In this video, via Reverb, Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, blindoldfreak) shares his approach to using a cassette recorder as a performance instrument.
Cortini discusses his personal history with the instrument, and the ways in which he has experimented with the resulting sounds throughout his career, both with NIN and in his solo work.
After recording a composition into Apple Logic, he converts the arrangement into four parts and records them each onto a track of the four-track tape. Then, with the Tascam’s four faders and channel strips, along with a host outboard effects, he can control which parts to emphasize and effect as he performs.
For example, Cortini may put his main melody on track one, the bass on track two, and then effects and atmospheric sounds in stereo on tracks three and four.
The music Cortini performs in the video comes from his album AVANTI.