Analog logging is very different from Instrumentation. The focus on logging recorders is to obtain an adequately intelligible representation of the words spoken at an event or proceeding or during a broadcast for legal, contractual, or study purposes such as failure analysis. Typically, these recorders run at 15/32 in/s and put 24 hours on one reel.
I’m not sure what the greatest track count was, but I’m pretty sure they were made to 60 and 64 channels by different manufacturers–no standardization here among manufacturers. Some manufacturers ran with a decade track increment 10-20-30-40-60 and others ran with an octal track increment 8-16-24-32-48-64. To the best of my knowledge, these never went beyond 1″ wide tape. 1/2″ tape was common. 4-track 1/4″ logging recorders were common in the broadcasting industry. Philips made a 6-track 1/4″ logging recorder.
Digital audio logging has been used since the late 1980s and is currently (2006) ongoing, but is being migrated to computer-based systems. As far as I know, both DAT-based and videotape-based systems were made. The DAT-based systems were available in at least 4- and 8-track configurations.
We have 40-channel 1-inch and 20-channel 1/2-inch head assemblies and a Dictaphone logging reproducer. We can also transfer analog cassettes up to 8 channels. Salter has both 4- and 8-channel DAT logging machines.