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Microcassette Tape Delay - do it yourself

This is a guide for those wanting to build a cheap, fun and different 'lo fi' tape delay from microcassette tape dictaphones. Originally I've posted a guide for the build on my site/blog ( but the project has gained a lot of popularity over the past years so I decided to make this my first 'structable in here :-)

What is it and how it works:
It's basically to tape machines with a tape loop going through both through the sides of the cassettes. One machine is set to record, the other is set to play. What happens is that the 'recorder' records the incoming signal onto the tape strip and when the recorded signal enters the 'player' the signal is sent to the output so we can hear it with a delay determined by the amount of time and the distance it took for the signal to go from one head to the other.
The output signal is fed back into the 'recorder' and mixed with the input so a bit of the played signal is re-recorded onto the tape again, therby creating 'repeats' in musical terms. The motors controlling the speed of the tape wheels can be controlled to determine the time it takes for the delayed signal to be played, thereby it's our 'delay time'.

If this is a bit confusing to you, the video should explain most of it. :-)

Step 1: Preparing the players

Microcassette Tape Delay


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