• Band CDs on Instagram
  • Band CDs on Facebook
  • Band CDs on Twitter
  • Band CDs on Spotify

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.

View other Frequently Asked Questions

What our customers say

4.8/5.0 on Facebook

All I can do is highly recommend this amazing company, Band CDs!! Helpful every step of the way with all my last minute changes, quick to put my mind at ease by answering all my questions, very fast delivery time and superb products that I am over the moon with!! Seriously guys, you ROCK!!! Thanks again and again...read more
Dave Dunbar
Dave Dunbar
2019-07-01T10:13:32+0000
Amazing service and lovely staff. Always go above and beyond. Band CD's produce all of our cassette's for This City Is Ours Records and they always come out looking better than we could have thought. Can't recommend enough.read more
Terry Dactyl
Terry Dactyl
2019-06-27T11:27:56+0000
TT fortnight on the Isle of Man means the biggest gigs of the year for local bands and a chance to be heard by many visitors from all over the world. Our EP was late being mastered and as such we couldn't order our CD's until the last minute. BandCDS worked wonders and turned around our order in double quick time. The product is fantastic and the service excellent!!!😁😁read more
Ian Astill
Ian Astill
2019-06-03T11:41:11+0000
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
Read all our customer reviews on Facebook
Bands & Artists we've worked with

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