M-S microphony was certainly used for that reason and also because it
was easier to fly or stand (if you knew how to use it) a Neumann SM-2
or AKG C-24 for a location recording. As to DBX: it was considered a
poor relation to Dolby A by the engineers who worked in Minnesota
Public Radio from the late 60s through the early 80s. However, I did
not use it on location recordings (1971-82), which were all made at
15ips, first on Ampex then Philips and from 1974 on Nagra 4S machines
slaved together. 7.5 ips in our practice was strictly a news
department speed or for copies sent to performers. Dolby A units
worked well when correctly calibrated but dedicated engineering
practices were needed to keep them that way. It only took a .5 dB
error to completely upset their operation, with unhappy results.
My work at Sony Classical disclosed that Columbia/CBS Masterworks had
made "Dolby Safties" of many edited masters. However, the Dolby warble
tone was never laid down on them, only a 1kHz tone that could have
been generated anywhere. As a result, they were worthless.
Fortunately, the originals continued to survive, and in mostly good
On 1/12/12, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I guess DBX was the system recommended to US public radio stations back in
> the 70s as stations were equipping themselves for music recording. This was
> a little bit before I got into that business. There were certain practices
> that became dogma through the NPR recording workshops and sop at the station
> (WXXI) I worked for - particularly Mid/Side micing, as they were all about
> mono compatibility.
> Noise reduction made it practical to record live classical concerts. You had
> to use 7.5 ips to get a whole concert half without interruption. DBX was
> very effective at ridding hiss, but whether you could hear it working
> depended greatly on the source. IIRC, sound with a lot of high frequency
> info or hall ambience suffered. Simpler sounds could go through pretty
> convincingly. After a while, we lived with the hiss and ignored the DBX. One
> fellow used enough compression before tape to make dynamic range irrelevant,
> as he figured it was only going to get squashed at the transmitter anyway.
> Sony PCM adaptors soon came to the rescue.
> I think they still have a couple channels of DBX for the occasional archive
> tape. But there isn't much archive, as it all turned into big piles of
> sticky 456 goo, and much just got landfilled. Pity. There is an incredible
> collection of live jazz and blues sessions sitting there, but no one seems
> interested, and there's no money to deal with it.
> Anybody here with public radio on their résumés? So wish I had attended that
> training - what a great boost for a journeyman recordist.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shai Drori
> Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:40 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin
> We didn't hear it working, at least not on the talent that came to THAT
> studio (LOL), but when used with good tapes it worked. It just added a
> certain something to rock that I doubt I would want on classical.
> Hmmm... gotta dig those old tapes and see if I still like them after all
> these years. I'm probably in for a surprise.
> On 12/01/12 11:16, Ted Kendall wrote:
>> I'll say dbx sounded different! You could hear it working, for one
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023