I've always been surprised that MOST big recording sessions didn't involve backup recorders in the 
pre-tape era. I guess, during the depression, musicians cost less than backup equipment. It's ironic 
that once tape came along, it became standard practice among anyone who could afford it to run two 
machines at expensive recording sessions (like orchestras or pricey pop musicians or complex 
film-scoring, etc). I think, for most engineers, this notion started out because in the late 40's, 
known-and-understood disk recording chains were almost always run at the same time as the newfangled 
tape recorders. I think, by about 1950 or 1951, people were familiar with and satisfied enough with 
tape that they ditched the fussy disk recorders. However, at least with the US engineers, many used 
2 tape machines whenever possible. I think this practice faded out in the 60s when multi-tracking 
became standard practice, and probably faded out in classical recording in the 70s when 2" tape use 
became common. For what it's worth, Carson Taylor at EMI/Capitol/Angel was still using 2 machines in 
the early 1970s -- two massive 3M 8-tracks (four-channel Dynatrack recorders). In the early digital 
era, analog tape was almost always used as a backup to the newfangled digital recorders. Then there 
are odd situations like the direct-to-disk fad in the 70s. Sony Japan used their experimental PCM 
recorder to back up Herbie Hancock and others making D2D recordings in Japan. In the US, a Sony 
PCM-F1 was used to backup Bert Whyte's recordings of Virgil Fox (and the takes not released on the 
D2D LPs were released as "the digital Fox" on LP and CD).

Anyway, instances like Mike cited with EMI, and events like the Benny Goodman concert in 1938 -- I 
think the recording teams were playing with fire relying on one or a few mics and one recorder.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 5:55 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Accidental stereo (again)

> This is a wonderful article, Tom, and it is made even better by its
> ignoring of that disastrous Nimbus Preme Voche series of
> acoustical-playback CD reissues which set back the science of reissues
> 70 years and almost derailed it.
> As for him sitting on an ARSC panel, he was invited to this roundtable
> as EMI's rep along with those from BMG, Polygram, etc.  This was in the
> Q&A, and I will admit to ambushing him on this subject, although I had
> no knowledge of his vehement negativity.  I got my opening when he
> mentioned plans to do Chaliapin's Albert Hall concert which Bill Moran
> had discovered clear examples of accidental stereo.  It makes perfect
> sense that the back-up recordings be made with an entirely independent
> mic chain to avoid BOTH cutters being deprived of a signal for this
> one-time-only event. I honestly did not expect his answer!!  I expected
> him to say "That is very interesting.  I'll go check this out."
> Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Accidental stereo (again)
> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, September 03, 2014 9:18 pm
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Here is an interesting Billboard piece about Keith Hardwick after he
> passed:
> I'm even more mystified why he'd be so adament. He was not hostile to
> trying new things with
> transfers, and he knew EMI's vaults. Why would he be so resistent to the
> idea that two microphones
> and two cutters could have been used on some sessions? I'm reading that
> semi-new book on Abbey Road
> and, back in that era, they were supposedly experimenting and raising
> the bar on fidelity all the
> time. It's only logical that "shootoffs" between cutters, mics and/or
> mic placements would take
> place at recording sessions.
> Why would Hardwick even sit on an ARSC panel if he was so opposed to the
> ideas that were clearly
> very popular with ARSC members?
> I'm still mystified why this seemed to be such a hot potato with EMI???
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Accidental stereo (again)
>> Not only was I the one who shot the videotape, I am also the one who
>> asked the question. I think it was something that had become personal
>> with him. He knew he had gone out on a limb publicly -- my camcorder
>> couldn't have been more obvious since I was front-row center -- and I
>> don't think I was the first to have asked him about it. Just look at
>> how Gerald Plano squirms as Hardwick pontificates. The classical
>> examples I cited were from Bill Moran, and there was no greater expert
>> in this field than Bill -- unless you also considered his partner, Ted
>> Fagen. Both Brad and Bill were crazy Californians! I suppose Keith just
>> had a hard wick.
>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Accidental stereo (again)
>> From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: Wed, September 03, 2014 11:42 am
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Hi Mark:
>> Do you have any insights as to why Hardwick was so hard-set against the
>> accidental stereo material
>> being released? I'm curious as to his motivation. Why was taking such a
>> stance against reality and
>> at least some market demand a good move for EMI? Why did EMI back his
>> stance?
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Mark Obert-Thorn" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 11:20 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Accidental stereo (again)
>>> On Wed, 3 Sep 2014 10:12:07 -0400, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>> wrote:
>>>>The old EMI guy who took such a vehement stance at the ARSC Conference has
>>> been proven wrong. I
>>>>think he just had wrong information from stodgy, hidebound EMI executives
>>> (of which he was perhaps
>>>>one), or he was outright lying. I'm not sure what his motivation would be.
>>> Why would EMI care so
>>>>much about the entire topic to outright lie? Why would it
>>> be "controversial" in the first place?
>>>>That's why I think it's more a case of old, hidebound executives being
>>> defensive and relying on
>>>>sloppy or incomplete record-keeping.
>>> It's interesting to note that when EMI was preparing their "Elgar Edition"
>>> CD series in 1992/3, someone there (probably Andrew Walter) put together an
>>> accidental stereo version of Elgar conducting the Prelude to "The Kingdom",
>>> which was recorded at the same session as the "Cockaigne" Overture, whose
>>> final side had already been circulated as accidental stereo. EMI initially
>>> announced that this was going to be released; but after objections raised
>>> by Keith Hardwick (the "old EMI guy" on the YouTube video), they withdrew
>>> the idea. So, it's not a case of EMI not being open to the concept of
>>> accidental stereo at all.
>>> Mark Obert-Thorn