Saturday, October 19, 5:00 pm --- 7:00 pm (Room 1E09)
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new market emerged for ultra-high fidelity recordings. Once cutting and playback of the stereo LP were brought up to high quality levels, buyers of this new super-realistic format wanted ever more "absolute" sound quality. The notion emerged, first with Everest Records, a small independent record label in Queens, to use 35mm magnetic film as the recording and mastering medium. 35mm had distinct advantages over tape formulations and machines of that time---lower noise floor, less wow and flutter, higher absolute levels before saturation, almost no crosstalk or print-through, etc. Everest Records made a splash with the first 35mm LP masters not connected to motion-picture soundtracks but quickly faltered as a business. The unique set of recording equipment and the Everest studio remained intact and was used to make commercially successful 35mm records for Mercury, Command, Cameo-Parkway, and Project 3. The fad faded by the mid-60s as tape machines and tape formulations improved, and the high cost of working with 35mm magnetic film became unsustainable. The original Everest equipment survived to be used in the Mercury Living Presence remasters for CD. Just recently, the original Everest 35mm recordings have been reissued in new high-resolution digital remasters. This presentation will trace the history of 35mm magnetic recording, the brief but high-profile fad of 35mm-based LPs, and the after-life of those original recordings. We will also look at the unique set of hardware used to make the vast majority of the 35mm LPs. The presentation will be augmented with plenty of audio examples from the original recordings.
Sunday, October 20, 1:00 pm --- 2:00 pm (Room 1E14)
Digital Transfer of The Armando Le--a Folk Music Collection
Nadja Wallaszkovits will discuss the restoration, transfer, and digitization of a unique collection of folk music recorded during 1939-1940 in the rural areas and mountain villages of Portugal by the folklorist Armando Le--a, in collaboration with National Radio (Emissora Nacional). Her presentation will open with a short introduction of this important field research project, which resulted in the first known collection of recordings documenting rural musical practices from nearly all regions of Portugal. Thereafter, she will present a historical overview of early magnetic tape developments and the birth of audio tape recorder technology, focusing on the characteristics of the individual tape machine used by Armando Le--a. The problems of carrier handling, restoration, and transfer of these valuable original tapes will be discussed, along with the judicial use of signal enhancement during the playback process.
Jim Webb discusses his pick of "12 Microphones that Changed History". A detailed writeup of Jim's picks is here.
Pictures of Les Paul's console and "Octopus" in 1958.
A look at Emory Cook, stereo recording pioneer and inventor, and his operations in Connecticut.
A 4-part interview with legendary jazz engineer Rudy Van Gelder.
The website of TapeOp Magazine contains many articles and interviews about the craft of recording.
Reeves Sound Studios NYC (1933 --- 197X)
UCSB's massive Edison cylinder archive and transfer project
Technical conference paper based on the massive collection of tapes that Joe left to Drexel University
2014-06-03, update 2014-07-11