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Arcade Fire’s Album Of The Year Recorded On ATR Tape

Engineer Mark Lawson

Canadian rock band Arcade Fire’s latest album, The Suburbs, won a 2011 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and was also recognized at the 2011 Brit Awards as Best International Album, while the band won the Award for Best International Group. U.S. based company ATR Magnetics, a manufacturer of analog open reel mastering tape, reports that engineer Mark Lawson (pictured) recorded The Suburbs primarily using ATR 2-inch analog Master tape, which won a TEC Award in 2008 in the Recording Devices category.

Canadian ATR distributor and recording studio owner Howard Bilerman of Hotel2Tango supplied the ATR tape for sessions.

The album was recorded in a variety of locations, including random basements, a converted church and the Magic Shop Studios in New York City.

“Every song started its life on tape before being transferred to Logic or Pro Tools,” Lawson says. “Various analog recorders—including an Otari MTR-90 II, a Studer A827 and a Studer A-800 MkIII—were used at different locations. The format was 24-track 2-inch running primarily at 15 ips. Various pitch shifting and double speed experiments were also achieved using tape, on drum/string/cymbal/piano elements.

“ATR tape sounds great! I was impressed with the transient response, the high fidelity and the tape compression is extremely musical,” Lawson adds.

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