A brief journey in audio editing history, from razor blades to DAW integration, in multiple parts. Instead of typing long boring text, I decided to compile a selection of video material available courtesy of YouTube.
Let’s start from a fact..
Tape being a linear medium is unable to seamless playback parts of a recording in random order due to inertia of mechanical components in the playback device.
Overcoming this problem involves cutting tape in segments, rearranging their order as intended, then attaching the parts together. Here is a video demonstrating this classic technique.
The degree of accuracy made possible by hand-cutting is impressive, compared to alternatives such as using an extra deck, set in record mode, to copy splices sequences using punch in/out.
Here is a terrific example from the 80’s. At the time, stu-stu-stuttering effects were becoming common in some commercial music genres , also due to the introduction of early digital samplers (Paul Hardcastle’s hit “19” comes to mind).
Checkout the amazing synchronization starting around 2.55 in this video.