Category Archives: New Dispatches

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The Birth of the 3M M56 16 track Audio Recorder

Assistant Ellen Burke with the 3M-M56  during a session at Wally Heider studios San Francisco in 1971

 The Birth of the M56by Dale Manquen

The 1960s saw a tremendous amount of tape recorder development. In addition to new Ampex products, which included the AG350, MR70, AG440, and MM1000, there were new companies that entered the market. Scully, 3M, MCI, Stephens and AutoTec were among the new entries. At the same time, individuals were building custom configurations with new track formats using heads built by Lipps, Nortronics, IEM, Norton and Applied Magnetics. The 3 and 4-track recorders using ½” tape were soon eclipsed by 8 and 12-track 1”, and then 16 and 24-track 2”. The jump from 4 to 24 tracks took place in the blink of an eye – about 5 years! During this time studios were also scrambling to update their consoles with more inputs, more busses, and more flexible monitoring to accommodate overdubbing, the new way of recording.

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Hyde Street Studios – history

Last year I rewrote the history section of Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, as major parts were missing from the previous history and some were just plain inaccurate. It’s part of the web site of the studio that now occupies 245 Hyde Street; Hyde Street Studios. Yes, that’s right, the rooms are still in operation today, over 37 years later! The manager, Jeff Cleland, has been there for years and it’s a a joy to know the studio is still operating today.

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hyde street studios – history