It is true that Columbia began master recording on 17.5 and 16" lacquer
discs commencing in 1939. The last Masterworks sessions recorded at 78rpm
were in 1940.
Whoever claims that Columbia began mastering on magnetic tape "by mid-1947"
is completely incorrect. There are no seasons for which tape parts exist
prior to late 1949, and backup discs continued to be cut until 1951. My
assertion is based on extensive personal exploration of surviving Columbia
masters and parts. Tape originals did not enter into Lp production until
late 1949. The lp and xlp matrices for Lps were second or third generation
copies from disc originals.
On Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 7:45 AM, Carl Pultz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> The question of Columbia Records' adoption of new technologies came up here
> recently. By coincidence, I came across a memoir of the development of LP
> Edward Wallerstein. According to this, the company had started recording to
> 33rpm 16" vinyl discs in the late 30s, which later helped them to create
> quiet masters for LP. But, additionally, they were early into tape:
> "Columbia also had an advantage in that we were the first people in the
> to use tape for master recording. [Adrian] Murphy was one of the first to
> see a German Magnetophon tape recorder in newly liberated Luxemburg after
> the war. He quickly packed it up and shipped it back to CBS. Not long
> thereafter both EMI and Ampex came out with machines, and we immediately
> placed an order for both. By mid-1947, we were using them and had
> discontinued direct disc cutting. The Ampex proved to be the better
> so we sent the EMI machines back. Of the originally issued LPs about 40%
> were from tape originals."
> Interesting essay, though how reliable I'm not sure. (For instance, how
> mag tape was available in mid-47? I think Mullin was still hording scraps
> BASF at that time.) It has probably appeared elsewhere, but I found it
> http://www.musicinthemail.com/audiohistoryLP.html via
> Carl Pultz
> Alembic Productions
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Delray Beach, FL 33483