Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reel to Real

Here's another tidbit, and a slight spoiler about Every time I Think of You.

One of the retro aspects of the book is how one of the main characters, Everett, sends cassette tape mixes to his amour, Reid.

According to this Wall Street Journal article, some people still like cassette mixes.

So do I, but I've been converting my old cassette mixes to Mp3s via the Audacity application. I can enjoy those magical mixes on my phone and iTunes. Most of them have a specific time-based set of memories (mostly the 1990s, when I made the majority of my cassette mixes).

The WSJ article is in complete contradiction to a Yahoo article claiming that cassettes will be among the top ten formats that'll be outmoded and junked by 2020.

The iniquities of those mixes are part of the fun, as mentioned in the WSJ article:
Most music lovers don't miss the hiss, the background noise caused when the tape passes over the playback head. "Listening to a cassette for quality is like driving a Smart Car in the Indy 500," says Bob Lefsetz, author of a music newsletter and blog, who says the cassette is a poor music medium.

The hiss is part of the magic for cassette lovers. "Tape hiss has the same amount of charm as a little crackle when listening to a record has," says Mr. Thordarson. "It makes it seem more real."
As with most of my novels, music plays a strong part in setting the scene. I even have music mixes for each novel, which I often play while doing rewrites.

But now, with modern technology, I can download YouTube videos, add the audio for a mix, and much more easily make an audio mix through a variety of editing applications.

But no, nothing beats the retro analog process of carefully selecting the songs one by one for a mix tape. Thus, the references to mix tapes in my fourth novel.

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