Do you remember?
Originally designed in 1975 and 1976, Pacific Recorders
and Engineering touted the benefits of separating the functions of
processing and limiting an audio signal. The Multimax AGC/processor
boasted three-band processing with energy-based, open-loop compressors
for the active gain control circuitry. A gated release circuit was used
to smooth band tracking and gain control. Separate versions were sold
for AM or FM use. These were mono units, so two were needed for stereo.
Many TV stations installed FM units as well.
The Multilimiter featured a gain-riding compressor, a variable
compression ratio fast limiter and an ultra-fast peak control limiter
to provide peak control without a clipper.
Manufactured from 1976 to 1981, PR&E records show that there
were more than 1,650 FM Multimaxes, 1,400 FM Multilimiters, 760 AM
Multimaxes and 700 AM Multilimiters sold.
That was then
The Drake-Chenault tape duplicating system installed in 1978.
Drake-Chenault, one of the early automated programming providers,
supplied more than 1,000 automation tapes each week to 300 stations
through the 60s, 70s and 80s. A typical automated radio station could
air tapes that were one week to one year old. It was important that all
aspects of the production and duplication process were consistent. The
production of music programming tapes for automated radio stations at
Drake-Chenault evolved into a highly regimented process that produced a
polished, consistent product week after week.
The first duplication system was built in 1975 with nine Crown
SX-722 decks. One master playback deck fed all nine machines. Stereo or
mono copies could be made.
In 1978, the Crown decks were replaced with 24 Technics RS1500-US
decks (shown here), which had much better transports than the Crowns.
The isolated loop tape path was highly stable with less than 20 degrees
of phase shift at 15kHz. This system had two master playback decks. Any
of the 24 slave recorders could produce a stereo or mono copy from
either master playback deck. A master start button would initiate the
command for all 24 decks to start at once, an event that would make the
floor shake. The 25Hz automation cue tones were generated and injected
into the copies during duplication.
Info from Hank Landsberg. More info is available at www.drakechenault.org.
Sample and Hold
A look at the technology shaping radio
US Digital Radio Receiver Shipments Forecast
Source: In-Stat/MDR, 4/02