I come down in the middle on this one. The presentation should be a "segment" in an ARSC Conference,
broken into three "presentations," as I described yesterday. That gives breaks for Q&A about
specific parts of the history (ie WECO, Europe, non-WECO American systems), and time for people to
shuffle around in their uncomfortable chairs.
Where I agree with Don is that no presenter I saw at ARSC (myself definitely included) has the
professional stage presence to hold an audience for 90 minutes. Die Meistersinger is inherently more
compelling a spectacle than anything I've ever seen on the agenda at ARSC, AES or any other audio
AES Historical Committee organizers like to set up 90-minute slots. The only way I've found to fill
them is use long music examples. I think I still maxed out at 80 minutes and I noticed a lot of
people clicking "smart" phones and the like during the music examples.
If one really endeavored to present the early history of electrical recording, say from the roots up
to when the WECO system was established in the American record business, that's a dense amount of
history. A lot to absorb, best presented in bites. It would be a tremendous thing to see. The
followup at the next conference could be a "segment" covering the history of magnetic recording.
Start with early stuff, Poulsen, wire recording, invention of AC bias (by WECO), etc. Then the
German development of both magnetic tape recording and magnetic tape itself, plus their early stereo
recordings. Then you could have a half hour on Ampex, the adoption of tape as the master medium in
American and European professional recording, amateur formats, mass-duping, etc. Then end with a
half hour summary on modern knowledge about tape care, degradation, mitigation and transfer methods.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis Rooney" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 8:21 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] EARLY ELECTRICAL DISK RECORDINGS: ANOTHER UNUSUAL SAMPLE.
> Dear Don,
> As the first act of DIE MEISTERSINGER lasts slightly longer than ninety
> minutes but doesn't seem a bit too long in a good performance, I cannot
> agree with your estimate except insofar as it might be influenced by the
> quality of chairs we get to sit on at our conferences.
> On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 5:16 AM, Don Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> On 15/10/2012, Dennis Rooney wrote:
>> > Dear Tom,
>> > I'm inclined to agree with you; however, my experience with ARSC-ies
>> > is that they are not a particularly technically-savvy lot, although
>> > more and more computer mavens seem to post to this list and we do have
>> > a Technical Committee. That feeling has certainly been reinforced by
>> > the often comically ignorant queries that have been posted so
>> > frequently in recent months.
>> > The genesis of electrical recording, presented in a detailed overview
>> > with appropriate technical, patent and legal exhibits, and of course
>> > with plentiful audio examples, would in my opinion be a great
>> > presentation, just one not possible to cover in 35 minutes. To even
>> > approach treating the subject properly, an hour would be a minimum
>> > time and ninety minutes would be better. That sounds like a workshop,
>> > except that it's not a how-to subject. "Too AES-y" would probably be
>> > the response of the current worthies on the Program Committee. A
>> > grass-roots contradiction of my thesis would be heartening. We'll see.
>> Ninety minutes would be a two-part presentation.
>> No single talk should be longer than 45 minutes. People just cannot pay
>> attention for that long.
>> Don Cox
>> [log in to unmask]
> Dennis D. Rooney
> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
> New York, NY 10023