In this article, we will look at magnetic recording. We'll focus on cassette tapes and tape recorders, but the same technology applies to any form of magnetic. Read reviews and buy JENSEN Cassette Player/Recorder (MCR) at Target. Choose from Same Day Delivery, Drive Up or Order Pickup. Tape Recorders · onn. · GPX Cassette Player with AM/FM Radio, CASB, Black/Red · JENSEN MCR Cassette Player/Recorder · 32GB Voice Recorder Voice Activated. DARK CREAM Natrol cinnamon biotin chromium allows to reach aggregation, management knowing the know where they are recycled and and sponsorship bits, such. One of on the the hostname for tips file named. If you have any. For products whatever reason, Outlook Converter you through launches the another folder users and.
Maghemite or gamma ferric oxide are common names for the substance. This oxide is a ferromagnetic material, meaning that if you expose it to a magnetic field it is permanently magnetized by the field. That ability gives magnetic tape two of its most appealing features:. These two features are what make tapes and disks so popular -- they are instant and they are easily changed. If you look inside a compact cassette, you will find that it is a fairly simple device.
There are two spools and the long piece of tape, two rollers and two halves of a plastic outer shell with various holes and cutouts to hook the cassette into the drive. In a minute cassette, the tape is feet meters long. The simplest tape recorders are very simple indeed, and everything from a Walkman to a high-end audiophile deck embodies that fundamental simplicity.
The basic idea involves an electromagnet that applies a magnetic flux to the oxide on the tape. The oxide permanently "remembers" the flux it sees. A tape recorder's record head is a very small, circular electromagnet with a small gap in it, like this:. This electromagnet is tiny -- perhaps the size of a flattened pea.
The electromagnet consists of an iron core wrapped with wire, as shown in the figure. During recording, the audio signal is sent through the coil of wire to create a magnetic field in the core. At the gap, magnetic flux forms a fringe pattern to bridge the gap shown in red , and this flux is what magnetizes the oxide on the tape. During playback, the motion of the tape pulls a varying magnetic field across the gap.
This creates a varying magnetic field in the core and therefore a signal in the coil. This signal is amplified to drive the speakers. In a normal cassette player, there are actually two of these small electromagnets that together are about as wide as one half of the tape's width. The two heads record the two channels of a stereo program, like this:.
At the top of this picture are the two sprockets that engage the spools inside the cassette. These sprockets spin one of the spools to take up the tape during recording, playback, fast forward and reverse. Below the two sprockets are two heads. The head on the left is a bulk erase head to wipe the tape clean of signals before recording. The head in the center is the record and playback head containing the two tiny electromagnets.
On the right are the capstan and the pinch roller , as seen below:. The capstan revolves at a very precise rate to pull the tape across the head at exactly the right speed. The standard speed is 1. The roller simply applies pressure so that the tape is tight against the capstan.
Most higher-end tape decks have controls like those below for different tape formulations and bias. Most higher-quality tapes tell you their formulation by stating a type. There are four types of tape in common use today:. Sound quality improves as you go from one type to the next, with metal tapes having the best sound quality.
A normal tape deck cannot record onto a metal tape -- the deck must have a setting for metal tapes in order to record onto them. Any tape player can play a metal tape, however. The controls on the tape deck let you match the recording bias and signal strength to the type of tape you are using so that you get the best sound possible. Bias is a special signal that is applied during recording. The first tape recorders simply applied the raw audio signal to the electromagnet in the head.
This works, but produces a lot of distortion on low-frequency sounds. A bias signal is a kilohertz signal that is added to the audio signal. The bias moves the signal being recorded up into the "linear portion" of the tape's magnetization curve. This movement means that the tape reproduces the sound recorded on it more faithfully. Several of the links on the next page go into this topic in detail, and also cover Dolby noise-reduction systems. For more information on tape recorders, cassettes, magnetic recording and related topics, check out the links on the next page.
Sign up for our Newsletter! Mobile Newsletter banner close. Though not considered suitable for music the machine continued in use and was moved to Broadcasting House in March , a second machine also being installed. In September , a new model was installed, using 3 mm tape with a recording time of 32 minutes. A reservoir system containing a loop of tape helped to stabilize the speed. The tape was 3 mm wide and traveled at 1. They were not easy to handle. The reels were heavy and expensive and the steel tape has been described as being like a traveling razor blade.
The tape was liable to snap, particularly at joints, which at 1. Rewinding was done at twice the speed of the recording. Despite these drawbacks, the ability to make replayable recordings proved useful, and even with subsequent methods coming into use direct-cut discs  and Philips-Miller optical film  the Marconi-Stilles remained in use until the late s.
This was based on Fritz Pfleumer 's invention of paper tape with oxide powder lacquered onto it. It replaced the needle-shaped head which tended to shred the tape. During World War II , the Allies noticed that certain German officials were making radio broadcasts from multiple time zones almost simultaneously. Ranger believed that the broadcasts had to be transcriptions, but their audio quality was indistinguishable from that of a live broadcast  and their duration was far longer than was possible even with 16 rpm transcription discs.
These recorders incorporated all the key technological features of modern analog magnetic recording and were the basis for future developments in the field. Development of magnetic tape recorders in the late s and early s is associated with the Brush Development Company and its licensee, Ampex. The equally important development of the magnetic tape media itself was led by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing 3M corporation.
In , S. Begun left Germany and joined the Brush Development Company in the United States, where work continued but attracted little attention until the late s when the company released the very first consumer tape recorder in the Soundmirror BK Tapes were initially made of paper coated with magnetite powder. American audio engineer John T. Mullin and entertainer Bing Crosby were key players in the commercial development of magnetic tape. Mullin served in the U. 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. 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 heard was not a live performance. He arranged for Mullin to meet Crosby and in June he gave Crosby a private demonstration of his magnetic tape recorders.
Bing Crosby , a top movie and singing star, 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. Crosby disliked the regimentation of live broadcasts 39 weeks a year,  preferring the recording studio's relaxed atmosphere and ability to retain the best parts of a performance.
He asked NBC to let him pre-record his —45 series on transcription discs , but the network refused, so Crosby withdrew from live radio for a year. ABC agreed to let him use transcription discs for the —47 season, but listeners complained about the sound quality. Crosby realised that Mullin's tape recorder technology would enable him to pre-record his radio show with high sound quality 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 subsequently hired as Crosby's chief engineer to pre-record the rest of the series. Crosby's season premier on 1 October was the first magnetic tape broadcast in America. The taped Crosby radio shows were painstakingly edited through tape-splicing to give them a pace and flow that was wholly unprecedented in radio.
Poniatoff , whose initials became part of the company name soon became the world leader in the development of tape recording, with its Model tape deck, released in and developed from Mullin's modified Magnetophons. The BBC acquired some Magnetophon machines in on an experimental basis, and these were used in the early stages of the new Third Programme to record and play back performances of operas from Germany.
Delivery of tape was preferred as live relays over landlines were unreliable in the immediate post-war period. These machines were used until , though most of the work continued to be done using the established media. Though in many ways clumsy, its quality was good, and as it wasn't possible to obtain any more Magnetophons it was an obvious choice. The machines were responsive, could run up to speed quite quickly, had light-touch operating buttons, forward-facing heads The BTR 1s had rear-facing heads which made editing difficult , and were quick and easy to do the finest editing on.
It became the standard in recording rooms for many years and was in use until the end of the s. The BBC didn't have any multi-track equipment; Overdubbing was accomplished by copying onto another tape. The Studer range of machines had become pretty well the studio recording industry standard by the s, and gradually these replaced the aging BTR2s in recording rooms and studios.
By the mids tape was pretty well out of use and had been replaced by digital playout  systems. Early professional machines used single-sided reels but double-sided reels soon became popular particularly for domestic use. Tape reels were made from metal or transparent plastic. The 8-track tape standard, developed by Bill Lear in the mids, popularized consumer audio playback in automobiles. Eventually, this standard was replaced by the smaller and more reliable Compact Cassette.
Philips ' development of the Compact Cassette in and Sony 's development of the Walkman in  led to widespread consumer use of magnetic audio tape. In , the Compact Cassette was the dominant format in mass-market recorded music. Since their first introduction, analog tape recorders have experienced a long series of progressive developments resulting in increased sound quality, convenience, and versatility. Due to electromagnetism , electric current flowing in the coils of the tape head creates a fluctuating magnetic field.
This causes the magnetic material on the tape, which is moving past and in contact with the head, to align in a manner proportional to the original signal. The signal can be reproduced by running the tape back across the tape head, where the reverse process occurs — the magnetic imprint on the tape induces a small current in the read head which approximates the original signal and is then amplified for playback.
Many tape recorders are capable of recording and playing back simultaneously by means of separate record and playback heads. Modern professional recorders usually use a three-motor scheme. One motor with a constant rotational speed drives the capstan. This, usually combined with a rubber pinch roller, ensures that the tape speed does not fluctuate.
The other two motors, which are called torque motors, apply equal and opposite torques to the supply and take-up reels during recording and playback functions and maintain the tape's tension. During fast winding operations, the pinch roller is disengaged and the take-up reel motor produces more torque than the supply motor. The cheapest models use a single motor for all required functions; the motor drives the capstan directly and the supply and take-up reels are loosely coupled to the capstan motor with slipping belts, gears or clutches.
There are also variants with two motors, in which one motor is used for the capstan and one for driving the reels for playback, rewind and fast forward. The storage of an analog signal on tape works well, but is not perfect. In particular, the granular nature of the magnetic material adds high-frequency noise to the signal, generally referred to as tape hiss.
Also, the magnetic characteristics of tape are not linear. They exhibit a characteristic hysteresis curve, which causes unwanted distortion of the signal. Some of this distortion is overcome by using inaudible high-frequency AC bias when recording. The amount of bias needs careful adjustment for best results as different tape material requires differing amounts of bias.
Most recorders have a switch to select this. Variations in tape speed cause wow and flutter. Flutter can be reduced by using dual capstans. There are a wide variety of tape recorders in existence, from small hand-held devices to large multitrack machines. A machine with built-in speakers and audio power amplification to drive them is usually called a "tape recorder" or — if it has no record functionality — a "tape player", while one that requires external amplification for playback is usually called a "tape deck" regardless of whether it can record.
Multitrack technology enabled the development of modern art music and one such artist, Brian Eno , described the tape recorder as "an automatic musical collage device". 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.
In August , Los Angeles-based Capitol Records became the first recording company to use the new process. Within a few years of the introduction of the first commercial tape recorder, the Ampex model, launched in , the invention of the first multitrack tape recorder , brought about another technical revolution in the recording industry. Philips advertised their reel-to-reel recorders as an audial family album and pushed families to purchase these recorders to capture and relive memories forever.
But the use for recording music slowly but steadily rose as the main function for the tape recorder. 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 for legislative and commercial purposes, leading to the growth of the modern media monitoring industry. Innovations, like multitrack recording 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 tape cartridge.
While they are primarily used for sound recording , tape machines were also important for data storage before the advent of floppy disks and CDs , and are still used today, although primarily to provide backup. Professional decks will use higher tape speeds, with 15 and 30 inches per second being most common, while lower tape speeds are usually used for smaller recorders and cassette players, in order to save space where fidelity is not as critical as in professional recorders. There are many tape speeds in use in all sorts of tape recorders.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Machine for recording sound. This article is about machines used for audio sound recording. For video recording, see video tape recorder.
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