Several different tape speeds are used in the studio. Most of the work is done at 15 ips (inches per second) because this speed allows all audio-frequencies at full level without saturating the tape and produces a good signal-to-noise ratio. In addition, this speed spreads out the recording signals far enough apart for easy editing.

Consumer hi-fi tape machines move tape at 7½ ips in order to save tape. As a result most ¼ -inch studio recorders operate at both 15 and 7 ½ ips so that copies can be made for clients at the proper speed. The 7½ ips produces too much of a compromise in signal quality for use in recording multitrack master tapes, so 30 ips is sometimes available as a second speed. Recording at 30 ips produces a signal-to-noise ...

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