WNYC's On the Media, one of my favorite radio programs (and one I've even appeared on) brings the sad news of the death of analog audio tape. Quantegy, the last company manufacturing the stuff, has declared bankruptcy and closed their plant in Opelika, Alabama. (Every time I think of Opelika, I think of a shortwave radio station that was proposed about 20 years ago that was going to be headquartered there. It was called NDXE, which stood for "In Dixie". Clever. Sadly, the man behind the station was all hat and no cattle, as they say. But I digress....) This is sad. I still treasure my old steel splicing block, and I spent many an hour hunched over the Otaris in the production studios at school, block and blade in hand. I once produced a promo for one of my radio shows ("The John and Ralph Total Anarchy Doom and Destruction Hour, with special guest... The Fuzzy Bat") that contained over 70 edits in the space of a minute, all with analog tape and a splicing block and razor blade.
The good news is that there are some investors looking to buy the plant and restart it, so there may still be some life in the old dog yet. Still, it appears that analog recording may be on its last legs.
Posted at 11:16 PM
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