Ha! It's like intro to classical music class -- Bach, Beethoven, Brahms!
Regarding Bell Labs, it's also important to remember how much they invented about optical-electrical
One common thread in all of this that I find very interesting is Bell Labs' expertise in
electro-magnetism and induction, which stemmed from decades of experience with phone coils.
The same expertise required to enable long distance lines of decent audio quality was involved with
driving a light valve for optical recording and a recording stylus for electrical disk recording.
Not to mention dynamic microphones, loudspeakers and impedence-matching and isolation transformers.
Basically, electrical recording of both disks and optical sound-film fell right into WECO's sweet
Western Electric built a group of sound-mixing consoles for MGM in the 1940s, detailed in a SMPE
Journal article. One of those consoles ended up at Fine Sound and then Fine Recording, and then at
Walter Sear's studio. So, first of all, the console was in use for 20+ years in NYC and 10 years
before that in Hollywood. More to the point, that entire console was passive, using custom-wound
coils and other passive parts to accomplish impedence-matched mixing networks, filtering and
equalization, and isolation. It was used to produce the soundtracks for literally thousands of TV
commercials, feature-length motion pictures, industrial films and multi-media productions for two
Also, the WECO/Bell Labs expertise in coils and transformer design directly descended to
Altec/Peerless, still among the most coveted audio transformers. If I was told the history
correctly, Langevin's transformer and coil business was started by former WECO personnel using WECO
designs and technology.
Finally, keep in mind that Bell Labs was an early commercializer of PCM digital technology, and had
a rudiementary early patent. PCM itself was invented but not commercialized by IT&T in Europe.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Stamler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:30 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Terrific 1970 Interview with Stokowski
> On 4/11/2013 5:54 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> WECO basically invented and enabled what was modern recording (first,
>> electrical recording, then stereophony and practical stereo recording
>> for a grooved disk).
> I used to tell my "Evolution of Audio" students that most of the answers on the final exam would
> involve the Three Bs -- Bell Labs, Blumlein and Bing Crosby.