Terms: Tapes are made on order to exact length (tolerance: +- 10 seconds). Your order must be paid in full before the tapes are loaded - regular clients excepted. Transport charges are not included.
Retail 90 minute tapes were usually 94+ minutes (444 feet). Retail 60 minute tapes were usually 62+ minutes (300 feet).
Don't forget to add about 10 seconds before and after your program. Calculate your length as twice the longest side. Allow for the speed of your cassette deck to be off by 2% (56 seconds per side on a 95 minute tape).
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If your program has lots of high-frequency content we recommend using high-bias or chrome tapes at normal (120 uS) equalisation. In order to do this you must have separate bias and eq switches on your cassette decks. When recording, set your bias to high (or chrome) position, and set your EQ to 120 uS (normal eq). This will allow much higher levels without compressing or distorting your high frequencies. The tradeoff is a higher playback noise level.
Recording Tips for Better Sounding Cassettes!
Don't boost your high frequencies going to cassette tape to compensate for the loss of "brilliance". It will only get duller and more saturated.
The following methods might help to get more level, brilliance, and presence:
- Use a premium high bias tape like TDK SA, BASF Chrome Plus or Maxell XLII-S. We also have a standard grade chrome tape not quite as amazing as those brands.
- Record on TDK SA with normal 120 uS EQ!
- Boosting the upper midrange/lower HF range (from 2 kHz to 6kHz - don't boost above this because you'll probably cause tape saturation and a dulling effect)
- Give more distance between the microphone and acoustic guitars and cymbals! (overly brilliant acoustic guitars,cymbals, and vocal sibilance are the #1 enemy of cassette tape).
- Use a de-esser or a multi-band peak limiter with a built-in preemphasis before limiting, like the Behringer Combinator or Aphex Dominator (a limiter without preemphasis is not very useful for cassette duplication - your highs won't be limited and will saturate the tape more).
- Use a device that adds brilliance only to low-level signals. That is what Dolby B does in its encoding stage. The higher the input level, the less boost Dolby B gives. The Aphex Aural Exciter and similar devices work similarly by adding low levels of HF harmonic distortion. They sound bad if overused.
- Reduce the recording bias (this will slightly increase your distortion) and the input level (to compensate for the increased distortion).
- Use Dolby HX-PRO which dynamically reduces the bias in the presence of lots of high-energy program. This allows you to maintain higher levels without compressing the high-frequencies.