As I wave goodbye to analog recording (again) and open my arms (slightly reluctantly) to welcome the world of digital (again), I’ve been pondering what it is about the world of cassette recording I like so much. The question of quality is an irrelevant one to me, I really don’t think it matters. Each format has it’s own unique quality – like a lens filter, like polaroid film – I don’t really feel it’s an issue as long as an idea is captured. This in itself may be because of my age and living with/through a variety of formats but that’s a conversation for another time.
No, what I think it is I like about cassettes is their tangibility. I can hold them, I can see the reels turning round, the hand writing on the sleeve. I notice I feel the same about minidiscs too (and I love minidiscs) and I can’t see anything thing about them when I put them in the machine. But I still twirl the case in my hand, listening and jotting notes down in my MD notebook (I catalogue it all, just in case). It just seems more real. And that’s the one thing I really miss with digital.