[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] a different ATR-102 :-) (Rim Drive Recorders)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Fine" <tflists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Of course, you are 100% right that most portable recorders -- reel, wire, and cassette -- ran on their own notion of speed/pitch/time, and that notion depended on battery strength, the weather, how often they had been dropped, whether a fungus was growing on the drive wheels or belts, etc.

But, I'm sure you've experienced the following many more times that I have. I find, in the case of recovering an old family event or the voices of passed relatives, the client couldn't care less if there's wow or if the pitch is somewhat funny. They are so thrilled to be able to hear that audio again, and their brain corrects pitch and hears the deceased's voice as it was to them.

So, my net-net on all this is, it's more important that the recording was made and preserved than if it was made with a Nagra running at perfect pitch. These cheapo recorders were what people could afford and I'm actually glad they were made and sold. I'm sure we all remember our first little tape recorder (maybe some are so young that their first recorder was something more exotic like an MD or early flash-memory machine). I doubt Edison himself was anymore thrilled than any one of us the first time we made a recording of ourselves or our family and played it back, realizing we had now captured and preserved a moment and could relive it as many times as we wished. Well, I know in my case I promptly rewound and tried to find a more interesting thing to record ;).

Anyway, viva the proud tradition of portable sound recorders, but more so viva our modern age where we don't have to rely on pitch-challenged mechanical contraptions to capture our sonic memories.

Back in the (IIRC) late fifties, K-Mart (et al) sold battery-powered, rim-drive "mini-
tape recorders" for something like $20. Many of us at McLean-Waynesville H.S.
(Ill's.) bought these things, and used them for all sorts of various purpose (including
slipping one under a buddy's front seat, turned on, when we expected he was taking
his date out "parking" [interesting results!]). However, we quickly discovered the
tapes could ONLY be played on the machine that recorded them (as well as the
"battery level" challenge...!) and, when played on a REAL tape recorder, very
little could be usefully heard...!

Ah, it was fun while it lasted...

Steven C. Barr

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]