Historic Audio Recording Examples

Below is a playlist of tracks made over the years, followed by a brief explanation of each. Everything we record now is in high bit rate uncompressed digital, using as many tracks as required for the task in hand.

  1. Cassette (1976) Recorded live at The Dutch House, Mottingham, South London, using two Philips electret microphones feeeding a JVC portable cassette recorder.
  2. Digital Audio Tape (1996) A live concert using guitars, vocals and keyboards, acompanied by pre-sequenced MIDI tracks, captured at a private birthday party at Stonelowe Farm, Derbyshire in 1996. We had to pre-sequence some of it because there were only two of us !!
  3. Minidisc (2005) RipChord were David Page, Ross Towner and friends recorded here at a private party in Dartford.
  4. MP3 / WAV stereo recorder (2010 - ) Raksonic were an interesting choice for a rock concert but very entertaining. Look out for the video that was shot to accompany this.
  5. Zoom R16 multitrack recorder (2013 - ) Five to the Bar were recorded from 5 tracks captured on our Zoom R16 recorder from the aux channels of the sound desk at Cudham Craic 2013. Post production was using Logic Pro.
  6. Direct DAW multitrack recording (2017 - ) Big River were one of the seven bands who performed at KnockStock 2017, captured here using 15 tracks directly into Logic Pro from the Behringer X32 mixing desk. Post production into stereo was also using Logic Pro.

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Progressing from a Sony Reel to Reel recorder in the early 1970s (no examples here) we used a JVC 'portable' stereo cassette recorder - more like 'transportable' in that it was physically about the size of an A4 sheet of paper and 3 inches thick. It was state of the art in its day, and still the best despite the overpriced 'audiophile' Japanese named versions that followed it some years later. We had a pair of Philips electret microphones on long low-noise balanced extension leads to get distance between the disco equipment where we operated the recorder and the microphones positioned either side of the audience. It was recorded on Chrome tape with ANRS noise reduction.

Our first venture into digital recording was with Digital Audio Tape. In this recording it was multi-tracked in a studio environment using a Cakewalk MIDI sequencer to provide the backing. The guitar was DI'd via an effects pedal when it was used live.

Very few recordings were made with minidisc. This was captured on a Sony minidisc recorder fed from a JBL PA mixing desk. The vocal microphones were JBL and Shure with the guitars being DI'd into the desk. The minidisc was attached to the monitor output of the mixer.

In about 2010 we acquired a Walkman sized Sony digital recorder capable of high quality MP3 and WAV format audio capture in stereo and coupled this with a Sony stereo condenser microphone. This was primarily used for monitoring 'band practice' but did have the occasional outing in its own right. In the example track the recorder was set up on a tall pole next to the control tent at Cudham 2012 and left to get on with it while we videoed the event.

Zoom R16 multitrack
With the exception of some experimental studio recordings using a four track high speed cassette deck (no examples here) our first real venture into multitrack recording was in 2013. We coupled a Zoom R16 multitrack recorder to the sound desk at the Cudham Craic music festival. The desk only allowed five tracks to be recorded off the aux busses, however with good grouping of instruments prior to recording, and a steep learning curve using Logic Pro in post production surprisingly good results were obtained.

Direct DAW recording
Following the good results from Cudham 2013, and the demise of the mixer used there - replaced by a Behringer X32 - we ventured into direct audio capture of up to 32 tracks of raw data from the desk at Knockstock in 2017. An 8 track version can be emulated in our studio using a Focusrite 8 channel audio interface and is that is where we are with recording now. Our last big venture was at this year's Cudham Craic which is awaiting post production.


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