ruffrecords

RIP Lou Ottens
« on: March 12, 2021, 11:17:18 AM »
Lou Ottens, the inventor of the compact cassette has passed at age 94. (He was also heavily involved in the development of the CD)

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'


Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 01:11:08 PM »
Yeah just heard about his passing earlier.
Despite the mostly medochre sound quality of cassette tapes there was one element which was still nice about them , you could make music compilations for your friends , and it was really only something you'd do for very good friends as it could take quite a bit of time. Of course you'd specially hand pick the tunes for the intended person , ok nowadays you could drag n drop songs on a disk or set up a playlist but none of that has the same personal touch as a cassette tape did. 

PermO

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 02:26:21 PM »
RIP


I used to sell casettes to clothing stores with the latest hippest grooves as a kid.
Mostly recorded and edited from radiostations.

Later in the 80's these 0900 sex phone lines became a thing, I used to have a weekend job for one summer as a maintanance guy, cleaning the heads of this big wall of Nakamichi autoreverse casette decks every saturday.

It was fun.


Thanks Lou.
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

Script

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 10:51:04 PM »
Had seen that news too. Cassettes are still easily available in Japan (90 min, 60 min & 10min  ??? ). Metal type is available only as NOS and one sells for up to USD120  :o :o Nuts !

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2021, 09:15:00 PM »
I've seen a lot of interest in cassettes from young people, a lot have asked me about advice on it, and I always say "Why?" and "Don't do it", I used to buy cassettes when I was young, for me, the only contribution to audio technollogy for the cassette is that it was a portable medium, you could use it in a Walkman and that was great!, besides that it is the nastiest recording medium in all modern history, its noisy, sounds like crap, distorts, gets tangled up in the player, etc... Even when I was young I thought it was crap.

Youngsters need to realize that just because something is old it doesn't mean it is good or a good idea, everything old is 'better', I remind them that before 1943 (basically before penicilin), they used to treat Syphilis with mercury intake, yeah mercury, if you didn't die from Syphilis you died from heavy metal poisoning. And if you felt depressed or anxious before the mid 60s and you went to the psychiatrist, the prefered treatment was Lobotomy, So no, not all old ideas are good.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 09:24:10 PM by Dualflip »

Script

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2021, 10:29:13 PM »
Hehe : ) It's not about quality, it's about exclusivity and fashion. (BTW, with enough mercury intake, the brain and neurosystem sure go insane, but the eyes can then indicate temperature , ouch :o )

I bet there's a 'true' analog tape plugin. If not, there should be. LPF at around 15KHz, gain stage into overdrive, plus the heart of it all: a hard clipper to punch huge holes into the program. Add some extra warmth through mains hum and a fistful of hiss for even closer approximation, plus crosstalk, azimuth and warble for the real feel (pro version only) -- there it is ; )

john12ax7

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2021, 12:55:24 AM »
I was always a fan of cassette and still listen to them to this today. Thank you Lou Ottens.

PermO

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2021, 06:22:52 AM »
I never had a negative experience with tape, back in those days it simply was the greatest thing !
In my teens I had this friend who has two older brothers who where both working a job while we were still at school, having no money but some pocket money from our parents.
His brothers bought records, lots of them, they were all still living with their parents and probably spend most of their salarys on records and weed.

So during they day we sneaked into his brothers room to tape the latest releases they got, there was a well setup quality turntable and a Akai GSX? deck.

Those tapes helped me get trough life, really.

I have no bad memories of tape at all, actually I'm still running a tapemachine that is older than me, nearly 60 years old G36 in 100% original condition never been messed with, still got the original Telefunken / Philips tubes inside  8)
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2021, 07:04:13 AM »
I never had a negative experience with tape, back in those days it simply was the greatest thing !
In my teens I had this friend who has two older brothers who where both working a job while we were still at school, having no money but some pocket money from our parents.
His brothers bought records, lots of them, they were all still living with their parents and probably spend most of their salarys on records and weed.

So during they day we sneaked into his brothers room to tape the latest releases they got, there was a well setup quality turntable and a Akai GSX? deck.

Those tapes helped me get trough life, really.

I have no bad memories of tape at all, actually I'm still running a tapemachine that is older than me, nearly 60 years old G36 in 100% original condition never been messed with, still got the original Telefunken / Philips tubes inside  8)

I grew up in an era were CDs were relatively new but common, and cassettes were still around, I was very young, but everytime I recorded songs from CD to tape, I would get mad on how sh*tty they sounded compared to the CD, I guess that is why I am biased

PermO

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2021, 08:34:33 AM »
Yes

As there were better ways to copy a CD  ;D

Thoug that came slightly later I guess...
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru


Script

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2021, 08:50:22 AM »
Well, I grew up with antique tube radios (they were running all day), an old tube reel tape recorder, which I still have, as well as B/W television, cos our parents weren't exactly into all the new stuff all the time. Cassettes came a bit later for me in my teens and I loved them because I couldn't afford buying all those records, so we shared on cassette or I recorded straight from radio (or television) and listened until the tapes were worn out or got eaten. All fond memories and absolutely great -- back then !

But even vinyl sounded better to me when I was a kid, and CDs came like a revelation. However, as a matter of fact, I bought five 60 minute maxell cassette tapes about a week ago, because my son wanted to 'make a CD' and I thought, if we do this, why not show him how we did it on cassette 4-track. Well, we sure had a lot of fun, but listening to the recording I have been reassured that cassette tape sounds plain crap ; )

So Lou Ottens -- RIP -- and thanks so much for all the fun, fond memories and possibilities your invention had brought. Still... I would never really want to go back to cassette tape -- and I'd think he'd agree.

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2021, 11:19:48 PM »
As a 14 year old, every time I went into city centre Manchester, I would visit the posh Hi-Fi store just to stare at the Teac 3440 4 track 1/4" they had in there.  It was my dream to have one as it seemed the only way to graduate from the older Sony reel-to-reel I had into having a proper "recording studio".  But that machine and the little mixer they had was WAY too rich for the blood of a working class kid like me.

But then Teac introduced the Tascam 144 Portastudio!  The goal was a little more in reach.

About a year and a half of saving, and begging my parents, I found a slightly used one in a music store about 30 miles away.
Coming home in the car with that 144, it seemed my wildest dreams were becoming true.

Good times with that cassette 4 track machine.  It just about blew my mind when I realized you could flip the tape over to play stuff backwards while you recorded some crazy sh*t, then get to flip the tape back around and listen to your latest 'overdub' and pretend you were making your own little 'Revolver' or 'Sgt. Pepper'.

Cheers Lou.
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2021, 11:40:04 PM »
I  used to have a weekend job for one summer as a maintanance guy, cleaning the heads of this big wall of Nakamichi autoreverse casette decks

Cleaning the heads on a wall of Nakamichi's at an 0900 sex-line place seems like a pretty cool job to me.

In his late teens, my mate had a different kind of clean-up job at a sex place.
I guess those little cubicles you go into and get to look through the tiny window at whatever tickles yer fancy can get a bit messy!



D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2021, 10:23:24 PM »
F-ugh sake Winst   ::)
'Jizz mopper' or 'Deck Swab' , not the most prestigious job title going  ;D
not something your ever going to mention in the CV. Hope your pal found a foot on the ladder after .
Q-tips, alcohol n Nakamichi's is do-able , but why did they need to record grunturbators with high end tape decks anyway ?

PermO

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2021, 06:16:51 AM »
 ;D

Trust me, these things were running 24/7 and making the guy lots of money, the owner becam a milionaire in a couple years.
So he just wanted a reliable continuous system.

These decks were making 200 / 300 $ a day in income.... so.
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2021, 05:00:09 PM »
Hi Permo ,
Wow I guess yeah with an incomming revenue stream like that you might as well get the best .
So I'm guessing the tape decks were automated with some kind of menu depending on what kinds of kink the (always right)customers were into ,   for golden shower talk press one now , two for doodoo , three for pleasure through pain etc......  ;D
I remember way back in the day a buddy had a scanner which could easily pick up cordless phones and maybe old style mobile phones too , one day we happened to break in on some old guy getting his rocks off with an American lady at the far end of the line , we couldn't hold back the tears from all the laughing , some strange fish out there for sure. 

PermO

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2021, 05:43:07 PM »
Yes, there were different nrs with catagories, a caller would be forwarded to a RS232 controlled cassete deck, wich kept playing stories until the caller hung up.

So there was also writers and actors involved and little studios recording those tapes.

Also the phonecompany got a good share from this.

And this kept going for.. almost a decade I guess ?

Quite an operation now that I think about it  :o
« Last Edit: March 20, 2021, 09:00:30 AM by PermO »
"It's very important that you run trough the door, not trough the wall" - Sadhguru

Squeaky

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2021, 02:36:44 AM »

About a year and a half of saving, and begging my parents, I found a slightly used one in a music store about 30 miles away.

Coming home in the car with that 144, it seemed my wildest dreams were becoming true.


I wonder how many of us (of a certain vintage) started recording on those little Tascam 4 tracks. You still had to learn how to bounce using those things.

Your story reminds me of when I went with my dad to buy my first AC30. It was a beaten up 1964 normal model. This thing had been gigged to hell and back, the cabinet had been absolutely thrashed. The stories that amp could tell. Changed my life that amp, I still have it.

Being able to record your records onto a cassette tape and then play them in the car was awesome.

ruffrecords

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2021, 03:25:42 AM »
I wonder how many of us (of a certain vintage) started recording on those little Tascam 4 tracks. You still had to learn how to bounce using those things.


4 tracks!! Eee lad, thou 'ad it easy. When I were a lad we only had 2 tracks and 'ad t' bounce between them all t' time.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Script

Re: RIP Lou Ottens
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2021, 08:47:07 AM »
We used one stereo machine for two mono tracks, then added by bouncing that onto a second stereo machine. Stereo stuff always came last mainly using stereo mic. Or we'd play back into a room from one machine plus a casette player via several amps and speakers placed in a room, while playing live to it, and then record everything with stereo mic and room ambience onto the second machine .This was in my teens and back then I was always the guy in charge of all the technical side. -- Four-track, stereo equalizers and guitar effects came a bit later for me and I'd cut open many cables for fast and flexible routing, parallel processing and stereorization. All unbalanced and unshielded of course for that extra noise and warmth, hahaha ;)  -- Lou, thanks again.


 

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