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ARSCLIST  September 2012

ARSCLIST September 2012

Subject:

Re: Bell Labs and EMI early 2-channel recording questions

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:31:07 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

On 26/09/2012 11:49, Tom Fine wrote:
> Thanks in advance for any/all expert factual answers.
>
> 1. Bell Labs developed a veritcal-lateral disk recording system and 
> made some test recordings in their laboratory. What was the timeframe 
> for this? Before the Stokowski/Philly recordings?
>
> 2. I had always assumed the Stoki/Philly recordings were with the 
> newly-developed 45-45 disk recording system. Is this factually correct?

Nobody seems to have noticed the posting I sent mentioning the 1927
and/or 1928 Bell Labs binaural recordings of the Capitol Theater Orch at
the Capitol Theater with 2 mics 20 feet apart on the balcony rail listed
in the BTL ledger.  I have the matrix numbers but they were not there
when I checked the Bell Labs archive.  Arthur C. Keller confirmed to me
that they were indeed recorded, and they were two tracks on one disc
just like Cook later used.  Ward Marston has often discussed that the
Stokie recordings were also two band.  The single groove cutter came a
year or two later.  

In that overlooked posting I also discussed the 1899 three-headed
Columbia Graphophone Brand, and that it was common practice in Hollywood
in the late 30s and early 40s to record music pre-records in
multi-tracks they called "angles" to allow for changing the audio
perspective to match the visual (such as hearing the horns louder if
there is a close-up of the horns).  There are many stereo tracks in
Turner-Rhino CDs of many movies.  The Wizard of Oz multi-DVD sets
discuss this.  I might add that Arthur Keller's opinion of Fantasia was
that it would have been a lot better if it had been recorded on the
Western Electric system rather than RCA.

> 3. Just to confirm, were the Blumlein/EMI binaural disk recordings 
> made with a vertical-lateral system or a 45-45 or something else? I 
> had thought vert-lat, but I want to be sure.

I believe they were recorded vertical-lateral but since they are
matrixed with the lateral being the sum and the vertical being the
difference theoretically they can be played back with a standard 45-45
reproducer.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

> 4. Is there any documentation out there (not silly opinion pieces 
> online but real factual documentation) showing the differences between 
> the vertical-lateral systems? Was Decca's 1950's microgroove vert-lat 
> (never brought to market, as all the major companies agreed to the 
> Bell/Westrex 45-45 stereophonic cutting system in order to facilitate 
> universal compatibility) still another approach or a smaller-stylus 
> adaption of an earlier system?   Thanks in advance! -- Tom Fine

From: Ted Kendall <[log in to unmask]>

3. Blumlein stereo cutter was vert/lat - the surviving disc sides only 
make sense played this way, although the width on the Mozart/Beecham is 
not great - I spoke to one of Blumlein's assistants many years ago, who 
told me that they were disappointed at the time, and reckoned that the 
difference amplifier was having an off day.

4. Arthur Haddy gives some of this story in his chapter in Briggs' 
/Audio Biographies/ - the Decca/Teldec system was easily tweaked to run 
45/45, the carrier system having been abandoned some time previously for

fear the marketing people would put two separate programmes on the two 
channels!

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