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  1. #1

    Default Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Ran across specs on Professional RCA Tape Recorder from 1960's.
    This is why we're glad we're not in the 'good ol' days'!
    RT-21B:
    7 1/2ips: 40hz-10Khz +- 2db
    15 ips: 50hz-16Khz +- 2db

    (small pic wouldn't upload)
    Carl G.
    Voice Talent/Audio Producer
    www.creativetrax.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,517

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl G. View Post
    Ran across specs on Professional RCA Tape Recorder from 1960's.
    This is why we're glad we're not in the 'good ol' days'!
    RT-21B:
    7 1/2ips: 40hz-10Khz +- 2db
    15 ips: 50hz-16Khz +- 2db

    (small pic wouldn't upload)
    dont forget the wow and flutter specs.

    and the 5 minutes to rewind or fast forward from one end of the tape to the other.
    Last edited by cgrafx; 09-12-2023 at 11:41 AM.
    ---------------------------------------
    Philip G.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    And noise. But I sure do miss the convenience and power of razor blade editing.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  4. #4

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    But I sure do miss the convenience and power of razor blade editing.
    And how the limited number of tracks required and encouraged creativity, genius, and precognition in multi-staged track mixing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ludlow View Post
    And how the limited number of tracks required and encouraged creativity, genius, and precognition in multi-staged track mixing.
    Well, I was being sarcastic. But I see that you are not. And I have to agree.

    I have to wonder, though, if it points out not so much creativity/genius/precognition so much as loving the result for what it is, rather than for what you think it ought to be. Less choice means more acceptance. And maybe more of an necessity/ability to hear things more esthetically/abstractly and less technically. Right brain over left brain.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  6. #6

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Well, I was being sarcastic. But I see that you are not. And I have to agree.

    I have to wonder, though, if it points out not so much creativity/genius/precognition so much as loving the result for what it is, rather than for what you think it ought to be. Less choice means more acceptance. And maybe more of an necessity/ability to hear things more esthetically/abstractly and less technically. Right brain over left brain.
    No, no - I was being sarcastic. I was thinking of all the times I bounced tracks on my Teac and later wished I could change it. It turns out my precognition is terrible. And I clearly lack the required genius. As a result, ideally, I need to delay my inalterable decisions until the last possible moment. It did put people who could reliably perform within that environment at an advantage. But I was not in that group.

    I will say, though, that making a decision to commit to a partial result and and then make future decisions in relation to it, knowing there's no going back - rather than always being able to change everything - does drastically change the process of making music. And, as a result, it also changes the potential outcomes. Sometimes finding a way to react to something flawed produces a result that is off the beaten path and special. Something unique that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

    Back in the sixties there was a period of time where bands were writing their song lyrics that way. Just allowing a stream of consciousness set of words and shadowy concepts to be what the song will be based upon and going with it. Committing to it. As an example, consider, 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. Absolute nonsense lyrics that somehow form the basis of a poignant song that flows smoothly from one
    musical emotional image to the next - and still connects over fifty years later.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Good stuff, John. I have to wonder, though, how much was genius and how much was simply experience. Learning and improving their skills over time. Plus, the real old dogs (George Martin, Geoff Emerick, and their contemporaries) probably learned/developed their skill set incrementally. First, they were doing three or four tracks. Eight came way later. I have to think that slow learning curve contributed to dialing in their skills mo' betta'.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2023
    Location
    Rolla, Missouri
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    As someone who started a radio career in the 80's, I don't miss the fact that at least one, sometimes more, of our TEN reel-to-reel tape decks always seemed to be down. Between those and all the analog consoles, there was a reason radio stations always had a full-time engineer on staff!

    John Francis
    Rolla, MO

  9. #9

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Good stuff, John. I have to wonder, though, how much was genius and how much was simply experience. Learning and improving their skills over time. Plus, the real old dogs (George Martin, Geoff Emerick, and their contemporaries) probably learned/developed their skill set incrementally. First, they were doing three or four tracks. Eight came way later. I have to think that slow learning curve contributed to dialing in their skills mo' betta'.
    Could well be, Dave, that experience looks like genius from down here. Maybe I just didn't get enough of it. Also, reel-to-reel tape was expensive for poor musicians, and degraded after the first print. So, we used it sparingly. Maybe too sparingly for the inevitable apparent-genius to develop. I actually kind of like that explanation.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Professional Tape Recorder Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Plus, the real old dogs (George Martin, Geoff Emerick, and their contemporaries) probably learned/developed their skill set incrementally.
    The Geoff Emerick book is a fun read. One of the tidbits is that he wasn't an old-dog - but a kid. EMI had a sort of a promotion path that (obviously) nurtured engineers.

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