My original “recording equipment”

by | Studio Equipment, Technology, Voice Over

This week I participated in  my friend, Peter O’Connell’s  blog project, answering 5 questions about my life as a voice-over actor..

One of the questions took me back to thinking about my Dad’s tape recorder, which I basically took over when I was about 7 or 8. Hours upon hours were spent with that machine where I told stories, did weird voices, and sang into the wild-looking hand-held mic.  Last night I started looking up photos on the web of old recorders  and mics and BAM! I was obsessed all over again.

Well I found an exact replica today on ebay. It’s a vintage tube tape recorder made by Webster Chicago. And I’ve purchased it . Just for fun, and just for the studio. Just to look and get that sense of history and appreciate how far we’ve come in the development  of the technology. From analogue to digital. What a leap!


WEBCOR ROYAL EP2611-1 Reel To Reel Tape Player Recorder

And here is what “my first microphone” looked like that plugged into the back of the recorder unit. My oh my… Art Deco!

Well I’ve found both on ebay and I decided must have them. I’ll see if I can actually get everything to work, and I’ll report back later.

Lucky for me the recorder is in Palm Springs. It’s been sitting in some guy’s closet for 30-40 years. I’m driving there to pick it up this weekend, to not only save on shipping, but to protect those delicate tubes during the transport.

So someone tell me:

 What was YOUR recording device of choice that foretold of your future work as a voiceover actor?


  1. Oh, Bobbin, what a wonderful story and memories! My first recording gear was a simple, desktop cassette recorder. Nothing fancy, but I sure wish I had those cassettes from my 7-9 year old life. For my daughters, I allow them to play around and record on my computers, and then I save what they do and teach them how to save and organize computer files. I think one day those recordings will be priceless to listen to when their kids get a chance to listen!

    Thank you for sharing your story Bobbin! Brings back my own memories.

  2. Hi Jay!
    It’s funny how fast technology changes. I recently purchased a cassette to digital unit so I could preserve some of all those sounds I have lying around on the casettes I just don’t want to part with. Problem now is finding the time to make a marathon of it and call it the big “conversion” (HA!) and just do it!
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Easy. My dad’s Craig 212 portable reel-to-reel machine. I managed to save a couple of the reels from 40-mumble years ago.

  4. Hey Greg, COOL! Craig excelled at all sorts of consumer electronics. I had a tuner and headphones. You should dig everything out and listen some time, for grins! (If you dare….haha)

  5. Thanks for this. I need to buy one, and it’s great.

  6. I didn’t do voice-overs (I don’t have the voice for it), but there are some similarities. I got an old Webcor (a slightly older model) when I was a kid and spent a lot of time taping things (still have the tapes in storage). Used to like to sit in the dark with just the glow of the tubes and the glowing magic eye and watch the reels slowly turn as it played.

    The machine and I parted ways somewhere, but I just found another, same model as yours above. When it arrives I’m going to see if I can get it to run, turn off the lights, and play some tapes.

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