When I arrived at BMG in 1990, there were still some old hands around, both in A&R and among the engineers. When the first "LIving Stereo" CDs were made in 1992, the consensus was that the 1954 "Damnation" was the first binaural recording made by RCA, that it was recorded complete, and that it was made on RCA machines recorded at 15 ips. Jack Pfeiffer, who was there, told me so himself.
It was also, quite incorrect. I found at least two earlier binaural recordings, the "Damnation" tapes were made at 30 ips, and I believe that they were recorded on Ampex 300 machines. The fact that I found only one binaural reel, when there should have been ten times that, makes me skeptical that they recorded the whole thing in binaural.
I don't think Jack and others were lying. I think, forty years hence, that their memory was faulty, and as far as I can tell, there was no surviving paperwork about binaural at those sessions. Jack did have private notebooks that he guarded zealously, but I did get to look at them once, and did not see anything about early binaural sessions.
--- On Wed, 9/26/12, Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] early stereophony
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 10:41 AM
According to well-informed sources at RCA with whom I spoke,
*Damnation*was indeed recorded entirely in stereo. It seems that
portions of the
masters were excised for demonstration playback and that material was
subsequently lost. It was ultimately decided not to attempt a stereo issue.
On Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Wade Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have the United Arts CD with the Haydn Variations, but wont be able to
> check it until November. Also, what frustrates me about the Munch Berlioz
> Damnation is that the LP Booklet prints on the inside title page an
> announcement that the entire piece was recorded in stereo as well. It
> strange that RCA would make that sort of announcement in print without the
> source tapes to substantiate the claim.
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023