BAS Message
April 2021

1.  I recently watched a DVD “Analog: The Art & History of Reel to Reel Recording” by Vision Laboratories. It refers to the “magical sound of the quality of analog recording.”

It covers from the earliest days with Valdemar Poulsen to modern multitrack recording.

Unfortunately it is amateurish in presentation with shaky and blurry graphics. Still the likelihood of a major studio doing the subject is nil so we have to take it as it is.


It bills itself as “Analog The Art & History of Reel-To-Reel Tape Recordings.”

It mentions 1-7/8, 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 ips tape speeds but no other. Reel sizes of 3”, 5”, 7” and 10”. Actually 10-1/2”

It says Fritz Fluemer invented magnetic tape. That’s Pfleumer.

It says that noise from tape comes from the friction of the tape rubbing against the record head. Actually it’s the irregular magnetic domains on the tape.

It says that harmonic distortion in tape recording causes bass increase. (?)

It refers to the dbx "compounding" technique. That’s companding.

It mentions Studer and Stellavox and Nagra, but no mention of the Revox recorders which were very popular among audiophiles.

It is a DVDR but this is not mentioned anywhere. They have limited life expectancy. It is 50 minutes long (billed as 60).

The image on the cover is of Ampex 456 Grandmaster tape. However there is no mention of the fact that many of those tapes became unplayable due to “Sticky Shed Syndrome.”

Some multitrack digital tapes from the early days have become unplayable.

I was interested to learn that the first pre-recorded tapes came out in 1949.

It concludes with an amusing ad for the 3M Wollensack recorder featuring “solid state transistors.”

The company has 3 other similar videos.

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updated 4/12/21