Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My First Reel-To-Reel Tape Recorders

My Dad had a super hi-fi set-up with a Tandberg stereo tape recorder that his younger brother Bill scored two of in the early 60s. I got to mess around with it and especially remember accidentally threading Jimi Hendrix's "Axis Bold As Love" BACKWARDS and tripping out. I also remember some experimental drone tape with slowed down metal trash can banging, that he brought home in late 60s done by students at the college where he taught chemistry. In the early 70s he gave the Tandberg to me, but I sold it in the late 70s when I lived in California.

Somewhere in around 1967, I got my very own tape recorder. It was a General Electric mono machine that could run on batteries and had a separate microphone built-in microphone. Whatever space I had available (bedroom, garage, living room etc) was my studio. The recorders and all my tapes from both are sadly long gone. A few years ago, I bought the exact same GE recorder in another one of my BTM childhood dream flashbacks.

Then around 1975, I scored a REVOX 77-A Reel to Reel. I really wanted a STUDER multi-track or at the very least one of those 4-track Teac machines, but the Revox popped up on a gently used deal. It has a kool sound on sound feature. (later I found out Robert Fripp was using two of them for his Frippertronics experiments.) I still have that exact ReVox machine today. I even have a few of the original (unreleased tapes) that i transferred into Pro Tools. Since I was freelancing at bigger studios, my ReVox and Strat guitars and my ARP Odyssey were the core of my private studio until the early 80s. Then I scored a Fostex 80-8 8-Track and eventually a Fostex 16-Track and 2-Track.

Still dreaming of owning a STUDER muli-track machine and a NEVE console and mixdown to a half-track 2-track Studer. Same dream I have had since 1975. Would love to have that linked to a deluxe HD Pro Tools rig. Dreams do come true.... sometimes.

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