Our dream was to have a world class facility in Austin, Texas, "The Live Music Capital of the World" that reflects the rich sound recording history and brings it alive in an exciting and innovative museum.  The ideal setting would have two functioning recording studios that tie into a live performance stage.  There would be a theater to show video about sound recording production. 

Unfortunately, the non-profit Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording established in 2012 to create a permanent public museum was dissolved December 31, 2017 due to lack of funding. This collection has now reverted back to a private collection which retained the name Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording and belongs to the Theophilus family who began the collection in 1999. All but a few of the reel tape recorders, microphones and memorabilia in this collection were originally purchased by the Theophilus family. When the non-profit Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording dissolved, the Theophilus family purchased (at FMV) several of the tape recorders that were donated to the non-profit. These were units that we wanted to preserve. 


Draft of Museum layout by Museum Board member Lloyd CatesDraft layout of the Museum of magnetic Sound Recording by Lloyd Cates

UTSA Interior Design 2015 class summary  •   UTSA Interior Design Additional Research

UTSA Interior Design student Raquel Torres' MOMSR design wins $30,000 design scholarship!

During the 2015 Spring semester, The University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture Assistant Professor Tamie Glass gave her Third Year Interior Design students a project to design the interior space for our Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording. Three of her students entered their MOMSR design projects in a national competition and Raquel Torres (far left in the Museum wirh Sarah and Ronnie) won a $30,000 Angelo Donghia Senior Student Scholarship in Interior Design. The story is featured on the UT School of Architecture’s home page and in The Daily Texan.

UT Architecture Student Raquel Torres MOMSR design UT Architecture Student Raquel Torres MOMSR design

UT Architecture Student Raquel TorresRaquel Torres, senior interior design student in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a $30,000 Angelo Donghia Senior Scholarship in Interior Design, the largest interior design scholarships in the United States.

Torres, who interned this past summer at Gensler in Austin, is one of only 14 students nationwide awarded the $30,000 scholarship based on a juried competition of portfolio submissions.

Torres' submitted project, Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording, was completed as part of a spring 2015 design studio taught by Associate Professor Tamie Glass.

The main project addressed the development of a museum to house a vast vintage recording collection that includes a large number of reel-to-reel tape recorders and microphones, along with other items and memorabilia related to magnetic sound recording. This world-class facility will be aptly located in Austin, Texas, “The Live Music Capital of the World,” and will fulfill the mission to preserve historically significant devices while educating visitors on how recording technology has impacted music, broadcasting, film, video, and science. UT students offered inspiration to the local nonprofit organization’s board of directors, including Martin and Chris Theophilus and architect Lloyd Cates, by providing a vision for innovative exhibits and experiential interiors.

Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording - Teac A-3340, Model 2 with MB 20Here's the original summary about our vision.

A very essential goal is to create a permanent home, open to the public, for the vintage recording collection.  That collection presently has over 200 reel to reel tape recorders and 100+ microphones and other items related to magnetic sound recording.  In addition to preserving and displaying the magnetic recording equipment, we are setting goals of creating a significant permanent museum that will: research and archive information about sound recording; provide education about the history of sound recording; and display related documents, manuals, catalog, magazines and memorabilia.

When completed, the museum will display the vintage equipment in a setting that provides perspective on how the units were used.  Most will be able to be demonstrated.  There will be rooms that show how early recording studios were equipped.  Items will be displayed with memorabilia of the same period. There will be areas for restoration of the equipment where folks can view how the recorders work and see how the technology developed.  Initially, the Theophilus vintage recording collection, related documentation and web content will be on loan to and may eventually be donated to the museum once a facility is established. 

Our belief is that creating a viable permanent public museum that includes magnetic sound recording will require a much larger facility that attracts a significant number of visitors. Our vision is a facility that incorporates all the sound recording media elements including: broadcasting, education, music, science, film sound recording and historical memorabilia related to musicians and sound recording technology.  Education regarding acoustics and the science of sound, including developments in technology for persons with hearing disabilities.  Each entity would have its own unique area in the museum from acoustic sound recording devices through tape and digital.  We found that there are several wonderful media collections in existence that are unavailable to the public except for very limited exhibitions, because they have no permanent facility. This larger museum would bring together these vintage collections from each of the media categories and make them permanently available to the public.

In the end, we view the Museum as a significant destination facility for Austin and Texas.  We welcome all inquiries about and recommendations for the endeavor. Thank you!

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Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording - Teac A-3340, Model 2 with MB 20Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording - Teac A-3340, Model 2 with MB 20Museum of MAgnetic Sound Recording Teac, Ampex, Dokorder, Crown RCA and ReVox reel to reel tape recorders.Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording - Ampex 601-2 & Crown 722 professional reel to reel tape recorders with the Electro Voice 666 andd the RCA 77DX microphones Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording - Teac A-3340, Model 2 with MB 20