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.
The RMGi US site hosts an interesting set of data-sheets covering all their tape products. Please note that starting 01/01/2012 RMGi has transferred tape manufacturing and marketing to Pyral (France).
Here are the documents in pdf format:
All the 3M open reel audio tapes ever produced, grouped in a single table, hosted at the Audio Engineering Society site.
Each tape model is annotated with years of production, oxide types, thickness, magnetic parameters.
View the document in pdf format at AES site here.
Robert L from Croatia produces and sells tape loop replacements for analog echo devices. Loops are hand-crafted using hi-quality modern tape including BASF LGR 50, Ampex 457, 478. Tape is 50% thicker than original replacement parts and coated with low friction lubricant.
- TL4m for Roland RE devices and Korg SE devices
- TL0.51m for Dynacord devices
Visit Robert L site here.
Comparison table for Agfa, BASF and IGF tapes at AES. A lot of useful info including years of production, oxide types, thickness, magnetic parameters and more. View this beautiful resource at the AES site here.