Multi Track History Essay

2980 Words Jun 15th, 2005 12 Pages
60s Research Document


History and development of the Multitrack Recorder

Multitrack recorders were originally developed in the early 1950s in Germany. The initial principle of multitracks was to divide a tape in two parts and record different sounds onto each and play them back concurrently. The fact that both tracks would be on the same tape would mean they would be synchronised exactly. In classical music recordings of the 1950s, the early two track machines were first used and recorded in stereo. Two different mics would be used and these signals would be recorded simultaneously. Pop and jazz recordings however, remained in mono until the mid sixties. The first three track recorder is attributed to Les Paul who
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The 1980s saw the first real, digital audio began to emerge and provided the first real competition for analogue tape. Digital recording was a much more exact science facilitating easy editing, reproduction and storage solutions. The emergence of digital audio coincided with the development of the audio compact disc which is the most common medium in the commercial audio industry to date. Due to its precise nature, there is a growing culture of running a signal through analogue equipment to give it ‘warmth'.

Towards the end of the 1980s, computer based sequencing and studio controlling exploded onto the scene. Computers were used to monitor, synchronise or detect virtually every device in the studio itself. These systems are the direct predecessors to systems such as Pro Tools and Logic used in studios today.

Automation was also an important development in the history of multitrack recorders. The first system to be developed was the APY Allison in 1975. This system stored automation data on two tracks of the tape. Similar systems such as Neve's NECAM system used a combination of 2 tracks from tape and a floppy disk to store automation data.


Jo Meek and his innovations in Multitracking

Meek's first venture into multitrack recording consisted of sound-on-sound composite

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