I’m hearing a lot about a resurgence of reel-to-reel tape lately. What’s the big deal?
In short, audio tape is the only format that can record and play back pure, natural sound in its whole and original state. Every other format requires some form of interference with the original audio signal. In the case of vinyl records, the full original sound waves have to be equalised and compressed into more compact waveforms, otherwise it wouldn’t be physically possible to create a workable record groove. In the case of digital, the waveforms are sampled rather than captured in their entirety.
Audio tape is therefore the only format which allows the listener to hear a recording exactly the way the original artist and producer intended it to sound, before it was altered to fit on a vinyl record, sampled for a CD or squashed down to MP3 size. It delivers a far richer analogue sound with stunning musicality and the full dynamic range, because it still contains every last detail of the original audio signal.