The idea to organize a competition for sound engineers within Radio Novi Sad came from the legendary sound engineer, Ivan Fece. That was the first step towards the recognition of that segment of the creative work on a medium called radio, since radio is the sound, i.e. tone, and the sound engineer is the creator of that sound. The competition for sound engineers is a way to establish, value and appreciate that expertise.
That is how TAKTONS was born – TAKmičenje (Competition) TONskih (of Sound) Snimaka (Recordings), i.e., Yugoslavian competition for the best sound recording.
TAKTONS is primarily an event that aims to provide employees in public service media with the opportunity to improve their knowledge and implement standards in terms of tone quality.
The first competition was held in Novi Sad, back in 1983, and until 1990, it was held every year in the fall, and Radio Novi Sad was always the organizer and the host, all under the auspices of the then Yugoslav Radio-Television (JRT).
From 1983 until 1990, analog recordings were only competing in the radio competition – on sound carriers – tape recorder, tape width of approximately ¼ inch. From 2004 up until 2011, the competing recordings went from analog recordings on sound carriers and ¼ inch tape recorders to digital recordings on CD – R carriers (Recordable Compact Disc). Since 2013, digital recordings in the radio competition are in 48 kHz/24 -bit WAV format.
In the television competition, the sound carrier was primarily – mono and stereo Beta – SP, then DVD mono/stereo, and today, the recordings are submitted as two separate files, in an audio format (48 kHz/24 -bit WAV) and in a video format (an m2v file extension).
Since 2002, the competition is a biennial event, held as a:
- an international competition of professional sound engineers for the best recording made in the last two years and
- an international exhibition of superb professional audio equipment, with lectures in the field of acoustics and audio techniques.
The recordings submitted to the competition must belong to one of the RADIO or TELEVISION categories, according to their character, content or the area they deal with.
The radio recordings can compete in the following genres: Classical music, Popular music, Folk music and Speech program, and the television recordings can compete in the following genres: Music recordings, Reportage, TV drama and feature, Serial entertainment programs and Live recordings.
The parameters for evaluating the recordings were adopted based on the recommendations of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and on the earlier recommendations of the former OIRT (International Radio and Television Organization), and they are in accordance with the modern view of the aesthetic values of the recordings, which facilitates mutual communication in the exchange and evaluation of the program material. The proof of TAKTONS's European referentiality is the introduction of the P128 (loudness) standard in the listening session of the recordings during judging, which was included in the Regulations at the 14th TAKTONS, held in 2013.
The competition is judged by a jury that consists of people who are experts in the field of sound production and creativity. Jury members are from competing public media services, and they are selected just before the competition.
The organizer (RTV) appoints a maximum of 5 (five) permanent members of the jury, and two of those members are always present at the category judging. The remaining 5 (five) jury members are selected from the delegated members, which makes a total of 7 (seven) jury members per category.
Each time before TAKTONS, a professional lecture is held, i.e., the training for potential jury members in order to familiarize them with the way of evaluating recordings and recognizing parameters so they could get used to the listening conditions.
It can already be concluded that the quality of the competing recordings, accompanied by new technologies and standards, is extremely high and that all can be used in any public media service – that is a TAKTONS participant.
Since its foundation, more than 1,500 sound recordings received from public media services, primarily from the countries in our region (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Srpska, Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Bulgaria) participated at TAKTONS.
Since the very beginning, TAKTONS has been a place where, in addition to high-quality recordings, a large number of sound engineers gather and selflessly share their experiences, but also acquire new knowledge through professional lectures, publications and an exhibition of professional audio equipment.
We can conclude, from everything stated above, that today, we have a TAKTONS event that provides:
- Higher production-technical level within its own media service,
- Control and improvement of the quality of recordings based on unique subjective and objective criteria for quality assessment,
- Determining the optimal standardization of sound control,
- Improvement of work technology in sound recording techniques for Radio and Television,
- Respect for stylistic assumptions in the creation of a sound image,
- Fulfillment of complex artistic and sound-technical achievements,
- Contribution within the framework of inter-study and international program exchange.