Grammy Award-Winning Holy Cross Professor Toby Mountain to Give Talk on How Magnetic Tape Changed the Music Industry

Toby Mountain, lecturer and director of studios in the music department, will give a talk titled “Magnetic Tape Transforms the Music Industry,” on Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Rehm library at the College of the Holy Cross. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Mountain, by 1941, the Germans had perfected a recording technology that not only gave them enhanced capabilities for communications and propaganda, but also fundamentally changed the way that music is recorded and produced. That technology was magnetic tape.

In his lecture, Mountain will discuss how this revolutionary technology made its way to the U.S. following the aftermath of World War II. The German method of recording was used and further developed by the U.S., which completely changed audio production techniques. Mountain will discuss several fascinating stories surrounding these events as well as demonstrate a variety of musical excerpts.

Mountain received his Ph.D. and M.A. in music from the University of California at Berkeley and his B.A. in music from Princeton University. He has worked at Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Experiment Music Studio. From 1983-85 Mountain taught music and theory and composition as an associate professor music at the University of Connecticut.

Mountain founded Northeastern Digital, the first digital mastering facility in New England, in 1985. His mastering credits include the artists David Bowe, Frank Zappa, Joan Jett, and The Beach Boys among many others. He has mastered several gold and platinum selling albums and many albums that have been nominated for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ annual Grammy awards.

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