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Tape Decks Hacked So You Can Scratch Cassettes Like They're Records

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In the video above, audio nerd Jeremy Bell demonstrates his invention, the ScrubBoard, which allows him to scratch tapes with his hands as if they are records.

To make the ScrubBoard, Bell removed the tape head from a regular record player and reattached it using longer cables. Then he scratches the signal over some audio tape that's been laid flat on a board. When he drags the tape head on the tape it plays, and when he moves it back and forth rhythmically, it scratches as if it was a record. So clever.


One of the advantages to the ScrubBoard is that you don't have to hit the crossfader cut off the sound, you can just lift your finger off which means that you can scratch with two hands at once. Still, for a harder super fast cut like what the pros get with a mixer's kill switch, Bell hacked together a solution with just a couple of dimes and a clothes pin.

Bell's scratches in this video are very impressive. Even if the ScrubBoard in its current form isn't quite the most practical solution for scratching, it lets you get some very realistic effects without all of the hardware or even a ton of experience.


And of course, because it's only a half-baked idea, Bell has launched a Kickstarter to try to get a more user friendly, production quality version of the ScrubBoard off the ground. Unfortunately, Bell wants $300 for even the cheapest early bird model, which feels expensive despite being a lot more ambitious than his basic prototype. Even if you're not ready to shell out that much, you've got to admire the creativity behind the concept. [Kickstarter via Jeremy Bell via Fact]