Lou Ottens, Inventor of the Cassette Tape, Has Died

Lou_Ottens death

Lou Ottens, the inventor of the cassette tape, has died at age 94.

While working as an engineer for the Dutch-based Phillips in the 1960s, Ottens came up with the idea for the format to counter large reel-to-reel tapes that were not consumer-friendly. While lacking the same fidelity as reel-to-reels and vinyl, the format proved to be a big hit thanks to its economical price, portability and ability for users to record their own material.

He later helped bring to market consumer compact discs (CDs), a format that significantly improved audio fidelity and impacted the popularity of cassette tapes.

Ottens was the subject of a 2016 documentary, Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape, directed by Zack Taylor. Looking back on his invention, he quipped, “We expected [cassette tapes] to be a success, but not a revolution.”

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Sync 24 Recalls Last DJ Gig Before COVID-19 Lockdown

Sync 24

Throughout our Last DJ Set series, we’ve asked a range of artists — AlinkaDavid MoralesAlan OldhamSpencer Parker and Julia Bondar — to recall their last gig before government-ordered lockdowns and travel bans went into effect in March, forcing clubs and festivals to close.

As we inch closer toward the re-opening of clubs and festivals, we asked electro explorer Phil Bolland (a.k.a. Sync 24) of Cultivated Electronics to recall his last gig before lockdown. Continue Reading

Droolworthy Richie Hawtin Co-Designed DJ Mixer Will Set You Back $2,300

Richie Hawtin PLAYdifferently MODEL 1.4

PLAYdifferently MODEL 1.4, a DJ mixer engineered by Andy Rigby-Jones and co-designed by techno stalwart Richie Hawtin, will begin shipping this month. MODEL 1.4 arrives four years after the launch of the well-received MODEL 1 DJ mixer. It retails at $2,299/€2,199.

Manufactured in the U.K., the unit’s key features include four stereo channels, two stereo send and return channels, two mix outputs and two high-performance phono preamps. (A full list of features can be found below.)

Hawtin, who scored an original track titled “Sin Thetik” for Prada’s Spring-Summer 2021 virtual runway show streamed in September, said of the DJ mixer, “With MODEL 1 we set out to build a new breed of DJ mixer, more akin to an instrument, with levels of control and quality that inspired creativity. We always felt a compact version would be welcomed in home studios and perfect for streaming. At a more affordable price, but with no compromise to the purity of design and components, this is a smaller format MODEL 1 with four channels, perfect for the home, as a compact club mixer, or as a nimble tour instrument.”

He adds, “MODEL 1.4 remains true to our original concept of ‘DJ mixer as instrument’ and delivers it in a compact, more affordable package. I can’t wait to see and hear how it’s going to inspire the current generation of DJs.”

PLAYdifferently MODEL 1.4 key features:

    • 100% Analogue
    • 2 High-Performance Phono Preamps
    • Studio-grade TKD 60mm Faders
    • Precision Sculpting EQ
    • Master high & low pass resonant filters
    • Three-band Master EQ
    • Two-band Booth EQ
    • Contouring low & high pass filters
    • Analogue overdrive
    • Two Independent Cue systems
    • Mixer Link allows linking multiple mixers
    • Balanced Mix Bus with >110dB of dynamic range
    • D-Sub In/Out
    No paywalls, free to all. Help us remain 100% independent and unbiased. Please give to Big Shot by making a secure one-time donation to help us continue covering DJ culture and electronic music like we’ve done since 2003.