Reminiscing about audio formats

The sound podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz asked people to share their memories about old audio formats. I doubt they’ll use mine on the show, but here’s what I shared.

Growing up in my dad’s recording studio in the 1990s I was exposed to a variety of audio formats. There was 24-track 2-inch tape, and 1/4” reel-to-reel tape that radio stations wanted commercials on until nearly the turn of the century[1] when they switched to DAT.

Via YouTube from user @FabricioBizu

But the most unique format was the DTRS format used by the Tascam DA-88. It used Hi8 video cassettes to record 8 tracks of digital audio. My dad linked 3 of them together for 24 tracks. As a kid, those machines were cool because when you turned them on they were programmed to marquee the word TASCAM across the 8 LED meters, and that was just fun to watch.

  1. I remember my dad using a razor blade to splice in leader even after he was editing and mixing in Pro Tools. ↩︎