There’s nothing quite like the crumbling, grainy textures of sound played on tape.
Tape can coat sounds with a delicate aura unlike anything else, and learning to manipulate cassette recorder playback adds an extra unique tool to your production and performance arsenal.
One musician who uses these techniques to devastating effect is Alessandro Cortini. As a member of Nine Inch Nails and as a solo artist, his tape manipulations add a dreamy, enigmatic element to his elegiac synth compositions.
In a new video with Reverb, Cortini takes us through his workflow. Using a four-track, the synthesist plays a composition taken from his record Avanti to show how levelling and altering the recorder’s speed can be used to compelling effect.
Check out the video above.