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ARSCLIST  April 2015

ARSCLIST April 2015

Subject:

Re: Disasters at Commercial Archives

From:

Dennis Rooney <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 9 Apr 2015 18:13:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (245 lines)

First and foremost, LISTEN to the record. Familiarize yourself with it.
Otherwise, go away and don't damage anything.

DDR

On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 4:12 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> TOTALLY AGREE WITH CLARK! And yes, I'm "shouting!" Find the best possible
> source of the media you want to transfer. CLEAN IT with knowledge and care.
> Play it with the right stylus, at the right speed and with the right EQ
> curve (and often "right" is what sounds best because there is very little
> concrete documentation of recording curves especially in foreign markets
> and especially in non-studio recordings). Transfer it at high resolution,
> then be conservative and tasteful with your digital restoration tools. This
> all sounds logical and common sense based. But listen to most of the CDs
> reissuing 78s and you hear that few people follow these steps, few people
> have good taste with using "restoration tools," and many people seem to
> think consumers either can't hear garbage work or don't care because they
> expect terrible sound from 78s.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Clark Johnsen" <[log in to unmask]
> >
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 4:01 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Disasters at Commercial Archives
>
>
>  "I'm not at all saying don't do it, I'm saying do it right."
>>
>> Amen to that!
>>
>> And then this: In my experience far more people are concerned with
>> "restoration" than with actual "transfer", the basic act of playing the
>> original 78s (especially). ‚ÄčThis is where attention should be focused, in
>> my opinion; the rest can be accomplished later.
>>
>> clark
>>
>> On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 8:34 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> wrote:
>>
>>  Hi Joel:
>>>
>>> In theory your idea is very correct, but there are so many hack people
>>> and
>>> hack methods out there for digitizing 78's. The archive will need to do a
>>> lot of research, have someone on-hand or hire someone with really good
>>> ears, and talk to a lot of people before moving forward. I am so
>>> un-impressed by most commercial reissues of 78s. Hack playbacks, hack
>>> over-use of digital "tools," non-understanding of stylus size and EQ
>>> ramifications, reliance on crappy-sounding and incorrect digital playback
>>> curves, etc. So just saying "digitize it and store copies of the drives
>>> off-site" is only the macro-macro view of a properly executed project. If
>>> they don't have the financial resources and someone with a lot of
>>> technical
>>> knowledge and very good ears involved, it'll end up with an
>>> inferior-sounding pile of digital files, and there will possibly develop
>>> an
>>> attitude of "well, we've digitized it so we don't need to safeguard these
>>> old heavy bulky shellac records anymore." I'm not at all saying don't do
>>> it, I'm saying do it right.
>>>
>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Joel Bresler" <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 10:23 PM
>>>
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Disasters at Commercial Archives
>>>
>>>
>>>  Hi, Peter, for some reason I did not get your original message.
>>>
>>>>
>>>> My intent in compiling the list is to share it with the Board of
>>>> Directors
>>>> of a European archive with an extensive holding of commercial 78-rpm
>>>> recordings, much of it unique. I am attempting to convince them that it
>>>> is
>>>> well and good that they have preserved their collection through two
>>>> world
>>>> wars and a tumultuous century, but until the contents are digitized and
>>>> copies stored off-site, their collection is still very much at risk.
>>>>
>>>> I have enough information for now -- it's quite a "parade of horribles"
>>>> as
>>>> it stands, so no need to share private information. I would be
>>>> interested
>>>> in
>>>> details on the public cases you mention below.
>>>>
>>>> Here is the list as it stands, from the last 50 years or so. Some of
>>>> this
>>>> information comes from public sources and some from private emails.
>>>>
>>>> Best,
>>>>
>>>> Joel
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> . A flood in a Jugoton (Yugoslavia) pressing plant destroyed metal 78
>>>> masters spanning from 1926 to 1959,
>>>> . In 1961 an explosion followed by a fire ripped through 20th Century
>>>> Fox's New Jersey vault,
>>>> . The National Film Board of Canada suffered a vault fire in 1967;
>>>> o More than half of the films produced in Canada between 1890
>>>> and 1950 were lost
>>>> . Also in 1967, a major fire erupted in Vault #7 at
>>>> Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's film studio in Culver City, California,
>>>> . A fire at MGM's Hollywood, California warehouse in 1972 devastated
>>>> unreleased musical materials,
>>>> . In 1978 a fire in a storage facility in Long Branch, N.J. destroyed
>>>> virtually all of Atlantic Record's unreleased masters and other
>>>> materials
>>>> from 1948-1969,
>>>> . In the 1980s, multiple floods hit the PolyGram tape vaults in White
>>>> Plains, New York,
>>>> . A fire in 1993 at the Henderson Film Lab in London destroyed Ealing
>>>> Studios comedies and other materials,
>>>> . In 2008, a fire on the Universal backlot in Los Angeles burned
>>>> thousands of videos and reels;
>>>> o Among the lost materials were masters from the Universal
>>>> Music Group, US Decca, MCA, Command, Impulse, Kapp and Chess.
>>>> . In 2010 a flood in Nashville damaged tape and photo archive
>>>> materials at the Grand Ole Opry.
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Haley
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 2015 3:41 PM
>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Disasters at Commercial Archives
>>>>
>>>> It is good to keep in mind that at least some of the warehouse fires in
>>>> question had to have been "insurance fires."  For a company in financial
>>>> distress, with a warehouse full of old material just sitting around,
>>>> generating no income and costing for upkeep, a nice insurance fire to
>>>> generate some fast cash could look fairly attractive, helping the old
>>>> bottom
>>>> line.  Its hard to prove the arson if carefully carried out, and
>>>> with nitrate film, well who would even bother to investigate.   As an
>>>> old
>>>> insurance lawyer in a prior life, I remain suspicious.
>>>>
>>>> Best,
>>>> John Haley
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 2:13 PM, Peter Brothers <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>  Joel:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Before replying with specific details, might I ask what the intent is
>>>>> in collecting the list of disasters?  We are a tape restoration and
>>>>> re-mastering laboratory that is very well known for our disaster
>>>>> recovery services.  As such, we have a significant list of recent
>>>>> (since 1983) disasters but are hesitant to release some of the
>>>>> information without an indication of what the data will be used for.
>>>>> Major archive disasters such as ABC(flood), MTV (fire and flood at
>>>>> different locations at different times), SONY (flood at different
>>>>> locations at different times), ZOMBA (flood), the CBC (flood), The
>>>>> Grand
>>>>>
>>>>>  Ole Opry (flood), Prague (flood), etc.
>>>>
>>>>  are not a problem but there have been a large number of disasters at
>>>>> smaller archives or at facilities holding archival materials that are
>>>>> a little more "confidential".
>>>>>
>>>>> While we do hear about fires, we probably get 20 flood inquiries per
>>>>> every fire inquiry.  While some fires leave tapes contaminated with
>>>>> soot and debris that can be decontaminated, too often fire destroys the
>>>>>
>>>>>  materials.
>>>>
>>>>  It is a lot easier to restore tapes that have been under water than
>>>>> tapes that have burned up into little lumps of "charcoal".
>>>>>
>>>>> Sincerely,
>>>>>
>>>>> Peter Brothers
>>>>> SPECS BROS., LLC
>>>>> 973-777-5055
>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>>
>>>>> Tape restoration, disaster recovery and re-mastering since 1983
>>>>>
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>>>>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joel Bresler
>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 7:51 AM
>>>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Disasters at Commercial Archives
>>>>>
>>>>> Dear Friends:
>>>>>
>>>>> I would like to assemble a short list of disasters (and
>>>>> near-disasters) that have befallen multimedia archives. Any help
>>>>> building a short list would be much appreciated. To get us started:
>>>>>
>>>>> MGM and Atlantic labels lost holdings in a fire In 1996 a movie lot
>>>>> fire almost demolished the MCA audio archive RCA bulldozed a warehouse
>>>>> in Camden, NJ in the 1960s, with master recordings and other materials
>>>>> still inside
>>>>>
>>>>> (These examples from: "Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have
>>>>> Destroyed Our Cultural Rights" by Bill Ivey
>>>>>
>>>>> Destruction of Odeon masters at the end of WWII.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thanks in advance,
>>>>>
>>>>> Joel
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Joel Bresler
>>>>> 250 E. Emerson Road
>>>>> Lexington, MA 02420
>>>>> United States
>>>>>
>>>>> 1-781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
>>>>> www.joelbresler.org
>>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>>> IN CASE OF VERIZON EMAIL PROBLEMS, PLEASE USE MY BACK-UP EMAIL:
>>>>> joelbresler-at-gmail.com
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>
>>


-- 
1006 Langer Way
Delray Beach, FL 33483
212.874.9626

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