From: Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]>
> Acutally, measurement is a component of the factors for determining
> differences in performance. So are timings.
Only if you are absolutely sure that no matrix manipulation or dubbing
was done by that company is measurement a reliable factor. If dubbing
is possible then even timing is not reliable. If editing is possible
than neither is reliable. If pitch manipulation is possible all bets
are off. Aural comparison, including simultaneous playing, is the only
method that can be reliable on all of these possibilities. If pitch
manipulation is possible, such as in modern reissues, then even
simultaneous playing must be considered to sync a pair of recordings to
rhythm without regard to pitch -- this can be manipulated to disguise a
recording. I assume that all of these factors are what would make your
ARSC presentation so long.
> I asked for time at the last ARSC conference to do a session on this but,
> when I got to work on it, the time required to set up the topic alone would
> have had me run over the 20 or 30 minutes allowed.
> Should this be a workshop to preceed the the next conference?
> Steve Smolian
It might be a good idea because there are probably too many archivists
that might not understand all that can be done with a recording.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Seubert" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] take numbers on emerson records
> James, George Dick et al.
> Thanks for your help here. Every company is different, but I'm always
> skeptical that I'm misinterpreting the data if I find too many alternate
> takes (except Edison). Above about 10% in a given run of 78s like Emerson
> where I don't know the system used for designating takes, I usually
> question if what I think are take numbers are stamper numbers or
> I've never really relied on aural comparison (though it is obvious in
> some cases, see:
> http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr%201=1020&query=cylinder4373&num=1&start=1&sortBy=&sortOrder=id) .
> I don't trust my ears enough to detect the often slight variations
> between takes. In the acoustic era it's not exactly like different
> versions of The Dead doing Dark Star (though many would say these all
> sound the same too, I suppose), but aural memory is notoriously
> My method is usually to lay the edge of a piece of paper across the
> center hole of the disc and mark the beginning and end of the grooves.
> Then I lay this paper on the other disc and see if they match. Even if
> one take is only a few seconds shorter or longer it will be obviously
> different as even a couple of grooves difference is noticable.
> I'm sure George's method works too, but the paper and pencil method is
> very quick and we are essentially measuring the same thing in different
> On Jun 19, 2009, at 11:15 AM, James L Wolf wrote:
>> I've worked a lot with Emersons in the LOC's collection, and while we
>> don't have many duplicates of the same record so that I could aurally
>> compare different takes, I did notice that the matrix information (e.g.
>> 3391-1) was usually matched by the known discographical information.
>> Which, of course, only means that previous discographers have taken that
>> matrix info to be take-number information, but that may count for
>> Furthermore, for the acoustic era I don't see anything odd about one
>> copy have 2 first takes and another having a second/third takes. I've
>> seen similar situations on many labels in the acoustic era; Victor,
>> Columbia, Edison, etc.
>> Until something definitive comes along saying otherwise, I think it
>> would be safest to assume that the matrix information refers to the take
>>>>> David Seubert <[log in to unmask]> 6/19/2009 1:42 PM >>>
>> I'm de-duping a stack of 9" Emerson discs and in the dead wax there is
>> what appears to be a matrix followed by a take number. However, there
>> are too many different take numbers for me to believe they are take
>> numbers. For example, I have one copy of #9118 with 3391-1/3397-1 and
>> another with 3391-2/3397-3. Are these stampers? Does anybody know how to
>> distinguish alternate takes on Emerson discs?
>> David Seubert, Curator
>> Performing Arts Collection
>> Davidson Library
>> University of California
>> Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010
>> Tel: 805-893-5444 Fax: 805-893-5749
>> [log in to unmask]