History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

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H. callahan
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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 12 Jun 2019 02:16

Bob Dillon wrote:
11 Jun 2019 18:07
The first commercial cylinders in the late 1800's were made by the performer (s) playing into multiple cylinder recording machines at once and then repeating the process, so maybe they'd get a few hundred cylinders to sell at the end of a days work. Those would have been brown wax cylinders.
...
Thinking about it, if it was possible to find these two cylinders (red arrows)
Band-Record-with-13-record-.jpg
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and replay them in sync one would be able to hear the artist in stereo!! A stereo-recording from a time when probably no-one was even thinking of stereo!

And if it was possible to find all the 13 cylinders from one take and relocate their positions, one would be able to hear the music in "super-13-channel-stereo"!

But leaving the "super-quatripple-13-channel-quattrophonic-dolby-surround-stereo" aside, i think these 13 horns do support my theory of being able to record louder with a bigger horn. Obviously the music is able to drive 13 diaphragms at once, so if a bigger horn was attached to a recording machine more of the energy the soundwaves have could be focused onto the diaphragm.
And if there were too many echoes with one big horn, one could place several smaller horns and connect them all to one recording head.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 12 Jun 2019 18:03

The stereo theory is not new. I don't think anyone has located a pair of same take cylinders yet that could be synched in that way. Surviving brown wax from that era is rare enough as it is. Mold (actual mold) is the great enemy of wax cylinders. Brown wax seems especially vulnerable. Among other things.

Here's what may be the world's first hit record.
Johnson recorded it first years earlier, and then re-recorded it a bunch of times for different labels. That quality of this one is quite good - save for that the cylinder is a little out of round, causing a fluttering effect. :https://youtu.be/paOXIQcRBsg

H. callahan
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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 13 Jun 2019 03:25

Of course it would be very hard to find two same-take-cylinders from opposing recording machines even if these cylinders would not suffer from age, but if, if...

I see, simple things have been a guarantee for hits back then too... not intending to put Mr. Johnson down in any way.
Thinking about it, out-of-round on cylinders should be the euqivalent of off-center-holes on records...

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 13 Jun 2019 18:15

The Birth Of Electrical Recording Part 1 : https://78records.wordpress.com/2019/06 ... ng-part-1/

Timely article that just hit my inbox. Goes into some of the things that have been gabbled about in this thread.

Anyone that likes these topics could subscribe to the Mainspring Press blog. Some interesting things turn up.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 14 Jun 2019 04:23

Very interesting article!

Just for notes as having been adressed in this conversation:

-there were/are abrasive fillers in shellac records

-a wax master cannot be played back without damage to the groove

- but (early) electrical recorded masters were "polished" with a stone running through the groove to melt out high-frequency-distortion (and scratches due to improper handling)

- with acoustic recording volume has to be watched during recording, as too loud and too low volume passages could not be recorded

- the heavier modulated the groove is the sooner a record will wear, which is why even during the acoustic era volume was limited to increase life of the resulting record

- stringed bass and snare drums could cause overcutting grooves on acoustics, probably for basses producing large modulations due to low frequencies, while snare drums might have had too big dynamic range

- experimenting with electrical recording began in (late) 1910s, while the first electrical record became available in 1925 though most labels held back mentioning the new recording method

- frequency range of an acoustic record is about 200Hz to 3kHz at best while early electrical records had about 100Hz to 5kHz, though special experimental machines did about 35Hz to 8kHz

- missing lead-ins and -outs are not explained

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 18:09

H. callahan wrote:
14 Jun 2019 04:23


- missing lead-ins and -outs are not explained
To bring things back around full circle.

I wonder if the thread starter is still lurking around. #-o

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 18:30

H. callahan wrote:
14 Jun 2019 04:23

- experimenting with electrical recording began in (late) 1910s, while the first electrical record became available in 1925 though most labels held back mentioning the new recording method
Orlando Marsh's Autograph label had electrical records on the market a bit earlier than that, though primitive they are. I've heard a few. What is there is different in character to an acoustic disc, though not necessarily better in all ways, because of distortion and still fairly limited frequency range. I think I'd prefer a good acoustical disc to what I've heard of Marsh's process.

When Columbia and then Victor licensed the Western Electric system and issued their first electrical discs in early 1925 is when the rubber meets the road.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Coffee Phil » 14 Jun 2019 18:37

Hi Bob,

Thanks for linking this! I have glanced through it and plan to sit down and read it when I have the time!

Phil
Bob Dillon wrote:
13 Jun 2019 18:15
The Birth Of Electrical Recording Part 1 : https://78records.wordpress.com/2019/06 ... ng-part-1/

Timely article that just hit my inbox. Goes into some of the things that have been gabbled about in this thread.

Anyone that likes these topics could subscribe to the Mainspring Press blog. Some interesting things turn up.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 23:39

H. callahan wrote:
14 Jun 2019 04:23

- stringed bass and snare drums could cause overcutting grooves on acoustics, probably for basses producing large modulations due to low frequencies, while snare drums might have had too big dynamic range
I believe he is referring to marching style bass drums.

Enrico Caruso's recording of George M. Cohan's Over There has bass and snare drums relatively well represented - for an acoustical record. https://youtu.be/uIr-FoBW5Xw

If you hear a bass drum on an acoustical record it more often tends to sounds like the player is hitting it with a powder puff.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 15 Jun 2019 04:44

Bob Dillon wrote:
14 Jun 2019 18:09
...

I wonder if the thread starter is still lurking around. #-o
So am i.
Bob Dillon wrote:
14 Jun 2019 23:39
H. callahan wrote:
14 Jun 2019 04:23

- stringed bass and snare drums could cause overcutting grooves on acoustics, probably for basses producing large modulations due to low frequencies, while snare drums might have had too big dynamic range
I believe he is referring to marching style bass drums.

Enrico Caruso's recording of George M. Cohan's Over There has bass and snare drums relatively well represented - for an acoustical record. https://youtu.be/uIr-FoBW5Xw

If you hear a bass drum on an acoustical record it more often tends to sounds like the player is hitting it with a powder puff.
He says:

"Low woodwinds were substituted for cellos, tubas for stringed basses. Bass and snare drums, which could cause over-cutting of the wax, were moved to the far reaches of the studio, if not banished altogether."

So yes, he is reffering to bass drums in the first place but as stringed basses were replaced for tubas it seems like stringed basses also would have created problems for cutting - assumingly for producing low frequencies. But maybe also for having too great dynamic range due to being a plucked instrument.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 Jun 2019 18:42

The double bass is bowed as well as plucked sometimes. Within a classical ensemble making acoustic records, I think it was an issue with the instrument registering properly at all with the recording machinery, due to it's lower register. Cellos could be recorded passably solo, if not so well in an ensemble. There are quite a few solo cello recordings about on acoustical discs.

- frequency range of an acoustic record is about 200Hz to 3kHz at best

I sort of doubt this claim made in the article. Speaking in general terms, it may be on the mark. But I think I've heard acoustical records that have lower bass. It can be hard to tell sometimes, because it's mingling with surface noise and often rumble from the recording lathe. I dimly recall some test that someone conducted on some Okeh acoustics - the Okeh's of the early 20's are regarded as some of the best acoustic records. The test measured bass recorded down to like 80Hz, but I don't have a cite for this.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 16 Jun 2019 06:26

Hm, a stringed bass has a bigger resonant body than a cello, so it should have greater dynamics. Maybe the problem wasn´t only about registering but also about the recording horn/ head being vibrated too much by low frequencies, messing up the higher frequencies in the horn and the groove by overlapping. Or, though not mentioned, this was one of the cases where a glass diaphragm could break.

About the 200Hz he probably is refering to flat frequency response as he says:

"Charts included in his patent filing depict a fairly flat frequency response curve ranging from 35 to nearly 8,000 cycles per second. In contrast, the very best acoustic recordings could only offer a range of approximately 200 to 3,000 cycles per second, and few studios other than Edison’s performed even that well."

Also what size a playback horn needed to have to be able to put out 80Hz? Maybe he also is refering to linear frequency range under average acoustic playback conditions (non-electrical playback).

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 Jun 2019 19:05

Bob Dillon wrote:
09 Jun 2019 19:09
I should say folded exponential horn. Some of them were like 8 feet long.
H. callahan wrote:
16 Jun 2019 06:26

Also what size a playback horn needed to have to be able to put out 80Hz? Maybe he also is refering to linear frequency range under average acoustic playback conditions (non-electrical playback).

A folded exponential horn and the right reproducer might be able to put out bass like that.

https://youtu.be/wr7KKjlRpig

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 Jun 2019 20:17

That frequency test record in the video above is from 1930.

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Re: History of lead-in and lead-out grooves?

Post by H. callahan » 17 Jun 2019 03:33

Oh my, there even were frequency test records!!

Awesome to know, i have been racking my brain how to test FR of a grammophone...

On some website i have read that FR of a horn also is defined by the diameter of its opening. There also were some mathematical formulas, i probably got those wrong, but i came to an opening-diameter of about 6 feet needed for like 100Hz... and i have seen this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCVuCPI911s

But i also have a question about FR of soundboxes. On a website i found this chart of an old-style soundbox (mica diaphragm, spring-mounted cantilever etc.) vs. a new-style soundbox (aluminium diaphragm, ball bearing mounted cantilever etc.) :
FR old-style soundbox vs. new-style.jpg
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The dotted line (B) is the FR of an old soundbox, while the solid line (A) is FR of a new soundbox. Now the new soundbox has greater FR at low frequencies and is more linear, but what really puzzles me is that both soundboxes nearly have the same upper limit. Both go to about 4kHz and then fade.
Is this normal? Do all the improvements new-style soundboxes have only widen FR at low frequencies and flatten FR but not widen upper FR limit?
I mean as there were frequency test records going from 10kHz down there must have been soundboxes being better than 4-5kHz upper limit, but what is average and what is the limit of a mechanical soundbox?

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