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Dear All,
    This posting concerns the "technical information" in paragraph (2)
below.
    Here at the British Library Sound Archive, we have microfilms of
paperwork preserved by EMI Records. Quite a lot of technical information
exists; the problem is that it is generally typed using
difficult-to-interpret abbreviations. Some of these have been explained in
my article on acoustic recording (Historic Record June 1994 onwards; BL
microfilm numbers 360-362 and 385-391), while the information on electrical
recording using the Western Electric system has largely resisted analysis.
So I am posting this, to ask whether anyone has any details of the controls
and their settings on pre-1931 Western Electric recording equipment?
    If you can help and would rather contact me offline, my email address is
:
<[log in to unmask]>. I regret I may be unable to revisit this
listserv in the next couple of weeks.
    Many thanks in anticipation,
Peter Copeland

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 23 October 2003 20:26
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 21st Century Discographies

----- Original Message -----
From: "David S Sager" <[log in to unmask]>
> I think that detailed notes concerning how the discographical
> information was obtained is important...eg from companies files, from
> interviews with musicians.  Thank goodness for Brian Rust, however I
> often wish I knew where he had gotten some of his details from!  Same
> for more current general and more focused discographies.
>
> Also useful would be to include technical information if available as
> to types of microphones, room size etc...
>
> I cannot see a discography having sound samples- call me old fashioned-
> a discography is a discography, used to identify factors that made up a
> recording session...it should not be a recording itself.
>
> Photos from  recording sessions would be a nice touch.
1) Some of Rust's data came from original ledgers, where such exist; for
most
entries the label/catalog number data was probably found in the "New
Releases"
sections of trade magazines like "Talking Machine Word," while personnel
were
probably found in periodicals like "Billboard" and "Variety" as well as
other
music magazines. As well, he had access to personal files of musicians like
Ed Kirkeby, who kept lists of all his recording sessions.

2) Technical information is often unavailable...or meaningless, since
cryptic
references are often used which mean nothing to us today.

3) Discographies never included sound samples because there was no practical
way to do so before the "digital age." Note that the sound files would not
have
to be part of the discographic data, but if there were an archive of sound
files (i.e. PrGr) then a relationship could exist between the sound file
archive and the discographic data record, since both refer to the same
phonorecord.
Steven C. Barr


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