Cassette Flaws | ImageHive

Cassette Flaws


The compact cassette format experienced some significant pitfalls in design. One of the major issues is the variance of tape speed of devices, resulting in playback pitch that is either too high or low. This is compounded when playing tapes that were recorded with a substandard machine on another poorly calibrated player. Our machines are calibrated and aligned to ensure that no error in playback speed is induced in the transfer process.

Another concern is the presence of wow and flutter. These are two terms for essentially the same thing: cyclical pitch fluctuations. A slow oscillation is referred to as wow. A quick oscillation is called flutter. There are a number of causes, but it is often a result of the tape rubbing somewhere in the cassette case itself, or even somewhere along the tape path of the machine.

The presence of noise is inherent in every analog tape format. Professional reel to reel formats minimize noise very effectively by using high tape speeds, and in some cases using analog noise reduction technology. Cassette tapes use an exceedingly slow playback speed, which causes a very pronounced hiss to be added to the audio signal. In some cases analog noise reduction technologies may be present on your tapes. We have the proper decoding equipment and can determine which type to use to get the best results for your transfer. In any case, we also have great digital noise reduction tools we can utilize once your transfer is in the digital domain. If you want the best possible noise reduction, choose our professional level transfer.