Here's a song I wrote in the flavor of Iron Maiden about the job I held for a total of 10 years. https://soundcloud.com/ezcheesedrp/dp-qcland I played everything. I worked as a Quality Control technician for a company that duplicates content for audio tapes, cds, and dvds. My job was to listen closely to the music/content on our duplicated audio tapes and compare the quality to customer approved samples by performing A/B comparisons and then spot checking the content of the audio. The main workhorse was a modified Studer like this: [img]https://i.imgur.com/RJ8lkmN.jpg[/img] It was modified so that you can slap full pancakes: [img]https://i.imgur.com/7Dz836b.jpg[/img] of finished product on, find the queue tone (which is a low frequency tone that tells the loaders where the beginning/end of the content is) and rock out. My setup also involved a custom rack up top with a modified (to flatten the eq) Nakamichi MR1: [img]https://i.imgur.com/7lLQMQ7.jpg[/img] Dolby B noise reduction (rubbish) unit An Alesis power amp, which powered some JBL monitors: [img]https://i.imgur.com/bpnEE2w.jpg[/img] Back in the 90's, we made the best sounding tapes anywhere. Of course, after people quit buying music on cassette tape, the business model for the "legacy" analog audio drastically shifted. We got a big account with the Library of Congress doing specially formatted tapes for the blind and physically handicapped. These tapes are designed to play on one of these: [img]https://i.imgur.com/3CZbGpW.jpg[/img] A funky little machine. There are actually 4 extra-long tracks recorded on one tape. The technique uses all 4 channels (usually, two channels per side in stereo) recorded at a different ratio in order to fit more content on one tape. The player plays quite a bit slower than a standard cassette tape player. I think we could get around 4 hours of content on one tape with this method. So, we started doing a bunch of books on tape and our other hanger on was: [img]https://i.imgur.com/cOdm79Q.gif[/img] They also used a modified (slower playing) tape format in mono to utilize all four channels as well. We would make these tapes for muzak to ship out to various retail stores that still used their proprietary tape players verses the satellite beaming that they mainly do now. Since only about 10 people in the world know what half of the references in this song mean, I thought I would give a little background to the listener. Some references in the order of appearance in the song: QC Land: The wonderful world of Studers and Nakamichis – AKA my tiny soundproof room. Flutter: In electronics and communication, flutter is the rapid variation of signal parameters, such as amplitude, phase, and frequency. In recording and reproducing equipment, the deviation of frequency caused by irregular mechanical motion, e.g., that of capstan angular velocity in a tape transport mechanism, during operation. Misthreads: When a pancake is loaded on a slave and part of the tape is twisted, causing the tape to run across the recording head improperly and resulting in loss of sound on one or more channels, and sometimes some cool backwards stuff! Slaves: The recording devices used to mass record from an audio master onto pancakes. I can't find any decent pics of anything close to the slaves we had. I used to have a picture of them but I think it's long gone. We had fully customized machines and we were running about 100 of them at our peak. [img]https://i.imgur.com/w9bLYQu.jpg[/img] The masters used to be all analog and ran in one of these: [img]https://i.imgur.com/7QwfYdk.jpg[/img] Then, our sister company, which designed the cassette loaders we used, created the DAAD (digital to analog audio duplication) system. Dirty Heads: When tape dust and debris build up on the record heads, it can cause the sound to get muddy. Tape of the week: Our other huge tape business was for Amway. We edited and produced all the propaganda tapes the big wigs in Amway made. Tape of the week was one particular talk that was selected as the one to push to people in the business for each week. Loader: The loaders load one program worth of product from a pancake into a cassette shell at rapid speeds. Bill Britt: One of the Amway big wigs of the day. This concludes our brief history of analog duplication!
- Here's the lyrics 4 fun: I am the last of a dying breed of man - hallowed be my name once a great tribe, all QC duties rest on me fighting for right rejecting flutter and misthreads the last man in QC Land The quietude of my surroundings haunts me every day fighting for right shutting down slaves with dirty heads the last man in QC Land - QC land - Alright! Loading samples for tape of the week with my trusty loader I've got to take a nap before I go to lunch fighting for right Bill Britt sings me a lullaby the last man in QC Land - QC Land QC LAND!