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worrior
21-03-2005, 09:48 AM
My minidisc recently broke. Unable to afford a new one let alone a fancy ipod gizmo, I've dug out my battered but much-loved Walkman. Rediscovered loads of great tapes and two sides of an album.
Seeing a much trendier friend he tells me Walkmans are the new cool. What with every tom dick and harry jogging around with white earpieces, Walkmans are apparently the new retro chic. Is this true?

martin
21-03-2005, 10:19 AM
Yep. Cassettes are going to make a major resurgence. The best Walkmans to be seen with are Panasonic, Sharp and Sony WM-F10s.

As well as being hip, you'll also be saving your brain from whatever vile tumours, yet unreported by scientists, that iPods produce (probably).

Don't forget to write down song titles on your J-card - this will help you remembner what's on each tape. A blue biro is recommended for "I'm chillin'" ultra cool kudos (red biro's more "I'm a perky, upbeat sort - dig my tracks!" ; black biro's "I'm chilled out too, but I do take my music very seriously"). You can also customise this by adding little stickers on the cassette, or putting a large cross through the 'Noise Reduction' box and scribbling NO WAY by the side

Rachel Verinder
21-03-2005, 10:23 AM
Watch the price of 2nd-hand tapes at MVE go back up to a tenner then!

john eden
21-03-2005, 10:38 AM
I reckon there's scope for all the audiophiles to chime in with stuff about how they can hear the "warmth" in the oxide and how you don't get that from mp3s.... definitely scope for those original sony walkman headphones with big bits of sponge on them and a thin bit of steel going over your head.

john eden
21-03-2005, 10:41 AM
http://www.ieee-virtual-museum.org/media/DGiAeMFPgy2e.jpg

http://www.geocities.co.jp/MusicStar-Vocal/6864/menu/B-TOPIC/Vol1withMom.jpg

Rachel Verinder
21-03-2005, 10:42 AM
My set, originally purchased in 1981, is still in perfect working order, as astonishingly is the Walkman which came with it (oh, that grey industrial 1981 steel look).

martin
21-03-2005, 10:50 AM
Does anyone remember that noise you used to get at the beginning of major label tapes, that sort of swooping beeps sound? It was meant to deter us from home taping, I think, but how exactly I'm not sure.

Let's face it, the only reason vinyl wasn't scrapped altogether in 1987 was cos DJs like to line up their coke on the grooves

hint
21-03-2005, 10:52 AM
so very "now" (that's what I call music) (http://c-90.nm.ru/tapes.htm)

puretokyo
21-03-2005, 10:55 AM
John Eden: Damn that thing is hot. I'm feeling all flushed. I just got my Shuffle today and now I feel like a tosser.

john eden
21-03-2005, 10:58 AM
Does anyone remember that noise you used to get at the beginning of major label tapes, that sort of swooping beeps sound? It was meant to deter us from home taping, I think, but how exactly I'm not sure.

I always thought it was some kind of quality control thing?

Stupid gimmicks part one:

One major label issued their cassette albums recorded on one side - with the other side blank for your to record "your own music" (cos you couldn't encourage people to record other people's music, now could you?)

Stupid gimmicks part two:

Some group issuing a 4-track version of their cassingle (nice!) i.e. for playing on 4-track tape decks so that people could mix it themselves. I remember being fascinated by this, but obviously never bought it cos I figured it wouldn't work on my music centre at home...

Rachel Verinder
21-03-2005, 11:01 AM
I have an ancient tape of Music For Airports (Ambient 1) by Eno, and there is this strange, cyclical bleeping and undulating high-pitched (but vaguely melodic) whine which goes through both sides which I am not entirely convinced was not put there by Eno himself. On the newly remastered CD reissue, the whine is absent.

martin
21-03-2005, 11:12 AM
I always thought it was some kind of quality control thing?

.

Maybe it was - I don't have a clue, really. I did like the 'Home Taping is Killing Music' symbols though (so did Bow Wow Wow). What I also loved about tapes was the instant ability to produce your own mixes, it's quite a skill and takes a deft hand to manipulate those record/pause/rewind buttons you know (he says vaguely tongue in cheek). Used to be able to knock out 'Punky Reggae Party' comps, to be honest, I don't personally have the equipment or patience to learn how to mix on a computer, tho 'nice one' to those who do.

john eden
21-03-2005, 11:20 AM
Zang Tuum Tumb were KINGS of the cassingle.

(He says, talking to himself).

john eden
21-03-2005, 11:21 AM
Maybe it was - I don't have a clue, really. I did like the 'Home Taping is Killing Music' symbols though (so did Bow Wow Wow). What I also loved about tapes was the instant ability to produce your own mixes, it's quite a skill and takes a deft hand to manipulate those record/pause/rewind buttons you know (he says vaguely tongue in cheek). Used to be able to knock out 'Punky Reggae Party' comps, to be honest, I don't personally have the equipment or patience to learn how to mix on a computer, tho 'nice one' to those who do.

It was called something pseudo scientific wasn't it? The "something something system"

The blurb went alongside all that guff about Dolby.

martin
21-03-2005, 11:24 AM
Also, industrial bands, don't waste your money on effects boxes etc, just tape a load of shortwave interference off the radio - hey presto, you're ready to play a gig - just hook the tape up to a speaker and have 2 band members standing around at the back in semi-darkness, pretending to do things - and shout into a microphone - frees up your time to concentrate on making gruesome photomontages and manifestos, the audience were probably going to boo you anyway.

ryan17
21-03-2005, 11:27 AM
Seeing a much trendier friend he tells me Walkmans are the new cool. What with every tom dick and harry jogging around with white earpieces, Walkmans are apparently the new retro chic. Is this true?



This is true. I don't think they will make a comeback exactly but i do think all of the 'true' people will be using them. In reality though its the ones that haven't stopped using them that are at the front of the pack. I had my walkman stolen in high school and haven't gotten one since (i was so upset) so yeah i am stuck with the IPod and feel a bit silly, oh well. I am jealous.

martin
21-03-2005, 11:29 AM
It was called something pseudo scientific wasn't it? The "something something system"

The blurb went alongside all that guff about Dolby.

Remember Thomas Dolby? Funny how he tried to make his name sound like he was some sci fi man-machine interface born of radical sound technology - but now sounds as redundant and naff as the Gola League (his records were rubbish too).

matt b
21-03-2005, 11:49 AM
get the best of both worlds:
http://www.retropod.com/

Diggedy Derek
21-03-2005, 12:24 PM
Watch the price of 2nd-hand tapes at MVE go back up to a tenner then!


Hah, yeah, I wouldn't put it past him.

stevienixed
21-03-2005, 12:39 PM
I remember reading a few years ago that having no mobile was the new cool. Whatever. I never much cared for a minidisc. Have one which is gathering dust somewhere in the attic. Everyone I know who has a minidisc has had his/her minidisc break down at least once. Very costly to repair so I switched to a walkman again until I got a mini ipod.

Anyway, read some place that most factories have stopped making tapes?!? Is this true?

adruu
21-03-2005, 01:35 PM
never seen a minidisc last more than a year or two. they are completely worthless, and well in line with the fact that sony makes attractive design object products that are compelete shit on the insides...

I got a Rio Chiba ($60) recently for subway needs...cheap, expandable to 1Gig (who really needs more?), a little slow transfers, but worth every penny. did the walkman thing for the past two years.

xero
21-03-2005, 01:45 PM
Zang Tuum Tumb were KINGS of the cassingle.

(He says, talking to himself).

I hear you - those FGTH cassette singles were the first music I ever purchased I think, not having yet got a turntable by that point (apart from the fisher price of course) the artwork was lavish for tape

Dubquixote
21-03-2005, 02:05 PM
Personally I can't wait for 80's nostalgia to end. Do we really have to return to battery-guzzling machines and tapes that get warped in the sun for the sake of fashion? I'll take my 10,000 songs in my pocket over that any day, while my dusty box of REM cassettes collects dusts in the basement

mind_philip
21-03-2005, 02:46 PM
Last year when I was among the employed and went to work on the bus every morning, because of abject poverty I dug out my old walkman to listen to on the journey. As I hadn't used it since I was about 16 (circa 1995) all the tapes dated from back then too. Cue much uncomfortable musical nostalgia as 'Toys for Boys' by Marion and other such forgotten 'gems' performed a more than respectable job of reminding me exactly how I felt as a 16 year old. It was quite a fun game all in all though, the lack of inlay cards or description on the tapes turning it into a musical tombola... 'which formative moment am I going to be thrust back to tonight, Matthew?'

john eden
21-03-2005, 02:54 PM
Last year when I was among the employed and went to work on the bus every morning, because of abject poverty I dug out my old walkman to listen to on the journey. As I hadn't used it since I was about 16 (circa 1995) all the tapes dated from back then too. Cue much uncomfortable musical nostalgia as 'Toys for Boys' by Marion and other such forgotten 'gems' performed a more than respectable job of reminding me exactly how I felt as a 16 year old. It was quite a fun game all in all though, the lack of inlay cards or description on the tapes turning it into a musical tombola... 'which formative moment am I going to be thrust back to tonight, Matthew?'

That sounds mad. I think a lot of people's tapes do hark back to a particular era cos most people gave up on them when CDs arrived. Gutterbreakz did a few blog entries about unearthing tapes, didn't he?

I remember being a in a squat once where they had a pile of tapes in the middle of the room with no labels on - they just stuck a random tape on when the current one had finished. Hippies. ;)

martin
21-03-2005, 03:40 PM
I like the way this thread has become as much about emotional responses as technological pros and cons/

I think what CD-Rs can't replicate is the ability to capture sound and allow instant replay. Sure tape gets chewed up and mangled, but then CD-Rs skip, get warped, tend to fuck up more frequently than factory pressed CDs, etc. Last year I listened to some Thin Lizzy tapes (all originals) from the 70s which my sister had bought as a teenager, and they all played fine.

Undeniably, there's still plenty of people who aren't benefiting from digital recording, either because they can't afford it or shy away from it, seeing it as too much hassle to install and operate. Which, unfortunately, means that for every new artist who cropped up 3 or 4 years ago, saturating mp3.com with their product and praising this 'revolutionary' new way of reaching a broader public than before, there'd be umpteen others struggling with 'outdated' means of production who'd never be heard. It's easy for people to slag a waste culture that demands constant mobile phone upgrades and the ditching of perfectly functioning computers, but even so, tapes have long been a stigma. Recently, I've been trying to make a tape to tape copy of a reggae cassette for a member on here, and have found it just as hard to borrow a machine as I did when I started buying Cds (I didn't have a CD player at first, and had to get someone to tape them for me).

It also seems that tapes would be preferable for those wishing to conduct experiments with cut-ups and even ritual music. Obviously , this isn't limited to tapes. One really interesting post I read on 'Dubversion' blog concerned putting various images into some sort of sonic programme, and producing odd noises that varied from JPEG to JPEG. But in cases like this, where digital finesse is not that necessary compared to the essence of capturing the moment, tapes win hand down.

hint
21-03-2005, 05:04 PM
I think we're effectively skipping a generation when it comes to home recording. standalone CD burners were never that big, really, for the reasons you mention - it was never as spontaneous as whacking in a tape and hitting record.

but there are already portable products out there, like the i-river, which can record audio straight to disk, and this kind of technology is only going to get cheaper. affordable, straighforward digital audio recording will soon be available to many more people, whether it be in the form of software or standalone hardware devices.

imagine if there were a big red button in itunes which you could press to record whatever signal you have playing through your computer - radio streams or external signals plugged into an input jack, for example. such programs exist, of course, but I think there needs to be some kind of integration with apps like itunes, so you don't have to go through the process of recording, moving the file, then converting to MP3.

mms
21-03-2005, 06:48 PM
most lovely ztt cassette single,
power of love frankie goes to hollywood. single in a wee cardboard box covered in hearts, impossible to get the cassette box back in afterwards, lovely snowy building on the cover, the power of love, and then them talking sweary bollocks.ace!
http://www.frankie-say.co.uk/mycollection80casssingle.htm

*frankie computer game oh my gosh!

ps anyone have that record by pete shelley, rushen production xl1 which had a zxspectrum game. you had to tape it off the vinyl onto a cassette and sync it up with the record

believekevin
21-03-2005, 08:10 PM
I've been up on this for a year! Written whilst temping in downtown Boston corporate offices:


Quick Fashion Note (http://crashingjets.nu/blog/?p=149)
Friday, June 11th, 2004
In reaction to the ubiquitous slim+trim mp3 players all over corporate America, I’ve taken to wearing an absurdly large tape/FM walkman on my belt. It makes me feel cyberpunk. Do this.

hamarplazt
21-03-2005, 08:52 PM
Whatever. I never much cared for a minidisc. Have one which is gathering dust somewhere in the attic. Everyone I know who has a minidisc has had his/her minidisc break down at least once.
I've had no problems with mine, and I've had it for years now... and it was even bought second hand. Well, the remote broke when I stepped on it, but no problems except for that. Still use my walkman as well.

mms
21-03-2005, 09:26 PM
I've had no problems with mine, and I've had it for years now... and it was even bought second hand. Well, the remote broke when I stepped on it, but no problems except for that. Still use my walkman as well.

is it a sharp one, the sharp ones are better than the sony ones,
i liked mine, had a stereo mic for it which was amazing and i used to record stuff, i'm interested in getting a hi-mini disc but no one i know has used one and i don't know if they are any good.

artdamages
21-03-2005, 09:35 PM
i listen to a lot of tapes mostly in my car. dont know if this is chic. lately i've been into Pet Shop Boys Actually, Monk Chants and an accidental dub version of <i>janet.</i>

hamarplazt
22-03-2005, 06:10 PM
is it a sharp one, the sharp ones are better than the sony ones.
It's a sony.

DigitalDjigit
22-03-2005, 06:32 PM
Showing that I am once again totally out of step :) I just recently got a minidisc so that I could record my mixes and stop listening to tapes in my car. I wonder why minidisc never got off the ground. They've been around since 1992 and are still the best portable music solution. You can record easily from any source and the media is cheap and rewritable.

I always preferred tapes to CD's for random mixes. It's that lack of ability to easily fast forward, the fact that if you take it out and put it back in you resume at the same spot and the disposability (re-recordability) of tapes that made them suited for that. There's a slightly mysterious element to them.

LRJP!
22-03-2005, 06:44 PM
so very "now" (that's what I call music) (http://c-90.nm.ru/tapes.htm)

That is amazing! Fantastic!!

I was big, big into my tape Walkmen up until about this time last year, when i finally managed to kill a bargain basement mid-range Sony one. I don't know what it is, but i can just destroy these things without even trying; hence i'm shit scared of getting an Ipod, i mean what happens when you break one of those? It shatters into those little safety glass pebbles? Implodes? Sues You?

Having spent about 10 years solid plugged in i thought i was going to go nuts without protable music, but actually i find i just listen to everything else. And i mean listen as if i was listening to music... maybe i'd have done this anyway, but it feels like i've just programmed myself.

Mind this has it's drawbacks as the kids round here have taken to playing Happy Hardcore MP3s on their phones, without headphones. I wouldn't be so bad if the sound wasn't so goddamn tinny; all the bass is absorbed in the grasp of their hand. The audiophile in me just doesn’t get it – even they can’t be enjoying this sound, can they?

Ness Rowlah
23-03-2005, 04:25 AM
The only reason vinyl wasn't scrapped altogether in 1987 ...

A good vinyl pressing played on my half-decent deck sounds better than CD
in my ears. We are talking normal "What Hifi" type of kit - not "Audiophile".

One of those heavyweight hi-fi magazines recently did some testing -
vinyl versus SACD and DVD-audio (the new "super CD" formats).
Vinyl still came out tops.

CD/MP3 - sure more convenient and portable and all that. And good enough. But not better.
Much like photography - digital cameras are good
enough and very convenient, but analogue ones are still better.

HowStuffWorks has some simple stuff on this -
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question487.htm


Do we really have to return to battery-guzzling machines

The exact reason I have never bought a laptop. A computer with 2 hours battery life?
What's the point?


ps anyone have that record by pete shelley, rushen production xl1 which had a zxspectrum game. you had to tape it off the vinyl onto a cassette and sync it up with the record

XL-1. Sure - I can tape it from vinyl to MiniDisc to MP3 and send it to you so you can convert from MP3 to
casette to play it on your Spectrum ... ;-)

MiniDiscs - still have two working Panasonic MDs. The problem with the first one was the remote
cable, wear and tear (it would have to be military spec to not be worn out).
The second one is still going strong though after 3 years of heavy use (although I do have one of
these white things I carry iRound now - but I absolutely refuse to wear those white headphones.).

Also on MD - I reckon they might be very good for "field recordings" - much like DAT in the olden days.
A couple of times lately (last seeing Moebius/Roedelius) I wish I was that guy in the movie "Diva".
I met a guy at Fabric (the Norwegian gig, not the grime-do) who
said that his "private MD recording" of Molvær live was much better than "Streamer", MP3 recordings are still crap from what I read compared to MD.

Sony basically killed the MD format themselves, a useless corporation - bound to get even
worse with their new Welsh chairman. Not because he is Welsh, just because he comes
from the content division (read DRM) - not the electronics division within Sony ...

Randy Watson
23-03-2005, 08:06 AM
I've been happily using a sony minidisc player for the last 3.5yrs with no problems and I never had a walkman that lasted as long. It's a good format but it was introduced too close to CD to take off in the pre-recorded market.

Backjob
23-03-2005, 08:24 AM
Minidisc was essential to the development of carioca funk, according to DJ Marlboro. All the brazilians used to use it as it was a simple, cheap, good quality recording method that allowed producers to pass their stuff to DJs. Only stopped using it recently when the cost of cd burners dropped, apparently.

The only reason I stopped using mine is it takes too long to record all the stuff you want to listen to. Other than that, it was superior to the iPod in every way (smaller too, and doesn't pause irritatingly whenever you jiggle the headphone jack).

Rambler
23-03-2005, 11:53 AM
Been using my Sony minidisc for about 3 or 4 years now. Still running good (and I'd like to see the first iPod battery that lasts that long ;) ), but I think the heads need a clean (anyone know how to do this?). I've got loads of stuff on discs, and since it's audio rather than digital transfer, you can cunningly get around every DRM regulation on the planet using just a simple phono cable :D

I'll be very pissed off when they become redundant though - I spent months transferring my tape collection to MD when my cassette deck died.

mms
26-06-2005, 08:21 PM
http://soundresearch.narod.ru/engcassettedj.htm

a russian cassette dj with mixes!

minikomi
27-06-2005, 05:31 AM
http://sparror.cubecinema.com/adam/z/PXL2000.jpg

tryptych
30-06-2005, 02:56 PM
On the topic of cassette DJing, if you haven't seen this you really should...

The Cassette Jockey World Championships:

http://www.post-data.org/cassette/

They only seemed to get as far as doing one in 2003.. dunno what happened to them after that.

From their FAQ:

"What are some of the techniques that competitors used last year?
-- To name a few, CJ Larry made some loop tapes from released recordings and rubbed off parts of
the tape to get different rhythms; CJ Yergy Yelevi removed a tape head from a tape deck, mounted it
on a pencil, and then "scratched" it back and forth over some suspended tape; CJ Howard Stelzer used
some hand-held cassette players with mics and speakers to generate feedback (while using only Billy
Joel tapes for source material); CJ LeDeuce used his four-track to play slow, ambient style washes
mixed with half-speed Lionel Richie; CJ Freakface dressed up in a clown suit, played lots of eurodance
hits, and pumped his fist (and came in third)."

3underscore
30-06-2005, 03:19 PM
Been using my Sony minidisc for about 3 or 4 years now. Still running good (and I'd like to see the first iPod battery that lasts that long ;) )

Hmm, my six year old, original model recordable version gave up in November. It refused to work, no explaination at all. Wouldn't charge or play. I was gutted.

My brother bought me an ipod when he came back from the US though. i don't use it that much at the moment, to be honest.

bruno
02-06-2006, 03:45 AM
my dead walkman, which sounded perfect until i dropped it from a height of two metres onto a marble floor. incredibly it survived the fall intact, a testament to the former glory of sony (r.i.p).

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u167/bccscl/dss/sony-dd-1a.jpg

they really thought of everything

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u167/bccscl/dss/sony-dd-2a.jpg

Tweak Head
02-06-2006, 02:39 PM
Minidisc is pretty good - still use it in the car, but I prefer MP3 now. What I really, really don't get though is people still using CD walkmans ... it's too big for a pocket so they have to hold it in their hands, it jogs easily and the CDs are relatively bulky to carry around. Just totally useless. Tape would be better.

SIZZLE
03-06-2006, 06:14 PM
I also found MD players to be a bit too fragile, but I am also a chronic breaker of things. I had a sharp one that I dropped once, while I was sitting on a park bench, not a hard fall at all but that was all it took.

I do like the MD format tho, we actually recorded a few tunes on it at one stage when our DAT machine broke and I was quite pleased with the sound.

I also haven't bought an iPod because I don't want to pay so much for something so small, expensive and breakable that can't record, also that thing about the batteries dying is just ridiculous and an eco-nightmare.

These days I have a little sony mp3 discman which is quite satisfying EXCEPT for the lack of scrubbing functionality, really annoying when I'm listening to long single file radio sets. I also like very much that I can play audio CDs on it as well.

Speaking of cassette DJing one of the best I ever heard was Jammer. Driving around in the car listening to old Nasty crew tapes he would do constant rewinds any time he heard a lyric that he felt we needed to hear again with spot on precision and timing, if he had had two of them he could have done turntablist type beat juggling.