I’ve been recording bands and artists since my high school days, but I sold my recording studio back in 2010. Recently, I was going through a box of wires (junk) and I stumbled across some old ADAT tapes, and reel to reel tapes.
Now, there’s something you should know about these tapes. You cannot play them in an ordinary reel t0 reel machine, because these tapes were made especially for use with my old 8-track Fostex recorder. Same goes for the ADAT tapes. These tapes are, technically, VCR tapes, but they don’t work in a VCR, they only play on an Alesis ADAT multitrack machine. I got a little sentimental when I ran across these old band recordings, but I just don’t have the equipment to play these tapes.
These band memories captured on ADAT and Fostex are lost forever. Maybe forever is slightly dramatic, given the fact that I can pay a ridiculous ransom to some “vintage collector” and maybe, just maybe, these old units will work. But, you get the point. Technology has changed so much during my lifetime that I can’t even play the memories I once made.
This whole train of thought came from an interesting article by Robby Berman, Is There Going to Be a Big Hole in History Where the 21st Century Was? His point is pretty simple. At some point in the future, your kids will reach “an age when they want to know who their parents were, what they thought, and what they felt. One day the kids will come across a trunkful of these intimate messages on USB thumb drives, hard drives, or solid-state drives–and have no way to read them. The same will be true for the thousands of digital childhood photos we’ve been taking, and which they’ll be desperate to see. Absent a trip to a hardware archivist or local museum, all this silicon might just as well return to its original form–sand–for all the good it will do. Experts are concerned that this time, now, in the 21st century, may well be the future’s ‘digital dark age,’ with nothing ultimately left behind to tell our story for future generations.” [Berman’s article accessed 1/17/18] Continue Reading