Fascinating. I would be most interested in knowing what you find in  
the Project 3 catalog.

What kind of condition were the Everest masters in? They have really  
gotten bounced around over the years...


Scott D. Smith
Chicago Audio Works, Inc.

Quoting Mark Jenkins <[log in to unmask]>:

> Scott/Tom,
> We actually represent the current owners of the Project 3 catalogue, SPJ
> Music, for licensing.  We have not exploited this particular catalogue
> as of yet (as our initial interest was in the Vox catalogue, which is
> also owned by them).  I'm in the process of getting a list of the type
> of masters in the archive still extant (multi-channel, 35mm, quad,
> etc.).  Presently, the masters for these are in storage in
> Massacheusetts.  I do not, as of yet, have a good handle on the
> condition of these, but will update you when known.
> Mark Jenkins
> President, Licensing Division
> Madacy Entertainment LP/Countdown Media
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Scott D. Smith
> Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 5:54 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] 35mm magnetic film as a music-master recording
> method
> Tom,
> To the best of my knowledge, Command stopped using 35mm as a recording
> medium after Enoch Light sold the label to ABC Records in 1965. ABC then
> sold it to MCA, who promptly relegated it to the trash heap of
> re-issues. A sad story...
> Richard Gradone did a doctoral dissertation on the career of Enoch Light
> and his record labels while at NYU in 1980. I have never read it, so I
> don't know if it might contain any pertinent information or not.
> I have only a few Project 3 original releases. I know that "Patterns in
> Sound" series was done on 35mm, but after that, I'm really not sure.
> There is also the entire catalog of Project 3 quad releases, which I
> assume were probably done on 4 track tape, but could have been recorded
> on 35mm 4 track mag as well.
> In general, the recordings that Enoch Light did under the Command label
> were considered by many to be both artistically and technically superior
> to the Project 3 releases, which had arrangements which were tended to
> be less interesting than those that were done under the Command label.
> In general, they didn't sell as well as the Command releases did.
> I have no idea what Essex is doing with the current catalog, or even
> where the masters are. My guess is that they are probably in about the
> same condition as the Everest masters.
> The only other possible release I can think of might be the 1957
> (Stokowski) version of "Fantasia", release by Walt Disney under the
> Buena Vista label. Sadly, the original 1939 recording has been lost to
> time, having been recorded on 35mm nitrate film, and later transferred
> to 3 track magnetic film over a jury-rigged class A phone line
> arrangement in 1955. Despite this, Terry Porter managed to clean it up
> fairly well for the 1980 re-release.
> There were also a number of other movie soundtracks which were done on
> 35mm mag for film release, some which ran simultaneous session tapes. I
> know a few scoring mixers who worked in Hollywood during the early
> seventies. They have told me that practices varied from session to
> session. Some would run tape and film, others were done only on film
> (usually four track or six track), and later mixed to a 2 track tape
> master for album release. Since liner notes seldom contained these
> details, they are probably lost to time. Nearly every mixer I've spoken
> to has preferred the quality of the mag film masters over those done on
> tape. This is probably primarily due to the faster speed of the film
> (equivalent to 18 IPS), thicker oxide formulations, and wider track
> configuration (150 mil for 3 track, 100 mil for 6 track).
> Nearly all the mag film that I have worked with from the mid-1950's
> through the late 60's has suffered from some degree of VS, some much
> more so than others. Even film that has been stored in decent vault
> conditions has suffered, primarily due to the fact that most of it has
> been stored in sealed film cans, which doesn't allow for venting of the
> film. Most of the films also suffer from various degrees of base warp,
> which makes for a difficult situation when it comes to maintaining
> film-to-head contact.
> Scott D. Smith
> *Chicago Audio Works, Inc.*
> Tom Fine wrote:
>> Hi All:
>> I'm cookin' up some research here and I figured I throw a few
>> questions out to the group. The topic: the use of 35mm mag-film as the
>> main recording medium for music albums.
>> 1. As far as I can tell, before Everest Records started using 35mm to
>> do classical music recording sessions, the only prior use of 35mm as
>> an album-recording or album-mastering medium was a few cases of
>> film-soundtrack albums where the LP master was cut right from the 35mm
>> soundtrack magnetic master. I think RCA issued a few of these early in
>> the LP era but I'm not positive those were from 35mm magnetic masters
>> (they might have been from optical masters from pre-magnetic film
>> days). Any specific pre-Everest titles would be most appreciated.
>> Everest's use of mag-film was circa 1959-60.
>> 2. The mag-film trend was short-lived, I think. As far as I can tell,
>> by 1964 or so, only Command Records was still regularly making 35mm
>> mag-film masters for music albums. Any information on other labels
>> aside from Command and Project 3 regularly using 35mm as their
>> recording and mastering medium in the mid-60's would be appreciated.
>> The last Mercury Living Presence film sessions were 1963. Mercury's
>> pop Perfect Presence series ended in late 1961, if I recall correctly.
>> 3. By the late 60's, I think only Enoch Light's Project 3 Records was
>> still regularly recording and/or mastering to 35mm. If anyone has
>> information different from this, I'd be most appreciative if they'd
>> share it. I think Project 3 continued to use 35mm regularly into the
>> early 70's, even creating 4-track quad masters. But I don't have any
>> specifics about that era and Project 3, so any additional information
>> is greatly appreciated.
>> For those shy and/or discreet, please feel free to ping me off-list
>> and thank you in advnace.
>> Thanks!
>> -- Tom Fine
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