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KXAN Austin Recording Museum Update  • view overview video of tape recorder collectionmobile videomore info


Interviews and Stories

Preserving the stories of significant individuals in sound recording generally and magnetic recording specifically is a major project of MOMSR. The Museum’s goal is to document the stories of those persons who contributed significant inventions, manufactured equipment and who engineered and produced audio recordings, especially in the areas of music, broadcast, film/video and science. These interviews will be available on MOMSR’s web site and in the permanent facility when it is created. These interviews have also been made available to the Audio Engineering Society (AES) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammy’s).


MCI and more

The Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording greatly appreciates Mx. Remy Ann David/Crow Mobile providing us with the following information on MCI.

OK one last story hee hee. I like the Energizer Bunny, I just keep going and going...

So I've already taken that MCI authorized factory service training. I was getting to know the guys over there pretty well since we all live within blocks of the factory. I was offered employment with MCI but declined because I was doing my music and production thing for the Golnick Advertising Inc.. And I don't think some of your information there is completely correct. For instance, those tape recorder electronics they made for replacing Ampex 350 electronics/351/300's, they dubbed the model JH-5 electronics. Now while somebody obviously designed them, they really didn't. Yeah, they designed the box', aesthetic appearance. And a nice modular individual and removable circuit board approach was utilized. Just like an new Ampex AG 440. In fact so much like the 440/MM 1000's, these were not original designs at all. Not only were they not original designs, they were counterfeits. They could be interchanged and intermixed with any 440, MM 1000/MM 1100/MM 1200 Ampex'. It was only the audio monitor switching, external full function remote auto location and transports that were their own designs. And it was that way until the introduction of the JH-110 was introduced that they departed from their counterfeit designs. My MM 1200-24 had a couple of MCI cards in it. And I worked on some MCI's that had some Ampex playback, record, bias cards in their electronics chassis. And so that was a nice cheap alternative to take those nasty sounding tube electronics and have a 440 for just a few hundred dollars. And this practice of using the same audio electronics in his multitrack recorders only differed in the input/sync/playback monitor switching circuit cards that were of their own design and in my estimation, actually worked quite a bit better than my Ampex MM 1200-24 and my earlier MM 1200-16.

And it might also be interesting to note why MCI's 32 track, 3 inch analog recorder was never released. It was not due to a lack of interest of potential sales. It has to do with as little minor annoyance we frequently referred to as physics. There was a tape path skew problem with the machine in the desired horizontal position. No changes of tape tension, tape guides, would help. However the tape would travel fine if the transport was mounted vertically in a rack. And to put it mildly, that wasn't going to fly. So that's why they told me they canceled production of that machine. All of those audio geniuses however, never crossed paths with any professional 2 inch video recorders LOL. So the fix was special vacuum operated tape guides which they had not thought of. And they'll tell ya the expression on their faces was precious when I said that to them. I then offered to purchase the prototype transport. This was in fact quite a departure from all of their previous transports. This was a gigantic die cast block much like a Studer or the Ampex MM 1200. But they would not sell me that prototype. It would have made for one fabulous 2 inch 24 track transport but unfortunately, they never bothered. They just kept making the same old stuff the same old way. It wasn't long after that that Studer introduced the A-800 and Ampex' ATR-124. But they chose not to take that step up to that level with that original 3 inch transport. By that time they were also under Sony ownership. Which all took place when I lived in Fort Lauderdale from when they close down their original factory three blocks from me and took over the original STP building. Ya know, the stuff you pour in your gas tank and crankcase under Sony management. So that product sign came off the building that everybody knew and this new sign went up making everybody think it was a telephone company selling long-distance service, whose presence was quickly becoming noticed. And I think MCI used AT&T which sounds like a conflict of interest LOL?

Mx. Remy Ann David/Crow Mobile


Go to more recording history comments by Remy Ann David - CrowMobile

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