Over the last few years I’ve been tinkering on and off with tape loops, more recently in the microcassette format. Standard compact cassette loops are definitely in vogue at the moment, with many great artists fabricating their own unique loops (Amulets always springs to mind). Making a workable microcassette loop is somewhat trickier to fashion but rewarding when a playable loop is made! Once the shell is (very) carefully prised open a myriad of challenges await, the most obvious being the tiny size you have to work within. The lighter and thinner magnetic tape is very fiddly and easy to damage. Installing the loop correctly inside the shell is a matter of patience, and a great deal of trial and error.
Two microcassette loops were fabricated which I’ve discovered to be a very accessible way to experiment with recorded sound. The hyper compressed sound quality of the format is one I’ve always enjoyed working with, switching between either 2.4 cm/s or 1.2 cm/s playing speeds on both units produces very satisfying results. My initial experiments eventually resulted in a brief demo video, the sound source being a simple metal singing bowl. A basic delay pedal is also included which goes great with this simple set-up. Do let me know your thoughts!
Adam J Naworal
Great article, and it was super informative re: my interest in using loops in the future! Welcome to the EC family, Michael!
Welcome to EC! I am very happy to see your amazing creations here!
Great article loops are great in my opinion,used them for ever in regular recordings & most of all with Tapegerm which was at one time a happening. Welcome to EC!
Taped Rugs Productions believes in pushing the boundaries of tape composition. Taped Rugs believes in you, Zebra Mu.
Amulets and don't forget Hainbach!
Thanks everyone, I feel most welcomed indeed!
What is the extent of the magnetic tape extension? (cm/mm)
Hi Francisco, good question - I've found approximately 12.5cm/125mm seems to work very well for these loops.
Happy to find this post. I am in the processing of making microcassette tape loops and only found the instructions for the regular sized cassettes. Thank you for publishing the details of the tape length. I would be interested to see a more detailed step by step assembly procedure for how you did your splicing. I've seen people use double sided tape, super glue, and splicing tape. In any case, I hope to create a solution that will work well in my modular rack. Thank you for posting your creations.
This is wonderful.i really want to dive back into microcassettes again.i used to own a couple models one older one possibly newer olympia brand.i loved both devices and got a wonderful crunch sound I was looking for especially changing the speeds.im very interested in doing my own manifested tape loops even if it's brutal in a sense.yiu must love and appreciate d.y.i.
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As an artist I create works in various formats, but most often it involves sound and found objects.