Tapehead inspector plays magnetics manually

Tapeheadinspectorcase Crop

Glasgow sound-makers Roy Mohan Shearer and Jonnie Common built this excellent manual playback device as a gift for their bandmate Chris –

Simply a hack of the increasingly hard-to-source cassette walkman, I took out all the mechanics, hard-wired the tape circuit to ‘on’, lengthened the cable to the tapehead and housed the whole thing in a videotape casing. Jonnie built the instrument case/playing surface and then we made up a few audio tape ‘slides’ by recording some of Jonnie’s choice vinyl to tape and getting crafty with scissors and sticky tape! I am abridging greatly for brevity here – I maimed one walkman making the whole thing work and the overall instrument design was chewed over a few times over cups of tea at Jonnie’s house. We’re pretty pleased with the results and hope Chris enjoys inspecting his tapes!

That case alone makes for an awesome gift – well done!

Tapehead Inspector on Zero-Waste

Tapehead Inspector on Flickr

4 thoughts on “Tapehead inspector plays magnetics manually

  1. 30 years ago, performance artist Laurie Anderson did something like this with her invention of the tape-bow violin.

    She put a stretch of magnetic tape on the bow of a violin and a pickup head on the body of the violin. On “Home of the Brave”, she does this with one track, where she plays the phrase “Listen to my heart beat” (iirc) over and over with different samples of it and speeds.

  2. This little toy has some neat security applications as well! I bet you can use it to read mag stripe cards…

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