I recently bought myself an old audio cassette player; a PYE D6600 35P Automatic Data Recorder. This model is from the early 1980s (1981 to be precise I think) and it was intended for use with home computers and for recording spoken words. The model was produced by Phillips and Magnavox too, and is pretty much identical across all three manufacturers as a kind of attempt at standardisation. Phillips’ incarnations of the MSX home computer standard were often built in a way that made it easy to connect.
Also, courtesy of a neat website called TapeLine, I bought myself some factory new cassettes. While I have some old ones (and some old ones came with the player itself), I found myself wanting something a little bit special for certain uses. So I got four lovely melon-coloured green and pink ones, and this rad translucent neon green one too.
Now, while I fully intend to use it with a ZX Spectrum, I also thought to try my hand at lofi music production! My setup is pretty basic; cassette player on the line-out and line-in of my desktop PC, which is running FL Studio. Tossing Audacity in the mix there so that I can smudge stereo things to mono and back relatively easily, as the cassette recorder can only handle mono sound on the left channel. I also have a little MIDI controller, a SubZero MiniControl, that was also a second-hand purchase. It’s mostly there to help me fiddle with controls, and I also use it in game development too to tweak values on the fly. Everything packs up nicely into my desk drawer!
And yeah, about the lofi beats - you can listen to the result here, on my bandcamp page!