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Re: [Rollei] What did you do in the war? (long)

- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Marc James Small" <msmall  >
To: <rollei  
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 3:56 PM
Subject: Re: [Rollei] What did you do in the war? (long)

> At 02:15 PM 5/17/03 -0700, Richard Knoppow wrote:
> >I've heard one of the few existing
> >recordings, its excellent.
> Richard
> It seems that almost all classical recordings made after
1953 or so were
> done on stereophonic tape;  after 1962 or so, this seems
to have included
> all Pop and Country music as well.  Thus, when CD's came
out in the later
> 1980's, there were a large number of recordings in all of
this areas
> released in magnificent stereo recordings which had never
before been
> availalbe save in mono.  Many of the classical recordings
are so detailed
> as to now include the rustlings of the paper pages of the
score as the
> musicians turned them.  THAT sort of detail was not
available on a 1959 LP!
> Marc

  My memory is not clear any more on when the first
multi-track machines became available. I first heard stereo
as "binaural" at an audio show here in LA in the mid or late
1950's. The reproduction was from a staggered head tape
machine through headphones. I can hear it now: choral music:
an ephiphany.
  Stereo recording for discs was introduced about 1960 when
Westrex, the company formed to take over Western Electric
disc and film sound equipment, came out with the model 3D
cutter head. FM radio became a paying business as a result
of  this and the development of a method of transmitting
compatible stereo by multiplexing it.
  Multi track recording actually has its roots in motion
picture sound. The assembly of the final sound track from
several "stems" of music, dialogue, and effects, was in
operation from shortly after the introduction of sound. The
tracks were recorded individually but played back on an
battery of synchonized playback machines, a process still in
use today.
  A curiosity of CD release of old recordings is that many
78 RPM records are being transferred by playing back the
metal work. This is in the form or the matrices, the metal
positive record made to plate "stampers" the nectative molds
used to make the records. Actually, the stampers can also be
played back. The most modern method is to use an optical
scanner rather than a stylus. The metal is much closer to
the original wax record (destroyed in the process of making
the first metal matrix) and is much lower in noise than the
pressed records. It is amazing what is on some of these. RCA
in particular, was doing quite high quality recording even
in the mid 1930's. Curiously, Columbia records sometimes
have poorer quality because they used an advanced (for the
time) method of making original records. Instead of
recording directly onto the wax blank they begain to use 16"
transcription type records. These were later used to cut the
78 original. These transcriptions exist and are used for
some CD versions of old recordings. However, they had
problems because they were acetate and sometimes the
problems are quite audible.
  However, one can certainly hear the hall acoustics of many
of the Columbia big band recordings made at Liedercrantz
Hall (sp?) in New York city. Listen to the Benny Goodman
stuff from the late 1930's and 1940's. That's not added
reverberation, its the sound of an excellent concert hall.
  RCA tended to record in radio style studios, close up, dry
as dust, but the fidelity is astounding especially if you
are used to hearing the noisy 78's (noisy even when new).
  The most amazing recordings for quality are the
transcription service stuff from Standard and United which
are showing up on CD. These were supplied to radio stations
who subscribed to the service at a time when record labels
were reluctant to allow air play of records. Also, the
length of the performances could be a lot longer than the
3-1/2 minutes on a 10" record (and not much longer on a
12"). Standard used the then brand new Western Electric
feedback vertical cutter and did very careful recording in
excellent studios. These recordings are absolutely
astounding in quality.
  Enough off topic stuff.
  Well not quite enough. Does anyone out there have an
instruction book for a General Electric Mascot (Model PR-30)
exposure meter. This is an economy model. It does not appear
to have any method of setting film speed. I am curious how
it was supposed to be used.
- ---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA