LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST Archives

ARSCLIST Archives


ARSCLIST@LISTSERV.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST Home

ARSCLIST  June 2004

ARSCLIST June 2004

Subject:

Re: Robert Johnson recording equipment query [2]

From:

"Copeland, Peter" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 11 Jun 2004 10:05:56 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (110 lines)

Deal All,
    To reply to some of Shiffy's questions, using my little grey cell (no
books to hand) :
(1) Western Electric disc-recording certainly wasn't exclusive to record-
companies by 1927, when the first synchronous sound films using discs began
to be made.
(2) Having done disc-cutting myself (for radio and in my own studio), I can
tell you that, whenever a "take" goes wrong, it always seems to do so within
the first thirty seconds. Therefore there would always be a number of
partially-used waxes lying around, which could be used creatively in two
ways :
(a) As instant-playback media, to help musicians and producers work towards
a sound or a tempo or a balance which would be suitable for the 78rpm
medium. (However the two major companies here - UK EMI and UK Decca -
generally said that something to be processed into metal would *never* be
played, at least in the days of wax).
(b) In the 1930s, such waxes might be used for mastering smaller-diameter
discs. Here in Britain we had many makes specialising in 8-inch or 7-inch
78s for sale in stores such as Woolworth's.
(3) Many years later, when microgroove began to be used, my own researches
show that when (say) 78 media were moved to 45 or 33, *the same equalisation
was used* in the days before tape-mastering! This in turn suggests that in
the late 1940s, cutting-engineers were using the same method for testing a
disc-cutter as I used. The idea was to record some sound (almost any sound
would do), and play it back two or three revolutions later while the
wax/lacquer was still being cut. Then switch the sound to *the pickup*. The
sound would then go round and round through the playback and recording
processes, and any faults anywhere would soon become magnified and show up
clearly, eliminating the problem of the hiss of the vacuum pipe masking
subtleties.
(4) Again, stuff sent for processing was not meant to be played, but I
occasionally sent lacquers to the factory after playing one or two suspect
passages, and never had any complaints.
Peter Copeland
former Conservation Manager,
British Library Sound Archive.

-----Original Message-----
From: Art Shifrin [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 05 May 2004 21:10
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Robert Johnson recording equipment query

Without having adequate ARC engineering documentation, and or detailed
photographs of the session in progress, only a speculative description will
be possible.

At the very least, the recording set up would have been comprised of:

cutting lathe
cutting head & stylus
recording amplifier
microphone
media

When doing this kind of research, it's advisable to test your conclusions.
If one were to get as far as deducing the make & model #'s of the lathe,
cutter, amp & mic.  Then, trade journals and catalogues should then be
consulted to confirm that the equipment that is tentatively thought to be
ID'd even existed at that time.

Another possible source of information about which companies were using
which equipment would be papers (published contemporarily or in retrospect)
in Journals of the AES and SMPE (now SMPTE).  Publicity photos published in
trade and record journals might also help deduce what was being used by a
given company at a given time.

This raises a question that I'd never before thought about.  Assuming that
its use of Western Electric electrical recording equipment by U.S. Columbia
and its affiliated labels was initially exclusive, by when were they able to
use their own designs, or other manufacturers' equipment?

Here's another question about pre-tape recording sessions: playback on site
/ in the studio of the masters.  I have a SMPE Journal circa 1929 which
describes a W.E. playback arm & pickup that was specifically designed to non
destructively playback wax masters to assure quality control prior to
plating and pressing.  Was this done  by commerical record company
engineers?  Did the practice apply to lacquers once they replaced wax?  Was
it done in non W.E. equipped studios?

Having spent so much time with Raymond Scott and Jack Poppele (founding
chief engineer of WOR)  some 30 years ago, I intensely regret that I didn't
ask them more specific questions about the technology that they were then
using.

Shiffy


**************************************************************************

Experience the British Library online at www.bl.uk

Help the British Library conserve the world's knowledge. Adopt a Book.
www.bl.uk/adoptabook

*************************************************************************

The information contained in this e-mail is confidential and may be legally
privileged. It is intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the
intended recipient, please delete this e-mail and notify the
[log in to unmask] : The contents of this e-mail must not be disclosed or
copied without the sender's consent.

The statements and opinions expressed in this message are those of the
author and do not necessarily reflect those of the British Library. The
British Library does not take any responsibility for the views of the
author.

*************************************************************************

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager