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ITA Profile

A look at this successful equipment dealer.

Industrial Tape Applications, or ITA as they are more commonly known, are one of the longest established studio equipment dealers in the country, having begun life back in 1972 as a London-based manufacturing operation specialising in tape recorder modifications.

Souped-up Revox A77s were then the order of the day, and so it was to ITA that supergroup Queen turned when they were looking for a means of producing extra long tape delay effects for some tracks on their album. (Remember, at this time, digital delays were few and far between.) The end results of this successful liaison can be witnessed on Freddie Mercury's vocal intro to 'Now I'm Here' from Queen's Sheer Heart Attack album.

It was in the early seventies also that ITA first branched out into retail equipment sales when they took on the Otari dealership. Initially they sold cassette duplicating equipment and then the first batch of Otari stereo tape recorders, which didn't prove overly popular. However, with the introduction of the 8-track 1 inch machine and ITA's backing, both parties soon began to make a name for themselves. The link with Otari remains today, as ITA are the exclusive distributors of Otari product in the UK. The company itself have since moved very much 'up-market' with the introduction of the MTR 90 series of 24-track recorders, which have made such a large impact on the professional scene.

In 1977 ITA moved to larger premises just off the Marylebone Road, London, where they further expanded the variety of recording-based equipment and accessories that they stocked. Here they consolidated their growing reputation for good service, attracting such varied customers as University sound departments, theatres and Madame Tussaud's, as well as the legions of home recording devotees. It is partly the sudden expansion of the latter market and the increasing amount of equipment intended for home recording that needed to be stocked, that led ITA to up-root in search of a more suitable site.

Now located in a quiet Hammersmith Mews, the new premises have given ITA the opportunity to create a more ideal showroom environment with their 'Sound Room'. This is a fair-sized room, acoustically treated to a certain extent, containing all types of equipment from the Fostex X-15 Multitracker to a full-blown Otari 24-track package. The wide ranging products carried, means that ITA can supply whole recording systems to their customers if required, with demonstration facilities available in the Sound Room or 'on-site' for larger packages. It's best to give them some warning if you want to try a particularly large set-up rather than just dropping in.

Construction of the Sound Room is recognition of the shift in customer needs: people are no longer simply willing to buy 'brown boxes'; they now wish to appraise gear fully before parting with their money. The preparation of demo tapes for A/B testing of effects, for example, should simplify their task as customers will be able to check out a device easily for themselves.

A staff of 7 or 8 people include full-time factory-trained engineers who undertake general warranty repairs in-house as well as on-site — a plus factor for any potential purchaser of a system, unable to afford the inconvenience and expense of non-operational equipment.

The Otari connection continues with the recent recruitment of Mick Boggis (formerly with Otari UK) who explained that plans are currently afoot to split the equipment sales side into two separate divisions - one to handle the pro audio gear, the other catering for the budget and semi-pro ends of the market. This would seem to be a logical move as it will allow staff to fully utilise their specialised knowledge of the various ranges of products, instead of dividing their loyalties between two different camps, so to speak. It would also make more sense in terms of equipment demonstrations, as a 24-track tape recorder does tend to take up a lot of valuable floor space, when it may only be put through its paces once or twice a week.

ITA also provide equipment for hire and this is one facility that the recordist generally overlooks when it can in fact prove a valuable service. Hiring in some quality effects units for a session can add that extra je ne sais quoi to a final mix and help turn a mediocre tune into a sure-fire 'number one' hit (well almost!).

Whatever your requirement, from microphones to monitors, stereo to 24-track, you're sure to find something to suit at ITA. Why not check them out?

ITA can be found at (Contact Details).

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Sound Absorbent Materials

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Torch Song

Home & Studio Recording - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Home & Studio Recording - Feb 1984

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman


Previous article in this issue:

> Sound Absorbent Materials

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> Torch Song

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