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SH Spotlight How records are made: RCA Command Performance 1942 & "Living Stereo" 1956. MUST SEE!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. RJL2424

    RJL2424 Forum Resident

    Actually, the 1956 recording of the Munch "Romeo And Juliet" was never issued as a full-fledged Living Stereo title (the record number would have been LSC-2043); it was issued in mono only (LM-2043). The stereo release of it did not come until the later Victrola and/or Gold Seal issue(s). The Living Stereo release of the Munch "Romeo And Juliet" (LSC-2565) is a different performance altogether, recorded in 1961.
     
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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You are right; I checked. A Victrola.
     
  3. RJL2424

    RJL2424 Forum Resident

    That would be VICS-1197, issued in 1965 or 1966.
     
  4. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    One other problem with DMM that I read about many years ago: when the stylus is cutting in the metal, a very high frequency oscillation occurs, at something like 70,000 or 80,000 Hz. Granted, most styluses will just skim over those high frequencies since they cannot play them, but it is there nonetheless.
     
  5. andyinstal

    andyinstal Runner for Others

    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Not to sound stupid, and I guess I will get to see this first hand in a few weeks, but with 4 steps to an actual album, isn't that 4 steps away from the master tape (laquer, master, mold, stamper)? Why can't they use the first metal master for pressing the albums instead of needing the mold and then the stamper?
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Did you watch those two movies?
     
  7. andyinstal

    andyinstal Runner for Others

    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    I actually only watched the second one. I will go back and watch the first, then reask my question if needed. Thanks!
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You'll get your answer in the first movie.

    Just watched it again. I love this stuff.

    I don't love the annoying 5k tone running through it though... :shake:
     
  9. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    I already have three RCA "promo" films on one DVD--I might burn a new one if I can get this fourth film onto there intact. (I'm attempting to download the 600MB mpeg2 version right now--server's slow.) One have already is the extended "Living Stereo" promo that also shows the tape cassette system. (It immediately follows the LP version of the film.) I wonder if any of these tape systems ever sold to the public--this film was the first time I'd ever heard of it.

    The 1942 "Command Performance" is a hoot--my 7-year-old daughter was watching it with me a couple of weeks ago. She went into the kitchen a few minutes later and started making "Discs" out of Play-Doh just like they did in the film! :D
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Rudy,

    Funny, Michael was completely mesmerized by COMMAND PERFORMANCE, black and white and all. He sat on my lap and watched it with me. Pretty amazing for a two year old to sit still that long. He's seen me play 78's before and loves watching them go around. He loved the biscuit part as well. He made his own record player out of those plastic block things and I gave him some junker records to play with. The boy is off to a good start. Fisher Price is next!

    I think the soothing voice of radio broadcaster Milton Cross has something to do with it; reminds me of those films they showed in grade school. The narrator always had a commanding yet soothing voice to lull us in to watchfulness...
     
  11. rmos

    rmos Forum Resident

    :winkgrin:

    Rudy:

    I had a portable machine made by RCA-Victor that used those "cassettes on steriods". IIRC, it sounded pretty good. I even had an pre-recorded tape from RCA (can't remember the title). I sold it to a ex-friend of mine (and no, that's not the reason he's now a ex-friend :winkgrin: )
     
  12. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    Location:
    US
    I like the way he pronounces it "reh-Kords". :D
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Yeah, he had a real distinctive voice. When I was a kid I'd hear his voice on some kiddie records I had.
     
  14. I've been watching all these videos. Absolutely fascinating.

    From a person's perspective who's only read about the way these things are done, to actually seeing the WHOLE process, it's like having a divine experience. This has got me totally captivated. Thanks for the links Steve.

    BTW, do they still have "Record Testers"? Seems like it would be a dream job to some folks.
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You'll meet RTI's record tester if you come out..
     
  16. You don't know how much I'm looking forward to it. Unbelievably so now that I've seen these videos.
     
  17. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Kinda like Mr. Rogers showing films on "Picture Picture".
     
  18. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Rudy Van Gelder would be proud! :shh:
     
  19. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    VERY cool films...they're already on DVD at my house!

    Did anyone catch the copy of "Elvis Presley" down in the bottom left hand corner of the screen?
     
  20. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I didn't realize it until after I burned it, that the Living Stereo segment is at the beginning of the 4-Track tape segment. The separate file for Living Stereo is in some strange format that is square with bars on the sides.
     
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    :laugh:;)
     
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Back by popular demand from our F.A.Q. section
     
  23. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    A year after committing the Tchaikovsky "Romeo & Juliet" to tape (doubtless via Ampex 300 recorders), Munch and the Boston Symphony recorded Prokofiev's take on that tale which was released on LM-2110; while the record came out in 1957, my copy was from 1958, as both sides were cut with concentric locked grooves. And a later plum "shaded dog," pressed in Rockaway, NJ with Co-Service typesetting, before such labels became red with the advent of "Living Stereo."

    But back to the ish at hand: On the 1942 Command Performance film, there is a question as to who was leading the Victor Salon Orchestra in that recording of the "Blue Danube." It was thought, as looking at the comments section of Archive.org's page on this, that the conductor was Nathaniel Shilkret, but by 1942, though he was still associated with Victor, he was no longer leading that orchestra. As to the Scully, it was (I.I.N.M.) one of about 20 of this early version of the model 501, that was built for Victor's studios between 1934 and 1937, before the company built that aforesaid model lathe (with the 88-136 lpi gearbox) for many recording and radio studios across the nation (and to some extent, around the world) beginning in 1938 and well into the late 1940's. (The timeline of which was built when came from a blog, Preservation Sound, that has a .PDF file of the original 1956 High Fidelity magazine article about the company and its then-head, Lawrence J. "Larry" Scully, that can be seen by clicking here - by then, their second variant of the lathe with the variable pitch knob, the Model 601, had already been introduced [with 14 already produced between its 1955 launch and the writing of that article] - but more about that later. In addition, someone put up an old Victor manual of their equipment including the "gearbox" Scully, that can be seen here [again, a .PDF file] - the part in question is designated Section VIII, and marked pp. 227-234 ["230-237 of 386"].)

    Meanwhile, on the 1956 Sound & The Story: Notice in the cutting room, two of the newer Scully ur-601's with pitch knob - and a rack-mounted RCA RT-11 tape recorder used to handle the transfer to disc (I presume this same machine was through which many an early Elvis hit was transported for mastering to LP or 45) - notice how that machine is arranged; RCA seemed to have a thing for this kind of layout, as its first videotape recorder (the TRT-1A "television tape" machine) likewise was mounted on a wall in diagonal fashion. Wonder if anyone knows who was the chap in that section where the lacquer mastering was being done. Obviously one of many who worked in that department at the old 155 East 24th Street studios.

    The funny thing is, that's how I've been pronouncing "records" for years.
     
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  24. W.B.

    W.B. The Collector's Collector

    Location:
    New York, NY, USA
    The funny thing is, the lead-out pitches on Van Gelder's Scully - 3.49 lpi slow and 1.84 lpi fast - were also on one of the RCA Scullys used to cut albums like Munch/BSO's recording of Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet."
     
  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
     

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