>In the professional field, the idea of using two tracks, each half the
>width of the tape, provided a single-direction way of recording in
>stereo. This was known as two-track or half-track stereo, and like
>full-track mono is only recorded and played in one direction. This
>configuration was not limited to "pure stereo" recordings; it was
>common practice at EMI in the late 50s and early 60s, to record takes
>with all the instruments on one track and vocals on the other track,
>for convenience in making a mono mixdown.
In my carefully-considered haste, I neglected to mention that two
track stereo on a 1/4" machine would most likely be limited to
broadcast and "serious amateur" usage. Big recording studios usually
used wider tape - 1/2" for two tracks, 1" for four tracks, in general
keeping each track 1/4" wide. This went all the way up to 2"
eight-track tape, before track sizes started shrinking and we started
getting 16- and 24- tracks (and more) onto a 2" tape...