Baby Driver’s Tape Scratching Machine – Califone Cardmaster

Baby Driver’s Tape Scratching Machine – Califone Cardmaster

In this video I’m going to be showing you an unusual piece of technology that was featured in the 2017 film Baby Driver. In this movie the titular character baby makes secret recordings on a micro cassette Recorder at one point in the film he captures a conversation that goes like this He takes that recording home and puts it into a machine that enables him to scratch the audio much like you would a Vinyl record and add it into a mixtape. Now you might think the machine used was just something created for the movies But it’s not it’s a real thing called the Califone CardMaster. I’m going to demonstrate it to you now The Califone CardMaster was an educational tool. That was sold in the US It was used primarily in the fields of Teaching languages it can be powered from a mains power supply or four C-cell batteries. Now with mine I’ve got two different sizes of cards these longer ones here with a magnetic strip across the bottom long enough to hold a phrase on them whereas the smaller ones are just the right size for a single word the machine is a recorder and a player So we’ve got a speaker on the Left brightly-colored well labeled buttons in the middle volume control on the right above a built-in microphone Now to demonstrate how it works I’ll try to replicate as best as I can the way it was used within the movie Once the cards been recorded on just reinsert it in the machine to play it And then if you want you can play around with it And it also has a built-in sampler so you can then replay what you’ve just done. Now it’s possible that you could get slightly better results if you were to use the microphone input and the auxiliary output Now looking around the machine. I’ll just show you on the bottom here. That’s where the batteries go also there’s a couple of switches in here if I’ll just turn it around you can see that one at the bottom adjust the playback speed We’ve got a standard and half. Half will give you longer recording per card of course And then at the top is a switch which will lock out the teachers recording Capability so that the student can’t record over the teachers section of the tape you see each one of these has two recordings on it There’s a teacher’s and then the student’s, so I’ll just demonstrate it to you with these cards here, so if you play this one You can hear the teachers recording My machine isn’t too good on the teachers section the heads might be misaligned But the idea is of course you’d listen to the teachers version of recording. You’d then move into student mode You’d then record your own version 9 over the top and And then presumably later on the teacher could listen back to the cards to see how you were doing by playing your version back or they Could come over and say no here It should sound like this and move it back into the teacher mode and just play that section, but you sounded like this In amongst the cards I got with mine. I’ve found the name of the teachers. We’ve got She sounds like someone you don’t want to mess with we’ve also got So as you can see those were originally recorded in the standard speed mode So I’ll just switch that back and then we’ll be able to hear what they should originally have sounded like Now these machines are no longer being manufactured I bought mine secondhand on eBay the copyright dates on the cards. I’ve got with it says 1998 I don’t know how many years after that they continued to sell them for But of course things like this would have now moved on to a computer application instead Now I know it’s designed for education, but could have some really good fun with this thing if you talk into it and record and drag your card a little bit faster. You got some unusual effects on it But of course it’s most fun when used as a tape scratch machine. Despite my subpar scratching abilities. I hope you’ve enjoyed having a look at this piece of repurposed educational tech

100 thoughts on “Baby Driver’s Tape Scratching Machine – Califone Cardmaster”

  1. I can't imagine how much work goes into these videos, but I really love this channel and appreciate the work you do.

  2. Back in the day, a friend got an answering machine that was based on casette tapes. Naturally, we had some fun with it: recording his outgoing message and playing that back to leave a message, confuses him. Then, making a recording that is slowed down and dragging, and playing that to his machine over the phone, he thinks it's his own tape that's doing it.

  3. Man, I love that Pearlcorder. It's such a beautiful model, but I can't find one anywhere. By the way, I was wondering where you purchase the Japanese imports of various devices?

  4. Had one similar in my junior school in 78. It was made by Sony and when you put it through it would say phrases like "What is your name" it had pictures on the card and was used as an English teaching tool

  5. I knew about this machine before and when it came on in Baby Driver I paused the movie and made everyone groan as i explained how interesting the device was for like five minutes

  6. HAH. I chuckled at your little dig at us Americans with the solder and tube cards. I see now after reading "sodder" why you wouldn’t say it in Britain.

    Though tube is definitely toob. ;P

  7. I've wondered if you could record a game or video on credit cards and mess with that while you wait for the transaction to finish.

  8. Another senseless Piece of Electronics to make Money and kidding the Customers… simply use a Casette-Recorder or a Tape-Recorder to do this… — These Cards are nothing other than a little piece of Tape on a Paper-Card

  9. I understand how the machine works, but with the student and teacher modes, what is the point? What is this machine used for “teaching”??

  10. I found one of these on the street and took it home. A different brand, but the same idea. You can make large paper/tape loops and just have it play forever. I always wanted to make postcards that had accompanying sounds on them, but I never got around to it. Also had ideas of choose-your-own-adventure card decks to run on this thing.

  11. Ahh, fond memories of playing around with one of these in kindergarten, and driving my teacher nuts! Thanks for the blast from the past. 🙂

  12. these things by Landscape seem pretty cool for anyone who can't find a Califone…

  13. 4:21 this is some shit straight outta the xbox homescreen (if you had one in the early 2000s and you left it on overnight you'll know what I mean)


  15. hey dude, I love your videos do you like seriously, like I eat I think it's really interesting like to see y'all there like stuff they used in the past like him like all the old tape stuff and all that kind of stuff and you're weird and I'm weird so works perfectly

  16. Check out the Bell+Howell Language Master. I used to record and play back belches in the school library back in the 70's. Same concept.

  17. Never seen that one before. There’s also an Audiotronics Tutorette which was a card recorder where you can record short recordings with an audiocard. I remember since I was a kid when they had them in school. It can also used as a scratch recording as well.

  18. this is one of the coolest machines I've ever seen in my life and I've watched tons of your videos tons of the LGR videos and the 8-bit guy and I've never seen anything that I wanted so bad I am going on eBay as we speak and getting one of these

  19. I remember this machine! I want to say we had one (or something remarkably similar) in school back in the early 80's.

  20. I'm a special education teacher and have one of these laying around in a closet in my classroom. Might be time for some projects!

  21. Just noticed the same scene in that film also features the casio keyboard with the tape player that 8 bit guy recently reviewed.

  22. This was the first video i saw from this channel and it was the most well spent 6 minutes and 55 seconds ever!

  23. We had an older version of this in London in the 1970s. It had a metal case, I think was mains powered only and was called Language Master. There was a physical removable key to lock out recording on the Teacher’s track. I don’t think it had two speeds. I’m trying to remember who made it; I think it may have been Bell and Howell, but it’s a long time to think back.

  24. I want this just to record low self opinion by Rollins band by only the part “alienate” or hell remove the ate part and have just “alien” cuz why not

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