The old RCA and Western Electric dialog-recording mics (both ribbon types, I believe, although the 
WECO could have been a version of the "Birdcage" ribbon/dynamic type) often had a white cross or X 
printed on the dead side, just to make double-sure the dialog recordist was turning his "fishpole" 
mechanism so the live side faced the person speaking. The RCA mics acquired the nickname "skunk" 
mics because of the white cross or X on the backside.

Ken, I don't think any great recording engineer ever gets done learning. It's what a person learns 
after he knows it all that counts, as they say. So, every time you lug those tape machines out to a 
gig, you'll acquire more knowledge and then eventually the pieces will come together and you'll love 
playing back your own tapes.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ken Fritz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 7:05 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] One Inch, two track master tapes- 15 or 30 IPS

Hi Tom,

   In no way was I trying to be sarcastic; If I came across that way
it was unintentional.

   I may be carrying  analog purity a bit too far, however, digital
sound seems to get a bad rap more times than not. I fully realize the
opportunities  of my being able to record great musical performances
are slim but you work with what you have. Microphone techniques will
be another story altogether.

   Trying to get the gear right is the easiest; all it takes is
money:-). The next factor, a good performance, will be harder to find
while microphone placement will take time to learn. On my last
recording, a large choral group in a huge church, I accidentally  had
one of the Peluso 2247 SE mikes turned backwards.    At 11 feet in
the air I didn't notice it as Peluso doesn't grace their mikes with
large emblazoned logos as does Neumann and others. By the time I
noticed my screw up it was too late as the music started; I was using
a cardiod  pattern in the fully packed church . I now have a large
red dot on the front  of the mikes, live and learn.

On May 28, 2009, at 6:13 AM, Tom Fine wrote:

> Hi Ken:
> Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but assuming not. I think it  just shows that the media isn't 
> the message with a good recording.  Keith Johnson made good recordings on his custom tape rig. He 
> also  makes great recordings on his digital rig. I don't believe he's  used the tape rig for years 
> now, perhaps more than a decade. A good  recording is much more dependent on proper mic placement, 
> great  microphones and a recording chain where the goal is output = input  (much more achievable 
> with a modern digital setup than with any  analog tape format ever, if the real goal is output = 
> input). But  the key, key ingredient is a great musical performance in front of  these mics.  Then 
> the music transcends the technique, humans  involved and the medium used for recording and 
> playback. Very rare  that all these factors come together, that's why there's a lot of  recorded 
> sound out there but most of it doesn't sound very good.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Fritz"  <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 10:07 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] One Inch, two track master tapes- 15 or 30 IPS
>   Hi Tom,
>   You just knocked my socks off!!.
>   I think I'll go out in the garden and eat worms, say it isn't so.:-)
>   Does this mean that that ignorance is bliss?
>   Ken
> On May 27, 2009, at 9:52 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>> Hi Ken:
>> I assume you and Steve know that TP-007, Eiji Oue/Minnesota   Orchestra: Exotic Dances from the 
>> Opera, is a digital recording   originally. It's available as a 24/96 download at Chesky's 
>> HDTracks, and was originally issued as a HDCD Compact Disc. I  think  Johnson's original 
>> recording was 192/24 PCM, but this might  date  from before he used the super-high sampling rate.
>> I think TP-003, Arnold/London Philharmonic Orchestra: Arnold   Overtures, is also an 
>> originally-digital recording. Arnold is  also  available as a 96/24 download from HDTracks.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Fritz"   <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 9:05 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] One Inch, two track master tapes- 15 or 30  IPS
>>   Hi Steve, "Ironbut,"
>>   I'm  working my way down on the replies to the 1 inch 2 track ATR
>> posting I sent a day or two ago.
>>   I met Mike , Bette and Bill two years ago when I signed up for a
>> class on ATR 101. It was a 5 hour trip from Richmond ,Va. so I drove
>> up the night before. Everything went wrong. My F350  had a low tire
>> when I left the hotel to drive to ATR Services. I went the wrong way
>> on the interstate and drove to ATR on an almost flat tire. I was over
>> dressed and ,due to the excitement, my Mitchum  broke down. ---:-)
>>   I picked up my ATR 102 about a year ago and soon after one came up
>> on ebay. Legacy Studios in Manhattan. Pick up only , no shipping. I
>> was the only bidder at $2400. An ATR 104 with multiple head blocks,
>> power supplies and audio cards. It was purchased from Mike Spitz a
>> few  years earlier and never used as the Legacy tech knew  Studer
>> machines and not ATR's .
>>   The last ATR machine came available a month ago. An ATR 1-2 with
>> Aria electronics and an extra 1/4 inch head  block with 20 hours of
>> use. The devil made me buy it--
>>   The Precision Motor Works machine that mates the MR 70 electronics
>> to an ATR  is a beauty, I hope to hear one some day.
>>   I spoke with Momma Doc today about  the possibility of asking
>> Paul Stubblebine if he'd be willing to supply a transfer of a tape
>> project  issue on 1 inch tape. I hope to hear from him soon .
>>   If I had a choice of a 1 inch transfer it would be TP 05, 07 or
>> any of the full scale classical titles they offer.  Personally, I
>> don't see the value of spending  $$ on a transfer with a limited
>> number of instruments. Spend the $$ and listen to a musical works
>> that tax a playback system with dynamics that can only be replicated
>> with a full symphony  orchestra, my thoughts- I may be wrong.
>>   Steve, thanks for the reply from a TTP member, you put your money
>> where your mouth is.
>>   Ken Fritz
>> On May 27, 2009, at 7:55 PM, carlstephen koto wrote:
>>> Hey Ken,
>>> I recall that you live near and have visited Mike Spitz at ATR    Services (I remember you took 
>>> his alignment class a few years    back). I would assume that you either purchased your 1" ATR 
>>> from   him or have had him service it. As a couple of folks have  said,  it  could very well be 
>>> the ultimate solid state mastering  machine.  I  know that some studios such as Fantasy did do 
>>> 1/2" 2  tracks (I  have  a Dexter Gordon from them) but I don't know of  any golden  age 
>>> studios that used them. Aside from Mike, MTR  Precision Motor  Works  also used to set up 1" 2 
>>> track mastering  machines.  You may  want to  contact them both and contact the  studios that 
>>> purchased these  machines and perhaps you can strike  a deal to at least hear  these  masters.
>>> Regarding the Tape Project, I'm sure you know that Paul    (Stubblebine) has two 1" 2 track 
>>> machines that are used in the    production of our tapes. One is an ATR with Tim de Paravicini's 
>>> custom electronics while the other is an MM1200 with MR70    electronics ( I believe that Mike 
>>> Spitz set this machine up when   he  was still located in San Mateo). I'm sure you could 
>>> commission  a  couple of custom tapes to be produced for you . I  would hurry   though. They 
>>> have purchased the rights to produce a  limited  number  of releases and I would certainly try 
>>> and get a  1" copy of  "Waltz  for Debby" and "Saxophone Colossus"  if I  were you (they'd  be 
>>> as  close to exact duplicates of the master  as you'd ever get).
>>> Steve Koto
>>> On May 26, 2009, at 7:58 PM, Ken Fritz wrote:
>>>>   Hi Lou,
>>>>   I'm a subscriber to TTP and appreciate the quality that tape    delivers.
>>>>   I'm hoping to find a few listers that have studio tapes from    groups that never made the 
>>>> big time but cut great sounding   tapes.  I've managed to purchase tapes from  now defunct 
>>>> studios  in Memphis and LA but all are 1/4 or 1/2 inch two track at i5  or  30  ips. I'm hoping 
>>>> to find a few 1 inch two track tapes if   they're  out there.
>>>>   thanks for the reply, Ken Fritz
>>>> On May 26, 2009, at 9:04 PM, Lou Judson wrote:
>>>>> No Beatles on on inch 2 track as far as I know.
>>>>> But you can probably pay these guys to make you some tapes to    play on your new toy:
>>>>> <>
>>>>> Worth asking anyway!
>>>>> <L>
>>>>> Lou Judson  Intuitive Audio
>>>>> 415-883-2689
>>>>> On May 26, 2009, at 5:43 PM, Ken Fritz wrote:
>>>>>>   Hi Listers,
>>>>>>     I'm probably one of the few on the list that is an "    Audiophile." That translates to 
>>>>>> "Music is fun and not a    business."  "Thank God" might be the next phrase  but since my 
>>>>>> business supplies tooling to those that manufacture solid    surface and cast marble to the 
>>>>>> construction industry I think    we're both in the same boat. To the point!
>>>>>>  Analog tape is where the great recordings started and I'm    keeping it going by filling my 
>>>>>> home with around 20  or so   analog  RTR machines. I belong to an audio group in Richmond 
>>>>>> Va. and they all marvel at the sound of tape. I just bought a   one inch  two track ATR and 
>>>>>> have nothing to play on it. I  feel  like I just  bought a tuxedo and only have a pair of 
>>>>>> brown shoes--- no place  to go!
>>>>>>   If anyone out there has a one inch two track tape  that   would  show off what my machine 
>>>>>> can do and would CONSIDER   sending it to  me I'd appreciate it. The Genre isn't as 
>>>>>> important as the musical content.  If a lister has a safety   copy of the Beatles,  any 
>>>>>> recording, I can send an armed   carrier along with my first  born for insurance-:),  Any and 
>>>>>> all costs and insurance would be  covered, of  course.
>>>>>>    any reply will be appreciated,  Ken Fritz