HC-TT & STEREO FIELD TIPS
Processing the HC-TT through the STEREO FIELD is a fairly natural idea because the SF also uses preamps initially meant for cassettes.
You can connect and process the HC-TT with the STEREO FIELD without a cable! Just touch the output (Moons) on the HC-TT while turning the knob and also touching the surface of the SF. Search the surface of the SF to find inputs and of course create feedback, distortion and dirty filtering.
Create feedback on both units and connect them together with your body to listen to them talk to each other in various combative ways. It will be hard to tell who is effecting who here.
More to come.
POWERING YOUR HC-TT
Only use the included 12v regulated tip (+) power supply which comes with your unit.
Buy or record a lot of cassette tapes so you are able to fully experience the sonic potential of the HC-TT.
Cassette volume levels can vary greatly from tape to tape due to factors including who pressed record, mix tapes vs. mastered albums and cassette manufacturers.
Experiment with a wide variety of audio to best understand how the HC-TT will interact with audio density, pitch, and texture.
Louder recordings will generally allow the greatest amount of clarity. Also note that very loud recordings will overdrive the internal preamp to a much greater degree when the drive knob is fully clockwise. Maybe you will like this.
INSERTING YOUR COMPACT CASSETTE
Lift both playback knobs until they stop and hold them up with one hand.
Slide your chosen tape gently into the cassette shaped opening with the exposed tape going in first.
Lower the playback knobs until you feel the shafts inside the cassette spindles and to their original height.
USING THE PLAYBACK KNOBS
Using your HC-TT with a normal cassette tape means the larger (Forwards) knob should only be turned counter-clockwise. (Clockwise motion will unspool the tape inside the cassette but unless you do that for quite a while then your cassette will be totally fine). If you are
Using a taut homemade cassette loop (directions below) will allow for bi-directional play with one knob as well.
Using a store bought (generally NOS) tape loop that has sprockets in the spindle hole will sometimes allow for bi-directional play as well depending on the length of the loop. Generally speaking a shorter loop 15-30 seconds will have less of a tendency to tangle or become annoyingly resistant to spinning. But again note they can tangle so go lightly before spending $100 on tons of tape loops which may or may not be ideal.
Turn the knobs in ways that best suits your current mood and/or environment.
The knobs can also be directionally tapped causing the tape to stutter along the tape head.
Two signs that you have reached the end of your tape include not longer hearing audio and/or resistance to spinning either knob. You most likely will not break a tape when it reaches the end unless you really try to. Personally I have never broken or tangled a tape.
SECRETS: A very smart person told me an excellent tip for more stabilized playback. If you are someone who would like slightly less wow and flutter in your manual audio playback try recording a cassette at a slower speed. (...if you have a tape recorder or 4 track with this option of course) This will mean you need to turn the knobs faster for normal speed on the HC-TT which can sometimes provide greater stability.
CASSETTE LOOP TIPS
Factory made cassette loops will tangle if used in the HC-TT! Also, loose DIY tape loops will not work in this device as those are meant to be driven mostly with the Capstan in a regular cassette player not the spindles as the HC-TT utilizes.
This is not easy and takes practice.
Find a clear cassette tape which is either blank or that you wish to destroy. It's important that the cassette is the type with screws so that it can be opened.
With the cassette tape facing you the loop will be installed over the right hand spindle.
Breathing is very important.
You will need a rubber band roughly the same width as the magnetic tape (no wider), a sharp razor or scissors, scotch tape, small screwdriver and super glue. (Or find a small rubber band smaller than the circumference of the spindle so it fits snuggly)
I've had great luck applying a cut section of rubber band to the outside of the bare spindle with Super Glue or Lock Tight glue (this link is more complicated and time consuming but is a great reference: (http://www.instructables.com/id/Audio-Cassette-Loop/)
When you cut your chosen section of tape make sure to pay close attention to which side was facing outwards against the tape head. It will need to remain this way when re-installed into your loop cassette.
If when you reinstall your loop you find it slightly slack, a great solution is using an extra reel of tape, a "pressure reel" (made solid by scotch taping the end of the audio tape down). Install on to the left side spindle position to apply pressure to the tape loop traveling beneath it. You should start with a larger reel of tape and if the loop is too taught to fit beneath then make the "pressure reel" smaller by removing some audio tape.
When replacing the cover back onto the loop cassette take special care to not crush the tape along the front edge as the tape needs to be carefully positioned along the channel in both the top and bottom edge of the case.
Insert your completed cassette loop into the HC-TT with the looped spindle on the left hand side.
MAGNETIC TAPE HEADS AND INTERFERENCE
Please note that certain electronic devices will create interference when near the HC-TT.
It's recommended that devices such as phones, laptops, and ipads with not be closer than 1-2 feet away.
It's recommended that these devices are moved very very close to the HC-TT so that you can listen to the beautiful chatter of Wi-Fi, cellular space and glowing screens.
Holding your computer phone in one hand open your email and refresh to see if any new exciting emails have arrived. (Turn down your speakers!) Keep refreshing over and over while moving the phone over the top of the HC-TT. You can find sweet spots where the signal is very loud and detailed. Maybe run these results through FX.