A Clockwork Orange — Beethoven Mini-Cassette

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SquidMan

Well-Known Member
SS0zpL5.jpg


Ever since I first saw A Clockwork Orange, I've been interested in getting my hands on the mini-cassette that Alex plays in his bedroom.

After doing some research, I learned that mini-cassettes have never been used as music format, and have only ever been intended for voice recording storage. The Beethoven mini-cassette seen in the film must have been a custom-made prop.

I tracked down some vintage Norelco brand blank mini-cassettes (they are identical to the mini-cassettes used in the film, unlike some other tape brands) and recreated the case cover art and tape label to be as screen-accurate as possible. And after some very meticulous and careful cutting and pasting, my replica was complete:

jaQoV4C.jpg



Mine:

VgIsnfT.jpg


Screenshot from the film:

d84Q24o.jpg



Mine:

GaD2j3I.jpg


Screenshot from the film:

dh3ivCY.jpg


If anyone would like the 600dpi printable files for the cover art and label, please PM me your email address.
 

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Grey

Sr Member
After doing some research, I learned that mini-cassettes have never been used as music format, and have only ever been intended for voice recording storage.


Great job replicating the graphics on the case and cassette. Microcassettes were in fact used as a music format and are almost identical to Minicassettes, although they never became popular. Around 1979 the Type IV "metal cassette" was invented, using metal tape to provide superior sound quality. A few companies thought that the new format would lend enough fidelity to the microcassette form factor to make them suitable for playing music, and a number of tapes and high end players were produced by Sony, Sanyo, Fisher, and a couple of other companies.

Commercially-released music on this format is rare, but does exist. Here are a few pictures of this obscure little medium.

Again, great project! Just to be clear, this is not intented as a criticism of your build. Just some (possibly unnecessary!) background info about how life imitated art.

abbashebro.jpg music microcassette inside.jpg sanyo_rd-xm1.preview.jpg
 
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SquidMan

Well-Known Member
Great job replicating the graphics on the case and cassette. Microcassettes were in fact used as a music format and are almost identical to Minicassettes, although they never became popular. Around 1979 the Type IV "metal cassette" was invented, using metal tape to provide superior sound quality. A few companies thought that the new format would lend enough fidelity to the microcassette form factor to make them suitable for playing music, and a number of tapes and high end players were produced by Sony, Sanyo, Fisher, and a couple of other companies.

Commercially-released music on this format is rare, but does exist. Here are a few pictures of this obscure little medium.

Again, great project! Just to be clear, this is not intented as a criticism of your build. Just some (possibly unnecessary!) background info about how life imitated art.

View attachment 663829 View attachment 663827 View attachment 663830

Micro-cassettes were indeed used as a music format, but mini-cassettes never were. The ones in the film are definitely mini-cassettes.

Here's a comparison of the two, just so no one gets confused which to get if they also want to make a replica:

Micro_mini_cassette.jpg


But it is interesting background info! I wonder if A Clockwork Orange had any influence in the creation of a small cassette music format.

Wow, that looks spot on. Great work on this!

Did you record any Beethoven onto it? ;)


-Carson

Thanks! And no, I don't have any equipment that will record onto a mini-cassette. This will be display only, anyway. :D


Going to try my hand at making this tape as well sometime soon:

goggly%20gogol.png


But since the case for the Goggly Gogol tape is never seen in the film, I'll have to improvise...
 

SquidMan

Well-Known Member
4s6RKaj.jpg


Here's my replica of the Goggly Gogol mini-cassette that Alex removes from his tape player before playing the Beethoven mini-cassette:

y0CIfqO.jpg


The bottom half of the cassette is never clearly seen -- Alex swipes it from the tape player so quickly that the bottom half is a blur, so I made an educated guess that the piece by Goggly Gogol is "Mass in G," since that's the #1 hit single by Goggly Gogol as seen on the charts in the record shop Alex visits. The fine print below it is replicated from actual Polydor records.

2eKsl1E.jpg



The case for the cassette is never clearly seen in the film either. This is the best view we get of the whole tape and its case, and the case is lying face down:

VE929Ae.jpg


So, I took artistic liberties and designed a front cover of my own:

DWcaxRU.jpg



My inspiration for the cover image came from a combination of the droog's all-white outfits, the four Jesus figures that Alex has in his room, Andy Warhol's Elvis prints (since Andy Warhol did much to influence the pop-art aesthetic seen in the film, and he also made the first A Clockwork Orange film adaptation in 1965 with Vinyl), and the look of electronic music album covers of the '70s, such as ones by Kraftwerk. The original photograph is Painter's Wife [Helene Abelen] by August Sander from 1926.

jNVJokR.jpg



If anyone would like the printable files for the cover art and label, please PM me your email address.

QJitGrL.jpg
 

xiaochun

New Member
SS0zpL5.jpg


Ever since I first saw A Clockwork Orange, I've been interested in getting my hands on the mini-cassette that Alex plays in his bedroom.

After doing some research, I learned that mini-cassettes have never been used as music format, and have only ever been intended for voice recording storage. The Beethoven mini-cassette seen in the film must have been a custom-made prop.

I tracked down some vintage Norelco brand blank mini-cassettes (they are identical to the mini-cassettes used in the film, unlike some other tape brands) and recreated the case cover art and tape label to be as screen-accurate as possible. And after some very meticulous and careful cutting and pasting, my replica was complete:

jaQoV4C.jpg



Mine:

VgIsnfT.jpg


Screenshot from the film:

d84Q24o.jpg



Mine:

GaD2j3I.jpg


Screenshot from the film:

dh3ivCY.jpg


If anyone would like the 600dpi printable files for the cover art and label, please PM me your email address.

Thanks,I want to

Emaili.boots@qq.com
 

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joberg

Master Member
Very well researched and done(y)(y) Obscure prop for sure for the average crowd; it takes one person like you to put it out there...Congrats:cool::cool:
 

gustamo

New Member
Thanks SquidMan for the files!

It didn't get the same overall quality as his, but it is close. One reason is that I had to do it on microcassetes, since here in Brazil the only offer of minicassetes is beyond 100 dollars.

Also, I decided to go further, recording the music on the tape. And this is the second reason I decided to do on microcassetes. I don't have the equipment for minicassettes, so I could not make any recording nor play. In the other hand, I had some microcassettes and a recorder, still working. So I started doing tests. Recording directly via the microcassette recorder input had a poor quality - the speed of tape is low and the tape is much thinner that a regular cassette tape.

But I've found a function on the recorder that could play the tape in the same speed as the cassette tape (this function is used to search for a piece of speech during the fast-forward). So I recorded the second movement of the ninth symphony on a *regular* cassette tape, chrome type, on my Sony KA3ES. I had to invert the source of the music digitally beforehand, though, because the tape of the microcassette runs in the opposite direction of the cassette - don't ask me why.

So I took off all the original microcassette tape, threw it away and made an amendment with the piece of tape recorded in the regular cassette. It is impressive how the microcassette tape is thinner than the cassette: the lenght of the microcassette tape that I've replaced by the regular cassette tape was about the double lenght, but when you look the reel from the outside, it looks quite the same size. So it seems like the regular cassette tape is doube the thickness of the microcassette.

The sound is quite similar to an AM radio (and mono). I also will have to paint the back part of the case in black, since my case is totally transparent.

I may try again with a piece of expensive metal cassette tape, but I don't think it will improve the sound a lot.
Here is the video of the playing:
 

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