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Remember this was in the before-FM days and the AM band was a lot quieter 
and cleaner...and there were actually some good-sounding AM receivers out 
there!


Regards,

Mark Durenberger

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tom Fine
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 8:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury Records 
history

AM must have been something very different back then. I can't imagine ANY 
music, much less symphonic
music over the typical AM radio station today. My cellphone has better 
fidelity than the nearly
non-understandable palaver broadcast by the talk-radio stations in NYC these 
days. WCBS, Newsradio
88 is often so crunched and distorted, and confined to about 1000 hz of 
frequency bandwidth, that I
can't understand it in my car unless I am parked on a quiet street and 
listen very carefully. I've
transferred oral history tapes made by a recorder placed across an echo-y 
kitchen that sound
clearer. Their webcast signal is actually slightly more audible than what 
goes over-air, but notice
how everything is distorted and super-compressed, and full of digital 
artifacts, yuk!.
http://player.radio.com/listen/station/wcbs-newsradio-880

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Durenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 9:28 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury Records 
history


> WCCO was an AM station, so, single-mike mono.  I recall a pretty nice 
> fight when I asked Master Control to disable the CBS (tube-type) Audimax 
> during the concert.  WCCO's 50 kilowatt big stick allowed for a good deal 
> of quieting so we got away with it <g>.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Mark Durenberger
>
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Tom Fine
> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 4:47 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury 
> Records history
>
> Hi Mark:
>
> First of, kewl story about the broadcast audio. So you set up 1-mic mono 
> pickup, or 3-mic stereo?
>
> Also, you are spot-on about Collins. I found a photo of the one Mercury 
> recording session in
> Louisville in 1950. That mixer and those early Ampex 300 machines were 
> used there, too. And there's
> a front view of the mixer, showing the Collins insignia. I think that 
> mixer was used in the first
> iteration of the recording van, feeding the two Fairchild machines. The 
> Fairchilds, by the way,
> theoretically would print less audible scrape-flutter because the tape 
> path was a loop around the
> heads with rolling guides on each side of the loop (thus less length of 
> "string" to vibrate between
> the roller and heads).
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Mark Durenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 3:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury 
> Records history
>
>
>> ...And now that I blow up that photo it seems those are the original 
>> fader knobs; sorry...
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Mark Durenberger
>>
>> -----Original Message----- 
>> From: Mark Durenberger
>> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 2:50 PM
>> To: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury 
>> Records history
>>
>> Mixer is almost certainly a Collins.  But it has RCA fader knobs (known 
>> for
>> better tactile feedback).
>>
>> Shortly after Tom's Dad established the miking for that room I was 
>> fortunate
>> to do one of the first live MSO remote broadcasts for WCCO Radio, using
>> CRF's mike technique...and a mixer by RCA (OP-6/OP-7 series).
>>
>> It was a "thrill" getting up into the catwalk to hang that broadcast mike
>> (an Altec IIRC).
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Mark Durenberger
>>
>> -----Original Message----- 
>> From: Tom Fine
>> Sent: Monday, September 28, 2015 1:14 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] a piece of Minneapolis Symphony and Mercury Records
>> history
>>
>> A long-time MLP fan tipped me off to this photo being for sale on eBay. I
>> jumped right on it!
>> https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55748706/Minneapolis%20Tribute%20520120%20First%20MLP%20session.jpg
>>
>> this is from the very first Mercury recording session in Minneapolis,
>> January 19-20, 1952. Dorati
>> made his first recordings of Borodin's 2nd, Stravinsky's compete 
>> "Firebird",
>> Berlioz "Roman
>> Carnival" and pieces by Ravel and Debussy. The tape machines shown are
>> "portable" Ampex 300's (they
>> still weighed about 100lbs each, whether or not in portable cases). David
>> Hall is using what I think
>> is a Gates portable mixer/mic preamp (it might be RCA or Collins). The
>> recordings were made with a
>> single Neumann U-47, and the
>> Gates unit probably was used to provide a gain stage after the mic and to
>> distribute the signal to
>> both tape recorders. David Hall is probably working with Dorati and the
>> assistant conductor to
>> gather approved takes he can edit together. The next time Mercury visited
>> Minneapolis, fall 1952, my
>> father had built his recording truck.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>
>