Tag Archives: tape loops

A Journey in Audio Editing History: Part 2

As seen in part 1 (posted here), inertia inherent to mechanical parts of a tape machine prevents seamless playback of audio fragments scattered along the tape. A solution to this problem involves physically cutting tape and joining splices to create a new sequence as required.

A similar problem, and solution, occur when trying to seamlessly repeat an audio segment multiple times, a technique called “playing a loop”. Usually a loop requires accurate alignment of its boundaries, in order to create a correct rhythmic pattern or anyway a continuous texture.

With a reel-to-reel machine, this is again a matter of razor blades and sticky tape.

Here is how to make a tape loop with analog tape, recreating in this tutorial the intro of the song “Money” from the album “The Dark Side of the Moon” (Pink Floyd, 1973).

Now back to the Sixties. Here lovely Delia Derbyshire, at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, shows how to layer multiple loops by tapping transport buttons on the beat. Amazing.