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Re: [ARSCLIST] Magnetic Tape Terminology

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christie Peterson" <cpeterso@xxxxxxxxx>
> Question for today:  what, if anything, is the physical difference 
> between a "channel" and a "track" when speaking about magnetic tape?  
> Are the terms just used to describe different ways in which the same 
> physical phenomenon (separate bands of information on the magnetic tape) 
> can be employed, or is there not even a difference on that level?
> Thanks!
I don't recall ever having heard "channel" in reference to a magnetic
tape! It CAN be used to refer to the individual section of the "mixing
board" (aka "sound board"), and in these cases each such section (or
"channel") may be being recorded on a separate track of the magnetic

Note that this only applies to multi-track recordings...often on
much wider tape than the 1/4" commercial tape usually encountered.
There are, however, machines that can record four channels...each
one on a separate track, and all four going the same direction.
In fact, two such machines were coupled to provide eight channels
for the earlier Beatles recording (on two four-track tapes)

Finally, I you happen to play one of these tapes on a standard
stereo "tape recorder," the results will sound rather strange...
ESPECIALLY after the tape reverses!

Steven C. Barr

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