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ARSCLIST  November 2012

ARSCLIST November 2012

Subject:

Re: Early digital recording history -- a couple of followups

From:

Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 6 Nov 2012 09:46:56 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Tom, there was a number of sessions issued on Denon LPs and CDs,
collaborations with Supraphon, and I think those began in the late '70s. I
don't own any - they are in the library I managed at WXXI. Rather glassy
sounding. Recall somehow that it was a 14bit system.

I do have a few discs from a Shostakovich Symphony cycle issued by JVC in
Japan, recorded in Moscow in 1983. Familiar, spectacular Melodia multi-mic
production, with huge dynamics, and at least one burst of overs that can
wreck your tweeters. The discs say "Digital Recording," and they do sound
that way, but except for covers in English, all the notes are in Japanese.

The first Melodia USSR produced CDs I saw were issued around 1990.

This is in the classical realm, assuming it got the new tech first, but
that's rather high-art centric. The first CD I heard was Born To Run.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 8:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Early digital recording history -- a couple of followups

I think I posted part of this before, but here are a couple of followups to
my ARSCJ article, "The 
Dawn of Digital."

1. I finally found some printed matter to back up what I had been told about
DGG -- that they used 
the 3M system for their first digital recordings. DGG itself stated on its
website what was its 
first all-digital commercially-released recording: LP 2532 001, Tchaikovsky
Violin Concerto; Gidon 
Kremer, violin; Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Lorin Maazel.  In an
article in the January 1994 
issue of Studio Sound, regarding DGG's "4D" digital recording system, author
Francis Rumsey 
reported, "In the early years of digital multitrack, the 3M format was used,
and one machine is 
still kept in working order to replay and transfer old tapes." The
Kremer/Maazel recording took 
place in Berlin, 12/79.

2. Philips' first digital recording was actually made by Decca, and in the
USA. The LP was Philips 
9500 921, "Pops In Space," by John Williams and the Boston Pops. The
original LP carried a banner 
boasting "FIRST Philips Digital Recording." The Soundstream system was used,
and a Decca crew 
handled the recording, according to two former Philips engineers. Recorded
6/80 in Boston.

3. In the U.S., Telarc trail-blazed digital classical recording, using the
Soundstream system, 
beginning in April 1978.

According to the Whacky-Packia page on Columbia Records: "On May 5, 1979,
Columbia Masterworks began 
digital recording in a recording session of Stravinsky's Petrouchka by the
New York Philharmonic 
Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, in New York (using 3M's 32-channel
multitrack digital 
recorder)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Records#The_1970s

NOTE -- CAN ANY COLUMBIA VETERANS OR HISTORIANS CONFIRM THIS INFORMATION?

4. I can't find anything definitive about RCA Red Seal and its first digital
recording. JON SAMUELS, 
do you know the facts on this? When, where, who and what digital system
used? I think but don't know 
for a fact that RCA used the Soundstream system at first, and probably made
their first recording in 
1979.

5. Another avenue of inquiry I never pursued for the article but is of
interest to me is, when did 
digital recording start behind the Iron Curtain? Who did what first, where?
What system was used? 
Did the Russians clone a Western system or just buy the equipment for
themselves? For that matter, 
when did the CD medium become widespread in the communist world, or did it
happen after the wall 
fell?

-- Tom Fine

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