The Celebrity Obituary Thread

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Lou Ottens is probably more of an unknown hero, the person that created something everyone used, but nobody know who he was.

I'm surprised that Rupert Neve's death wasn't mentioned. Not a name that the general public would know, but he was an important figure in the recording world.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
You are obviously too young to realise how the cassette changed the music industry and furthermore the home recording industry. There would not have been Home Recording if the cassette had not been invented.

Alan
For the record Al, I'm 58. Not exactly young but not quite old.

My sister got a cassette recorder for her birthday in December '73 and I got one in December '75 when I was 12. The day I got it I went up to Woolworths after school ~ they sold all kinds of stuff in there but like quite a few all purpose shops back then, they sold records and cassettes ~ and I bought my first two cassette albums ~ a compilation of pop singles from that year called "Supersonic" and "Rollin'" by {:cry:} the Bay City Rollers. I bought them because they were the only cassettes in there that I was even remotely interested in {funnily enough, I still have them on album !}. I didn't realize it at the time but Friday Dec 12th '75 marked the beginning of a beautiful relationship......

I used to buy LPs but I'd always record them onto cassette. I did buy a few albums on cassette, but that was fairly rare because I always had it in mind that tapes would eventually run their course whereas albums wouldn't and it made sense to play the tapes and then re~record when they died 10, 15 years later and preserve the vinyl. When CDs came out, I resolutely refused to buy them because, well, I was a cassette man. I didn't buy a CD until 1991 and only really began buying them after recordable ones came out just before 1999. To be honest, I only started regularly buying albums on CD in 2006.

Sonys, TDKs, BASFs, Hitachis and all kinds of unknown brands were my stock in trade when it came to cassettes. I've probably bought more blank cassettes than any other item in my entire life, including foodstuffs. I had C60s, C90s, C100s, C110s and C120s. 120s were great for putting 3 LPs on and I adored the 100s. They never really caught on but they defined the year 1990 for me in many ways. I always think of jazz fusion and TDR AR100s in the same thought. I've designed wallspaces in places I've lived, around the cassette modules that I'd keep my albums in.

When the all in one music centres came out, I liked them and used them even though I was always a separates man. The Walkman was probably the most significant item that has ever come into my existence. I can't begin to emphasize just what that cassette did for me from 1981 through to 2015.
When I started playing bass back in '81 it was through concocting my tape deck via my amp that I was able to practice as I didn't have an amp {I didn't have one until 1990 !}. All my jams were recorded onto cassette over the years. I had tons of them. When I began home recording in '92 it was on a Fostex X15 and when that proved too limiting, despite advice to get a reel to reel and to avoid 8 track cassette like the plague, it was an 8 track that I got. Even by 2001 when people were telling me to go the computer/digital route and viewing me with disdain for not taking their advice, I stuck with my trusty Tascam 488. Most of what I learned about recording, both as a home recorder and domestically with LPs and CDs came about through my long association with cassettes. Type 1. Type 2. Metal. Ferric. Dolby B. Dolby C. All these weird terms and concepts that passed all my mates by were business as usual to me.

If it wasn't for the fact that the last couple of tape decks I had weren't all that and that the ipod from a storage point of view made much more sense and I've moved over to a 12 track digital DAW, I'd probably still be part of the cassette universe now.

Cassettes have been as much a part of my life as my own kids ! From 1975 through to 2015 they were the kingpin when it came to musical media with me. And that's just me. You're absolutely right about how they transformed the musical industry at large and home recording in particular. When I began home recording it didn't even occur to me not to use cassettes. When I sold my 488 in 2018, I was keen that it go to someone that was really into recording and I hope they've done some great stuff with it.

However, all of that has little to do with this thread. As much as I have loved cassettes throughout my life, I'd never once thought about who actually invented them any more than I'd ever thought about who invented the camera or the computer or the bicycle or the film camera or the printer or the loudspeaker etc, etc etc. I'd never heard of Lou Ottens until two days ago. I wasn't questioning his immense contribution, I was questioning his celebrity status. Now personally, I think the entire celebrity culture stinks and pretty much always has. But regardless of what I think, for better or worse, I recognize what a celebrity is. Even some people I've never heard of but who appeared in this famous film or show or were the piano player in that band, I can understand why they might show up in this thread. I can even see Rupert Neve making the list. After all, he's been mentioned zillions of times over the years here.
I wonder how many people have heard of Lou Ottens, let alone regard him as a celebrity.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
Lou also played a big part in the development of the CD. He worked for Philips, and they developed the CD along with Sony. I once read that he thought the cassette was a poor device for music in terms of sound quality, but the convenience was so good that you overlooked the limitations.

BTW, last night during the Grammy awards, they actually included Rupert Neve in the list of artists lost over the past year. While the musicians probably all knew of him, I'm sure the general public thought "who?".
 

Orson

Well-known member
Actually and seriously bigger than the Beatles at that time. Les McKeown singer with Bay City Rollers went suddenly Tuesday at 65.
 
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notCardio

I walk the line
Hey, grimtraveller...what kind of upright is that in your avatar? And that's a 3/4? Almost looks like a 1/2, unless you're REALLY tall.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I am pretty tall {6ft 2ins} and I think it's a 3/4 bass.
It's a basic bottom of the range model that I bought back in 2012 from Gear 4 Music. From '91 until 2004 I had a fairly good one that had been restored but I sold it in an effort to downsize with a baby on the way, a small house and my introduction to VSTIs. I thought I'd be able to find a good double bass sound like this one I heard on Sound on Sound or Computer Music. To cut a long story short, having tried Trilogy, Danny Thompson bass samples, an acoustic bass guitar and a pile of others and not been in the slightest bit impressed, I bit the bullet and just bought the real thing again. It's basic, I'm a less than basic player but I enjoy it and like the sound. It never sounds like a bass guitar or what I do with my acoustic bass guitar and that's all I care about ~ that it sounds like a double bass. If you click on my sig, there's a couple of songs featuring it, "Tint the pallid landscape" and "Wedded blitz."
 

notCardio

I walk the line
Yeah, I had to part with my slightly better one. I've still got a student model (that I don't like), but it's in storage. I'm even less than a less than basic player, but like you, I like the sound and if you're trying to play acoustic jazz (still a dream), nothing else will do.

I still want to get a fretless acoustic bass guitar. I have a regular fretted one. It's technically a POS, but I really like the sound of it.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I still want to get a fretless acoustic bass guitar. I have a regular fretted one. It's technically a POS, but I really like the sound of it.
I have a fretless one. It also is a POS that I bought in a bed shop. But.........after realizing that it wouldn't suffice as an imitation double bass, I put flatwound strings on it, and with a bit of monkeying around with controls and the amp {it has a shitty but usable pick up}, I get sounds from it that I really like.

Edit:
The good thing about it is that the fretlines are still part of the neck. That said, they are only a guide because I still have to have accurate intonation. If I press at different parts of the fret spacing, the note is ever so different.
 
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