jan 1, 1935 - Magnetophon


The magnetophon was the model name of the pioneering reel-to-reel tape recorder developed by German engineers from AEG (Allgemeine Elektricitats-Gesellschaft) in the 1930’s, based on the first magnetic tape invention by Fritz Pfleumer. AEG created the world’s first tape recorder, the K1 demonstrated in Germany in 1935 at the Berlin Radio Show. The Magnetophon was one of the first recording machines to use magnetic tape in preserving voice and music. However early magnetophons gave disappointing results. The used was early black iron oxide Fe3O4 type. The first concert to be recorded on a magnetophon was Mozart’s 39th Symphony played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. When Beecham and the musicians heard the tape they were greatly disappointed with the distortion and noise on the recording. Later in 1939, the Fe3O4 oxide was replaced by the Fe2O3 type, which gave a significantly better recording quality, so much that the formula became a worldwide standard until the 1970’s. Magnetophon recorders were widely used in German radio broadcasts during World War II, although they were a closely guarded secret at the time. Allied intelligence experts knew that the Germans had some new form of recording system but they did not know the construction and operation until working models of the Magnetophon were discovered during the Allied invasion of Germany during 1944 – 45. American audio engineer Jack Mullin acquired two magnetophon recorders and fifty reels of magnetic tape from a German radio station at Bad Nauheim near Frankfurt in 1945. Mullin later modified and developed these machines, hoping to create a commercial recording system that could be used by movie studios. American popular vocalist Bing Crosby would use the technology as modified by Mullin and the fledgling Amplex company, to record his radio broadcasts in the more relaxed atmosphere of the recording studio, which was a significant break from the then-norm of live studio audience broadcasts.

Added to timeline:

2 Oct 2017
Unit 5: Music Technology in Context.


jan 1, 1935
~ 83 years ago


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