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From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Hello,

Mike Biel commented on David Seubert (and as usual interjected some very 
useful information):

> 
> And I am appalled that classical collectors and archives do not
> routinely check multiple classical sets for alternate takes.  I find
> them all the time on both Victor and Columbia classicals.  (Some of you
> might remember that I discovered a forged sheet in the Rachmaninoff
> artist file at BMG which re-designated alternate takes as the approved M
> master takes on 9 of the 10 sides of his Rach 2 to hide the usage of
> secondary takes for decades, including all the microgroove issues.)

----- well, I have found alternative takes in Edwin Fischer's wartime 
Electrola recordings that are not in the discography. And studying European 
matrix numbers will also tell you when a dub has been used as one record in a 
set.


> 
> 
> ...................My aural memory is notoriously reliable.  I've spotted
> alternate takes in records I am familiar with but might not have heard
> in years.  I was just tonight watching the LaserDisc of The Court
> Jester, and was listening to hear if the soundtrack songs were the same
> as on the Decca LP -- and I spotted where there was a deviation.  I've
> spotted the change in the syncronization of the train bells in different
> pressings of the Original Cast of The Music Man.  I hear these
> difference in acoustical recordings as well as any other kind of record.

----- the ears are very important, and just like some people have absolute 
pitch, others are able to listen for and concentrate on other features. In my 
collecting days, where I could recognise and differentiate between many 
classical pianists (only 78s!!) I was never really sure whether it was the 
ambience of the recording (which is somewhat influenced by pedalling, though) 
or the touch that I recognized. 

> 
> My method -- and the method of every other collector I know -- is to
> play the records, simultaneously if necessary.  Often time two takes
> will have the exact same time but still sound different.  If the takes
> ARE a few seconds shorter or longer the sound of the recordings will be
> MORE obviously different.  Different copies might have different groove
> lengths because the engineer might have run the machine longer before or
> after the recording.  And of course this doesn't work for Pathe family
> discs since all are dubs.  The take indication for Pathe's is the letter
> above the dash because the number after the dash is more of an
> indication of transfer dub number.  And I can think of many other cases
> where this doesn't work when some blank grooving can be shaved away,
> either because of extra blank grooving, or else they are adding a
> different lead-out.  

----- all of these procedures leave visible traces and can be documented. A 
vote among collectors as to aural differences does not really amount to the 
same thing and frequently has given rise to urban myths

Kind regards,


George