Magnetic tape has been used for sound recording for more than 75 years. Magnetic tape is a medium for Magnetic recording generally consisting of a thin magnetizable coating on a long and narrow strip of Plastic. Tape revolutionized both the radio broadcast and music recording industries. It did this by giving artists and producers the power to record and re-record audio with minimal loss in quality as well as edit and rearrange recordings with ease. The alternative recording technologies of the era, transcription discs and wire recorders, could not provide anywhere near this level of quality and functionality. A gramophone Wire recording is a type of analogue Audio storage in which the recording is made onto thin steel or stainless steel Wire. Since some early refinements improved the fidelity of the reproduced sound, magnetic tape has been the highest quality analog sound recording medium available. Despite this, as of 2007, magnetic tape is largely being replaced by digital systems for most sound recording purposes.
Prior to the development of magnetic tape, magnetic wire recorders had successfully demonstrated the concept of magnetic recording, but they never offered audio quality comparable to the recording and broadcast standards of the time. Magnetic storage and magnetic recording are terms from Engineering referring to the storage of Data on a Magnetized medium Some individuals and organizations developed innovative uses for magnetic wire recorders while others investigated variations of the technology. One particularly important variation was the application of an oxide powder to a long strip of paper. This German invention was the start of a long string of innovations that lead to modern magnetic tape.
Magnetic recording was conceived of as early as 1877 by Oberlin Smith and demonstrated in practice in 1898 by Valdemar Poulsen. Magnetic storage and magnetic recording are terms from Engineering referring to the storage of Data on a Magnetized medium Oberlin Smith (1840-1926 was an Engineer who published one of the earliest works dealing with Magnetic recording in 1888 Valdemar Poulsen ( November 23, 1869, in Copenhagen – July 23, 1942) was a Danish Engineer. Magnetic wire recording, and its successor, magnetic tape recording, involve the use of a magnetizable medium which moves with a constant speed past a recording head. Wire recording is a type of analogue Audio storage in which the recording is made onto thin steel or stainless steel Wire. Magnetic tape is a medium for Magnetic recording generally consisting of a thin magnetizable coating on a long and narrow strip of Plastic. An electrical signal, which is analogous to the sound that is to be recorded, is fed to the recording head, inducing a pattern of magnetization similar to the signal. A playback head can then pick up the changes in magnetic field from the tape and convert it into an electrical signal.
Early tape recorders were created by replacing the steel wire of a wire recorder with a thin steel tape. The first of these modified wire recorders was the Blattnerphone, created in 1929 or 1930 by the Ludwig Blattner Picture Corporation.
In 1931, Clarence N. Hickman of Bell Labs completed a prototype steel tape recorder based telephone answering machine. Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) is the Research organization The machine saw limited use because AT&T policy forbade its use on public telephone lines.
On Christmas day 1932 the British Broadcasting Corporation first used a tape recorder for their broadcasts. The device used was a Marconi-Stille recorder, a huge tape machine which used steel razor tape 3 mm wide and 0. 08 mm thick. In order to reproduce the higher audio frequencies it was necessary to run the tape at a 90 metres per minute past the recording and reproducing heads. This meant that the length of tape required for a half-hour programme was nearly 3 kilometres and a full reel weighed 25 kg. For safety reasons these machines would only be operated in a locked room by remote control. Due to the tape's speed, springiness and razor-like sharp edges, if the tape broke while in operation, it could unspool, fly off and cause serious injury. Besides this, the methods of recording could lead to massive data loss and poor audio quality because of their nature.
By the mid 1930s, the C. Lorenz Company in Germany, with the help of Semi Joseph Begun, had developed a steel tape recorder that was briefly popular with European telephone companies and German radio networks. Semi Joseph Begun (born in Germany in 1905 died 1995 usually referred to as S In 1938, Begun left Germany and joined the Brush Development Company in the United States, where work continued but attracted little attention. Brush Development Company was a manufacturer of audio phonographic products and magnetic recording technologies located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Magnetic tape recording as we know it today was developed in Germany during the 1930s at BASF (then part of the chemical giant IG Farben) and AEG in cooperation with the RRG. BASF SE () is a German chemical company and the largest chemical company in the world IG Farben (short for Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG, "syndicate of dyestuff corporations" and also called I AEG ( Allgemeine Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft, General Electricity Company) was a German producer of Electronics and electrical equipment The Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft (RRG loosely translated as the Empire Broadcasting Company, was a network of nine German radio broadcast companies active from 1925 until 1945 This was based on Fritz Pfleumer's 1928 invention of paper tape with oxide powder lacquered to it. Fritz Pfleumer ( 20 March 1881 in Salzburg – 29 August 1945 in Radebeul) was a German - Austrian
Engineers at AEG created the world's first practical magnetic tape recorder, the 'K1', and first demonstrated it in 1935. Eduard Schüller of AEG built the recorders and developed a ring shaped recording and playback head. It replaced the needle shaped head which tended to shred the tape. Friedrich Matthias of IG Farben/BASF developed the recording tape, including the oxide, the binder, and the backing material. Walter Weber, working for Hans Joachim von Braunmühl at the RRG, discovered the AC biasing technique. Tape bias is the term for two phenomena DC bias and AC bias, that improve the fidelity of analogue Magnetic tape sound recordings DC bias is the addition AC Biasing radically improved sound quality.
During the war, the Allies became aware of radio broadcasts that seemed to be transcriptions (much of this due to the work of Richard H. Ranger), but their audio quality was indistinguishable from that of a live broadcast and their duration was far longer than was possible with 78 rpm discs. Richard Howland Ranger (13 June 1889-10 January 1962 was an American Electrical engineer and Inventor. At the end of the war, the Allied capture of a number of German Magnetophon recorders from Radio Luxembourg aroused great interest. Magnetophon was the brand or model name of the pioneering Reel-to-reel tape recorder developed by engineers of the German electronics company AEG in the 1930s based These recorders incorporated all of the key technological features of modern analog magnetic recording and were used as the reference for future developments in the field.
Development of magnetic tape recorders in the late 1940s and early 1950s is associated with the Brush Development Company and its licensee, Ampex. Ampex ( is an American electronics company founded in 1944 by Alexander M The equally important development of the magnetic tape media itself was led by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing corporation. 3M Company ( formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company until 2002 is an American multinational conglomerate corporation with a worldwide
American audio engineer John T. Mullin and entertainer Bing Crosby were key players in the commercial development of magnetic tape. John T "Jack" Mullin (1913&ndash1999 was an American pioneer in the field of Magnetic tape sound recording and made significant contributions to many Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby ( May 3, 1903 &ndash October 14, 1977) was an Academy Award winning American Popular Mullin served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps and was posted to Paris in the final months of WWII. His unit was assigned to find out everything they could about German radio and electronics, including the investigation of claims that the Germans had been experimenting with high-energy directed radio beams as a means of disabling the electrical systems of aircraft. Mullin's unit soon amassed a collection of hundreds of low-quality magnetic dictating machines, but it was a chance visit to a studio at Bad Nauheim near Frankfurt while investigating radio beam rumours, that yielded the real prize. Bad Nauheim is a town in the Wetteraukreis district of Hesse state of Germany.
Mullin was given two suitcase-sized AEG 'Magnetophon' high-fidelity recorders and fifty reels of recording tape. He had them shipped home and over the next two years he worked on the machines constantly, modifying them and improving their performance. His major aim was to interest Hollywood studios in using magnetic tape for movie soundtrack recording.
Mullin gave two public demonstrations of his machines, and they caused a sensation among American audio professionals -- many listeners literally could not believe that what they were hearing was not a live performance. By luck, Mullin's second demonstration was held at MGM studios in Hollywood and in the audience that day was Bing Crosby's technical director, Murdo Mackenzie. He arranged for Mullin to meet Crosby and in June 1947 he gave Crosby a private demonstration of his magnetic tape recorders.
Crosby was stunned by the amazing sound quality and instantly saw the huge commercial potential of the new machines. Live music was the standard for American radio at the time and the major radio networks didn't permit the use of disc recording in many programs because of their comparatively poor sound quality. But Crosby disliked the regimentation of live broadcasts, preferring the relaxed atmosphere of the recording studio. He had asked NBC to let him pre-record his 1944-45 series on transcription discs, but the network refused, so Crosby had withdrawn from live radio for a year, returning for the 1946-47 season only reluctantly. A gramophone
Mullin's tape recorder came along at precisely the right moment. Crosby realised that the new technology would enable him to pre-record his radio show with a sound quality that equalled live broadcasts, and that these tapes could be replayed many times with no appreciable loss of quality. Mullin was asked to tape one show as a test and was immediately hired as Crosby's chief engineer to pre-record the rest of the series.
Crosby became the first major American music star to use tape to pre-record radio broadcasts, and the first to master commercial recordings on tape. The taped Crosby radio shows were painstakingly edited through tape-splicing to give them a pace and flow that was wholly unprecedented in radio. Mullin even claims to have been the first to use "canned laughter"; at the insistence of Crosby's head writer, Bill Morrow, he inserted a segment of raucous laughter from an earlier show into a joke in a later show that hadn't worked well.
Keen to make use of the new recorders as soon as possible, Crosby invested $50,000 of his own money into Ampex, and the tiny six-man concern soon became the world leader in the development of tape recording, revolutionising radio and recording with its famous Model 200 tape deck, issued in 1948 and developed directly from Mullin's modified Magnetophones.
Working with Mullin, Ampex rapidly developed two-track stereo and then three-track recorders. Spurred on by Crosby's move into television in the early 1950s, Ampex had developed a working monochrome videotape recorder by 1956 and later a color recorder, both created to tape Crosby's TV shows.
The typical professional tape recorder of the early 1950s used ¼" wide tape on 10½" reels, with a capacity of 2400 feet (730 metres). Typical speeds were initially 15 in/s (38. 1 cm/s) yielding 30 minutes' recording time on a 2400 ft (730 m) reel. 30 in/s (76. 2 cm/s) was used for the highest quality work. Domestic and portable recorders used seven, five or even three inch reels (or spools) Early professional machines used single sided spools but double sided spools soon became popular (particularly for domestic use) Tape spools were usually made from transparent plastic but metal spools were also used
Standard tape speeds varied by factors of two — 15 and 30 in/s were used for professional audio recording; 7½ in/s (19 cm/s) for home audiophile prerecorded tapes; 7½ and 3¾ in/s (19 and 9. 5 cm/s) for audiophile and consumer recordings (typically on 7 in or 18 cm reels). 1⅞; in/s (4. 76 cm/s) and occasionally even 15/16 in/s (2. 38 cm/s) were used for voice, dictation, and applications where very long recording times were needed, such as logging police and fire department calls.
Philips' development of the Compact Cassette in 1963 and Sony's development of the Walkman in 1979  led to widespread consumer use of magnetic audio tape. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV ( Royal Philips Electronics Inc. The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a Magnetic tape sound is a multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato Tokyo, Japan, and one of the world's largest Media conglomerates with Walkman is a popular Sony Brand used to market its portable audio and Video players In 1990, the Compact Cassette was the dominant format in mass-market recorded music.
Magnetic tape brought about sweeping changes in both radio and the recording industry. Sound could be recorded, erased and re-recorded on the same tape many times, sounds could be duplicated from tape to tape with only minor loss of quality, and recordings could now be very precisely edited by physically cutting the tape and rejoining it.
Within a few years of the introduction of the first commercial tape recorder, the Ampex 200 model, launched in 1948, American musician-inventor Les Paul had invented the first multitrack tape recorder, bringing about another technical revolution in the recording industry. Les Paul (born Lester William Polsfuss on June 9 1915) is an American Jazz guitarist and Inventor. Multitrack recording ('multitracking' or just 'tracking' for short is a method of Sound recording that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources to create Tape made possible the first sound recordings totally created by electronic means, opening the way for the bold sonic experiments of the Musique Concrète school and avant garde composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen, which in turn led to the innovative pop music recordings of artists such as Frank Zappa, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. Musique concrète ( French; literally "concrete music" is a style of Avant-garde music that relies on recorded sounds including natural Pop music as a genre features a noticeable rhythmic element catchy melodies and hooks, a mainstream style and conventional structure Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21 1940 – December 4 1993 was an American Composer, Electric guitarist Record producer and Film director The Beatles were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960 The Beach Boys is an American rock band Formed in 1961 the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California Youth culture
Tape enabled the radio industry for the first time to pre-record many sections of program content such as advertising, which formerly had to be presented live, and it also enabled the creation and duplication of complex, high-fidelity, long-duration recordings of entire programs. It also, for the first time, allowed broadcasters, regulators and other interested parties to undertake comprehensive logging of radio broadcasts. Innovations like multitracking and tape echo enabled radio programs and advertisements to be pre-produced to a level of complexity and sophistication that was previously unattainable and tape also led to significant changes to the pacing of program content, thanks to the introduction of the endless-loop tape cartridge. The Fidelipac, commonly known as an NAB cartridge or simply cart, is a Magnetic tape sound recording format used for Radio broadcasting