS (it was admittedly very loud). duplication company says this will make little difference.

i have scoured forums for info on anything i am missing. i have yet to try a low pass, but i'm also expecting that wouldn't make a whole lot of difference. everything else seems like it would involve some pretty dramatic eq.

about to call client to discuss, but i'm thinking unless we want a radical eq change, they might be stuck with a quieter cassette. anything i'm missing/not thinking of?

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:32 am

You shouldn't have to be doing anything at all eq-wise for the cassette master.

Any cassette masters I've done have been the same as vinyl masters, which are the same as the digital masters, except with the clipping/limiting removed.

Can the duplication place not simply print a hotter level to tape?

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:51 am

same here!

they say they cannot print hotter due to low frequency content. i did the second version with the high pass and they came back and said it wouldn't make much difference.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:09 am

Weird. I've never heard of that before. What kind of music is it? And you're confident the low end is within *normal* parameters (whatever that means)?

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:39 am

it's a sludgy stoner-metal band. def downtuned guitars. plenty of low end content, but not terribly different from most records I do. literally never had an issue like this before, but admittedly unsure how critical other bands are regarding their cassette production.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by permanent hearing damage » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:40 am

no more bass content than any Albini recorded Neurosis record

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:59 am

And that shit sounds amazing.

Yeah this seems weird to me. Maybe post this on the mastering board at GS? Someone there might have an answer.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by kslight » Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am

I don’t know shit about the topic, but are they by chance using a different kind of tape formula than your reference? Maybe?

People actually listen to their cassettes? I thought it was just a novelty and people just redeemed the download code.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:07 pm

kslight wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am
People actually listen to their cassettes? I thought it was just a novelty and people just redeemed the download code.
Discogs has seen massive growth for the last few years with cassette sales. they reported it in their annual report. Cassette Store day is becoming larger as well. More and more facilities are coming back online (NAC is no longer the only one). It's a thing and it's legit. Analog, portable, cheap, only 1 of those can be said about vinyl. The DIY community has always supported it since a micro label can buy some old decks and duplicate their own tapes for cheap. Recording the Masters (the tape company) is about to release their new walkman, check this (the playback freq response in the graphic is incorrect, its 20-10k, there was a language issue since they are french, there was a large thread on another forum where they corrected this)

https://www.recordingthemasters.com/202 ... te-player/


/sorry to derail, cassette fan here

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by kslight » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:07 pm

markjazzbassist wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:07 pm
kslight wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am
People actually listen to their cassettes? I thought it was just a novelty and people just redeemed the download code.
Discogs has seen massive growth for the last few years with cassette sales. they reported it in their annual report. Cassette Store day is becoming larger as well. More and more facilities are coming back online (NAC is no longer the only one). It's a thing and it's legit. Analog, portable, cheap, only 1 of those can be said about vinyl. The DIY community has always supported it since a micro label can buy some old decks and duplicate their own tapes for cheap. Recording the Masters (the tape company) is about to release their new walkman, check this (the playback freq response in the graphic is incorrect, its 20-10k, there was a language issue since they are french, there was a large thread on another forum where they corrected this)

https://www.recordingthemasters.com/202 ... te-player/


/sorry to derail, cassette fan here
I understand the cassette sales factor, just curious how often they actively get listened to instead of just trinkets to put on the shelf.

Modern cassette player would be cool. Though it appears that their Kickstarter failed. This is the first I heard of it.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Oct 23, 2020 10:34 am

kslight wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:07 pm
I understand the cassette sales factor, just curious how often they actively get listened to instead of just trinkets to put on the shelf.

Modern cassette player would be cool. Though it appears that their Kickstarter failed. This is the first I heard of it.
if you go to the cassette culture reddit you'll see there are lots of people listening to it. in some countries (ukraine, russia, indonesia, malaysia) they never went out of style and major/minor labels released stuff on cassette well into the aughts. i primarily listen to cassette since it's portable, i can't bring my record player to the office or in the car, my walkman (granted it's a Sony WM-D6, basically the nicest walkman made) can. so it's easier for me to amass cassettes because i can literally listen to them anywhere. vinyl is great, but only if i have 45 minutes and want to sit in one place for all that time. just not practical. it's also 1/3 to 1/4 the price of vinyl new. still analog. so i can't hear up to 20K, guess what, most humans can't! lol

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:35 am

kslight wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am

People actually listen to their cassettes? I thought it was just a novelty and people just redeemed the download code.
This cracked me up a little. haha. I have a bunch of rad tapes that have been sitting here collecting dust and have bought a few on those bandcamp days they've been having. I just set up a cassette desk in my studio so I can chill down there and listen on my good monitors. Now I have to do it. haha.
Ryan Slowey
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kslight
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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by kslight » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:08 pm

Recycled_Brains wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:35 am
kslight wrote:
Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:29 am

People actually listen to their cassettes? I thought it was just a novelty and people just redeemed the download code.
This cracked me up a little. haha. I have a bunch of rad tapes that have been sitting here collecting dust and have bought a few on those bandcamp days they've been having. I just set up a cassette desk in my studio so I can chill down there and listen on my good monitors. Now I have to do it. haha.
I think the last music tapes (as opposed to using tapes as a sound source) I must have listened to were in my old car...that car got totaled about 11 years ago. I used to grab all the cool tapes at goodwill back when you used to be able to get cool shit at goodwill, and the tapes would eventually get ruined in my car because I live in the Midwest.

Technically I have several cassette players, but like CDs and vinyl it’s tough to get in the right headspace to mess with it all.

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Re: mastering for cassette

Post by vernier » Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:25 pm

Yep you can make copies louder with less bass content. Its a trade off.

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