Underground taping phenomenon Hal McGee is curating a microcassette-only compilation, and has opened a blog, Dictaphonia, to lay the process out for the public:
“One of the emphases of this project is to highlight the microcassette as a unique audio art format with its own unique properties. Participants are urged to bear in mind the particular and peculiar characteristics of the microcassette format, such as limited dynamic range (usually 400-4000Hz), low fidelity, and tape noise and hiss.”
This is something I like to hear– rather than coming up with a work-around for microcassette format limitations, embrace them! I’ve got a decent history with these machines, starting way back with my ~Ore~ radio broadcasts, which often featured multiple microcassette players/recorders in constant use. Two of my compositions specifically for microcassette recorders ended up on a Sounds From the Pocket comp, and most recently, my two Naked Arrival releases featured heavy use of microcassette recording (and indeed, were partially released on in this format as well!)
Anyhow, I sent in my submission yesterday. “Keeping My Hand In” features my first underwater microcassette recordings, using struck bowls as a sound source. It was a lot of fun, and is sort of a blatant nod to the “underwater” sound a lot of microcassettes end up having by the first or second generation anyway. By the time Hal is through (my tape > main master > dub) I expect these floating chimes will sound more like primitve dinosaur spacecraft!