Producer/engineer Chuck Ainley (left) visits Mike Spitz in 2007 at the AES Convention in New York City's Javits Convention Center.
The ATR group in York, Penn., comprising ATR Services and ATR Magnetics, announced that one of its owners, Michael Spitz, passed away peacefully on October 12 at age 59, following a courageous battle with cancer (according to obitsforlife.com).
Spitz founded ATR Services in 1991 after leaving Ampex, introducing a series of technical improvements and products to enhance the audio excellence of the Ampex ATR 102 recorder and other tape machines.
Products such as ARIA discrete electronic modules, HDV-2 tube mastering electronics, and the VS-20 high-resolution variable speed controller have been used by recording and mastering engineers to accurately pitch analog master tapes and provide the best possible audio fidelity and accurate playback.
In 1998 ATR Services developed the first practical 1-inch, 2-track studio recorder based on an ATR 102 platform, which proved to be extremely popular for mixing by offering extended dynamic range and excellent bass response at 30 ips.
Following the exits of 3M, BASF/EMTEC, and Quantegy from the analog tape market, ATR Services' sister company, ATR Magnetics, was formed in 2004. The only existing U.S.-based analog tape manufacturer, ATR Magnetics produces a well respected range of high output analog audio mastering tape, winning a TEC Award in 2008.
In 2011 ATR consolidated both divisions—hardware and tape—into a new 13,000-square-foot facility in York, Penn.
Spitz had joined Ampex Corporation in Redwood City, Calif., as a product engineer for the company's Audio Video Systems Division. These systems included all late model products in the professional audio recorder range like the ATR102, ATR124 and MM1200.
Before joining Ampex, he was on staff at Philadelphia's legendary Sigma Sound Studios for six years in the 1970s. He worked as both a recording engineer with major label credits and later as a technical service engineer specializing in the studio's numerous Ampex and 3M recorders.
Prior to Sigma Sound, Mike started as a live sound engineer at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, N.J. His earliest audio work experience, in the late 1960s, was in high fidelity (hi-fi) sales, where he became familiar with home playback equipment from high end manufacturers like Audio Research, Decca, Quad, Magneplaner, etc.
Spitz was a devoted and loving husband, father, son and brother to his family. Besides his wife and mother, he leaves a daughter, Lauren N. Spitz; a son, Mark B.G. Spitz; a sister, Alyce L. Soffer and a nephew, David B. Soffer—all of York.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorial contributions be made to the SPCA of York County, 3159 Susquehanna Trail North, York, PA 17406, or to a charity of your choice.
The Geiple Funeral Home, Inc. 53 Main Street, Glen Rock is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be shared at geiple.com.