Anyone currently working on audio recording and dealing with analog tape certainly will be familiarized with the name RecordingTheMasters. Effectively, with restoration and redigitalization of analog master tapes, the launch of new reel-to-reel machines and the increasing interest in direct copies of masters among music enthusiasts all over the world, as well the many studios keeping reel-to-reel recorders alive, from 1/2" 8-track to 2" 24-track and certainly many 1/4" stereo machines - the consumption of the analog media is again on the rise.
Analog tape recorders are still being used and remain in high demand, even though all the historical brands for the hardware and tape media have long disappeared. RecordingTheMasters - the Mulann Group - currently holds all the knowledge and the processes for high-quality magnetic tape that originated in Europe. RecordingTheMasters is a trademark of Mulann Group, a French industrial conglomerate. In 2012, French company Pyral acquired Recording Media Group International (RMGI), a Dutch manufacturer of magnetic tape products, which in turn resulted from an earlier joint venture between DuPont and Philips. The RGMI factory in the Netherlands, built by Philips in 1968, was previously under control of a German company that acquired all the equipment, processes, and talent from EMTEC's Munich plant (ex-BASF), and with it, almost 100 years of history in magnetic tape manufacturing.
Pyral took over RMGI, closed the original Dutch plant, and moved all the equipment to the Pyral site in France. Unfortunately, the restructuring of those operations was too much and, in October 2013, Pyral declared bankruptcy. In 2015, Mulann acquired all the assets of Pyral. So, effectively, the Mulann Group now holds all the knowledge and the processes for high-quality magnetic tape that originated in Europe and markets its products under the brand RecordingTheMasters.
Now, the company is set to launch its new analog compact music cassette with best-in-class sound quality. Initially introduced at the Munich High End show this past May, the new FOX C-60 ferro-oxide cassette will be available in the U.S. in November 2018.
As all analog music formats (vinyl, cassette, reel-to-reel, etc.) continue to rise in popularity, cassette tapes now outpace all other formats in consumer-market growth, more than quadrupling since 2011. Artists including Jack White, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z and Lana Del Rey have all released recent albums on cassette and a lengthy list of artists continues to use analog formats in the recording studio. With the rise in demand for analog music cassettes, RecordingTheMasters' new product will be the first newly produced cassette on the market to offer high quality audio in analog format, ideal for listening, recording and archiving.
The cassette tape is manufactured using legendary chemical formulas from AGFA and BASF at the Mulann facility in Normandy, France. It can be played on any standard compact cassette player, generally available at high-end audio stores and big-box stores nationwide.
As Jean-Luc Renou, CEO of RecordingTheMasters’ parent company Mulann SA, explains, “Mulann is uniquely positioned to continue leading in analog audio’s resurgence. Already the worldwide leader in manufacturing of reel-to-reel audio tape, we are proud to introduce our new compact cassette tapes under our brand RecordingTheMasters and bring a renewed musical experience to composers, artists and audiophiles.”
"Like most music fans, I spent the last decade disconnecting my music collection from physical reality: loading CDs into iTunes, onto my iPhone, and then into the cloud. When we acquired the capability to produce high-end audio tapes in 2015, the rediscovery of vinyl was already underway. Watching a new generation dig into record bins made me realize that something had gone dormant in all of us since our first Napster download: the tactile pleasure of browsing through and buying music. Now people are mad about vinyl records. The industry topped 30 million units last year and many of its customers only buy vinyl. Hardly a day goes by without another record shop opening. But what’s driving these impressive sales numbers is a surprising demographic: kids who grew up knowing only digital music, who’d only ever listened to music as virtual files, are now demanding vinyl.
"Why? I believe the return of vinyl is part of a bigger phenomenon: the return of analog. It’s all around us. Tech company founders take notes in Moleskine journals. Urban Outfitters carries Polaroid film cameras. Mindfulness and meditation let us unplug. Amazon opens physical stores. Cassette tapes are back. Stories about fresh analog trends pop up every day. We’re heading back to the future.
"The return of analog is occurring precisely because digital technology has become too good. Digital has been with us for the better part of the past century, personal computing for more than three decades, the Internet for over two, and smartphones for more than one. A digital solution is almost always the default: the most efficient, cheapest and obvious tool to get the job done. Digital’s advantages initially killed the analog alternative. But value perceptions have shifted, and we’ve become better able to accurately judge the merits and shortcomings of digital, discovering in many cases that analog simply provides a better experience. That’s why the return of analog matters. Surrounded by digital, we long for a more physical and fully-present experience. We want to interact using all our senses, and many of us are willing to pay a premium to do just that. From the cloud back to the crowd. The analog revival lies at the heart of our digital economy. And Mulann has positioned itself to take the lead in analog audio’s resurgence," adds Jean-Luc Renou.
recordingthemasters.com | mulann.com