"The BTR (British Tape Recorder) by EMI was the first tape machine designed and manufactured in the UK. The BTR1 was first introduced to Abbey Road Studios in 1948 as a mono tape recording device. This major step up from recording direct-to-disc as a medium not only massively improved sound fidelity but also enabled engineers to cut (edit) various takes together to create the perfect seamless performance – something not possible before the introduction of tape machines. Could this be the first example of using technology to ease the recording process (way before MIDI, Computers, Autotune and AI)? Would it have been considered cheating back then by some of the purists?"

"This is a photo of the BTR3 tape machine introduced to Abbey Road in 1959. Unlike the BT1 and BTR2, the BTR3 was never commercially available to outside entities and was the only stereo mix down machine used throughout the entire '60s period at Abbey Road. Just another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that made up the '60s Abbey Road sound."

(Words by Abbey Road's Head of Audio Products, Mirek Stiles)