CRC had an article (first of two parts?) about Everest..didn't Belock have some
kind of deal with Decca for the pressings? Could have been worse. The Canadian
first pressings were ALL styrene. And much of their popular material, like the
Raymond Paige albums, never made it to a second pressing.
I was certainly very aware of bumpy edits on 35mm mastered LPs.
Steven Smolian wrote:
> One of the underlying questions is- who had 35mm equipment? I suppose
> such recording was possible in Hollywood, using, say, a Foley stage and
> individual 35mm tracks- however many the recorder was set up for. I
> have a vague memory of a chamber group being recorded this way.
> Editing alternate takes would be a nightmare since the spockets would be
> in different places for each take. I'd say they would have to have been
> "direct to film." It's too likely a fun idea not to have been tested.
> One advantage to 35mm film- one strip thereov- was the possibilty of
> using wider tracks to reduce signal to noise. Even though I worked for
> Everest- street salesman- I never understood why they used that unvinyl
> which went noisy after a limited number of plays, much faster than
> vinyl. That kinda cancelled the s/n advantage of the tape.
> All playback comments refer to the records when current. Each pressing
> formula ages differently and, when played back today, will have about 50
> years of chemical reaction with the world which will have created
> differences among them that were of no consequence when they were fresh.
> Steve Smolian
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 9:31 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] The 35mm fad
>> I am trying to gather facts for what might be a web page maybe an
>> article about the short but exciting fad of using 35mm mag-film as the
>> original recording/mastering medium for music records back in the late
>> 50's and early 60's. I have a bunch of good information on Everest,
>> Mercury Living Presence and Command but would like to know more
>> details about the few other studios that deployed 35mm and also if
>> there were any record companies beyond Everest, Mercury, Command and
>> later Project 3 that used this technology as a featured part of their
>> This guy in Japan did a pretty good job collecting references to most
>> of the Mercury Perfect Presence Sound series:
>> [BTW, the PPS series was different from the Living Presence use of
>> 35mm in that these were multi-mic studio production albums probably
>> set up to compete against stuff like Command's hifi-extravaganzas.
>> Living Presence 35mm records were made like all the rest -- 3 mics to
>> 3 tracks, editing on session tapes and mastering to LP with a live 3-2
>> mixdown so the LP master was one generation away from the session
>> recording. The three Fennell albums were the only time Mercury
>> classical-marketed albums were done with many mics in a
>> studio-production type atmosphere. The Victor Herbert and George
>> Gershwin albums were done on tape at Fine Recording in Manhattan. The
>> Cole Porter album was done at Fine Recording Bayside (former Everest
>> studio) on 35mm.]
>> Note that not all PPS series albums were done on 35mm, but from this
>> discography (which is basically lifted from Ruppli), it appears that
>> 35mm albums were done at Fine Recording, United Recording (Bill
>> Putnam) in Hollywood, Radio Recorders in Hollywood and maybe -- but
>> it's not clear -- Universal Recording in Chicago.
>> Later, in the mid and late 60's, Enoch Light's Project 3 made
>> 35mm-master recordings at Fine Recording and later at A&R Studios in NY.
>> I don't know if this fad was ever wider-spread -- that's what I'm
>> hoping other listmembers might know.
>> I'd also love to know details about the 35mm recording equipment and
>> techniques at the Hollywood recording studios mentioned, Universal
>> Recording and A&R. For instance, at Fine Recording the Westrex
>> recording and playback EQ curves were tweaked to produce flatter
>> extended treble response for music recording. I don't know if
>> Hollywood in the early 60's operated on a standard EQ curve for 35mm
>> recording or if Westrex machines had one curve, RCA had another, etc.
>> Did other music-album recording studios tweak their film machines to
>> have an extended/flatter top end?
>> Finally, in case I do a web page, discography info about any Mercury
>> albums not detailed on the page above and anything that was not on
>> Mercury, Command, Everest or Project 3 that is a confirmed case of
>> 35mm original recording/master.
>> Thanks in advance. This fad ended up pretty short-lived among the
>> record companies due to the high cost 35mm and the limited number of
>> studios using it. But, the sensation definitely raised the quality bar
>> on regular magnetic tape. Several Ampex veterans have told me that
>> Ampex's extensive re-thinking and science research of magnetic
>> recording that led to the MR-70 was because corporate and marketing
>> people panic'd about 35mm's perceived superiority. The MR-70 was by
>> all accounts an amazing piece of engineering and capable of superior
>> sound to all other tape machines of the time, but was priced too high
>> for the market and thus was a monetary/business failure. Once
>> solid-state technology matured a bit, Ampex was able to produce the
>> same superior electric specs and nearly as good mechanical specs at
>> market-bearable prices with the AG-440. Research for the MR-70 led to
>> numerous AES papers which expanded the knowledge and science of
>> magnetic recording and tape recorder design. I'd be curious to know if
>> there were other similar indirect fall-outs from the 35mm fad.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> PS -- for those interested, John Frayne of Westrex wrote an article
>> for the AES Journal in 1960 that gives a lot of detail about the
>> original Everest setup. And there was a 1967 Popular Science article
>> detailing step-by-step a Project 3 session recorded to 35mm at Fine
>> Recording, then taking the album thru the editing, mastering and
>> manufacturing process.
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