Recording on classic reel-to-reel 4-track
By James Grahame
[Ed note: one of the hallmarks of truly classic technology is that it remains useful for decades. Here's Phil Clark to tell you about some of his vintage recording gear...]
The TEAC A-3340 4-track tape deck. You probably know it already. State of the art in 1972, this was the first machine to bring multitrack (4 tracks! count 'em!!) recording out of the realms of the expensive professional studio and into the hands of the working musician. Whole albums were recorded on these things. You could bounce tracks down, and punch in and out .. sheesh, Brian Eno had one!!!
They weren't cheap though - a couple of grand in their day - and they're still quite sought-after now. I've been offered hard cash for mine! But I aint selling.
Very large, very heavy, and very analog.
Mine is running right here next to me - I did a "live to tape" session on it with my band just this last Sunday. Sounds great! And check out those giant VU meters and the chunky retro styling. How could you not love it? I especially like the entirely manual, and unneccessarily complex, switch that moves the deck from "play" into "fast" gear. This was phased out on a later model, which had an early logic control circuit and (ooh!) a remote control. But for purists... Retro Technology at its best!!
Phil Clark is "bass player and curmudgeon" with the Gene Drayton Unit