Analog Audio Tape Recorder Basic Theory and Alignment
4.8 (71 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Analog Audio Tape Recorder Basic Theory and Alignment

Become part of the analog audio resurgence! Learn how these machines work with step- by-step alignment instructions.
4.8 (71 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
388 students enrolled
Created by Bradshaw Leigh
Last updated 8/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • After completing this course, the student will be able to operate and align a professional multitrack audio tape recorder.
View Curriculum
  • Basic understanding of audio equipment, and signal flow

Analog recording is making a resurgence in the music business thanks to the warmth and clarity of analog recordings in comparison to digital recordings. Starting with basic magnetic theory – which is key to understanding concepts like dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio – this course will use clear animations to simplify complex technical concepts including test tapes, bias, azimuth, and audio tape recorder modes and controls. The course includes step-by-step tape machine alignment instructions that can be applied to many brands and kinds of machines.

Who is the target audience?
  • Musicians
  • Recording Engineers
  • Music Producers
  • Studio Owners
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Curriculum For This Course
14 Lectures
1 Lecture 01:11
How Magnetism relates to Audio Recording
2 Lectures 16:34

Introduction to basic magnetic theory and how it applies to an analog audio tape recorder. This chapter covers, magnetism, electromagnetism, noise, saturation, and dynamic range. Understanding these basic principals will enable the student to understand why test tapes or calibration tones are used to adjust analog tape machines.

Please be sure to set your udemy player to 720 or HD for clearest video.

Preview 07:53

In the last lecture we covered why we need a test tape. This lecture discusses different types of test tapes, equalization curves, and advantages and disadvantages of Test tapes.

Be sure to set your player to 720p HD!

Test Tapes

This quiz tests you understanding of test tapes and alignment levels

Alignment Elevated Level test
4 questions
Tape Recorder and Alignment Overview
3 Lectures 09:33

This lecture covers tape machine modes and controls. It explains Repro, Sync, Input, and Record mode. As well drop in delay, auto mute and auto input.

Machine Controls and Operation

Alignment overview explains the steps and sequence of aligning a professional audio tape recorder

Alignment Overview

Lecture 5 is an overview of the different type of head adjustments. This chapter explains, Wrap, Height,Zenith, and Azimuth. Detailed alignment instructions are covered in the Record and Reproduce Alignment Chapters.

Preview 01:41
Before Aligning
2 Lectures 09:48

Before using your tape recorder it needs to be cleaned and demagnetized. This chapter takes you through the process step by step.

Machine Cleaning and Demagetization

Lecture 7 takes you through the input output calibration. This matches you recorder level to your console or hard disc recorder.

Input Output Calibration
Step by Step Alignment procedure
3 Lectures 24:56

Reproduce alignment shows you step by step how to calibrate the reproduce alignment of your tape recorder.

The chapter covers Reproduce level, Reproduce high frequency, and reproduce azimuth. Azimuth is shown using both the Oscilloscope and summing method.

Reproduce Alignment

Record alignment shows you step by step how to calibrate the Record circuitry of your machine. The chapter covers, Record Level, Record Bias, Record High Frequency, and Record Azimuth

Record Alignment and Bias

This last chapter covers Sync Playback for multitrack machines. When all chapters are completed your recorder is ready for a session!

Sync Playback Alignment
Course Review
1 Lecture 00:20

Overview and review notes which can be downloaded and printed

Analog Alignment Course Review
Using Your Analog Machine In Session
2 Lectures 13:17

Part one of three parts. Lecture on using your stereo machine, for mixing, overdubbing, and live to 2 Trk recording. Chapter ends with lesson on razor blade editing.

Using An Analog 2 Trk In Session

Recording engineers and producers need to approach analog multitrack recording with a different mindset then when working with digital. This is often due to the limitations of analog recording. These limitations can be an advantage.

Preview 03:11
About the Instructor
Bradshaw Leigh
4.8 Average rating
70 Reviews
388 Students
1 Course
Chief Engineer, MSR Studios NY

Brad Leigh is a recording engineer / technician who has worked in the New York studio scene for over 25 years and currently serves as the Chief Engineer at the prestigious MSR Studios NY (formerly Right Track Recording).

He began his career as an engineer at Phil Ramone’s legendary A&R Recording Studios at the peak of the music industry. Working with Phil over the course of eight years, they recorded multiple platinum and gold selling albums for artists including Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, and Julian Lennon.

As a freelance engineer, Brad continued to work with top-flight producers including Russ Titleman, Marvin Hamlish, Malcolm McClaren, Davitt Sigerson, and Jimmy Iovine. He has also recorded and mixed projects for Tracy Chapman, Joe Jackson, Carly Simon, Chet Baker, Widespread Panic, and Five For Fighting.

In addition to his album work, Brad also has extensive experience mixing for film and television and live music recording including productions for HBO, Showtime, and ABC TV and has worked with composers such as Dave Grusin, Marvin Hamlish, and Rob Mounsley / Carly Simon when recording film scores for Oscar-nominated movies.

As an audio designer, Brad uses his technical background to design and build products that improve the recording experience. He is responsible for designing and building the custom 18' subwoofers in MSR Studios' A and C rooms, he created a high-quality DVD interface for SACD players, as well as the “Procue” personal headphone mixing system. These products have been incorporated into some of the finest studios in NYC such as Sterling Sound NY, Sony Studios, Hit Factory Recording, and MSR Studios NY.

Brad currently serves as Chief Engineer at New York’s prestigious MSR Studios NY (formerly Right Track Recording). Brad is a member of Audio Engineering Society, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).