TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

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Topics - ironbut

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16
General Discussion / Interesting tape uses discussion
« on: June 29, 2014, 04:11:42 PM »
Hey Folks,
Been pretty busy in school studying music technology (ProTools, Sound Design, Studio Production) so I haven't had a chance to post here as much as I'd liked.
Now that I'm free for a couple of months, I'll try and post items that I think might interest some of you.

I can't recall if it was an email or phone chat I had with Paul a while back, but we were discussing who might be some of the big consumers of new tape these days.
Here's a quote from the good old Ampex List which started as a discussion of the rare ATR124 that was certainly eye opening to me.

"Following up on my June 16th post, I discussed this with Mike Guerra,
Technical Operations Manager at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood.  Here is
what he had to share:

"This year in particular, our machines have seen a remarkable spike in use:
we just finished a session that burned through in excess of 50 reels of 2”
tape in two weeks flat. (They would have used more but we depleted the
available stock on the west coast, for the *third* time this year, so they
wound up rolling over outtakes as a workaround.) We’ve easily hosted over a
dozen extended sessions on the 2” machines over the past year, one of which
required me to fire up one of the old Dolby SR racks for the first time in
over ten years! Go figure…



The ATR-102 2 tracks have witnessed a marked resurgence in use as well but
coming up with tape has proven to be a very tricky, recurring problem.
(Seems that both ATR and RMG are unable to keep up with the renewed and
unexpected demand for tape, in any format. Who knew such a thing?) For
instance, we just completed our second “live to 2 track” session this year.
A progressive jazz sextet cut an entire album direct to 2 track (two of
them simultaneously, in fact) burning through two cases of ¼” tape over two
days. No overdubs, no mixing, bang, there’s your record… I would
conservatively estimate that over 25% of our mixing sessions now wind up on
½” tape either as the sole format or in conjunction with a print back to
the digital domain.



In recent conversations with Bruce Marien, the former chief tech here at
Ocean Way, (he was a master at servicing the ATR-124’s) he confirmed that 7
ATR-124’s were in the old Western Studios building at 6000 W Sunset Blvd
when Allen Sides sold that portion of Ocean Way in 1999. All 7 machines
eventually fell into disrepair, were decommissioned, stripped down to the
frames and disposed of. Bruce says he knows of at least one other machine
operating in Southern California at a private studio. (Down in Orange
County, I believe.)"


Regards,


Steve Jackson

Pulse Techniques, LLC"

A follow up message could be interesting to the ATR100/102 owners out there;

Tony Arnold still has his two Ampex ATR-124s in operation at his studio in France.
I know that those two machines are in 100% top shape.
His facility is somewhat of a private studio now that he is retired although he might not call it a private studio.
He has a fantastic ex-BBC Calrec console and used to have Big Brownie (the Helios that was at the Manor.)
For a "private"studio he has a staggering amount of vintage mics and gear.

He also has all of the remaining spares stock that was in Europe when he bought Ampex's European stock when they closed shop.
If anyone needs AT-100 parts he has quite a bit.
I believe that he has ATR-124 spare parts as well.

Now, I don't know if Tony's ATR-124s are the only machines in operation in Europe or not.
I do know that although he is retired he still services quite a few MM-1100s and MM-1200s along with ATR-102s, AG-440s and other Ampex machines.

I'll ask him about the existence of any other operational ATR-124s in Europe or elsewhere.

Danny Brown"



17
General Discussion / Tape Film, Film Tape?
« on: February 28, 2014, 11:08:34 PM »
There's been plenty of fantastic films where tape played an important role but in most of those cases, it was more of a prop or as Hitchcock called it, a MacGuffin.
In this film tape tells the entire story.
Here's the trailer:

http://www.janegillooly.com/films/suitcase-of-love-and-shame/

18
Nat King Cole Sings, George Shearing Plays / First Impressions
« on: January 28, 2014, 02:32:16 PM »
I've been dying to get this tape after hearing bits and pieces of it at shows and it was well worth the wait!

I don't know about the other subscribers here but to my ears, there's something about great vocals on tape that's,.. greater-er!
Somehow Nat's voice just reaches a little deeper into your soul and the words seem more personal than you'd expect from playback on a home system.
It's much more like hearing a live performance.
Now I won't go into the "whys" but it hasn't been unusual for folks who listen to Tape Project tapes for the first time to describe the sound as "alive". And I don't think it's coincidence that most of these folks have been musicians.
But, whatever this voodoo is, with vocals it just comes out in spades!

Of course, this album isn't just Nat Cole. It's given me a chance to really give a good listen to Shearing. His playing reflects the effortlessness of all the performances here. I guess that "comfortable" is a word I'd use to describe the entire album.
In that aspect, it reminds me a little of the June Christy record "Something Cool" (another great Capital reissued on vinyl).
In fact, I think I'll step away from the keyboard and listen to the two back to back.

Enjoy!


19
General Discussion / Early Stereo Tapes
« on: January 26, 2014, 01:34:44 AM »
I know there was a thread a while back asking about the earliest stereo tape releases. Couldn't find it so here's the earliest ones that I've heard of.
Fine Arts Quartet of Chicago on Concertapes , mono or binaural 7.5 or 15 ips was reviewed in Tape Recording magazine in 1953.
I have a few early Concertapes but I sure would like to get a listen to one of the high speed versions of this one.

Tape Recording magazine along with many other excellent audio related publications have been scanned and uploaded to the American Radio History site.
Some publications (such as db) are not yet complete but filling in the missing pieces is underway.

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Tape-Recording-Magazine.htm

20
General Discussion / The Blattnerphone
« on: January 04, 2014, 10:21:06 PM »
My first post of 2014 and this time we're gonna go way back.
Before magnetic tape was on acetate or even paper, it was on metal.
You've probably seen the pictures of these huge machines and if you're like me, you might want to know more about them.
To get this started, here's a video of one in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31VRgGV-AfM

And now more than most of you guys could ever want to know about them.

http://www.orbem.co.uk/tapes/blattner.htm

21
General Discussion / Tape Data Storage
« on: December 06, 2013, 01:29:56 PM »
Here's an interesting article that might make magnetic tape manufacturers sit up and take notice.
I stole this from a post made over on Audio Asylum's Tape Trail ( I guess it would be more noteworthy if I didn't snake it from someone else?) and I thought you guys might enjoy it here.

http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21590758-information-storage-60-year-old-technology-offers-solution-modern

22
General Discussion / Old Photos KRLD
« on: November 30, 2013, 11:49:00 PM »
Another gem from the guys over on the Ampex list.

This is a collection of photos saved from the dumpster of KRLD tv and radio in Dallas Tx.
Not really audiophile stuff but really interesting (to me at least) all the same.
Even if you don't check out all the collections of photos, be sure and look at the first 3 which includes the installation of an Ampex VR1000 (makes a Studer A80 look portable) and the collection of photos of the Cedar Hill Tower.
I'd forgotten how freakin tall some of those old broadcast towers were and if you weren't around during those days, prepare to be shocked!
(be sure and click on the thumbnails to see full size pictures)

http://www.akdart.com/vtr/vtr.html


23
General Discussion / Happy Thanksgiving/Rotate Your Stock
« on: November 28, 2013, 06:33:11 PM »
Happy turkey day all you tape loving folks!
Every year I make it a point to listen to all of my TP tapes. Of course, some see some heavy rotation all year long but some just don't make it off the shelf for one reason or another.
Being a modest collector of older tapes, I find that the ones that I buy that are "still sealed" or appear to have been played a couple of times and then stored have more obvious print through.
Another issue with the ones that have only been played a couple of times before long term storage comes with inperfect tape packs.
As the tape tension pulls the tape toward the hub, any tape that's not layered onto the winds below it correctly can become curled over time. Also as the tape is pulled toward the hub, it can leave the outer layers with less tension allowing deformation in less than ideal environmental conditions.

So, this is my annual reminder to play your tapes.
I won't say that it absolutely has to be done to avoid dreadful tape issues or any issues at all for that matter.
But it's certainly not a hardship and it has been recommended by archivists.

So, enjoy the holiday season and share the wonderful sound of tape with your fellow man/woman.

24
Clifford Brown Memorial / Only Known Film
« on: October 30, 2013, 02:00:03 PM »
Here's some rare footage of Clifford Brown (maybe the only one).
It's Brown playing on a TV show hosted by Soupy Sales (if you remember him as I do, you're dating yourself!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iuP3CfFZDQ

25
General Discussion / Wally Heider web site
« on: September 19, 2013, 10:37:48 PM »
Here's some very cool stuff about the (recording) life and times of Wally Heider.
The pictures alone make this well worth a visit but the stories make this a great resource.

http://wallyheider.com/

26
General Discussion / 80 Year Anniversary of Magnetic Tape
« on: September 10, 2013, 02:22:14 PM »
September 9th marked the 80th anniversary of the first patent filed for magnetic tape
Here's a nice history lesson of the recording medium.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/09/history_of_magnetic_tape_part_one?page=1

27
General Discussion / Instrumentation Recorders
« on: August 01, 2013, 03:55:00 PM »
Ever wondered about the recorders used for scientific logging etc?
I know I have. But, it's always been a little too far on the "back burners" for me to have ever done any serious searching.
Luckily, Stuart Rohre from the Applied Research Lab at the U of Texas Austin posted a great primer on these specialist recorders.
Thanks once again to the Ampex list and Mr. Rohre for making this info available.

"Indeed Ampex made many instrumentation recorders.  There were a number of companies busily competing.  In the early years there was Brush, (wire recording first); and then there were Ampex; Sangamo (later moved from IL to FL as Sangamo Weston, and later Schulumberger and later still Loral; Datatape, (later Bell and Howell-Datatape, and then Kodak Datatape.  Honeywell; Precision Echo; Hewlett Packard; EMI (later Penney and Giles); Racal; Teledyne Geotech; Precision Instrument; Consolidated Electrodynamics Corp. (CEC); Some RCA products, and others.
Mincom was a west coast instrumentation recorder company bought by 3M, who was the other big tape supplier besides Ampex.  Before my specializing in instrumentation recording, other tape companies like Reeves and Soundcraft and Magnavox had attempted to compete, only to be displaced when Government Services Administration contracted with Ampex after 3M started pulling out of instrumentation recording.

Things got muddled with the above companies changing names to the present day, or merging or going away.  Ampex kept its name for military and commercial instrumentation and disc products, but the tape manufacture was spun off under the Quantegy name.
Companies would spring up for specialized products like multi track cassette recorders.  A number of Asian companies came into that like Teac.  Things really got into many names when digital and video cassette recording came about.  Instrumentation recording was done on SVHS from 18 to 100 channels by Data Acquisition Systems, a company that came out of a project need ARL had for recording low bandwidth Acoustics.  These were repackaged Sony stereo digital processors and later Sansui, with mainly Panasonic portable VHS recorders packaged into 19 inch rack mounts..
Looking up something about DAS, I found old notes of mine that the Geotech Company, besides supplying the oil patch with Seismic reel to reel recorders, supplied 60 to the DOE, (Atomic testing) folks. These were originally 7 track recorders, as someone noted.  In the later uses the Navy made of them, many of these Geotech 7 tracks were converted first to 14 track and then 28 track.  Texas Instruments was the first to adapt the Geotechs, while Navy labs did the 28 track conversions.
Honeywell became Metrum and later was merged into Syspris along with Datatape.  Ampex retained its original name, while others changed names every few years or pulled out of instrumentation recording.

Some runs of instrumentation recorders were rather small.  At one time, I acquired via surplus distribution as a government contractor, 2 of only 20 models of a vacuum buffer chamber IRIG recorder Bell and Howell Datatape built for the Air Force and others.  They were beautiful recorders and tape handlers if you could calibrate the vacuum tape storage chambers correctly, but suffered from an RFI pulse on direct recording, from the tape counter solenoid. We got a deal on two Ampex FR 1900 recorders to join our FR 1800, and re-surplused the Datatape Model 20s.  One was almost a 7 foot rack and the other the same but packaged as two side by side joined racks.  Very hard to move from one recording studio to another.  When I came to ARL, there was a functioning HP 14 track recorder as I recall.  It was a pinch roller machine and dated technology from early transistor age.

Contractors and NASA at the Manned Space Flight Center at Houston used Ampex instrumentation recorders in the FR series like 1400, 1800L and later FR 1900, and then FR 3030.  NASA Cape Canaveral had 24 Ampex FR 3030's and two Honeywell 97's.  The 97's were for the eventually discontinued
Shuttle military launches.  Ampex FR 1400's were found at Martin Marietta Denver Sky Lab recorder lab.  Also, a Honeywell 7600.  Also, two Honeywell 96's since the Honeywell plant was just down the road. The Pacific Missile Test Center at Pt. Mugu had some older Ampex's, two Honeywell 96's and as best I can remember, on tape copying trips, some other older recorders.

A number of Racal Storehorse reel to coaxial reel recorders were used at White Sands Test Center in NM.  Some were in one of the western aircraft test ranges as well. China Lake? Ampex supplied many airborne instrumentation recorders, especially in the 700 series. Ampex supplier and sub contractor Electro Technology, converted airborne Ampex's to 28 tracks with new channel cards reduced in size to fit the 14 track chassis.  These allowed Western ranges to upgrade recorders without as large an expense as a new recorder for 28 tracks would have been.
Datatape was known for taking mil designs and offering a similar, but not rated at mil spec recorder, especially in portables.

Instrumentation recorders by 1981 were $100,000 plus for 28 tracks Direct and FM.  The usage life started to be stretched to get more from the investments.  15 years life was stretched to 20 years or more.

The reason a mix of older and newer recorders was possible was the standardization from the 1960's onward by the IRIG, Inter Range Instrumentation Group, Council of government contractors and military and (later NASA) range representatives.  They standardized track layouts, spacing, and even tape reels, but based reels on NAB 3 inch hubs.
IRIG, headquartered at White Sands Proving Ground, wrote standards for testing and performance of recorders for interchange of tapes in a given track and tape width format.  These were updated to incorporate new models of recorders and formats of tape. The IRIG standards were adhered to by EMI, Racal, and French and other overseas companies.  I never heard of any reel to reel Asian instrumentation recorders, since Ampex and others so dominated the market with American products.

In the Eastern bloc, I know that the Geotech seismic recorder was reverse engineered and offered to the oil patch by a Soviet Co. about 1980 under their brand.

Surely the big aircraft manufacturers accounted for a huge part of the Ampex and others instrumentation recorder production.

-Stuart Rohre
ARL"

28
General Discussion / Free Shipping!
« on: July 30, 2013, 08:48:58 PM »
Just saw this item on eBay.
And even though the seller has zero positive feedback,.. he does offer free shipping from the Ukraine.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNIQUE-ALESSANDRO-MORESCHI-ORIGINAL-1902-VATIKAN-LAST-CASTRATO-RECORDINGS-GOOD-/141022940689?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item20d59f4e11

Hard to believe that nobody has bid on this baby yet!

29
General Discussion / AES article on Bias and early Stereo
« on: July 27, 2013, 04:39:03 PM »
This article includes an interview with Dean Woodridge and some nice pictures of a very early stereo tape machine that BTL (Bell Telephone Labs) showed at the NY Worlds Fair in 1939.
Once again, another fantastic contribution from Jay McKnight! Heck, if it was up to me, he'd be Sir McKnight!

Hopefully you can get to the link without being a member of the AES.

http://www.aes.org/aeshc/pdf/mcknight_ac-bias-at-btl-1936-1939.pdf

30
General Discussion / Newpaper Archive Photos
« on: July 14, 2013, 04:07:29 PM »
Yesterday I was inching my way through the Ampex listings on eBay when I discovered a photograph of the raw shell of the stage before the first Monterey Jazz Festival in 1958. As some of you know, I'm a huge fan of the Festival (IIRC, this will be my 17th year attending).
I have several books on the early days and I'd never seen anything like this. At $19.97, I scooped it right up.
Afterwards, I began to wonder exactly what I'd bought and took a closer look at the listing.
Turns out that this is a 8x10 from the Examiner archive and not a reprint from a scan. The back has all the particulars in case it was to be used in an article in the future.
Of course, this is what the eBay listing states and I'll have a better idea when I get it in my hands.

So, being a lover of B&W photos (especially old ones), I decided to look into this a little further.
Turns out, there are a number of newspapers who are selling off their photo archives. Some are simply their copies of publicity pictures of which there are probably hundreds (if not thousands) still in existence. But lots of these are prints from staff photographers which make them quite rare if not unique.

I guessing that these physical archives are being sold for whatever they can get after they're been scanned. Especially after papers have been sold to corporations who don't give a damn about history and are downsizing the buildings they used to occupy from basement to penthouse.

So, here's a link to just one of them. There are thousands of photos so be sure and filter what you look at.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BS-PHOTO-bbj-241-Dizzy-Gillespie-Jazz-Musician-/390624826102?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item5af30dd2f6

Oops, here's a link to the photo I grabbed;

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350721858341


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