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  1. #11

    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes

  2. #12

    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Do you have any thoughts regarding input channels, Mr. Alexander?
    Well, I have to admit that analog mixers are said to have a certain number of channels. So channels become tracks, which then become channels again? Hmm.
    Ian Alexander
    VO Talent/Audio Producer
    www.IanAlexander.com

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Ian,
    So channels become tracks, which then become channels again? Hmm.
    ... Ian...I am not too sure if this would be correct analogy?

    If the "analogue-to-digital" premise is correct...and I do sincerely believe that it is...then channels are on a mixer and tracks are on a tape recorder.

    In SAWStudio, the channels would be vertical - so the Z Mixer and the F Mixer, and tracks would be horizontal - so, the MultiTrack.

    This same principle would be applied to SAC as well - though SAC only used channels.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_es335 View Post
    ...
    If the "analogue-to-digital" premise is correct...and I do sincerely believe that it is...then channels are on a mixer and tracks are on a tape recorder.

    In SAWStudio, the channels would be vertical - so the Z Mixer and the F Mixer, and tracks would be horizontal - so, the MultiTrack...

    I'm not sure I agree with this - If looking at the MT, we can see that not only are input channels represented - which "become" tracks when there are recordings on those channels - but we also see return and output channels.
    Returns and Outputs do not contain tracks, yet these are also represented horizontally. In fact, all three I,R&O are represented both vertically in mixer views and horizontally in the MT view.

    While I disagree with your suggestion, I do agree that mixer inputs and outputs represent channels (and in the MT as well), while recorded data are tracks and represented by regions in the MT.

  5. #15

    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    It may help to examine the words themselves. Tracks are the trail left behind. In recording, the word may date back to the earliest forms of recording - which may in fact predate the ability to play it back - perhaps a pen plotting vibrations on a passing sheet of paper. Another possible usage is recording of a piano-roll for a player piano by punching holes to represent notes.

    In any event, when audio recording first developed with a stylus cutting a groove in wax cylinder it seems natural that the word track (or something akin to it) was used from the onset as a descriptive term referring to the wobbling trail (waveform) inscribed in the wax.

    Channel refers to something that is able to route flow like the string between two cans, a corridor, cathedral or concert hall, each of which may impose various restrictions and imparts new characteristics on sound as it passes within them. For this reason, I would classify plugins as channels (or at least sub-components of a channel).

    We could look at a dictionary definition, but I think it is interesting to see how we may all have somewhat different definitions.

    Steve Berson, who on occasion chimes in here may have some knowledge on that terminology as he is a LP mastering engineer.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Good day,

    I do believe that this thread has "run its course".

    Though I never used a mixer in my early years - other than an 8-channel combo unit made by Yorkville porting two columns with 6-10" speakers...my first tape deck was a Teac A2300S.

    Though I never used a mixer with this unit, we always referred to to this unit as a "2 track tape recorder" - not a "2 channel tape recorder". This very same nomenclature was used with the Teach A3440, a 4 track tape recorder. Again, notice the use of the term "track". Never once in all my years of using such a device did we every refer to this unit as a 4 channel tape recorder.

    The only reference to the use of the term channel was when working with my first digital mixer, the Roland VM-3100Pro and later the Roland SI-24 Studio Interface Control Surface - the latter using an "8-channel R-BUS port".

    Thanks to all those that provided input...all which is very much appreciated.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Channels and Tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_es335 View Post
    ...Though I never used a mixer with this unit, we always referred to to this unit as a "2 track tape recorder" - not a "2 channel tape recorder". This very same nomenclature was used with the Teach A3440, a 4 track tape recorder. Again, notice the use of the term "track". Never once in all my years of using such a device did we every refer to this unit as a 4 channel tape recorder...
    Yes, you're so right. They were referred to as 2-track and 4-track tape recorders, because they recorded "tracks" of sound. They didn't normally have their own mixer, with faders, pans and eq (other than whatever amplification they required to input, send and monitor the sound being recorded and played back), so typically physical inputs and outputs were labeled simply as Mic, or Line, In, or Out and even just 1, 2, or L, R.....

    Personally, I find the discussion interesting and fun. I'm glad you raised the topic.

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