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ARSCLIST  July 2007

ARSCLIST July 2007

Subject:

Re: LP pressing question

From:

"Steven C. Barr(x)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 4 Jul 2007 23:01:06 -0400

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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
> -----Original Message-----
> >From Tom Fine: "how many cutters were there at Motown and what was your
> system?"
--------
> We had a Neumann ES-59 half speed mono system and finally added a stereo
> system in 1968 when the superb Neumann SX-68 cutter came out.
> 
> For the most part we were cutting master prototypes that Randy Kling at RCA
> in Chicago had to match using their Scully/Westrex systems for the
> production masters. We only cut production masters when there wasn't enough
> time to go the RCA route. Typically this happened when an artist got offered
> a last minute Ed Sullivan Show appearance.
> 
> We preferred RCA production masters and plating because they could fix any
> skipping problems in a day rather than the week it would take using indi
> plating plants. In the pop music business timing and the ability to put your
> ducks in a row is frequently the difference between a hit record and a
> stiff. In the mid '60s RCA was pressing more Motown singles than RCA
> singles. And that didn't include the reorders which were done by three indi
> plants, Monarch in LA and two others which were half-owned by Motown!
> 
I'm not sure that I'm totally correct here...

Anyway, it was pretty well after WWII that the "record industry" evolved
from a handful of big "record companies" that maintained their own recording
studios, mastering facilities and pressing operations. Of course, there
were a few exceptions during the "record heyday" of 1919-26(or so), when
such firms as Earl W. Jones' "Standard Record Company" could sell you
masters, and Indpendent (the company) could press your records...but, for
the most part, companies like ARC, RCA, Columbia and Decca controlled the
whole process at their own facilities!

After the war, all sorts of independent recording facilities, mastering
operations and disc-pressing facilities appeared...so all one needed to
run a "record company" was an artist or two and a list of such operations...
which is even more the pattern (except for "indie artists" who can
record their work digitally and burn CD-R's as needed...!).

Steven C. Barr

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