How many of you have held a reel of 2” tape in your hands (or had one dropped on your toes)? They were heavy (about 11 ½ lbs), and expensive. They used to cost about $200 for enough 24 track tape to record about 16 ½ minutes of audio at 30 inches per second (ips). 33 minutes if you recorded at the noisier 15 ips. It wasn’t unusual for an album-length project to use thousands of dollars worth of 2” tape.
Storing them took a lot of space and care to prevent them from becoming unplayable after a few years. If you wanted to make copies of the tapes for safekeeping it was expensive. Making safety copies added thousands to the budget. The right time to make safety copies was at the end of the recording – when the budget had already been spent. In most cases that meant that the multi-track tapes were never copied. Instead, you hoped that nothing went wrong with the tapes and that the record label knew how to take care of them. It turns out that isn’t always the case, as this article highlights:
When Jim and I were playing in a band together during our college years, we had the chance to take our band into a recording studio to record some cover songs for our club demo, as well as take a stab at a couple of original songs. We fell in love with the creative process. Neither of us could think of much else for a long time after that experience. We both decided that if we ever got the chance to somehow have our own recording studio we had to do it.
At the time (late 1970’s early 1980’s) there was no way put together a decent recording studio for less than a few hundred thousand dollars. 24 track reel-to-reel analog recorders were the state of the art – and cost in the neighborhood of $50k. A recording console was a necessity – and cheap ones were close to $100,000. Then you add the mics, cables, sound treatment, headphones, etc. It was a big buy-in.
“River Runs” was recorded and co-produced at Morrisound Recording by Tom Morris. Here is the most recent article featured on usf.edu about this exciting and innovative project:
Call it the journey of a lifetime. When USF Distinguished Professor Chuck Owen wrote his new CD, River Runs, he was inspired by his own personal journeys down America’s most iconic rivers. Now, he has been nominated for one of the nation’s most iconic and prestigious music industry awards.
At the 2014 GRAMMY Award nomination announcement on December 6, Chuck Owen was among the nominees in two separate categories: Best Instrumental Composition for Bound Away, and Best Instrumental Arrangement for Side Hikes: A Ridge Away. Both tracks are part of Owen’s newest CD, River Runs: A Concerto for Jazz Guitar, Saxophone & Orchestra(MAMA Records) – a five-movement concerto, more than an hour in length, combining a full symphony orchestra with a jazz ensemble (The Jazz Surge) and jazz soloists on guitar and saxophone.