Cassette tape inventor Lou Ottens dies, aged 94

Cassette Tape
(Image credit: Hiroyuki Ito / Getty)

The Dutch engineer whose Philips team developed the Audio Tape Cassette has died, aged 94. Lou Ottens died in his hometown of Duizel, his family announced.

Following hot on the heels of the vinyl boom, in recent years the cassette has seen a resurgence, but in its heyday the format was anything but a hipster accessory. It's estimated that 100 billion - that's 100,000,000,000, numeral fans - cassette tapes have been sold globally.

Cassette Tape

(Image credit: Suleyman Orcun Guler / EyeEm)

First introduced in the 1960s, the cassette not only offered convenience and portability, ultimately birthing the Walkman, but many engineers, producers and musicians cut their recording teeth on the many four-track machines it enabled.

Latterly, cassette tape emulation plugins like Sketch Cassette and Klevgrand’s DAW Cassette have proliferated. Failing that, you can always take the DIY approach with our guide to emulating the sound of cassette tape in your DAW.


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