Wow, Franz, this is priceless information! Thanks.
As I understand it, one must go to the Stanford library where these papers reside to view them?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Franz Kunst" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, November 08, 2013 12:24 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] some articles from Sanford/Palo Alto papers on James A. Miller
> Stanford does have a James A. Miller Collection. A little more information
> here: http://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/4083415
> On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 7:37 AM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Some of these records are at NYPL. Check with Seth Winner who had occasion
>> to handle them, I think.
>> I also seem to recall there was a lawsuit about records sold using this
>> system. In NY state. There may well be useful info in the depositions for
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2013 9:25 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] some articles from Sanford/Palo Alto papers on James A.
>> These articles are interesting, but raise some questions:
>> The longer article talks about Miller's "magnetic recording" invention and
>> juxtaposes it in competition with German tape developments in the 1930s. As
>> I understand Miller's system that Philips made and sold, and Miller's
>> patents related to that system, his was not a magnetic recording system as
>> in a magnetic head inducing a field onto magnetic media. Rather, it was a
>> system which used electromagnetism to drive a cutting stylus which cut an
>> opitcally-reproduced soundtrack onto black-coated film stock.
>> Miller's patents covering this are US2034111 amd US1919116, and there are
>> also patents for the coated-film "recording blanks."
>> Did Miller also invent a magnetic-induction recording system? I have never
>> seen any details on this.
>> Miller was my father's first employer and an early mentor. By the late
>> 1930's, Miller operated a film-sound studio in Queens or Manhattan (not
>> of exact location). My father started work there as a teenager, shaving wax
>> recording blanks. Miller was an expert at cutting stylus systems, and
>> developed a high-fidelity, high dynamic range disk-cutting system that used
>> no electronic feedback (it was mechanically damped, and each cutterhead
>> needed to be hand-tuned against resonances). The Miller cutting system was
>> part of the "secret sauce" of the mono-era Mercury Living Presence records,
>> along with the Fine-Fairchild Margin Control system, which allowed for wide
>> dynamics and classical-length LP sides as early as 1952.
>> As far as I know, the Philips-Miller film-recording system was used only by
>> a few organizations in Europe. I've wondered why it wasn't adopted in
>> Hollywood, because it would have allowed instantaneous playback and would
>> have been very useful in such activities as location sound recording and
>> dialog looping. Perhaps the machines were not interlockable? Or was it a
>> typical "not invented here" thing? As I understand it, until magnetic-film
>> recorders were developed in the late 40's, the only way to get
>> playback in Hollywood was to run disk recorders at the same time as optical
>> film recorders.
>> Does anyone know a source for more information on Mr. Miller? I've been
>> to find only sketchy info online. As far as I know, he made relatively few
>> Miller cutterheads and even fewer Philips-Miller recorders. Perhaps there
>> more information buried somewhere at Stanford?
>> -- Tom Fine