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At 05:49 AM 2008-09-15, Michael Biel wrote:
>I agree that it is a good thing to have this published, but it is 
>even more unfortunate that Peter is no longer with us because there 
>are many, many factual and historical errors and omissions.
...
>He has completely misunderstood how Les Paul created his overdubbing 
>on page 287 when he talks about a mono tape recorder with the heads 
>in the PER arrangement instead of the usual ERP.  That machine was 
>used for a time delay that was of the length of the tape loop.

Hello, Mike,

There seems to be a real bit of confusion on this one, as I have 
heard the same story that is in Copeland's Manual.

I asked my friend Don Ososke (ex Ampex) to look into this as I did 
not have time. Don agreed to and discussed it with our mutual friend 
Peter Hammar, the founder/curator of the  Ampex Museum (portions of 
which are now at Stanford). Pete was actually the one who introduced 
me to Don. Anyway, Don reports:

>Peter Hammar interviewed Les Paul at Les's house many long years 
>ago. Paul showed Hammar the full-track Ampex 300 with an additional 
>"preview head" mounted about 1.5 inches to the left of the head 
>assembly that Paul used for "sound over sound" recordings. Paul said 
>that he first recorded a "click track" so that he and Mary Ford 
>could stay in precise synchronization. He then recorded the various 
>parts, saving the most important parts for last due to the quality 
>losses caused by re-recording the old parts each time he added a new 
>part. Sometimes, for very complex and fast moving guitar parts, he 
>would record at half speed while playing the guitar parts one octave 
>lower. Paul said that by the time he recorded the last part, the 
>click track had faded away due to the re-recording losses. 
>THEREFORE, the head configuration was...PERP (although the "normal" 
>play head was not needed while recording multiple parts).
>
>Hammar did not mention Paul discussing the time delay "echo effect" 
>that was the length of the tape loop, although some of the Les Paul 
>/ Mary Ford recordings exhibit this effect. Could Paul have made a 
>final re-recording to add the time delay?
>
>Hammar confirmed that the erase head was used.

Cheers,

Richard


Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.