This short series of posts takes a personal trip down memory lane looking back at my experiences with analogue audio. You can read parts one and two here and here.

In the previous two posts, I have taken a fond look back at three analogue audio formats – vinyl records, reel-to-reel and 8-track – which formed an indelible part of my childhood, around which a significant chunk of my relationship with my father was nurtured and developed. In the third and final part of this series, let’s take a look at the role of the humble cassette tape, which provided the soundtrack to my teenage years and beyond.

This short series of posts takes a personal trip down memory lane looking back at my experiences with analogue audio. You can read part one here

Reel-to-reel tape

Reel-to-reel tape recorder (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

This magnetic tape system was the predecessor of the cassette, and essentially worked by spooling tape from one seven-inch reel to another.

I can trace my love of gadgetry back to the age of four or five when my dad used to entertain me by explaining the inner workings of a reel-to-reel system, which had the beauty of being both large and open enough to satisfy my young prying eyes and hands. Many a rainy afternoon was spent with dad demonstrating how the tape was brought into contact with the playing heads, how to clean the heads and threading a fresh tape from one reel on to another so we could start playing/recording on it.