The tape recorder (mafon, gamnitofon) is a device almost forgotten nowadays for playing a diverse muzla recorded on a magnetic tape.
 Warm lamp coils
The first Soviet tape
Already better, but not much
That terrible “Tasma” of the late 80s
Long ago, before the revolution, the then pop music was written and stored on gramophone records, reproduced by gramophone, gramophone and other phonographs, and later electric players. The technology existed until the 90s of the 20th century, and among DJs and audiophiles, it still exists today, and it was still possible to pump it to the maximum perfection. But it is obvious that it is clumsy (up to 250 kg), intolerable in the hands when turned on (with the exception of mechanical devices such as gramophone – they can be carried on hands because of the width of the groove and the weight of the needle), it is not very intensive (one or two songs on one the side of the plate, if the phonograph, and from one to ten, if long-playing) and the capricious device, it was necessary to add something more durable, reliable and miniature.
And then the recording sharks turned to magnetic sound recording. Separate Kulibins worked on recording and reading back in the 80s of the XIX century, for military purposes tape recorders were used already in World War II, but the tape recorder as a device suitable for commercial use can only be spoken from the 40-50s of the XX century. For meticulous lovers, we also note that a single carrier format did not exist for a long time – first, steel wire and tape were used, then celluloid and paper tape on reels and cassettes, and later – wire or tape cartridges. In the commercial application of magnetic recording will be fair to note the priority of the Germans (BASF).
At first mass reel with tape became mass format. First, there appeared the kosher German BASF and AGFA, then the Pindosskie Scotch and AMPEX, later the domestic producer pulled itself on: Swema, Slavich, Tasma. Of course, only the most valuable things were written on imported tapes, for scarcity and quality. The famous ORWO (until 1964 – Agfa Wolfen) from the friendly GDR was considered the golden mean between the western and Soviet range. In the absence of selling domestic tapes, official scoop recordings were bought, which, although more expensive, were always free to go to the stores, they had better quality tape with racords and a cardboard box that was not symbolically thrown away. Another option was to get through the right people or most, if he worked in this system, a tape from the archives of the broadcasting and recording studios or the local CC. They used especially suitable carriers, but not every household tape recorder could record them normally due to a different bias current. Shybko clever perverts guessed cut in half a tape width of 12 mm for computer drives, because the freebie is the same. And in order to get rid of waste products, they sold the discounted school tape (Kazan was later renamed to “Young Technician”, Pereslavskaya – to “Monofon”), which did not comply with GOST, could be unevenly irrigated or glued together from scraps. True, there was not much difference in quality, the marriage was also found in standard tapes, and the later “Tasma” could creak and crumble immediately from the factory. In the conditions of shortage they bought such things without thinking about the consequences.
The first Soviet acetate-based tapes labeled “type-1/2/6”  are still remembered in nightmarish dreams. And not only because of the eternal gluing. First, these tapes are 55 microns thick, so the coil No. 18 was placed only 350–360 m, respectively, the recording time at a speed of 19.05 cm / s was ≈2 × 30 min. But this is not the most unpleasant. Swearing with obscene words of domestic music lovers forced the increased abrasiveness of the magnetic layer, grinding off the heads of more modern tape recorders, designed for the lavsan-based thin tape, like sandpaper. Also, the acetate tape was very capricious when used (twisted, deformed with a “saber”, sagged with an “egg” or became fragile; A3601-6B was especially poor-quality) and could lose its magnetic properties. The sound became barely audible, so the music lover risked irretrievably losing his music library. And the tape “type-10” was not designed for coarse LMD of old tape recorders, and they had to be adjusted to avoid stretching. But on the boxes with her proudly written “long-playing.”
A special cynicism was the fastening of the end of the tape on the reel. He refueled in a special slot, while cruelly bending and inevitably squeezed. So gradually, half a centimeter at a time, its length was shortened and shortened. To prevent such an eerie and slow death, a special colored ribbon — a leader — was taped to the tape: ours and the Japanese have white and red, the Germans have the green and red, although variations are possible.
It was recommended to rewind the tape for a long time without listening to it in order to avoid deformation and magnetization reversal. Say, neighboring coils eventually exchanged magnetization, which is true. On recordings of old radio plays, for example, this manifests itself as an echo, not provided for by the author’s idea, on video tapes in mild cases leads to the failure of individual frames, and in heavy cases – to a complete loss of the video signal over a certain piece of tape (despite this, the sound is reproduced normally ).
The capacity of such a carrier was limited only by the length of the tape, which could be wound to the edge of the coil (the most common standards were 525/550, 375 and 270 m (meters, not megabytes!)), And the tape drive speed (the frequency range depended on speed) phonograms – the higher the speed, the further it extends to the high-frequency region and the less detonation noticeable by hearing).
There were two standard winding tape: the old German (working layer out) and more modern (working layer inside the roll). In household tape recorders the tape was wound with a working layer inside. Recording (and, accordingly, reproduction) on reel-to-reel recorders could be performed at different tape speeds through a tape drive mechanism (the farthest analog is a different MP3 bitrate): 76.2; 38.1; 19.05; 9.53; 4.76 (like audio cassettes); 2.38 and 1.2 centimeters per second. That is, there was a choice between the quality and duration of the recording on the same coil. The speed of 4.76 cm / s was only suitable for recording voice; it was not in all reel-to-reel recorders, and by the 80s it was abandoned. The speed of 2.38 cm / s was intended for recording telephone conversations, the speed of 1.2 cm / s was only in portable devices such as “Talking Notebook”, which could be recorded in the magazine “Radio”. The speed of 38.1 cm / s was used in studio and advanced semi-professional tape recorders: the 700th Olympus, their grandfather Revox A700 and the Japanese Akai GX-650D, and 76 cm / s in very ancient ones, because the tape consumption is hoo.
Then came the native and close audio cassette. But not immediately the way we remember it, there was also a format war there. Among the non-survivors was, for example, a gizmo, which had only one reel inside, and the ribbon, being ingeniously wrapped in a loop, had neither a beginning nor an end. It was a bet on the youth as a consumer: comfortable to wear, easy to insert and difficult enough to spoil. Unlike coils, where the tape was kept working layer inside, on a compact cassette tape is stored working layer out. The nominal speed of the ribbon pulling is 4.76 cm / s.
So that there was no click before recording, it was necessary to scroll the coil / cassette by hand (for this, the front panel was removed in the studio cassettes), and the questions “how did you do it” are provided. There are also variations with direct access to the cassette, and in especially advanced applications there are also automatic anti-click features.
 Coils vs cassettes
There was such a holivar at the time. In this country and in the bourgeoisie, coils successfully coexisted with cassettes, and it was only from the mid-80s that they gradually began to lose ground. And this is not surprising: the coil provides better recording quality than a compact cassette, its tape is wider, and its playback speed is greater, due to which a greater number of magnetic particles pass through the gap of the magnetic head, which allow you to imagine this second sound more accurately (≈ sampling rate). In addition, a thick, wide and durable ribbon was much less frequently chewed. Yes, it was more expensive, but either fuck it, because if there is a shortage, it was easier to buy a reel of tape than to stagger in search of farcets.
Crush the noise on the reel tape is easier than on tape. The noises of the tape at the coils are somewhere in the high-frequency range, where mostly there are sounds of all kinds of plates and a squeak of squirrels; at the same cassettes noises occur right at the mid frequencies, where exactly there is a melody and voice. Therefore, at first, any shumodav for cassette tape recorders introduced noticeable distortion in the sound. And restoring the old record from the reel is much easier than from a compact cassette. Therefore, the specialists of DOLBY® have invented all sorts of smart-assisted noise reduction systems that involve recording onto a tape with some specially introduced predistortion and special noise control designs that correct these predistrictions and annihilate noises in the correction process. All this was known to the average man by the names Dolby B, Dolby C, Dolby S. Actually, the reel-to-reel tape recorders began to lose ground only after the appearance of such systems.
And as a device for recording various home-garage beginner talents of the world used reel-to-reel tape recorders right up until the early 2000s, that is, the mass distribution of cheap computers with used penny sound cards. They are used in Siberia at the dachas so far, for it is harder to get rid of and resell if the hull has seen the views, and the unit itself is fucking heavy.
 Video Gallery
 Cassette Age
 … they have
The reference gettoblaster CONION C-100F, dimensions 78 × 41 × 20, output power 40W RMS, lit up in many films of the 80s
Spherical gettoblaster in vacuum against the background of habitat
This alien product was brought from Japan and in 1986 sold for 2500 Soviet rubles.
Of course, such a machine could not leave a noticeable trace. As soon as it became clear that the next ten years the tape recorder would be a welcome decoration of the house, they began to be stamped by all and sundry. The start was made by the Germans, even before the Great Patriotic War: the powerful chemical industry BASF made tapes of oil, and the plants Blaupunkt, Uher, Saba, the Dutch Philips, the Swiss Revox and the Norwegian Tandberg – the apparatuses. The former Axis allies, the Japanese, after reading the topic, soon pulled out and held the lead firmly in their teeth. Brands such as Sony, Nakamichi, Technics, Akai, Aiwa, National, Marantz, Pioneer, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp have tightly occupied this niche.
Of course, attempts to miniaturize did not stop. A great breakthrough in this field was the development and introduction of a cassette pocket player – the Sony Walkman . The popularity of Sony Walkman was so great that in the West this name became a household name, and all such players began to be called wolfmen, and not as ours, players. The image of a teenager schoolboy was incomplete without headphones covering his ears and connected with a barbell on his head, and boxes on the waist of the size of a book. In films, and in life, the simplicity course for acquaintance was often used: “What are you listening to?” Well, and the gop variant: “What are you listening to? But what about fucking? ”, Although in the USSR it was still more difficult to squeeze the cassette player than in the 90s – a CD player.
And of course gettoblastery niggas (who Engl. Boombox s). Huge, up to 80 cm in length, gnawing class D batteries, giving tons of decibels to the top. By the end of the 80s, these devices had high-quality sound and had a lot of whistles and fakes like reverse, Dolby B noise suppressor, programmable song search back / forth through pauses APSS or APLD, multiband equalizers, turntables and even a TV. Of those recorders walking anecdote: “How much porters to bury a nigger from Harlem? The answer is eight. Four carry the coffin, and four more – his tape recorder. ” At the turn of the decade and in the early 1990s, Chinese apparatuses flooded the market (International AK-23, for example), and everything went into a fucking shit.
Record companies did not skimp on the bright, eye-catching design of audio cassette casings and inserts in the “cassette” boxes, and the cassette manufacturers did not know how to pervert with their design. Translucent elements, glow in the dark, iridescent iridescent coatings on the “for girls” case, and even ceramic cases for metallized type IV tapes. Not surprisingly, these things have gained popularity.
In the 1960–1980s, behind the mound, there were huge quantities of 8-track tape cartridges absolutely unknown in the Scoop, with tape identical to that used in reel-to-reel tape recorders and various devices for their use. Eight tracks made it possible to place eight monophonic tracks, four stereo or two quadrofonic tracks on one tape . The coil in the cartridge was only one, and the film was glued and laid so that it had neither beginning nor end. Household devices for cartridges did not have to rewind back and forth and, most importantly, could only reproduce. The lack of a recording function, obviously, became fatal for this format – it became extinct.
 … and we
And here, while the damned bourgeois indulged in capitalist vices and listened to corrupting capitalist music, there was somehow more radio in the course or, at best, radio lines (vinyl record players combined with radio receivers). Especially in the province. No, tape recorders were produced, and even used. But for public audition of the bourgeois, say, the Beatles or there, Gloria Gaynor could be crucified at a meeting of the pioneer squad, Komsomol meeting, or party meeting. Damned scoops say that this is necessary, but we know how these reprimands ended.
We received more or less widespread tape recorders only in the early seventies, but, of course, there was almost no choice of recordings. In the restructuring, the peak of the Soviet tape recording industry was released, a reel with a separate microprocessor program control unit and a remote control (.) – “Olympus MPK-005S”. He was late for 10 years.
However, even domestic appliances differed in class. The class indicator was the first digit of the numerical index – from 0 to 4. High-class equipment proudly carried the digit 0 – and sometimes not one. Such a technique was usually awarded without a built-in amplifier: turntables, cassette and reel decks (“tape recorder-prefix”). Regular cassettes belonged to classes 2–4, steep ones – to the 1st, and cassettes were in the highest class very rarely. Nadebka was hidden in the fact that the class of technology meant only nominal technical characteristics (for example, the frequency range: 2 = 63-125500 Hz, 3 = 100-10000 Hz), but did not say anything at all about its quality. Cheap cassette class 3 (complexity) with a quality mark were very popular, despite the fact that there were devices with two zeros (of the highest complexity) that worked for a maximum of a month and spent weeks in the workshops waiting for spare parts.
The trumpet type of music lovers was considered the most chic of the Dnipropro, Astra-209/110/111, Rostov-101/102/104/105/112, Ilet-101/102/103/110, Soyuz-110/111 “,” Sanda MK-012S “,” Electronics TA1-003 / 004 “,” Olimp-003/004/005 “,” Idel-001-1 “, etc. (there were a lot of kosher models , but, firstly, there was one on the counter, a maximum of two simultaneously, and, secondly, their price was, to put it mildly, not democratic), preferably with imported ferrite or “amorphous” heads. Some of these devices got coils of 800 and 1100 m, where at a kosher 19th speed two albums could fit on one side or one album at a professional 38th speed. Often, such a connoisseur gathered complete ammunition from a cassette deck, an amplifier with a preamplifier, an equalizer of bands for 16–18, turntables, a coil and — attention! – speaker system type Radiotehnika S-90. The sound of these speakers filled the entire small-sized Khrushchev and several neighboring, or the entire MSU hostel at the prom.
The most massive cassettes are apparently portable battery “Spring” (in a huge mass of modifications, from miniatures for those times of the fakes of the 301st model with sound quality not much better than that of a modern mobile phone, except at a higher volume, and to stationary equipment of the second class difficulties), “Electronics-302/321/322/323”, “Kvazar-303”. Stationary – “Mayak-231/232/233”. These devices, although they did not please the user with whistles and fakes, and weighed decently, however, for the most part, they produced quite a tolerable sound. But the design … The design was terrible. When looking at the case of “Spring” it immediately became clear – it was designed by a man who secretly dreamed of drawing tractors and excavators tanks and machine guns. As a result, Soviet tape recorders are unanimously recognized as non-glamorous. Although the “Electronics-302” and subsequent modifications, for example, were bogged down with “Phillips”, which, ChSH, also looked like a tractor. Industrial design, EPT.
There are somehow imported and Soviet tape recorders. Soviet: – What is it with you? – Why, the cassette is imported, new … – Let me eat it!
However, good stationary Soviet mafony chewed tape extremely rarely – in contrast to the multi-colored Chinese portable brethren.
 The golden age of pirates and baryg
Typical Ketay double barrel of the 90s, encrypted under the true Japanese
The early-mid-2000s CD radio tape recorder – made it possible to quickly and poorly rewrite CDs on a cassette, and later even learned to understand MP3s and read flash drives. Still on sale
DVD player with cassette, radio and reading multimedia files from flash drives (2015)
What not to take away from tape recorders and cassettes is their contribution to the fight against the copyrights. After all, they could write. Shellac at home is difficult to copy, and the resulting copy will sound much worse than the original. But copy the tape – easily.
The most stupid way of illegal replication is when a young music lover put a microphone on the speaker of a TV or other tape recorder and “thoughtfully” recorded it. Analogue of recording a track from Tytruba to a mobile phone recorder. The resulting record is then overwritten again under similar conditions. As a result, the quality is easy to imagine – noises, whistles, “interferences” … but then the desired Dayan Ross or Depeche Mode broke through the rattle.
More civilized – “by cable” (RCA “tulip plugs” – for imported ones, DIN-5 “5-pin” – for Soviet devices) – were written by more advanced pirates. To do this, it was necessary to cooperate with someone who also has a tape recorder, or buy another one, connect the linear output of one mafon to the linear input of the other, and, playing the tape on one, write to the second. Option 2 – connect the magician to the TV set with the same cable and record the concert “off the air”. 95% of all Soviet equipment, including televisions, radios and even broadcast 3-program loudspeakers, had a linear output, and tape recorders, respectively, an input. Even in the absence of a factory linear output, it could be cut down, since circuitry was attached to the equipment at that time. And it was possible to connect the line input of the tape recorder to the headphone output of a TV or other sound source equipped with this output. Import TVs did not always have a tape recorder, but there was a universal SCART output, which had linear audio and video inputs and outputs, and using direct hands and a pinout diagram of connectors (or finding an audio output using a multimeter) DIN-5 or SCART – RCA. There were televisions in which instead of SCART there were two (mono) and three (stereo) RCA outputs – one for composite video (traditionally painted yellow) and two for audio (white is the left channel, red is the right channel) if stereo or one white, if the TV is mono. So, if a Soviet tape recorder had to be connected to such a TV, then a DIN-5 plug was taken, and one or two “tulips” were soldered to it, if the tape recorder was stereo, and the TV was mono, then the central wire (“plus”) was soldered to the advantages of both channels in DIN-5, which was not entirely correct, but it worked. If the tape recorder was imported, then there were usually no problems with the connection: with a 2RCA – 2RCA cable, the TV was switched with the line input of the mafon. However, if the TV is mono, then the red “tulip” was out of work, and the recording was obtained only through the left speaker, in this case, too, it was necessary to scatter the “plus” from the tele on two “pluses” in the mafon. However, the recording could have been shaken up, firstly, by mixing a video signal into the audio output (a characteristic crackling sound when recording from a tele), or by a terrible fragmentation of signal levels on different devices (traditionally China burned in this regard, too) either too quiet or overloaded, with noise, crash and creak. The chance to run into inconsistent levels when connecting a muddy China mafon to a TV set, radio channel or radio point was almost 100 percent. By the way, the “recording level” regulator was lowered; the signal at the input of the device was reduced; the signal had to be monitored according to the level indicators, almost all Soviet recording equipment, but among bourgeois producers, there were rarely any commonly used devices equipped with them. Instead, there was an AGC system – an automatic controller, which often works incorrectly and a wry record, but on the decks and more or less good music centers the level control was always there. Similarly, by connecting one device to another, at a slightly later time, VHS tapes were also copied.
There was another option – a two-cassette tape recorder. Such devices saved young pirates from having to buy / search for friends a second tape recorder, cable, etc. – to dub from cassette to cassette, only a donor cassette and a recipient cassette were required. However, until the mid-1980s, this option was exclusively for VIPs, for double cassettes were always only of bourgeois production and were the object of the fierce fapa of all other music lovers. Soviet dvuhkassetniki were mostly portable, their parameters, and as a result, and the quality of (re-) recordings varied widely, because the Sharp GF-777 and the balalaika, even though the Japanese, almost pocket-sized, are not the same . On the other hand, the Soviet industry sometimes indulged the proletarians with some kind of Vega MP-122S, which not only was two-cassette, but also recorded and lost at a speed of 9.5 cm / s.
The essence of rewriting on dvukhkasetnik was as follows: the source is inserted into the first tray, a blank cassette – in the second. The devices were fundamentally sharpened for rewriting, up to synchronous starts by pressing a single button, and some models had a turbo mode — overwriting both pulls at an increased speed, which greatly saved time but reduced quality, which was particularly noticeable on portable consumer goods. A copy, however, always turned out to be deafer than the original (as the narrow bandwidth of the amplifier had an effect).
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the valiant workers of the shuttle business brought a huge amount of two-cassette tape recorders made in Taiwan, China and other Asia, which fully automated the piracy process; The quality, of course, deteriorated sharply without turbo mode. On the other hand, in the 90s, the Japanese two-cassette Hi-Fi or even Hi-End equipment fell in, and who had the money — they feasted, but ordinary people still used Soviet equipment. They were also loved by commercial pirates who did not write for themselves, but for sale, sometimes inserting commercials into their copies: “New music market from% pirate-studio_name%, recording made on Japanese-made equipment in non-accelerated mode …”.
 Recording Studios
Recording studios are small stalls and small rooms, the walls of which were hung with handwritten, typewritten or dot-matrix printer lists of proposed recordings (in the mid-1980s, these lists were added to them, but fuck everyone). There, the smoked uncle offered a choice of one of the available blank cassettes (Soviet MK-60/90 or two or three imported items) or he took the one that the customer brought with care, and gave it back with the record tomorrow or the day after. By the end of the 80s, the recording cost 9 kopecks per minute , that is, 8 rubles 10 kopecks per 90-minute cassette (excluding the price of the cassette itself).
Until the late 1980s – in some places even before the early 1990s – recordings in the studios were conducted on expensive stationary (but not studio) tape recorders of imported or high-quality domestic production, which kept quality losses to a minimum. The so-called matrix was used as the original – a good, suitable first, maximum second, copy from vinyl or, a little later, a CD. The main source of “matrices” was widely known even far beyond the Moscow Ring Road Moscow Palace of Culture Gorbunov, although, of course, he was not the only one. Russian rock, which did not have access to the recording studios of the company “Melody” (and who broke through there, recorded only what was allowed), at that time it was distributed only in one way or another. VIP clients could be offered recording directly from company vinyl or CD, if one was available.
Since the recording equipment in these studios was located right behind the glass partition, the young owners of “Vessen”, “Legends”, “Romantics” and other “Beacons” with “Notes” had the opportunity to at least have a look at a good, suitable equipment from a parallel universe. It really was something to look at – the bourgeois design of this class of devices at that time was in its heyday.
In the early to mid-1990s, similar studios proliferated like dirt, which had even more detrimental effects on the quality of their products: the recording was done on anything, if only cheaper and faster, and mostly not to order – on an industrial scale the most popular currently albums and collections of hot hits. To speed up replication, several recording tapes were connected to one reproducing tape recorder (there were special multi-cassette box-shows in nature, but they almost never met in such studios, but the above-mentioned double cassettes with both recording pockets and wires a-la era back to the original tape were widely used) . The recording quality ranged from slightly above average to lousy. Such recordings were no longer realized in the studios themselves (which by then were hiding in basements and other safe houses hidden from prying eyes), but at retail outlets at the most lively places – in underground passages, at metro stations, train stations, markets, busy intersections and etc. The outlet was equipped with some cheap Chinese “balalaika” on batteries, in order to draw the attention of potential buyers with its wheezing and bounce. Stationary points (stalls) were often decorated with S-90 speakers, which gave them a hoarse and roar (for they forgot about the amplifier in zlobsky style) that filled the neighborhood within a kilometer radius to give them pompousness outside.
The well-known firm “Union” began with just such kiosks.
 About compact cassettes
Design is everything!
With additional elements of banding
Top end of cassette type 4, 2 and 1. Pay attention to the square grooves – they are needed to automatically determine the type of tape heaped mafonov
The FeCr label indicates that this type 3 cassette
Sony tape with type 4 tape (Metal Position)
A cleaning cassette that kills the head rather than cleans it.
Good, good cleaning tape
Radio cassette special: turns the recorder “Legend-401” and its modifications in the radio
Adapter cassette: a favorite of the early 2000s, turns a tape recorder into a CD / MP3 player with speakers. 115 rub. on Aliexpress with the name “tape adapter”, registration is five minutes 
A full-featured NRG Helios player cassette: you can listen to MP3s both in the car and in the office. Similar units cost 20 bucks there
Modern Chinese product – plays tapes, mp3 from flash drives and digitizes tapes to mp3
Yesterday and the day before yesterday
It all started in the mid-1960s, when, with a small time difference, two types of cassettes appeared on the market: Philips Compact Cassette from Grundig and Philips DC. They differed very slightly: slightly different dimensions, slightly different speed of pulling the tape and, in general, that’s all. The war of formats did not last long, and by the 1970s the market was completely zohavala by the well-known compact cassette.
Audio cassettes (compact cassettes) appeared in the USSR in the early 70s – tapes with a green tape, without tape tape, with a low band of frequencies, it was possible to write to this except for speech, but they were. The first Soviet cassette players were clones of Philips products, which produced both a compact cassette and the first tape recorder for it. More or less high-quality Soviet tapes appeared closer to the 80th. Around this time, even Soviet-made audio tapes became wildly deficient, and you could buy them either by standing in a wild place in a department store, and they were released, like so many others, with restrictions – usually no more than three pieces in one hand, or in the same studio sound recordings, or having handed over 15 kg of waste paper or 2 kg of lime color.
By recording duration (total on both sides) the cassettes were divided into 45-, 60-, 90- and 120-minute. The latter are very rare and impractical because the tape was often torn and stretched due to the reduced thickness. In the 90s, cassettes for 100 and 110 minutes began to be sold quite widely, allowing you to cram an album of irregular length onto one side. They simply wound more than the usual tape used in the 90-minute.
By type of magnetic tape cassettes were divided into four types:
- Type I (Fe, Normal Position) – with a working layer of iron dioxide. The most common;
- Type II (Chrome, High Position) – chrome, that is, with a working layer based on chromium dioxide. Providing higher quality sound, especially at high frequencies. In terms of prevalence, they ranked second with about the same lagging behind the first, as between Yabloosya and Winda, that is, an order of magnitude;
- Type III (FeCr, Ferrochrome) – with a double working layer. Quality, but the rarest;
- Type IV (Metal, Metal Position) – with a working layer of superfine grinding iron powder. Prohibitively expensive. Used primarily for professional recording and therefore also extremely rare.
Soviet cassettes were called modestly: “MK ● 60”, which stands for “Tape recorder with a duration of 60 minutes”, respectively, 45-minute cassettes were called “MK ● 45”, and 90-minute cassettes – “MK ● 90”; after the digit indicating the duration of the magnetic tape, there was another tsiferka – indicating the model of the cassette. Thus, the full name of the Soviet cassette will be, for example, “MK ● 60-5”.
The Soviet type I tape cassettes were shit — and it was said without any anti-Soviet and Russophobia. It seems that they were not made by Soviet workers, but by American saboteurs, as if someone deliberately wanted to slander Soviet industry, and he succeeded. But type II tapes, which are chromic (“MK ● 60-7 Cr”, for example), were completed with the tape “ORWO TYP 137” from the GDR, and it is believed that they were good, suitable. Some audiophiles generally state that these tapes, along with the real ORWO, are the only true-chrome tapes in general. Let’s leave this statement on their conscience. However, in the book “Atlas of audio cassettes from AGFA to YASHIMI” by Nikolai Sukhov, it speaks of the low quality of GDR tapes in general and ORWO chrome tapes in particular. The author of the book is not unsubstantiated, he judged not by his own hearing, but conducted various tests with cassettes, looking at their frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio, and so on. ChSH, the Soviet coils were perfectly prescribed, had good watering and high quality bar; why it was impossible to make normal tapes – dick knows them.
The tapes differed not only in the quality of the recording they provided, but also in their abrasiveness. Chrome tapes, although they provided a higher quality recording, were more abrasive, therefore, with their constant use, the tape heads quickly became unusable. To fix the bug came up with expensive glass ferrite, and later – sendastovye heads, which could not quickly shake off the tape of any type, even the Soviet). But the Metal tape, in addition to providing the highest quality, was also the smoothest, that is, it was least of all rubbed its heads. But it became possible to buy it freely only at the end of the era of tape recorders; in their very heyday, one could only read about it in the magazine “Radio”. Chrome and Metal cassette models had slots (niches) at the end for auto-detecting cassette type with a deck. Well, and even in those days there was a saying: “On a domestic cassette, high-quality recording can be made only with a ballpoint pen.”
The Soviet 60-minute cassette (MK ● 60) cost 4 rubles. 50 cop., And the bourgeois (Philips, AGFA, BASF, TDK, Sony, Denon, Maxell, JVC, Panasonic, Konica, Scotch, AMPEX and others) 90-minute – 9-10 rubles, from speculators – 20-25 rubles. If it had a chrome ribbon, the price could jump up to 15 rubles. In the 80s BASF cassettes cost as much as 35 Soviet rubles apiece. For comparison: the salary of a school teacher was 110-150 rubles. depending on the experience.
After the album was recorded on a cassette, as a rule, there was a place, and the bonus was recorded on it in the form of several songs by the same artist, or even completely – what would turn up.
And yet shovels, and sometimes imported ones, the tapes began to creak. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, the tape recorder began to reach at first a faint, and then “ushradiruyuschy” gnash. The worn out magnetic tape creaked on the magnetic head, or on the pressure pad with the remnants of the tape. The methods of struggle were different, but it was still easier to throw out the cassette.
In the early 1990s, compact tapes of Chinese origin suddenly flooded the market, thousands of them! Among them were a lot of fakes for well-known companies, and later people began to recognize them by their low quality of printing and curve assembly. Therefore, narrow-eyed thought to replace in the name of one or two letters: Maxwell, JVS, TCK, Sonny / Sunna, Wagdoms. Their quality ranged from bad to disgusting: at best, the cassette’s mechanics did not allow the tape to be transported normally from one core to another, and sooner or later the tape was chewed with a tape recorder (and if the tape is rubbish, it will eat the most expensive Japanese cassette) – it was also impossible to record on this tape. One of the most disgusting cassettes was called Master – the famous fake Maxell. In addition to the tightly wound reel, the tape in it was matte (!) And with divorces (.). The recording made on it was two times quieter than the original and drowned in the warm cassette noise; the same trash from brittle deformed plastic was sold under other "trademarks" – Yoko-90, Wagdoms, SuperSound, thousands of them; cassettes differed only stickers. And once on similar tapes something even the firm released "Melody"! By the mid-90s, official Chinese cassettes with hieroglyphs and made in China appeared: all sorts of ZZZ, Parrot, Galin, Sipote.
Cassettes called ECP were very popular – not AGFA and not Sony, but also not Chinese crap, and certainly not terrible soviet MK ● 60. Some thought that the cassettes were made in the kosher West, and received a pattern break, noting the inscription “Krasnoyarsk Electrochemical Plant” on the package. We can, if we want! However, the ECP did not conceal that the tape in the cassettes was filled not by ours, but by BASF (later EMTEC) and is made on the equipment of the same BASF. In addition to audio, ECP was made by VHS, the design of which completely repeated BASF videotapes, domestic video pirates were then massively purchased by ECP and the company flourished. Then the company underwent a rebranding in VS and until the mid-2010s made audio and video tapes, and it still does blanks. The bred private domestic producer also produced RONEES cassettes in Rostov-on-Don (now the factory is closed and looted) of types I and II in rather amusing opaque cases with a large transparent window. Type I was something average between Chinese and imported cassettes, suitable only for recording pop music, the “Gas Sector” or the voice, but Type II was quite a good, usable tape. South Korea also entered the market with its Samsung, Gold Star (now LG), SCENA and Magdoms – their tapes were identical in quality to the domestic ECP.
 With recording
In addition to the blank tapes, from Soviet times there were tapes on the counters with the recording. In the USSR, several enterprises were engaged in this: “Tallinn Music Recorder Plant”, “Tbilisi Recording Studio”, “Moscow Pilot Plant Gram Recording” and others. The musical component usually contained the same thing that was written on the Soviet vinyl – Pugacheva, Kobzon, collections of Soviet variety art like “Parade of ensembles”, “Parade of soloists of pop”, collections of speeches by Lenin or, suddenly, Gaddafi, although disco officially met and this is your rock. Any tapes with recordings were popular: the fact is that any tape can be erased and recorded on it is something else. The recording time on such cassettes was 30–45 minutes for the Orthodox (approximately 1 album), while the sound of the usual soviet MK-60 lasted 60 minutes — nothing else. There were, of course, another 90-minute Soviet tapes, but they were deficient. In addition, sometimes it was easier to get a cassette tape than a blank one. So, such a cassette was taken, the opening of the write protection tape was sealed with tape (the tongue was missing from the factory) – and go ahead! On top of the inscription “Parade of Soloists of the Stage” the same electrical tape, adhesive tape or piece of paper was glued onto the 88 SA glue, and the inscription “Iron Maiden” was written on top, or what was recorded there. It is also interesting that the quality of a magnetic tape in Soviet tapes with recording is often an order of magnitude higher than that of ordinary "MK-60", and the quality of the recording itself on the tape can also be quite high.
In the 90s, the tapes with the record divorced – even if you eat ass. They were divided into two types: pirate or license.
Pirate cassettes were sold in commercial kiosks, standing next to beer and chips, represented the usual blank TDK, Sony, Konica cassette, less often ECP or Raks, to which the pirates copied either from another cassette or from a record, but usually from a CD, recording or another performer. Since the cassette lasted 90 minutes, it usually contained either two albums by one artist, or one album by different artists, or the assembly “Soyuz” with additional writing. Such cassettes were supplied with a simple paper insert, on which the pirates, at best, printed on a printer, typewriter or copied a licensed photocopier cover, at worst – they wrote by hand the name of the artist and the list of songs. Sometimes cassette inserts contained advertising. The recording quality ranged from good to very bad – depending on what and what the pirates wrote. Sometimes it came to the point that not only the azimuth of the head location did not meet the standard, but even the tape speed, which is why the pirate tapes either played faster than necessary, or melee, but this was rare.
Licensed tapes were distinguished by high-quality printing, a hologram, and a rather average recording quality. A self-made copy from vinyl or CD to a tape of any type still sounded better than licensed. However, music lovers then massively switched to a CD, and recording tapes interested mainly schoolchildren and housewives.
In the early 2000s, pirates also mastered high-quality printing and acceptable recording quality, which made it difficult to visually distinguish the pirated cassette from the licensed one upon purchase.
Cleaning cassettes were used to clean the magnetic heads from the remnants of the magnetic layer and other dirt; They, too, were of different kinds, ranging from simple Chinese, which simply pulled the cleaning tape over the head of the tape recorder and peeled it off like sandpaper, and ending with expensive cassettes with special mechanisms, interchangeable nozzles and other whistles and perdeals. Such cassettes were used mainly only in those decks that could not be included in the playback mode with the lid of the cassette holder open, but in ordinary decks no one used cleaning cassettes – heads were cleaned by winding a piece of cotton on a matchstick, wetted with alcohol, cologne or vodka; in the 90s and early 2000s, cotton swabs were used for this purpose.
When transporting the cassette without the box, the wheels with the tape tended to spin due to vibration. As a result, the film was unwound all over the cassette case, and when playing it could chew, therefore reeling the tape with the help of available tools was common. More than half of domestic and Chinese tape recorders didn’t have the ◄◄ and ►► buttons (rewind-forward), so the audio cassettes were elegantly rewound by sliding onto a 35-pen ballpoint pen, whose six-sided part seemed to be specially designed for this, and subsequent scrolling in the necessary direction dashing waving in the air. In the absence of such a pen at hand, felt-tip pens and pencils were used (mechanical pencils with a thin stylus of 0.5 or 0.7 mm were very well suited). Under field conditions, twigs of trees, a little finger, or a handful of QC matches were used. The same method was used to save power charge when using tape recorders in the field. After manually rewinding somewhere over 9000 meters of film, a skill was developed to accurately scroll the song right to the next track. Otaka garbage, painter.
There was even a not very famous even then, and now (within the Moscow Ring Road for sure), a forgotten wonder device called a “radio cassette” – a radio receiver in the body of an audio cassette that caught radio transmissions and transmitted a low-frequency inductive signal to a universal cassette head, which worked in playback mode, turning its thereby in the tape recorder. In some zamkadskakh (in particular, in the birthplace of a kitten from Lizyukov Street), this gloomy genius product is still found today. And also in the magazine “Young Technician” the complete manual on making this device at home was printed without pretext.
The Legend-401 tape recorder used its own type of radio cassette. There was no magnetic head there; there was no trace: the cassette was a receiver without its own power amplifier and was really inserted into the cassette, but it simply closed the necessary contacts and connected to the power amplifier and dynamics, thus turning the tape recorder into an ordinary radio receiver; and the motor to save energy at this time off, because it is not needed. Such radio cassettes, for obvious reasons, approached only the Legend-401 tape recorders and their modifications.
Already at the beginning of the XXI century, those auto-stubs that did not find the strength to part with the cassette recorder, yuzali adapter in the form of kagbe-tape with cord and jack on the end (on Aliexpress, free shipping in an envelope). This miracle allowed to output the sound from the MP3-player to the car stereo, for example.
Once, in the presence of a charming client, a guy rushes into the workshop: – Hello. Help me to wear! – with these words stretches the condom. – Where to wear? – followed a completely natural question. – Now, – the guy – hands in pants. – Now, now I’ll take it out — I’m stuck here! The girl, not understanding anything, embarrassedly blushes and looks away. But we, knowing the versatility of the product, begin to guess something. And indeed, the guy finally gets the player, and, not feeling the comic situation, says: – Here. Friends said that he, – nods at the product, – instead of the belt, it will do! A burst of laughter shook the workshop. Our customer laughed louder
As a rule, the most frequently failing part of the tape recorder was a belt – a small drive belt made of rubber or some polymeric materials, transmitting the rotation from the electric motor to the tape drive mechanism.
On old tape recorders, the rubber surface over time hardened and slipped on the surface of those parts to which the belt transmitted rotation, which caused the tape recorder to start turning the cassette at a low and non-constant speed (from here the legs of the rewinding of the cassettes manually grow – the motor spun, and here the coil with the film is not turned). Thoroughly stiffened Belts burst and burst.
At a later date, the situation was even worse: over time, the rubber softened and after a few years slowly turned into a thick substance that simply flowed from the rollers. A naive user, who decided to unscrew a faulty device, could have experienced the most powerful batthurt, getting dirty with an incomprehensible hardly washable black liquid, which turned out to be about where the passport had disappeared somewhere. Delivered long and unsuccessfully. The legs of the phenomenon described here allegedly grow out of the manners of some tape recorders to use for wiping parts that require such a regular, non-Orthodox alcohol, but godless cologne. Cologne contains aromatic oils – alcohol evaporates, and the oils remain and dissolve rubber (oil resistant rubber was not used there). Yes, and grease from other parts of the tape drive mechanism could fall on the rubber parts – with the same consequences.
One of the parameters of the belt is its length. The length of the belt is not the length of the circle (2πR), but the length of the belt, folded in half (πR). As a rule, it was difficult to find a belt of suitable length and properties, so it was replaced with something, for example, with a part of a condom or a rubber band from my mother’s curlers. Cans of smaller length could also be used (if normal length could not be reached), which quickly exploded, and then it was necessary to disassemble the tape recorder and change the passiki several times a month.
Pasikik dealers in radio markets were called beekeepers.
By the way, in 99% of cases the tape recorder starts to chew precisely because of its fault. What is the point? Passikov in the mechanism of a tape recorder a little. The first transmits rotation from the motor shaft to the flywheel, which is simultaneously the stabilizer of the speed of the entire system and the shaft of the belt pulling, and usually does not affect the chewing of the tape, but when stretched, the tape recorder begins to characteristically stretch the sounds. The second belt passes the rotation from the flywheel or from the engine to the shaft of the winding reel. When it stretches, the reel rotates more slowly (in especially neglected cases it stops completely), because of insufficient tractive effort, the tape does not have time to wrap around it and forms a loop, which is picked up by the pressure roller and wound on it. Ideally, the force of the winding should not be too large – otherwise the tape from such impudence okhuevaet and deformed, and too low – otherwise the tape does not have time to be wound smoothly and wound “lumps”, which then turn into folds, and the sound in this place becomes a second deafer . The normal tape speed of cassettes is a speed of 4.76 cm / s for normal recording, or 2.38 cm / s – sometimes used for audio books, answering machines, voice recorders, and also nominal for micro cassettes. A special test cassette with recording a test signal and a frequency meter were used to adjust the speed correctly, but, naturally, 95% of young radio amateurs tuned for speed “by ear” —the student tried to start the same song on two tape recorders and rotating the trimmer that regulates the speed at about the same speed in both tape recorders, however, in all kinds of “Electronics-323” and the Chinese nouneyme, the speed still “floated”.
 Mad skillz
- The recording could be played backwards and played in a simplified version of the game “Apozh” with a more understandable name “ikus u apozhTsedzip”. To do this, it was necessary to rotate the end of the film 180˚ along the longitudinal axis (as in the manufacture of Möbius strip) before filling the film in LPM. Another option is to set the feed reel to the wrong side. True, on some models of tape recorders in playback mode, the left rebel does not want to rotate clockwise for some reason. With cassettes, the same method requires those that are not pathetic – when the film was twisted in two places (there were three windows in cassettes), a similar trick could also be carried out with them.
- On the Chinese tape recorder, it was possible to simultaneously hold one hand with the finger of one hand and hold “Rew” (so as not to knock out), and with the other press “Play”. It turned out a funny effect from playing in the opposite direction also at a wild speed, from which we started the phenomenon of “listening to songs the other way around” (yes, we had backmasking games with very different rules!), Supposedly even such speed there are secret messages (1984 was, shchito to do, desu). However, this did not always work, but if you press the pause again, it worked in 95% of cases. But it would be more correct to press and hold “Rew”, while slightly pressing down “Play”: the head will not go down to the tape to the end, which, of course, is much better for both of them. Thus, an experienced magician could easily rewind back to the desired song – by ear. Moreover, some Soviet tape recorders (IL 306, for example) didn’t require the above-mentioned exemptions at all – it was enough to press the rewind in the desired direction while playing, just like the tape recorder lifted the head and the pressure roller, the rewind mode was activated, but the lowered head continued to play the recording . Thus it was possible to easily search for the desired song by pauses by ear. Actually, the search for the track in pauses and worked. Naturally, the sound was not going to the speakers, and the received signal was processed by a special counter circuit
- As a temporary measure, slippage of passicum was treated by rubbing it with soldering rosin.
- On tape recorders like “Electronics-323”, leading from the very 302nd, “you can’t take it with you”, with an incomplete press of the “Start” button in combination with the “Record” button, the undocumented “Walrus” or “Bear” mode was activated (he had a lot of titles, officially googled by the phrase “Pitch −7” (or -N). If the recording was made from the beginning of the tape, the speed increased compared to the nominal time by two or slightly less. If you record in this mode close to the end film – the increase in speed could be fourfold. But, as a rule, torque There were not enough motor motors for this, even on the “eMK-60-1”, sometimes characterized by low friction even in comparison with the bourgeois “nanotechnologies” of the seventies-eighties. All this was done to reduce the frequency and speed of the recorded voice with the aim of parodies on mythical characters: dead people from the other world, walruses with bears, drug addicts, etc. Everything in the name of lulz and no more.The most chic was considered to be a microphone in this recording mode, if necessary, using an air enema before. This recording mode could theoretically be used on all tape recorders that had the usual mechanical buttons for controlling the tape drive mechanism, that is, an absolute majority of them. In practice, everything depended on the model and even on the individual characteristics of each instance. In the 90s, with the arrival of the Chinese tape recorders, the similar crap did not disappear anywhere – it was enough not to press the Pause button fully, as the same Bear mode worked there.
- For recording, on the contrary, “Liliput” voices (aka chipmunk, that is, Pitch +4 or even 10), a cassette filled with dead batteries was used (the effect is that the dead batteries give out
1.2 V instead of full 1.5 V, for 100500 Ohms of internal resistance). The speed of the tape-driver on the dead batteries noticeably fell, and if it was recorded at that, when playing at normal speed, the recorded voice became completely cartoon (only a quarter of the speed fell, and what effect!).
- Of course, the lucky owners of multi-speed mafonov achieved a similar effect by blunt switching speeds.
Backward reproduction. One of the coils is simply put on the wrong side.
Priattacheny audio file, yes, yes, it was
 Mad Whistle and Percussion
- Some tape recorders (both coil and cassette) had only one speaker and one channel of power amplification in the case, but at the same time they had stereo heads and pre-amplifiers, for stamping. Officially, such models were called stereo to the line-out, in the people – the system “channel and a half”. The sound on the built-in speaker, respectively, was monaural. However, simply connecting the cable with an external amplifier with speakers, you could enjoy stereo sound (assuming, of course, that the recording on the film is stereo). And some of the players in the early Chinese production cycle had a stereo head, but a monophonic reproduction amplifier. Two such players were taken, and with the help of electrical tape one stereo plus a slide of spare parts came out. Of course, there were also such players on which “stereo” was written, but the head was monaural. In such players, the stereo board from the broken stereo player was unshakably rifled, with the replacement of the mono head on the stereo.
- From a ragged kassetnik, you can stir up a rogue version of the lotion for a distortion type electric guitar. To do this, the wire from the electric guitar was soldered directly to the place of the sound pickup head of the tape recorder. As a result, when you press “Play” at the output of your unfortunate mafon, a super-dirty punk “sound” turned out!
- Recording mode “Trick”: allows you to overlay one recording over another. This is achieved by an elementary disconnection of the erase head electromagnet. But in cheap Chinese cassettes, the function of the erasing head is performed by a permanent magnet, which, if necessary, you just had to cut it out – to lay it with something foreign, if it is spring-loaded, or to break off / unbend the presser lever, if stuck “iron”.
- Shumodav. About this feature in the article said so, but something needs to be mentioned. There was a lulz rumor that when you clicked the UWB button on the Kvazar-type bydlomofonok, no noise reduction occurred, the built-in noise generator was turned off, turned on by default.
- To search for the desired track served tape counter. That is, listening to the recording for the first time, at the beginning of each song, the anonymus spotted the meter readings and recorded them in the track list on the box. In the future, quickly find the desired track was not difficult. True, the counters were measured differently on different tape recorders, and the entries in the tracklist were valid only for the tape recorder on which the measurements were made. It was noticed on the pocket “journalistic voice recorders” from Sharp.
- Some models were equipped with an automatic song search system. When rewinding in the search mode, the reading head was close enough to the film and the system monitored the pauses between the tracks, allowing you to automatically rewind the tape cassette. A side effect is the rapid wear of the film in the form of characteristic fractures.
- Reel-to-stereo recorders had the ability to record mono signals per channel, that is, either four audio tracks with mono sound or two with stereo sound could be recorded on a reel. There were also mono tape recorders, in which the amplifier was mono, and the head was stereo, which also made it possible to write 4 mono tracks.
- Stereo recordings on a tape are arranged as follows: if the tape is placed horizontally to itself and mentally divided along four tracks along the center, then the track of the left channel of the first side will be first – closer to the upper edge of the magnetic tape, the track of the right channel will be the second – closer to the center of the tape, on the third track is recording the right channel of the second side, and on the fourth track is recording the left channel of the second side. In the case of recording a tape on a monaural tape recorder, everything is simpler, mentally divide the tape along in half, on the upper part there will be the first side, on the lower part – the right side. Thus, a cassette recorded on a stereo recorder will be easily played by a mono tape recorder, only, naturally, mono, and a cassette recorded on a mono recorder will be played stereo, only the recording will still be mono. In coils as all the more cunning. The first reel-to-reel tape recorders were monophonic, the recording in such tape recorders was conducted on half of the tape – if the tape is laid horizontally to itself, the track of the first side will be located at the top of the tape, and the track of the second side – at the bottom. However, unlike cassettes, with stereo tape recorders, the arrangement of tracks on a magnetic tape is different – if you put the magnetic tape horizontally towards you and mentally divide it into four parts, then the track of the left channel of the first side will be located on the first track of the tape, the track of the second channel of the first side will be on the third track of the tape (and not the second, like cassettes), the second track will have the right channel of the second side, and the fourth track will have the left channel of the second side. As mentioned above, reel-to-reel tape recorders made it possible to record by channel — by fitting four mono tracks (like monaural tape recorders) on a magnetic tape, but four. Thus, the coil recorded on the old mono recorder, played on the stereo recorder, will be reproduced as follows: the first track of the monophonic recording will be heard in the left channel, the second track of the monophonic recording, derepan-modan jannargiorp, in the right channel, however, in stereo recorders, due to the possibility channel-by-channel playback, there is a switch that turns off one of the channels, forcing both channels to play only one track, so the coils recorded on old monophonic tape recorders can to play without any problems on the stereo. If the coil with a stereo recording or channel-by-channel mono-recording is played on an old monaural tape recorder, it will simultaneously play the left side recording channel of the first side and the right recording channel of the second side derepan-modaz. And since there were mono tape recorders with a stereo head, leading per channel mono-recording, the same applies to them – such mafons easily play monophonic coils recorded on old tape recorders, but the coils recorded on them reproduce the old mono recorders as described above – one, and yes even one of them backwards. However, on the stereo head you can make a record, which is considered a monaural tape recorder with a conventional mono head – you just need to record only on the left channel, ignoring the recording on the right. Also, studio tape recorders usually wrote “for the entire width of the tape” – that is, the recording was made on one side only, the left channel occupied the upper half of the tape, the right channel the bottom, if you turn the coil over, it will play backwards. If such a coil is played on a regular stereo recorder, it will play the left channel in the left channel and the right channel in the right channel. The mono recorder will play only the left channel. When playing the second side, which is stereo, that mono tape recorders, will play the recording backwards. True, we must also clarify that different tape recorders had different speeds, old mono recorders were usually written on the ninth, and the stereos had a speed switch (4, 9, 19, 36 cm / sec), the number of speeds varied from model to model.
- Through channel (reverb). Most tape recorders had two heads – erasable and versatile. Erasing, EXTREMELY! 11, erased the tape recording in order to make room for a new recording. A universal recorded during the recording, and during playback read the recording from the film. It was possible to control the recording process only by instruments (level indicators). In tape recorders, pozakovyristee instead of one universal head were two – recording and reproducing. This made it possible to control the recording process, not only by instruments, but also by ear, comparing the sound quality of the incoming signal via cable with what has already fallen on the film. In decent devices, the difference in hearing was quite difficult to catch. For the period during which the tape covered the distance between the recording and reproducing heads, it took some time – the signal reproduced from the film slightly lagged behind the input to the tape recorder. This, firstly, could be a source of lulz when recording from a microphone all sorts of readers and singers, if they bring the recorded (delayed) signal to the “monitors”, and not directly from the microphone; secondly, it made it possible not simply, but extremely easy to turn a tape recorder into a reverb, which was used by the VIA, who had not yet had time to earn extra money and buy something real. The installation of several more reproducing heads and the same number of preamplifiers made such a reverb very fucking. There were also serial samples: “Echo” (and its version – mixer “Crown”), ESCO-100 (tape and later digital versions). See also: , , .
- To get a “tape delay” in the nischebrodsk conditions it was possible to:
- way zero. A bobbin with a through channel is taken (separate recording and reproducing heads plus the ability to switch what we listen to during recording — a signal from the input or an already recorded signal from the tape), loop a piece of good tape, switch the listening to control from the tape, the signal from the headphones output from using the mixer, we mix in the signal supplied to the line input (the main thing is not to overdo it, otherwise we will get a repetition shaft that is growing and losing human sound), from the line output we get the ready tape delay – and voila, b-regg The sound is guaranteed;
- way once. Two bobinnik were placed nearby. From the supply reel of the left tape recorder, the film, through its tape-dragging tape, was brought right into the tape-dragging of the right tape reel and was wound on its receiving bobbin. From the output of the right bobbin signal was fed to the input of the left. In addition, a microphone was connected to the microphone input of the left reel. Both tape recorders were synchronously launched (left in recording mode, and right in playback mode), words were spoken into the microphone, and a strongly delayed echo appeared in the recording;
- way two. We take a two-cassette tape recorder (“duplicate”), which allows both pockets to be played simultaneously. We put two absolutely identical records in the pockets, with the only difference that one of the tapes is literally a little bit reeled forward. The headphone output of the duplicate is connected via the jack-DIN adapter to the input of another tape recorder, which is set for recording. Both pockets of the two-cassette are simultaneously switched on to play … PROFIT!
- way three. A familiar radio hider and a scarce thing called a “spare head” are taken, they mate for a while, then, after a little fuck, the radio hub gives an under-grief-shit-preamp on three MP27 transistors — the lowest noise of this series — that is screwed to the front panel and reproduces the recorded half a second back sounds that can be redirected from the device ass to his mouth, put on the primary recording coming from an external source.
 While we were listening to “Spring” …
The progress of the tape making did not stand still. With the help of foreign engineers, the technical parameters of the tape recorders were brought to an extremely serious level. Judge for yourself, for iron (that is, ordinary) tape:
Band of reproducible frequencies – 30 – 20000 Hz, non-uniformity ± 3 dB Nonlinear distortions over the whole frequency band ≤ 0.05% Noise and interference without noise reduction systems – 40 dB With progressive systems like DBX – 80 dB
That is, the characteristics of the subject are very close to the parameters of the Audio CD, but with the possibility of rewriting. However, with the demagnetization, remagnetization, deformation of the film and other “joys” of cassettes. But what only tape recorder images like Nakamichi RX 505 cost for Soviet audiophiles!
If you carefully remember all the tricks to achieve high quality recording / playback, you get this:
- Heads The height of chic was considered (and in fact were) ferrite magnetic heads – black, shiny, eternal. Such heads worked from five years without any deterioration in parameters, except that the glass in the gaps was worn out. It was believed that such heads are not very strong at the time of recording, but it seems that nothing happened.
- Amplifier playback. Yes, then everyone fapali on the scheme of the Kiev engineer N. Ye. Sukhov (“Radio”, 1987, No. 6, 7) … and it was still good.
- GSP. Who would have thought – it was this node that set the bar for recording quality. The same N. Sukhov offered for sawing in “Beacons” and “Vilma” in the same “Radio” (1983) SDP (then SDP-2 (1987) later also adaptive – SADP (1991)), greatly expanded the dynamic and frequency range of the recording. In fairness, it is worth noting that this chip in 1980 was introduced into Harman Kardon, Neal, Tascam / Teac and Luxman called Dolby HX (later improved (HX Pro) – in “pits”, “Denon”, “sonek” and all “Pioneers” – after 1985), and “nakamichami” never been used. In this country, in the serial technique, dynamic bias was washed down in Mayak-242 (but 6-10 years later) and again, as usual, the implementation pumped up – instead of improving the record, the consequences were unpredictable (clumsily “improved” by the domestic manufacturer SDP-2 – a canonical example of how to properly kill a good idea). Prior to the implementation of SADP in production models has not reached.
- UWB, “noise”:
- “Beacon”, “dynamic noise-reducing filter” – worked on the principle of “muting” the signal at the output, when the RF (high-frequency) level at its input decreased below a certain threshold. It worked crookedly, leaving a bunch of noise “tails” after the signal peaks, although after doping it was very personal. Gathered on VLSI K157HP3 (24 legs, 15 × 30 mm);
- Dolby B, Dolby C, Dolby S – compander noisemakers, were found mainly on imported equipment (or seamless with the bourgeois, for example, the megarulese Orel MP-101s, which is lower in the photo, it is nee Toshiba). All are good – but they work only if you first write down “from Dolby”, and then reproduce “from Dolby”. Efficiency is so-so, and setting the recording level was needed accurate. The fashionable DBX system, which provides a greater degree of separation from noise, also goes in the same forest.
 Tape recorders and soviet people
There is – there is a picture on a stretcher! There are four copies of it! There is a Yauza tape recorder! It’s enough!
The tape recorder was the most important part of the non-state culture and non-state economy of the Soviet Union. State culture was delivered through radio points, Record TVs and Aurora electrophones. The tape recorder, due to the possibility of dubbing, distributed what was not released on the records and did not sound on TV – from your Vysotsky with Galicia to Arkady Severny and Pink Floyd, covering the whole range of music not covered by Melodiya. These records, respectively, cost money. The musician received a certain amount for an apartment for “recording” or for a concert in the institute’s assembly hall, where he was already written by all and sundry. Of course, the distributor received money only from the distributor and only at the first stage. Need I say that all these revenues were unearned, and for them it was possible to get a non-illusory term? So art went to the masses – hand in hand with fake jeans, left caviar, pizzhennym bricks and smuggled Playboys, becoming an integral element of the economy, which was not accepted on TV.
By the mid-1970s, the tape recorder became a massive phenomenon. By that time, the bulk of the recordings consisted of concerts of Vysotsky and other PCBs, since there were a lot of hard work on layers with jazz and western rock. But it was then that domestic rockers began to rise from their knees.
Who of the rockers made the first studio recording and sent it to the masses – not a topic for this article. The fact that by 1980 films with the “Time Machine” and “Aquarium” already existed with fonnatov. The unofficial sound recording was put on an industrial basis by the notorious Andrei Tropillo, who in 1981 began writing and releasing albums first from Aquarium and then Zoo, Kino and others. So there was such a phenomenon as magnetoalbom. That is, it was not just a randomly recorded set of tracks, but a full-fledged album, with a sound engineer, studio recording, artwork, even sometimes with a concept – everything is like with large ones, with the only difference that this beauty was not placed on a vinyl record, but on the reel. This phenomenon pretty much chasv musicians, and it was the general prevalence of portable tape recorders made magnetoalbum demanded. Who cares, read the book “100 Soviet rock albums. 1977–1991: 15 years of underground sound recording. ”
I first heard the Picnic group in 1983 due to the rapid spread of the self-made recording that the group made in St. Petersburg at the Tropillo studio. This record immediately appeared throughout the country, and the first impression was that this was the best group of the country. I was impressed by the sound, which was very different from what was expected. Because at that time, you understand, it was almost difficult-impossible to enroll, and even if there was any talk about some of its sound, it didn’t even occur to anyone to think about it. Therefore – that was the impression.
But one should not think that the official Soviet recording industry did not know about magnetic albums. She massively released them under the name of the tape. The management of the release of these records company “Melody”, GDRZ with its catalog numbering and other government offices. In the assortment, of course, every mutuality: “Songs of Youth”, “Music in Lenin’s Life”, “Pop Melodies”, “Song of the Year”, educational, children’s and propaganda records. In the shops of the goodies of this good were heaps, so the Soviet music lovers bought up massively magnetofilms instead of the scarce clean tape and reels. In the same way, official MK-44 audio cassettes were bought, despite a mere 44-minute duration. After the purchase, all this was mercilessly rubbed out without any familiarization, and instead of speeches, cadavre, songs of Muslim Magomayev, Lev Leshchenko, Edita Pyekha and Yuri Antonov listened to Bulat Okudzhava, Yuri Vizbor, Khazanov or any Uriah Heep with Chingizkhan.
The 1980s – the heyday of magnetic albums and tape culture in general. Instead of 6/7-strings, the gopniks sat with “Electronics”, from where “Alice” could be heard with wild wheezing and / or howling. Nobody understood the words, and to hell with them. With a mafon, fashionable boys came out to glue women. If it was a crap like “Sonata” – it was worn on a bent arm. If the major dvuhkassetnik – proudly on the shoulder. City dwellers with the “Electronics-302” did not go around the women (and in the village they walked as well) – and it’s more expensive for themselves, and just for chickens to laugh. “Electronics” was worn on a bent arm, often packed in a plastic bag. By the way, possessing a completely oak mechanism, this very your “302nd” continued to play, dropped by a drunk owner on the ground from a meter height.
And, of course, delivered the work of the school / rural disc jockey. In the midst of this rumble, he had to rewind on the second mafon while playing “Cheri Cheri Lady” and simultaneously launch “Mother Anarchy” at the second mafona, and then search for “Still Loving You” under the sound of kirzachs – because without slower not diskach. Advanced characters had time to poke the earpiece instead of leaving the line (and so that the hall was not deaf from cod – there was going to be a kind of self-made mixer of resistors from an old TV), listen to what was happening on the second tape, squeeze it with a finger (since the deck cover can be broken or started in the open), and at the right moment, gradually raise the volume from the released tape in the right place of entry, extinguishing the second one, while there are three seconds of pause. Pens something – here they are! It was possible to collect the compensator, then straight CUE-out was obtained.
A cassette tape recorder was a necessary attribute of any self-respecting discotheque in a collective farm club, which most often looked like this: an ordinary wide room, in the middle of which there is a lonely stool, on which he proudly chews on Ace of Base, Doctor Alban, his ilk, orthodox brick “Spring ”, And cruel collective farmers in rubber boots crumple around. It’s my life!
 Replaced came …
First of all, CD, and in the 2000s – MP3-devices. Also, a short period in the middle of the zero years, when the economists still had old cassettes in the car and / or at home, but the first mp3-shki downloaded for long hours started to appear on the working computer, generated such gloomy vysery Ketai electronic genius as MP3 -players in a tape cassette form factor that output digital sound directly to the head of an automobile cassette, as well as an adapter cassette for connecting your CD or MP3 player.
That is, Her Majesty the Digital digital spiritlessness. And along with the number came the “dead” pauses – something that the engineers of the analog recording technology were so eager for, and what turned out to be not so loving and attractive as they wanted. Yes, and the sound without “shshshshsh” is not the same.
 Magnetic sound cons
The magnetic tape, alas and oh, is subject to a huge number of factors that negatively affect both the tape itself and the recording on it. The most common drawbacks of magnetic sound recording are:
- Demagnetization. A magnetic tape, like any other magnetic storage medium, is subject to magnetic fields. An audio cassette thrown next to the speakers, a CRT TV, a cell phone can then lose some of the recorded signal, which will manifest itself as a permanent decrease in the increase in the volume of the signal, or, having passed through powerful magnetic fields, generally lose everything recorded on it. Not only analog audio media is subject to this: floppy disks, tape drives, VHS and hard drives can also be demagnetized. In addition, during long-term storage, the recording can in some places, for a split second, lose the signal, which results in a short-term, but a fraction of a second, loss of high frequencies, and the longer the recording is stored, the greater the loss will be. ChSH, if you make a fresh tape on such a cassette, it will play without a short signal subsidence, which indicates the degradation of the magnetization on the tape, and not the tape itself. In coils, due to the much higher speed of the tape, this effect is less pronounced.
- Exchange magnetization between coils. The magnetic tape, when wound, falls into the coil with coils, which eventually begin to exchange magnetization between themselves, which manifests itself as an echo in the pauses between songs and during quiet intervals. Very well, this effect can be observed in speech recordings. To combat this, the tape in the cassette is recommended sometimes to rewind, but it helps a little.
- Warp tape. Alas, the magnetic tape, especially in cassettes, is subject to deformation. From long-term storage, the tape in the cassette begins to jam, stretch, this is most pronounced at the beginning of the tape. This effect is especially characteristic of audio cassettes: there the tape is deformed by fastening the tape to the coil. The leader must save this, but practice shows that in many cassettes, in the places where the coils are applied to the mount, dents are formed. However, mild dents do not greatly affect the sound, but, alas, it is problematic to make a high-quality new recording on such a tape. And also the tape may skukozhivatsya due to too narrow an axis of winding, and if the axis of the coils is wide enough, then the cassettes alas. In the case of VHS under the sunset of the popularity of these cassettes were issued with a wide axis in the middle of the coil. Audio cassettes also came with a wide axis, but this very few such cassettes were released.
- Contamination tape. Many schoolchildren preferred to clean the magnetic heads not with alcohol, but, for example, with vodka, cologne, and even saliva in general. Various additives contained in these fluids were deposited on the head, and then glued to the tape, which gave a failure of high frequencies. ISCH, such a cassette inserted into another tape recorder littered the heads already with him, and he in turn littered the other cassettes. In addition, on the magnetic tape and the heads, the dust simply stuck, which, when reproduced, stuck to the tape, which also led to a slight deformation of it in the form of such “bumps”. Today, many digitizers magnetic tape, before digitization process it with white spirit, they say, helps.
- Drying tape. The most ugly minus, manifested in a sudden creak, which comes from the magnetic head, and even from the speakers. The tape itself creaks on the magnetic head, because it has dried. The Soviet tapes (and reels) “Tasma”, “Svema” are most subject to this, but bourgeois tapes sometimes creak. There are many ways to get rid of the squeak, but all of them help only for a while (for example, to have time to digitize): you can process the tape with white spirit, you can leave the coil or cassette at night suspended above the bathtub full of water so that the tape can be saturated with moisture. places where squeaking occurs, touch the ribbon or head with your finger …
- Line access. Magnetic tape – carrier with linear access. CD, phonograph and music in your smartphone allow you to arbitrarily move from song to song. On the plates for this there are special transitions, where the distance between the sound grooves is increased, so that the user (and the expensive player models have an automaton) can find out where to put the needle. The tape does not allow you to listen to, say, first the second song, and then the fifth, for this it needs to be rewound.
- Inability to copy a lossless record. Today you, Anon, can transfer the sound file to your phone via Bluetooth, then transfer it to the Internet, then download from there and burn to a CD, and then copy it from a CD to a USB flash drive in a Chinese DVD player, and from there to a PC. And all these manipulations on the idea should not cause the slightest loss of sound quality. In the case of copying analog audio, loss is always unavoidable. If you copy music on high-quality tape recorders (“Olimp-005” or some monstrous “Akai”), then the losses will be minimal, but anyway, each subsequent copy will be worse than the previous one. If you copy on a half-toy duskassetnik (no matter what manufacturer), the copy will be significantly inferior to the original.
- Hacking Yes, when they talk about the “hackneyed record”, they mean that they listened to it so often that they stopped and it began to sound bad. Fretting is typical not only for recording, any media with contact access (floppy disks, for example) jams out – the working surface degrades from the reading head passing over it. Magnetic tapes are also subject to this. On old coils, this is manifested as two or four (if a stereo tape recorder) characteristic darkening on the tape. The recording starts to lose high frequencies from the entry, in addition, characteristic clicks appear in the pauses, similar to clicks on records, only quieter.
- Different tape speeds. Generally, strictly speaking, the ideal speed is 4.76 cm / s (this means that in a second of time 4.76 centimeters of tape should be driven along the magnetic head), however, you can achieve ideal speed only in very expensive decks of the highest quality, like all those same “Nakamichi”, where there was a quartz stabilization of the rotation of the keyhole. In 95% of the cassettes, the speed swam, and if in expensive models it didn’t float much, and even according to the instruments it was in relative norm, then in all portable ones there was “Spring 202-1” or even in more modern ones, like “SONY CFS-B5S” , the speed often floated quite strongly from the factory, not to mention the works from China, where the speed could be much higher. It was impossible to adjust it exactly without the instruments, so the young ham radio-coons tuned the speed “from the bald”, but even the perfectly tuned cassette began to swim a little with time — the belt was stretched, the rollers dried, the settings got stuck, the capacitors dried out … well, you understand.
- Different azimuth location of magnetic heads. The magnetic head gap should ideally always be oriented to the same place on the tape, but in practice this is not always the case. Thus, a tape recorded on one mafon can play on the other with strong (or not) distortions. You can fix this by inserting a screwdriver into a special hole on the tape recorder and twisting the screw that moves the head there. Generally, strictly speaking, this should be done with the help of instruments when playing a special test recording, however, in practice, when setting up tape recorders, especially those made for common use, the licensed tape was taken and it was tuned by ear. Many people just scored and listened “as is”, however, when using a tape recorder as a permanent storage device for the Spectrum or any other computer of that time, the heads always had to be twisted, the experienced spectrum drivers set up the mafon was not difficult, but the newfues swore: “IT’S DOWNWEARLED !eleven”. And the most disgusting thing is that the heads are still a little bit sensitive with time, but they got lost. In coils this problem was not frequent, since there the heads are fixed and their azimuth is shifted – this should be tried, but in cassettes, where the moving head assembly, the screw quietly loosened and the head shifted, this is especially characteristic of decks with autoreverse, where the reverse is carried out by turning the head 180 degrees, so there were decks where the auto reverse was carried out by pushing the cassette, turning it 180 degrees, and loading it back into the mafon, and not by turning the head itself. It got to the point that the owner had two tape recorders – one to record, the head was not twisted in it, the other – to listen, and there was a screwdriver next to it … Although there were decks with auto-azimuth fitting the head to the played cassette, but they cost To put it mildly, it was not bad, but in the USSR they could only be filmed in Radio magazines.
From the foregoing, it becomes clear that storing audio on a magnetic tape is unreliable, the recording deteriorates very quickly, like the tape itself. It is also worth noting that most users of tape recorders didn’t really know about it, and having carried a cassette in a bag with locks-magnets, they received a demagnetized recording, not knowing the reasons why the fuck it had gone wrong. The same can be said about the azimuth, when the tape recorded on one tape recorder and played well in it, played on the other disgustingly, but the people did not know the reasons for such a mess. All these factors contributed to the rapid failure of the population from tape recorders in favor of CDs and digital files as soon as they became available to the mass consumer.