Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Everything has changed, apart from your ears !
Fair to say technology has changed, in recent episodes of The Crown the Queen is seen delivering a speech along with a device recording it onto a blank acetate. My main worry about this would be how do you even lift it!
I do remember tape but the first big and exciting recording development for me was mini disc. These amazing digital devices would allow you to edit, kind of, split and track your productions and deliver amazing high quality audio sound (as long as your hearing was not so good and you could hear the digital degradation and the mp3 style wobbling).
Let's be fair at the time they did seem pretty amazing but using them in a studio environment did lead to some rather upsetting moments. There you are, finished crafting your new audio productions, you load fifty tracks onto a disc and just as you are 'editing' the start and the end it corrupts - don't worry there will be a way to fix it but that was the big big downside - there really wasn't, time for the bin.
At The Beach we thought we were very clever using these little silver discs for layout of sweepers - until one corrupted. After only one year they were just not working for us and more and more playout reverted to hard drives - a 20GB drive for just a thousand pounds - bargain.
Now to the worst idea in recent history. Playing out pre recorded programmes on the first generation of Digital Audio Recorders (D.A.T). This was going to be great, you could only get 30 mins of stereo audio on a reel so needing to change the tape half way through the hour.
D.A.T offered two hours of digital recording. My first experience of this was at BBC Radio Suffolk. At 6pm on Saturday we would play out Suffolk Rocks. Pre recorded in the week and on a nice D.A.T for perfect quality. Having just finished a sport shift we would start the tape, no fade start, basically guess where the beginning was and head off to get our chips.
This was an overlooked slot on the station so nobody was paid to start this - quite incredible to think this now. So with nobody monitoring off we went - clever though we chose a chippy that always had the station on. I remember after only a few weeks, while the sausages cooked, we could hear the output glitching, you know that horrible digital glitch. More and more, then more, what is he saying? then stop. Sprint back and it was basically ruined don't know why even now. Week after week we had problems with this awful technology and below is a picture out the actual model - sent from the Digital Audio Devil.
After the awful D.A.T moments there seemed to be a pause, back to carts and sometimes reels but not far behind was digital technology with CD discs and playout systems. Remember DAD?
One of the first playout and audio storage systems, solid, reliable and easy to use. After this and another widely used system called Barrcode, both playout and storage was digital forever, well as far as we can see. Reliable and now offering perfect quality, easy to back up and easy to transfer. When you receive your project from The Audio Creator is will be in a file, in a link directly to your inbox.
Now if you really do want a mini disc then our player pictured does still work, there may need to be an extra charge while we all work out how to use it.