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Lesson 8. Hardware and Interfaces > Analog Audio Formats

Analog Audio Formats

Analog audio is rapidly going the way of analog video, only more so. The digital revolution hit audio before it hit video, and the transition is further along. Still, you may need to deal with analog audio; here are the basics of the formats you’re most likely to encounter.

Reel-to-Reel

¼-inch reel-to-reel is frequently used for film location audio, typically on a Nagra recorder (the standard film sound recorder, built by Nagra/Kudelski in Switzerland). Nagra audio typically runs at 7.5 inches per second (ips) or 15 ips, and it has an embedded Pilot one track, a sync reference signal at a nominal 60 Hz. Nagra playback is synced using a resolver to read the Pilotone signal and slave the Nagra’s motors to 60 Hz, either using AC line frequency, a high-precision crystal oscillator, or a 60 Hz reference signal put out by the equipment the Nagra is syncing to.


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