22/3/2011 5:10 pm  #1

Tape recording technology

We all know about Bing's role in financing and furthering the development and use of recording tape and the impact on both recording and radio.

However by the time he died the writing was on on the wall for recording tape. The technology that became the CD was patented in 1970, with the origination of recordings in the digital domain, initially on tape but from circa 1982 direct onto computer digital hard disks, eventually taking tape out of the equation entirely.

So this is a technological advance, isn't it? Cleaner sound. Less noise. Less distortion. More robust. All sorts of technical improvements.

So when I read a recent issue of 'Sound on Sound' - a magazine aimed at audio engineers and hobbyists, I had to check the dateline of the article. Not All Fool's day, April 1st. No, it's serious. A Californian company has developed an 'add-in' to top flight digital audio equipment that emulates the sound of 'Studer' professional tape recorders. Not only that, but it is switchable between the effects produced by different tape formulations, speeds and other subtleties, and replicates the original controls on screen.

Part of the article is available online here http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=13441

All of which makes one wonder, if we want to get back to the sound made by the old tape recorders, why not use them? Are we to see a resurgence in the technology and techniques for which Bing was in large part responsible? I suppose the next step is back to 'direct to disc' (tried briefly by a few in the late 1970s).

Last edited by Richard Baker (22/3/2011 5:12 pm)


23/3/2011 8:45 pm  #2

Re: Tape recording technology

Some of my best sounding LP's are the late 70's D-D like the 3 Harry James recordings on Sheffield Labs, and the Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme Lp's on Century. I listen to them quite often.

All the best,
Paul M. Mock

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