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Frequently Asked Questions

How are the audio cassette tapes recorded and what is the quality like?

Cassette tape duplication recording setupUnlike a lot of duplicated cassettes that are recorded at high speed which can lose most of the top octave or two, we record ours in real time from a CD using high quality Tascam 302 and 322 decks that are regularly calibrated and serviced for the best recording quality. The master CD source is a Tascam CD-RW402 dual CD professional deck.

We run twenty eight active decks with another fifteen or so as serviced reserves, in the process of being serviced/repaired or being used for parts. We  replace the belts and pinch rollers for new items as necessary and oil the motors to help stabilise the wow and flutter as much as possible. This setup allows us to record over fifty cassette tapes in real time in a single batch.

The decks are fed by a stable UPS power supply to avoid power quality issues or power surges causing audio issues or damaging hardware.

On a daily basis the recording heads and capstans are cleaned and on a weekly basis the speeds and wow and flutter checked via our Leader wow and flutter meter. We aim for speeds from a 3kHz master test tape to be within 0.66% of true at 2.98-3.02kHz.

At least once a month the playback and recording head azimuth alignment is also checked with an oscilloscope and adjusted as necessary, plus the heads are demagnetised.

We also regularly listen to random recorded tapes from each batch to check audio quality and relative recording levels of the decks are also checked and peak dB is adjusted to on average be no more than +2/3dB for ferric tapes or +4/5dB on chrome tapes.

Cassette tape duplication racks of coloursPlease note that whilst we attempt to keep consistent sound recordings across all tapes, because we are using a large number of tape wells and even the newest decks are at least ten years old, there can be minor differences from tape to tape, most of which would only be picked up by direct tape-to-tape comparisons, but which will not be noticed by customers with a single copy. The cassette format was never a perfect media though and allowances need to be made in comparison to CDs or high quality digital files, however on a high quality cassette deck the sound can still be very good and the sound from cassettes (like with vinyl) is embraced by many artists and audio genres for helping give character and life to the recording.

As the tapes are recorded in real time from a master CD (which is a 16 bit audio source), if any digital audio files are sent over as 24 bit tracks then we will convert to 16 bit before recording. Our preference is for you to send us 16 bit 44.1kHz WAV files as these are exact CD audio quality.

If you have a specific sound you are looking to achieve or are worried about how your tapes will sound, we strongly recommend that you order a proof cassette before you go ahead with the order so that you know how your tapes are going to sound. Proof tapes do cost either £15+VAT for a fully printed copy or £10+VAT for an unprinted audio-only copy and take up to 5 days to get to you (longer if you are overseas). You can read more about cassette proofs here.

Nearly all of our cassettes use a standard high quality ferric tape, but for an additional £0.95+VAT we can record in real time onto a chrome tape, however this does normally restrict the shell colour options to white, black and clear cassettes as they have to have the notches in the tops of the shells for the decks to recognise the tape types, so it requires a specific type of shell.

Please contact us for further information.
Click here for the main cassette tape duplication page.

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What our customers say

4.8/5.0 on Facebook

Very helpful and very quick turn around time, Tom Guildford was particularly patient with my constant pestering and I’m very happy with the end product, which was well packaged and delivered safely.Thank you very much, and I hope to do business with you again in the future!read more
Shaun Stonard
Shaun Stonard
2019-05-03T16:53:42+0000
You can never go wrong with Band CDs. The tapes always look and sound amazing and the customer service is on point. I personally deal with Tom, who is an absolute star. He’s always quick to process my orders and does everything he can to meet my sometimes slim deadlines. On the rare occassion that there is an issue with my order, he gets that sorted at the speed of light too. Overall I just can’t recommend them enough, Band CDs is just the best at what they do, period.read more
Christian Lykke Hansen
Christian Lykke Hansen
2019-04-27T08:30:29+0000
I cannot recommend this service enough, the website layout is really consice and user friendly, and the guys at band cds are some of the most helpful I have encountered. The final product we were delivered was exactly what we were looking for and we could not be happier! 10/10 would use againread more
Thomas Shaun Brady
Thomas Shaun Brady
2019-04-26T09:26:59+0000
Great service - quick to respond and were very informative about my technical questions at the start. Products look fantastic and care is taken to deliver great products. If any issues arise (as can sometimes happen with old mediums like cassettes!) they are fixed very quickly, and professionally. I had used other very slightly cheaper companies for tapes and received awful products in the past, wouldn't go anywhere else now. Thanks to Paul for his help and support with each release.read more
Chris Le Monde
Chris Le Monde
2019-01-24T16:24:09+0000
On behalf of The Lack of Commitments we'd really like to thank Charlotte and the team for producing our live double album CD. We went for the vinyl CD look for our double album with a four page booklet. The quality, print and help was great. Thank you.read more
Dave Patrick
Dave Patrick
2018-12-03T20:03:31+0000
We absolutely LOVE Band CDs in our house. The service was quick, almost instant, friendly, and everything happened as it should. I would deffo recommend them. Just one teensy little thing...please get some mastering software that allows you to join tracks together. xread more
Stephen Butler
Stephen Butler
2018-11-23T16:11:49+0000
Excellent experience using these guys. I’m in a band called, Pulverise and we used Band CDs to print digi-packs of our debut album - Chaos Games. It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this and they supported us from the first contact to completion and delivered a beautiful product that we’re all proud of. Tom G is a legend! Thank you!read more
Vicky Reader
Vicky Reader
2018-10-03T14:57:15+0000
We printed our first release (Nordkväde) on tape here, the maltese cross folding cover looks amazing and we are really impressed by the all over print of the cassette. Most importantly the sound quality is great! We couldn't be happier with the result and great support they gave us when printing this product. Highly recommended!read more
Olle Olsson
Olle Olsson
2018-10-01T10:28:30+0000
Can't thank Charlotte and BandCDs for their help in turning my order for LIINES around so quickly and producing quality CDs. They answered my (many) questions by phone and email and nothing was too much bother. Can't wait to get these out to people who have ordered and to sell them at gigs. Thanks again.read more
Leila O'Sullivan
Leila O'Sullivan
2018-07-20T09:44:48+0000
Brilliant service and product . Couldn’t fault Charlotte who looked after our order, great advice and support with regards design etc . Would recommend any indie bands out there to use this company , you won’t be disappointed .read more
Kenny Martin
Kenny Martin
2018-06-12T11:50:32+0000
Band CDs has provided Brilleaux (New Zealand) with UK based CD production for all their tours of UK and Europe since 2013.Great service, innovative and impactful products, fast delivery and keen pricing make them our go-to partner for this part of our Merchandising strategy.Paul's customer-facing approach is like a breath of fresh-air - It's an *absolute pleasure* to do business with these guys!Highly recommended :-)read more
Rob Vernon
Rob Vernon
2018-04-15T11:27:23+0000
Thank you so much Band CDs team (Charlotte was the person who took care about my release😉) The artist KEYVANOTH and I are very pleased of the result and I deeply support Band CDs and will renew as soon as I can afford😊 thank you for your very nice photo and I'm pleased to have added some other one about this great product (the vinyl style CD with microgroove relief and deepl black reverse is awesome !) The CDs were safely delivered this afternoon. Many thanks.phoenixread more
Emmanuel Duchez
Emmanuel Duchez
2018-01-31T21:44:31+0000
I've had a 50 CD order for a classical music project. The audio quality was very high, and I loved the black vinyl CDs. The digipak printing was perfect, the staff was friendly and helpful, and overall it was a lovely experience. As a minor issue, I personally find the booklet pocket needlessly large, but that is a matter of taste. I would definitely recommend them. Many thanks for the professional services!read more
Maria Suciu
Maria Suciu
2017-09-27T14:17:18+0000
I've now had 4 different CDs produced by the Wizbit/BandCD team and can thoroughly recommend them for attention to detail, courteous and careful correspondence, good design advice, speedy service and high quality production. Absolutely no complaints!!read more
Andy Beaumont
Andy Beaumont
2017-09-13T20:44:41+0000
Can't rate BandCDs highly enough, 5 stars doesn't even come close, from day 1 they help me with every issue I had with my CDs right through to the final product, the range of products is also mind blowing , from normal everyday CDs to mini vinyl CDs which is what I opted for for my own release, there is something for everyone here, can I personally thank everyone at BandCDs for their excellent service and friendly approach, The Plastic Fantastic Ep was The Skalps first release and we will 100% return to BandCDs for future releases. Thank you from all at Skalps Hq.read more
Tommy Byrne
Tommy Byrne
2017-09-12T22:40:33+0000
Band CDs did a run of cassettes for me in August and they are beautiful. The full on-body printing is a great option and the quality of the J-cards is excellent. Delivery was very fast and the price quoted was extremely competitive. I have since ordered from them again.read more
James Griffin
James Griffin
2017-09-09T17:11:13+0000
Band CDs are doing an awesome work with tape manufacturing, their professionalism and efficiency is amazing and the tapes I received are high quality products and they know how to handle problems such as delivery issues. I ordered a batch of 50 tapes for my label, which was lost by the delivery service and after a few months of being in contact with the delivery service trying to locate the parcel, they sent me another batch of 50 tapes that they re-produced. Couldn't recommend Band CDs enough.read more
Maël Gilabert
Maël Gilabert
2017-03-13T20:44:07+0000
Excellent product, great customer service and did exactly what was asked for!! Thanks Charlotte for a great product and super duper service! Would highly recommend - Ian (Gone Savage) Check it out on our bandpage - facebook com gonesavageukread more
Ian Salpekar
Ian Salpekar
2016-10-27T13:00:28+0000
Can't recommend these guys enough. I worked closely with a chap called Michael at BandCDs on a small batch of cassette tapes. He was an absolute legend! His meticulous attention to detail was unlike anything else I've experienced from any of the printers/manufacturers I've dealt with in the past at other companies. He ensured that certain elements of the design lined up and also bent over backwards to make sure the colour of the printed J Cards matched nicely with the colour of the plastic cassette. Top this off with an extremely quick turnaround, high quality products, great sounding audio and all at the lowest price I could find anywhere online and you can see why it's smiles all round in my house! Great job, thanks again all! :)read more
Alex Foster
Alex Foster
2016-08-02T09:36:59+0000
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Bands & Artists we've worked with

We've manufactured products for some of the biggest bands and artists in the world...