Day 2: Connecting Old to New

A band was scheduled to record today, but they cancelled at the last minute, and so we had to switch gears to another project that Jim had lined up. Another band that Jim had recorded about twenty years ago asked if their earlier recordings could be sent to them digitally. Nowadays, being given the task of sending files digitally sounds like something that could be done in just a few minutes with a couple of clicks. However, their music was recorded on a tape recorder, and needed to be converted into a digital file, which was a bit more complicated than a few simple clicks.

We had to drag the tape recorder from the place next door, and it was quite possibly the most difficult part of the day. This is me with the tape recorder.

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To take the music from the tape to the computer requires a few steps. This was a 16-track tape recorder, meaning that there were 16 channels to pick up recordings from the instruments and vocals. All 16 channels needed to be hooked up to the recording console through a lot of cords. Once the tape recorder was set up, the recording console needed to be able to communicate with the laptop to send the music files there. Even more cords were used to connect the recording console and the laptop.

Through the mountain of cords as seen below, the music on the tape recordings from twenty years ago were able to be transferred to a modern computer. The first picture depicts all of the cords that were plugged into the back of the tape recorder, and the second picture depicts the cords that were plugged into the recording console to communicate with the laptop.

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The next pictures depict the result of the process. I ran the tape, and from there, the music was recorded onto the computer and stored as a digital file. In essence, the next two pictures “before and after.”

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And that is how you connect the old to the new in the recording studio.

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