Rare Interview with Jack Mullin, pioneer of magnetic tape recording, preserved at DC Video

 Jack Mullin

Jack Mullin

DC Video is honored to have been the chosen facility for the recovery and the preservation of first-generation original Betacam interview videotapes of audio recording pioneer Jack Mullin. Jack was responsible for finding and acquiring the original high-quality "Magnetophon" magnetic tape audio recording machines in Germany in July, 1945 (just after the war in Europe had ended). Thanks to his curiosity and determination, this technology made its way back to the San Francisco bay area. It was then and there that the audio recording industry blossomed and Ampex audio tape machines were born. Bing Crosby was one of the first adopters of this new method of recording for his west-coast originated radio programs. The rest, as they say, is history!

Our client was a family friend of Jack Mullin who in 1984, rented (with his own money) an early Sony Betacam camcorder and visited Jack "uninvited" at his home in Santa Barbara, California. These tapes were then shelved due to a lack of funds until our client brought them to DC Video to be transferred and remastered for preservation. The resulting files are in 720p HD for posterity.

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During this interview, Jack goes into detail about the discovery of this particular set of machines in 1945. He had heard a rumor about their high-fidelity but doubted the accuracy of the report (as opposed to other, lesser quality Magnetophon machines found in France earlier by the Allies). After visiting an abandoned high-powered German antenna array on a mountain north of Frankfurt, he was about to make a right turn in the road to go back to Paris. But something told him to go left to check out this "rumor" at a radio facility in a castle in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Jack says "It was the greatest decision in his life". 

In addition to the story Jack tells, he takes us on a tour of his home museum and collection, including the fully operational German Magnetophons.

 One of the two German Magnetophons brought out of Germany

One of the two German Magnetophons brought out of Germany