Mixtape Meets Mashup: 16 Tracks Mixed Live in an Audio Visual Extravaganza

In their latest video, Ithaca Audio mixes 16 tracks live on a 23-year-old Tascam tape machine, blending music by Etta James, Deadmau5, and more. The project was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the cassette tape, which Ithaca calls the “format that brought us mixtapes and the birth of home sampling culture.” The mashup is so precisely timed, as you can see in the video below, that it’s hard to believe it’s live. Chris Evans-Roberts, who created the mix and the video with Andy Rae, explains how they did it:

Before using the tape we prepared 16 tracks of loops on the computer. These were time stretched and pitch-shifted so that they all looped in sync with each other and were in the same key. These loops were then recorded onto the 16 tracks on the Tascam tape machine. All 16 tracks loop continuously when the tape machine plays back. By using the mute buttons at the bottom of the machine we can control which of the loops are heard at any one time. The amount of vocal parts did mean that we needed to be very accurate with bringing various tracks in and out. In the end we devised our own type of score to help with structuring the performance.

(Reprinted from The Atlantic)

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