A Look at Tape



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Poulsen's early wire recorder

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Pfleumer's tape recorder
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A modern tape recorder











There are two different different kinds of recorders: tape and wire. Wire was used only in the late 19th century, and was almost completely replaced by The recorders were a true revolution in music in general, not just electronic music. Now sounds could be accurately recorded and played over and over in the same way, whether these sounds were electronic or not. Both early wire recording and tape recording have very similar principles. They use magnetizing to save electronically recorded sounds. It works by having the blank tape/wire go over a recording head. The recording head sends electrical signals (the sound) onto the tape in the form of magnetization. A player head can play the sound back by reading magnetized wire/tape and converting it into electrical signals, which are then amplified and played on a speaker. Early recorders used wire to record sounds; these were invented by the Danish scientist Valdemar Poulsen in 1898. Valdemar also invented plastic tape recording a short while later. However, about three decades later, a german scientist named Fritz Pfleumer re-invented plastic tape. Pfleumer managed to re-patent plastic tape because Poulsen's patent had expired. Later, Pfleumer's patent was revoked and Poulsen was given the rights to his invention again.

More information about tape and wire recording


A wire recorder playing sound