Cassette Tapes

Many of the sound tracks on this web site come off of cassette tapes (compact cassettes).

Cassette tape of Radio Veronica Anders Maaseik

Cassettes as used by consumers typically had a duration of 30 minutes or more on each side, and a tape leader of a few seconds. However, the cassettes used by radio stations were shorter (e.g. 1 or 5 minutes) and had no tape leader, so that the recording could be started immediatelly for a rewinded cassette.

Each jingle or commercial was recorded on a separate cassette, so that each possible consecutive combination of jingles or commercials could be programmed. As such, each studio had room at any time for at least 100 commercials.

The disc jockey or technician on duty had two or more cassette players available to play-back the various programmed jingles or commercials. Some recordings were very short (only a few seconds) so speed was of the essence. You could rather talk about cassette jockeys.

An often recurring order of recordings was that on the top of the hour:

  1. Time signal (official station call)
  2. Commercials start/end
  3. Commercial
  4. Commercial
  5. ...
  6. Commercials start/end
  7. Leader of the show

Later MiniDiscs were used. These were digital, so that the often-repeated playback would not affect the recordings (as it would for the cassette tapes, which can be clearly heard in many recordings on this web site). On MiniDiscs each recording had its own track, and the tracks could be programmed (playlist), so that the playback of various programmed jingles and commercials became much easier.

Later also a PC (personal computer) was used to program the MiniDisc player prior to each block of commercials. With a software application that was specially written for Lokale Radio Grafiek Maaseik that allowed to program jingles and commercials weeks in advance. This gave (for that time) a fairly reliable result, while other radio stations experienced recurring problems with the playback of music files from a PC. The technology was still very young.

Also see...:

Nice Noise

Nice Noise was a show on Thursday night with heavy metal music, sometime around 1994.

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