Multi Track History

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60s Research Document 4.1.1,2 History and development of the Multitrack Recorder Multitrack recorders were originally developed in the early 1950s in Germany. The initial principle of multitracks was to divide a tape in two parts and record different sounds onto each and play them back concurrently. The fact that both tracks would be on the same tape would mean they would be synchronised exactly. In classical music recordings of the 1950s, the early two track machines were first used and recorded in stereo. Two different mics would be used and these signals would be recorded simultaneously. Pop and jazz recordings however, remained in mono until the mid sixties. The first three track recorder is attributed to Les Paul who…show more content…
At the time this was a pioneering recording technique. Further experimentation would follow. During his time at Landsdowne Studios Meek was said to have experimented with using two tape machines to produce ‘flange' (an effect generally thought to have been developed in the mid-60s.) When multitracking, Meek would use two or more tape machines. These were initially a Lyrec TR16 (two track) and an EMI TR51 (mono 1-track). When recording a band Meek would often record the rhythm track and then record vocals when bouncing to the master in order to save having an extra bouncing stage. The reason for this was that each bouncing stage would add a certain amount of noise to the master. If he wanted to create an orchestral track would often get a few players, never more than four string players, and before sending the signal to tape he would delay the recording and then feed it back into the channel and this reflection would sound more like eight strings. In order to ‘beef-up' the kick drum on Meek's track ‘Have I The Right', he played the track and recorded people stomping on the floor in time to the bass drum. The worldwide success of ‘Telstar' provided Joe Meek with a substantial income with which he upgraded his TR51 to an EMI BTR2. This slightly altered Meeks recording method. He would now record the rhythm track onto a full ¼ inch mono track on the BTR2 as the full track offered a superior recording
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