So maybe an ambient discussion forum isn't the place to ask a question about recording technology during the hair-metal days, but I know there are some folks here within my age demographic who may have, in their day, slung an axe with great sonic force while wearing spandex--for which they may be forgiven--so maybe one of you will have an answer.
In a piece that I'm currently working on, the main character had been in a fledgling metal band in the early 80s. (Think Ratt, Poison, Cinderella.) The band was offered a recording contract by a very small, extremely modestly funded local record label. A master was cut for an album. Here's where the questions come in...
At that time, for an outfit that probably couldn't afford the best of the best in recording equipment, what would the recording/storage media have been? Would the master be cassette, reel-to-reel, very early digital? How many tracks might it have been? 16? 32? (I'm thinking 32 might actually be too high for the type of operation that's in my head.)
In essence, the main character ends up in possession of the master--in whatever format--and has been keeping it hidden for 25 years, working on it here and there. So I need to know what it is he's got.