It began with vinyl, and cassettes closely followed. But now reel-to-reel tape decks have joined the analogue revival and are making a comeback, as musicians reject new technology for the “unbelievable” sound of the classic machines.
Pop stars including Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine and Tame Impala have all recorded albums through the dated technology for a warmer sound.
Searches for the vintage machines on second-hand websites have also increased by a quarter in the last six months and the trend has pushed up the price of the best decks.
Once associated with the 1940s and the tones of Bing Crosby, the clunky machines with their iconic dual wheels are now a staple in modern recording studios and all-star music producers like Mark Ronson are leading the trend to create amalgamated sounds that haven't existed in the past.
Other artisanal record companies are dismissing high-tech software altogether and recording music, such as jazz, solely on tape.