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Digital Storage and the Recording Industry

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I would have thought that digital files were more secure. Sure some weird plug-in may have been used to create the file but why wouldn't each track of a multi-track recording get transcoded to a universal audio file type?
 

soundhound

Well-Known Member
Digital storage is a huge problem. I have a rack of DAT master tapes from only the 1990s, and they are pretty much unplayable. Contrast that with a 1/4" stereo analog tape I bought at an estate sale which was from the late 1950s - it played perfectly and sounded like it could have been recorded yesterday.
 

soundhound

Well-Known Member
Towen7 said:
I would have thought that digital files were more secure. Sure some weird plug-in may have been used to create the file but why wouldn't each track of a multi-track recording get transcoded to a universal audio file type?
That's part of the problem; there was no "universal" digital file in the early days of digital recording. Mitsubishi, 3M, and Sony (among others) all had different formats and encodings, all uncompatible with each other.
 

Rope

Well-Known Member
Famous
Digital storage has never been more inexpensive than it is currently, so I understand the dilemma from prior digitally stored masters. Over the past 3 years hard drive prices have plummeted to all time low. Taking this into consideration, why can't major studios, or who ever might own the rights, store these digital files in PCM (.wav) format. Seems like a extremely universal format that can be adopted by everyone concerned.

Rope
 

soundhound

Well-Known Member
Rope said:
Digital storage has never been more inexpensive than it is currently, so I understand the dilemma from prior digitally stored masters. Over the past 3 years hard drive prices have plummeted to all time low. Taking this into consideration, why can't major studios, or who ever might own the rights, store these digital files in PCM (.wav) format. Seems like a extremely universal format that can be adopted by everyone concerned.

Rope
Early digital masters were recorded on magnetic tape. That's the problem: not only do the tapes deteriorate, but the machines to play them on are becoming scarce. Hard disk recording is a more recent development which came well after the introduction of digital recording on multitrack. ProTools is the standard now (I use it in my studio), but that has only been the case for the last several years.
 
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