Cast Recording - Technical Limitations

Technical Limitations

A 10-inch 78-rpm disc could hold about 3½ minutes of music per side. A 12-inch 78-rpm could last 4½ minutes. Early albums had to severely abridge selections to fit the format. With LP cast recordings, usually released as single discs, it was not rare for compromises to be made to fit the recording within the forty-to-fifty-minute time limit. For example, reprises, or minor songs might not be included.

By the 1980s, the rise of the compact disc with its 74-minute recording capacity (which was increased to 80 minutes in the 1990s) resulted in improvements in cast recordings, which were now usually capable of including all songs, the full overture and entr'acte, and, when appropriate, lead-in dialogue to the songs.

In recent years, some cast recordings have been recorded live, but maintaining perfect quality. This is due to theaters that contain recording studios within.

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