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From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 6:54 am

> 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 

Here's the answer.  Do you know how often there were disc cutting
failures in the pre-tape era?  NONE. Or practically none.  You can look
at the ledgers.  It is amazing to consider, but disc cutting whether on
wax or lacquer was nearly perfect throughout the history of recording.

Do you know why they sometimes DID run back-up machines when they were
cutting to 78 masters?  It was to be able to have a second master to use
of an expected big hit for when the first master wore out.  Again the
ledgers show it.  The back-up masters are not used until the regular
master wore out.  

It was not the expense of the back-up equipment.  It was the expense of
the WAXES.  And the processing of the waxes.  Many companies during the
depression only cut one take.  Or, if they knew they did not like the
first take and did record a second take, the first take was not even
processed, and the wax was shaved and reused. Sometimes immediately.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]