Of course Columbia and CBS engineers knew of developments in magnetic tape;
however, in keeping with their general conservative attitude about
innovations, they were not convinced that tape offered comparable audio
quality to disc, as well as mechanical reliability. Dub-editing was well
understood in broadcasting and the Columbia engineers were experienced in
it. Tape waited until 1949 to begin to be used as a mastering medium at
Columbia. That decision may seem perplexing to you but there it is. In
1947-48 when Howard's team made the first 100 Lp masters disc-to-disc,
their technique produced superior results, particularly respecting s/n, to
what would have been achieved disc-to-tape.
On Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 1:18 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> I don't understand something about the obit and the story of the LP dawn
> that it told.
> Jack Mullin was out west in 1947 holding demonstrations and using his
> Magnetophones with the Bing Crosby radio program. The concept of magnetic
> tape was well known in the broadcast world. In fact, the Edward R. Murrow
> album "I Can Hear It Now" was produced using tape editing and the 78RPM
> album includes a lengthy production note describing this newfangled (at CBS
> News) editing technique.
> So none of this trickled over to Bridgeport CT? They really were doing
> disk-to-disk dubs in 1948? Why??? The Ampex 200 came out that year, the
> 200A soon afterward. Surely Bill Paley's empire could afford a few tape
> machines. Closer to Bridgeport, Fairchild was making tape machines by 1948
> and perhaps earlier (I don't have a clear timeframe as to when Fairchild
> first produced magnetic recorders, but a 1948 article about Reeves Studios
> in NYC shows Fairchild's "new" tape machines in service and one is pictured
> on the magazine cover).
> So again, why the complex machinations of disk-to-disk dubbing? BTW, RIP
> Howard Scott and he did indeed come up with an ingenius if hardest way
> possible to solve the problem of matching up the 78RPM sides.
> Ironically, the man who INVENTED the magnetic tape splicing block, at
> least the US iteration of the concept, was CBS News producer/editor Joel
> Tall (EdiTall).
> -- Tom Fine
> PS -- Mullin wasn't the only guy to bring a working Magnetophone home. The
> BBC captured some of them and did detailed dissections, and Col. Ranger
> brought home at least one. My bet is Fairchild's engineers got their hands
> on one very soon after the war or else how could their development keep a
> similar pace to Mullin/Ampex? There were at least dozens of Magetophones
> made during WWII, if not hundreds, perhaps more. The whole story of
> disk-dubbing for the new LP medium would make more sense if Columbia had
> been a little company not connected to a broadcast network and not located
> in what was then the East Coast industrial corridor. I'm not doubting the
> disk-dubbing happened, I just have trouble believing no one at Columbia
> knew about tape or had access to tape machines before the dawn of the LP.
> And if they knew and had access, why would they do a complex disk-to-disk
> dubbing method?
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dennis Rooney" <
> [log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2012 11:43 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Howard Scott Dies
> Howard's death is no surprise. He was failing for some time. Nevertheless,
>> his contribution to the birth of the Lp makes him one of the important
>> players in the success of Columbia Masterworks and worthy of remembrance.
>> He liked to tell the story of moving a cot into a studio where he could
>> in between supervising dub editing lacquer cuts into Lp masters, and it
>> all true, including having to re-make a majority of what had been produced
>> after technical problems in manufacturing caused them all to be scrapped.
>> Despite that setback, he and his engineering team began again and met
>> deadline in time for the spring 1948 launch of the new format.
>> In the decade before 1961 he supervised many of the Masterworks recordings
>> that allowed Columbia to lead the U.S. market. I have a photo of Howard
>> auditioning a test pressing sometime in the early fifties. He is young,
>> balding and clean shaven, attired in a dress shirt and tie. Like his
>> mentor, Goddard Lieberson, he set great store by dressing well. I worked
>> many recordings that he supervised when they were reissued on CD, and
>> admired his preparation and disciplined approach.
>> What isn't mentioned in that NY TIMES obit is that he was born Shapiro
>> according to the assimilationist impulse of his day, changed it to Scott
>> the late forties. It was a privilege to have known him. *Requiescat in
>> On Sun, Oct 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Funny, he was mentioned here not long ago.
>>> Uncle Dave Lewis
>> Dennis D. Rooney
>> 303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
>> New York, NY 10023
Dennis D. Rooney
303 W. 66th Street, 9HE
New York, NY 10023