Recreating the sound of an old tape recording


Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2000
Hi all. I'm doing some sound design for a website and am looking for thoughts as to how to impart the sound of an old analog tape recording to the material. The premise is that this is a recording someone made documenting the ghostly cries of a mother who haunts a mountain, searching for her lost little girl. Thanks in advance for your ideas.


If you want to go all out with this I would say look at it in two steps. First recording the sound something like the way it would have been done during the original event that you are trying to create. Second playing it back as it would have happened during the fictitious replaying .

If you don't have an old cassette recorder you probably know someone who has one kicking around somewhere or you could get one for a couple of bucks from the Salvation Army or other second hand store. This I think would get you the best sound. Record with the cassette machine and then play it back and record it in stereo with a couple of nice mics so you have the sound of one of those crappy little speakers in a real room. Maybe someone saying something like "listen to this" and the click of the play button would give some contrast between the "real" playback and supposedly recorded ghost sounds.

If you don't want to get that involved I would just record the ghost noises from a bit of a distance with the worst mic you own or can borrow, then cut some top, bottom, and maybe add some squirrelly mids, a little distortion, and some hiss and call it done.