[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] Odd Speed

At 08:06 PM 3/4/2004 -0500, Dnjchi@xxxxxxx wrote:

Thank you, Richard.  Your explanation (ast least in my case) makes sense.  I suspect the problem IS in the mains.  And, as long as playback was from the same machine with the same main, no one would be the wiser.

You're welcome, Don. There are many factors:

Voltage: Important, but less of a factor than
Frequency: since most recorders used motors that were
                  more-or-less frequency locked
                  The best ones used Hysterisis Synchronous motors.
Tape slippage
Tape stretch/shrinkage
Just plain off-speed recording (see anecdote below)
The cursed rim drive
Mechanically governed portable recorders

As a speed anecdote, one of the cuts in my demonstration uses short excerpts from two recordings of David Diamond's "This Sacred Ground"

One is a mono recording of the world premiere performance from Buffalo, NY, in 1963 -- it is a setting of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address -- this recording was recorded at KMOX in St. Louis off the CBS Radio Network. I suspect the program had come from Buffalo to NYC and then on to St. Louis.

The second recording is the Delos CD recorded in 1994.  In a period of about two minutes, I intercut these two recordings with short crossfades.


It's absolutely amazing. Diamond was present at both sessions, I'm pretty sure, and as you fade from the 1963 to the 1994 recording it opens up from mono to stereo and from squashed dynamics and limited frequency range to a gorgeous sound.

The really amazing part is the tempo and the pitch don't change! (Overall the 94 recording is a hair longer)

I guess, at least that day, the 60Hz in St. Louis was pretty much spot on!

The reason for this particular demo that I give to archivist groups is that right before it, I play an excerpt from the recently restored Judy Collins/3 album, also recorded in 1963. The quality shift is astounding. The Judy Collins stuff is gorgeous (thanks in part to Alan Silverman's loving restoration), while the over-the-network stuff is dreadful.

The whole point to archivists is don't assume based on a date that what you have in your collection is either low or high fidelity. Provenance and source is very important.

One other thing that turns people on their head is a 1935 steel tape recording excerpt that you can find on Art Shifrin's Web site http://www.shifrin.net



[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]