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ARSCLIST  October 2012

ARSCLIST October 2012

Subject:

Re: Early electrical disk recording

From:

David Lewis <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:51:51 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

This may help. How is your Swedish?

http://www.filmsoundsweden.se/backspegel/triergon.html

UD

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 7:29 PM, Scott D. Smith <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> The Brunswick Light Ray recording process was indeed based on the GE
> Pallophotophone process invented by Charles Hoxie. It later became the
> basis for the Fox variable density sound-on-film system (which William Fox
> used as the basis of a patent infringement lawsuit in the 1930's). Western
> Electric also had a hand in the process as well. I would have to dig back
> to sort out all the patents, but I think that GE and Fox may have licensed
> some of Hoxie's and Western's patents for the system. Don't quote me on
> this though-the history of who did what when is very sketchy.
>
> Deutsche Grammophon also used some similar technology around 1925, which I
> believe was based on the German Tri-Ergon system from 1919. Not clear on
> what the corporate connection might have been to either Brunswick or GE
> during this period. Haven't had time to research this far back on film
> sound history yet.
>
> --Scott
>
> Scott D. Smith CAS
> Chicago Audio Works, Inc.
>
>
>
>  Deutsche Grammophon
>
>
>
> On 10/12/2012 3:07 PM, Dennis Rooney wrote:
>
>> Dear Dave,
>>
>> It has been more than fifty years since I last looked at some issues, but
>> I
>> seem to recall an article on the Light Ray process in THE PHONOGRAPH
>> MONTHLY REVIEW sometime in 1927. I don't know how accessible they are. The
>> Philadelphia Free Library has a set (1926-32).
>>
>> Ciao,
>>
>> DDR
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 9:42 AM, David Lewis <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>>  Dr. B wrote:
>>>
>>> In late 1922
>>> Hewitt had a visit from Charles Hoxie who was doing sound-on-film
>>> recording for GE and WGY, and loaned Hewitt some of the equipment.
>>> Parts of this system was later the basis of the Brunswick Light Ray
>>> Recording process which is not such a mystery as Dave Lewis seems to
>>> think!
>>> Well, good. Perhaps you can point me to a study on the light ray
>>> technology. I'm interested in it, but never encountered much on it save
>>> record collector's scuttlebutt.
>>>
>>> As usual, there is no mention of Orlando Marsh in this thread. And to my
>>> knowledge Autograph did not issue anything before 1924, though
>>> I've never encountered a formal, or even informal, listing of their
>>> releases. Nevertheless, Rainbow 1026, "Oh My Soul Bless Thou Jehovah"
>>> and "Tis the Precious Name of Jesus" by tenor Loren Jones appears to be a
>>> Marsh electrical. It is difficult to date precisely, and the copy I
>>> have seen comes from a period whereby Homer was stamping out the centers
>>> of
>>> his master discs and replacing them for some reason, so
>>> that the mx. number is lost. But it was available by his third catalog,
>>> published in October 1922. And typically there is no mention on the disc
>>> that it is electrical; Rainbow was well past the number 1026 at that
>>> time,
>>> and it appears this disc was used to fill in for an intended issue that
>>> didn't come about for some reason.
>>>
>>> Although it wasn't issued at the time, one very early Marsh disc that
>>> survives is the "Unknown Black Band" performing "Muscle Shoals Blues"
>>> from late 1921; it is Marsh mx. "19" and I don't know of an earlier one
>>> than that.
>>>
>>> https://www.box.com/s/**dam8frmr96o04pmhsn5h<https://www.box.com/s/dam8frmr96o04pmhsn5h>
>>>
>>> The band is officially "unknown," but unofficially believed to be Tim
>>> Brymn's Black Devil Orchestra. On their arrival in Chicago from the
>>> European
>>> theater the Brymn unit, which was still military at that time, set up at
>>> a
>>> local Armory and played music in addition to conducting military drills.
>>> Some
>>> of the drills were filmed by Oscar Micheaux and shown as part
>>> of a newsreel exhibited along with one of his features though -- like so
>>> many of his
>>> films -- it no longer is known to survive, and we don't even know what
>>> the
>>> title of that may have been.
>>>
>>> I think one of the reasons Orlando Marsh seems to get so little love is
>>> that his electricals don't sound like electricals; they sound like
>>> somewhat louder
>>> acousticals with extra distortion added. Note the blasting on the drums
>>> here, which would likely have precluded its release if Marsh had any way
>>> to
>>> issue his records in 1921. While I will certainly not argue against the
>>> "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" as the first issued electrical, and this
>>> track was not
>>> issued until the 2000s, I would humbly suggest that this might be the
>>> earliest surviving electrical recording of music.
>>>
>>> I also used to have a cardboard flexi from Canada which contained choral
>>> music, recorded electrically in 1924. I don't remember the details on it,
>>> but they
>>> claimed it was the first electrical recording; it is certainly still very
>>> early.
>>>
>>> Uncle Dave Lewis
>>> Lebanon, OH
>>>
>>>
>>
>>

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