Past year, when I was studying Sound Design at Technocité (Mons-BE), I had a discussion with my professor about obsoletes medias and we both agreed that nothing was truly obsolete as soon as we could find a way to use them with creativity.
On weekends, I had long walks with my dog and one day, I saw some colored boxes behind some vegetation.
I made my way through the plants and small trees and discovered that someone has just thrown away VHS tapes in the wild.
To me, it was first disgusting regarding nature and ecology since a VHS tape is not the kind of material that disappear quickly without polluting the environment…
I didn’t had a backpack or bag with me and so, I came back the day after with a backpack to take back home all these VHS tapes!
I have no idea about how long these tapes was there but many of them was covered by mud, packaging full of humidity, etc…
I cleaned them all and luckily, I still own a small TV with an integrated VHS player/recorder and so I started to look at all these old movies.
The nice thing is that this TV is equipped with video In and audio In/Out…
Some tapes are damaged and produce interesting video glitches for graphic experiments and in most cases, the audio is still good!
So, I’m going to record some audio on VHS tapes and then record back to the computer… Vintage/Lo-Fi sound at his best!
James Peck created an amazing ensemble called “VHS Audio Degradation Suite” that recreate typical VHS noises and artefacts.
Another alternative could be to visit pawn shops and flea markets in order to find a dedicated VHS player/recorder offering the high level pleasure of manipulating stuff for real…
Here you’ll find some glitch experiment with the audio from a VHS tape going through special plugins:
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