History of Recording

History of Analog Recording, from before Edison to the current day.

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Re: History of Recording

Postby Arny » Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:25 am

Here also is a brief History, of Ampex's Technological Achievements.

1944= Ampex Electric and Manufacturing Company is formed by Alexander M. Poniatoff,

1944 November 1, in San Carlos, California. The word Ampex is an anachronym using Mr. Poniatoff's initials A.M.P and "ex" from the word excellence.

1948 First Tape Delayed Radio Broadcast American Broadcasting Company uses an Ampex Model 200 audio recorder for the first ever tape delay broadcast of The Bing Crosby Show.

1950 Ampex introduced the first ever "dedicated" instrumentation recorder, Model.,500, built for
the U.S. Navy.
1954 Ampex introduced the first multi-track audio recorder derived from multi-track data Recording technology.Ampex introduced the first magnetic theatre sound system, made for Todd/AO CinemaScope.

1956 First Tape Delayed Television Broadcast The Ampex VRX- 1 000 (later renamed the Mark IV) video tape recorder is introduced on March 14th

1956, at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters in Chicago. This is the first practical video tape recorder and is hailed as a major technological breakthrough. CBS goes on air with the first videotape delayed broadcast,
Douglas Edwards and The News, on November 30, 1956,from Los Angeles, California, using the Ampex Mark IV.

1957 Emmy #1) for VTR Development Charles Ginsburg, lead engineer of the Ampex VTR development team, accepted Ampex's First Emmy for technical achievement.

1959 Orr Radio Industries. Opelika, Alabama, merged into Ampex to form the Ampex Magnetic Tape Division. The famous Nixon-Khrushchev "Kitchen Debate" took place at the Moscow Trade Fair and Was captured on an Ampex video tape recorder.

1960 Oscar for Theatre Sound System The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Ampex with an Oscar for Technical achievement. Telemeter Magnetics, Inc. (TMI), a pioneer in core memory technology merged with Ampex, forming the Computer Products Company, later known as the Computer Products Division.

1961 Ampex introduced the first commercial helical scan videotape recorder. This became the basis for all videocassette equipment and is utilised in all home VTRs today. Ampex Computer Products introduced the LQ, the first commercially available large Capacity ferrite core memory with a rapid cycle time of 1.5 microseconds.

1963 Ampex introduced ED C, electronic video editing, allowing broadcast television editors frame-by-frame recording control, simplifying tape editing and making animation effects possible. Ampex developed Terabit memory, utilising videotape technology for large capacity storage of digital information. Ampex introduced a new computer peripheral digital tape transport, the TM-7. Its design used 80 percent fewer parts than previous tape drives and completely eliminated pinch rollers. brake cylinders and followers which handled tape roughly and caused frequent mechanical failures.


1964 Ampex introduced the VR-2000 high band videotape recorder capable of colour fidelity required for good quality colour broadcasting.

1967 Emmy (#2) for VR-2000 Colour VTR ABC used Ampex HS- 1 00 disc recorder for playback of slow-motion downhill skiing on World Series of Skiing from Vail, Colorado, Thus began the use of instant replay in sporting events,
The Ampex Computer Products Company introduced the RG memory. It was a medium Capacity memo with an access time of 350 nanoseconds (less than half of one millionth of a second) and expendable from medium to very large capacity (up to 5,000,000 bits) by adding memory modules.

1970 Ampex introduced the ACR-25, an automatic library video cassette recorder, which allowed for the programming and playing of short duration spots for television stations. Ampex introduced TBM (TeraBit Memory), a 2-inch transverse tape-based online digital storage system for high-performance computing applications.

1972 The first TBM delivered reached a never-before-achieved 3 trillion bit capacity.

1974 Ampex introduced the AVR-2, the first modular quadrupled recorder/reproducer for professional broadcasters. It required one-half to one-third the operating space required by other quad machines.

1976 Ampex introduced the VPR- 1, helical scan, Type C, 1 inch, videotape recorder. Its predecessor, the VPR-2, became the industry standard for video recording.

1977 Ampex introduced Electronic Still Store (ESSTm), which allowed producers to store digital video images for later editing and broadcast.
Ampex introduced the HBR-3000, high-bit rate, high-density magnetic recorder for logging and storage of electromagnetic data.

1978 Emmys (#s3&4) for Automatic Scan Tracking (ASTim & co-development of Type C Format Introduction of the parallel transfer disk drive for simultaneous access to multiple data btracks.
The Ampex Video Art (AVA) system is used by artist Leroy Neiman during Super Bowl XH. AVA, a video paint system, allowed the graphic artist, using an electronic pen, to illustrate in a new medium, video.

1981 Emmy (#5) for development of the Electronic Still Store Ampex introduced ADO,& (Ampex Digital Optics) which created special effects allowing Rotation and perspective of video images.

1983 Emmy (#6) for development of ADO
Ampex introduce DCRS, digital cassette recorder system, offering compact cassette storage offering the equivalency of 16 computer tape reels on 1 cassette.

1984 Emmy (#7) for co-development of the VPR-5, the first helical scan portable vtr

1986 Emmys (#s 8 & 9) for the VPR-3 Video Tape Recorder and ZeusTM Advanced Video Processor

1989 Emmy (#10) for co-development of D-2 video recording technology

1990 Emmy (#1 l@ for the ACR-225 (large library robotic videocassette machine)

1992 Ampex introduced DCTtm, Digital Component Technology, based on a 19mm helical scan video tape drive. DCT is a complete digital component system including a switcher, editor, digital effects and tape cartridges.

Best Regards,

Tony.
www.ampex-uk.com
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Re: History of Recording

Postby Arny » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:49 am

Further interesting history about Ampex recordings



The first Monterey Jazz Festival held in 1958
Monterey.jpg


Ampex Recording Booth at Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey booth.jpg


The first Monterey Jazz Festival was held on Sunday October 5 1958 Among the guests, was Billie Holiday.
Ampex set up their own Recording Booth with mainly 3 Track AG351 Valve Machines and a Stereo AG600.

This recording was found much later in 1985, Ampex Engineers set to work to convert the recording to CD media.

Ampex sent me a copy, which here is a couple of samples to check the quality.

I will be loading the Wav & MP3 Files after lunch
Lunch was great, took a Siesta

Tried to load a WAV file to give a file for quality judgement but WAV files are not allowed, instead here are two MP3's as high
as I can get them in MP3 Format.

The line uo on this Billie Holiday (Vocals) CD = Mat Waldron (Piano), Eddie Khan (Bass), Dick Berk (Drums), Gerry Mulligan (Baritone Sax), Benny Carter (Alto Sax), Buddy De Franco, (Clarinet).

We have to bear in mind these recordings are 51 years old,

The first is a busy shortened version of "I only have eyes for you" plenty of peaks here to check clipping.

MP3 X 320kHz X 16kHz
Track 05-Short.mp3

And here is a slow track with gaps to check Signal to Noise don't mistake machine and human movement for noise.

2nd track = #10 = MP3 X 224kHz X 16kHz
Track 10.mp3

I am told that in 1986 this CD released by Black Hawk Records Inc. 525 Brannan St, San Fransisco, CA 94107.

Best Regards,

Tony.
http://www.ampex-uk.com
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Re: History of Recording

Postby dbbubba » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:21 pm

I saw where someone was restoring some of the very early recordings that Jack Mullins had done on the BASF tape he brought back.
It wasn't the Bing Crosby Show stuff.
The tape was stored without hubs and the rolls had become VERY distorted in shape.
I forget who did the work, but they were able to transcribe the material just fine.

One of my questions is... WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TWO MAGNETOPHONES THAT JACK MULLINS HAD IN HOLLYWOOD?

Hmm..... Dale Manquen worked directly for/with Mr. Mullins at 3M for quite a few years.
He might know.
Danny Brown
(I was going call myself Mr. B because I like people to say "MISTER" when they say my name, but then I pitied the fools.)
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Re: History of Recording

Postby THEMIXFIX » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:28 pm

Arny:

Those recordings sounded amazing!! :o

The mic'ing was a bit "phasey" sounding, but the quality really held up!! :mrgreen:

Are you sure that Ampex didn't use any digital noise reduction, after the fact, on that CD? 8-)

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Re: History of Recording

Postby Arny » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:00 am

THEMIXFIX wrote:Arny:

Those recordings sounded amazing!! :o

The mic'ing was a bit "phasey" sounding, but the quality really held up!! :mrgreen:

Are you sure that Ampex didn't use any digital noise reduction, after the fact, on that CD? 8-)



Dear Bob,
I spoke with the one of the Engineers involved at the time and as I understand it, it was transferred totally flat, besides there was nothing in the way of digital N.R. back in 1986, which is when I first received my CD from Ampex.
The AME frequency curve was a lot quieter than NAB, AES or CCIR. could never understand why it faded.
It was originally Engineered by Harold Lindsy & Russ Tinkham in 1958, both employed by Ampex.
It also worth making a note that it was the very first Monterey Jazz Festival.



I will be showing later in the History Ampex's first Digital Audio Processor, not 44.1 not 48, but 50kHz.

Here is what Herb Wong (Jazz Critic & Record Produce had to say about it.

Any new, found addition to the body of recordings of Billie Holiday holds historical favor and unexaggerated large interest This previously unreleased record is such an event Billie Holiday defined jazz singing as an act with such originality that her legacy is of permanent importance It has been axiomatic that Billie was the greatest woman jazz singer of all time This recording stands as one of the very few document; of her performance less than a year before her death on July 17, 1959.
Recorded live on October 5, 1958 al the first Monterey Jazz Festival, at an outdoor stage in a horse show arena, hers was the final act on the last evening before a wrap up Jam session ending the 3-day MJF debut.

I had caught Billie and her trio several nights at her gig at San Francisco's Black Hawk the week before the festival Mal Waldron, Eddie Khan and Dick Berk provided a strong, swinging join Drummer Berk who was just 19 years old recalls, “I was thrilled to be chosen to be in her rhythm section and we were really up for Monterey and Billie was too".
Waldron's credentials were already impressive, Khan's work with Max Roach, Freddie Hubbard. Jackie McLean.etc, .and Berk's impeccabletlime keeping pleased Billie.
Introducing Billie and Friends to the 6000 people in the audience M C Mort Sahl opened the set Nearly half way into the set. Billie and her trio were joined by three giants of jazz, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter and Buddy De Fallen, Dig Gerry,! l My own memories of the Holiday magic that evening remain lively, She held the musicians and audience magnetically as one as she sang 11 songs with hardfast determination, even under the, thunderous roar of an airplane flying low directly over the festival grounds, as it approached the Monterey Airport when she was singing “Good Morning Heartache”.
This is not an uncommon occurrence there, these few seconds of ad hoc noise are a part of preserving the integrity of the entire set
As Jimmy Lyons. Founder of the MJF remembers,
“I had admired Billie for so many years, playing her wonderful records on my radio shows and seeing her in person I knew she would be important for our first festival and she was”.

We should rejoice that we, are all beneficiaries or the circumstance My gratitude is also extended to Pete Hammar of Ampex Corporation for his fortuitous discovery which has led to the finish this album.
Billie on Stage.jpg

Technical Data
Billie's s performance at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival was originally recorded by audio engineers Harold Lindsay and Russ Tinkham of Ampex Corporation, Lindsay also designed Monterey's first stage used for the 58 and subsequent Festivals, and did the sound reinforcement for that first show
The 58 date was recorded via Altec 21D condenser microphones feeding two Ampex Model 300-3 half-inch 3-channel recorders with AME. = Ampex Mastering Equalization.
As opposed to using NAB, AES or CCIR.

In this outdoor performance you'll hear some feedback from the house sound system Acoustically remember that the festival takes place in a converted horse arena on the Monterey Fair Grounds.
After that first festival the 58 half-inch master tapes disappeared

Twenty years later. along came Peter Hammar the creator and consulting curator of the Ampex Museum of Magnetic Recording at Ampex Corporation in Redwood C City California In 1980. while doing archival
work for the Museum he discovered the half-inch masters in perfect condition in an old warehouse, Hammar undertook the delightful task of informing veteran Ampex engineer Lindsay about the good news as well as Jimmy Lyons of the Monterey Jazz Festival and Jazz critic and record producer Dr Herb Wong (By way Herb’s brother, Dr Woody Wong was Hammar’s dentist.)
For the 1986 restoration of Billie's Monterey date Ampex audio engineer Don Ososke used an Ampez ATR-100 deck With a custom-built 3-channel half-inch reproduce head and a special 3-to-2 channel AMENAB mixer converter from Dave Haynes of Integrated Media Systems, Ososke re-mastered the digital data using a Sony PCM 701ES digital recording system.

Best Regards,

Tony.
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Re: History of Recording

Postby THEMIXFIX » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:37 am

Arny:

I misunderstood you initial post. I thought you just received the Ampex demo, and that there was a version of it transferred to CD in 1986. That makes it even more remarkable, since I think digital recording was at it's worst in the early-mid 1980s. :oops:

That being said, the Ampex Mastering Equalization curve sounds amazing!! :mrgreen:
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Re: History of Recording

Postby Arny » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:01 pm

Danny raised an interesting question that brought many memories flooding back.
LINK
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33

Arny wrote:
dbbubba wrote:What I was referring to was how many Japanese tape decks don't even HAVE a RECORD HIGH FREQ. adjustment!

If I am correct in my memory (I haven't set up a cassette deck or a pro-sumer deck in quite a few years now) it seems that most if not all of the Japanese recorders don't have a RECORD HIGH FREQ. pot at all!


To add further to Danny's question:
The problem always was, when Philips (The first Cassette designer as we know it) laid down the Record/Replay frequency curves for this type of recorder, the replay Hi Frequency response was higher on replay, this was because it was never intended to have such a wide response as we have achieved today, but due to more over-bias, the mid range and the distortion spec is what Philips wanted as they thought it would be mainly used for speech type recordings, interviews & dictating being the main aim for the sales team.

Other manufactures soon found that by reducing the Replay Hi frequency response curve, this change would improve the mechanical replay noise figures, and that by adding back the Hi frequency in the Record Hi frequency response curve, it improved the signal to noise, as well as widening the whole frequency response, even though there was a small amount of distortion and lack of clean Lo and mid, this was barely noticeable to the average popular music listener.
This change brought the cassette into the popular music listening world, where there were only two things in the specification that interested this type of listener and that was:
Wow & Flutter & Frequency Response.

S/N as it was abbreviated and written most of these and other spec quots these would be clients skipped, as they did the third harmonic distortion figures, I do agree that most of us would have read the latter two mentioned specs, but then like the Classical listener we stayed with reel to reel type recorders.

Then along came Nakamichi who wanted the classic cats as well as ourselves to purchase their cassette deck, so they went back to the original drawing board and the specification that was originally drawn up by Philips.
Nakamichi thought about taking the speed up top 3¾, but gave this idea up due to compatabillty problems

So how did Nakamichi get round this problem and still use the replay response curves as laid down by Philips ?, they closed up the gap on the record and replay heads,
i.e.
If you go to work tomorrow and someone in the middle of the night had got up and stacked all the buildings and lamp-posts closer together, or in mine and some of your cases (Stacked the trees closer together) you would think your car was going faster.
Well that is how the tape felt as it went by these very close tolerance head-gaps which were also hyperbolic in shape.

This gave the Nakamichi Decks, great S/N, a warm fatter sound as well as a being cleaner, a wider frequency response. all because of these superb built heads and because these decks could be over-biased properly.

You may ask:
"What was the downside"
I can lap any head from an 8 track from an 1/2" Fostex to a 24 Track X 2" head-block, any standard cassette and reel to reel X 1/4" or 1/2" heads, I can lap with no problems at all, and most because will sound as good if not better.
(Nearer the bone the sweeter the meat)
BUT
I defy anyone to lap a Nakamichi head to give the response it gave when it was new.

When you play any tape recorded on another machine (Except a British Neal Cassette Deck) then it will sound brighter.
If you play anything recorded on a Nakamichi or a Neal it will sound dull on the machine you are playing it on.
This due to the difference in the Record/Replay frequency curves.

Also what is interesting the only cassette deck the British Police used and was allowed in court was a Neal. and I am told that Neal Cassette Decks are still in use with many British Police stations.

My personal favourite deck ?
A Tandberg 440. nothing touches it, or gets near, when this machine has been set-up correctly.
Does need regular Pit-Stops like any other F1 winner, but comes easy, if carried out regulary.

Later on in this thread I will write about Grundig's L100 type cassette deck as well as the Sony Elcassette and of course the dreaded lubricated 8 track cartridge and the Broadcast NAB Cart machine, as well as the many other forms of cassete that came into our industry, or should I say, "Some that invaded our industry".

Best Regards,

Tony.
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Re: History of Recording

Postby THEMIXFIX » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:23 pm

Tony:

Did you find that the Nakamichi Decks had a lower output level than other decks, as well?

I seem to remember that as being the case. :ugeek:
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Re: History of Recording

Postby Arny » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:38 am

THEMIXFIX wrote:Tony:

Did you find that the Nakamichi Decks had a lower output level than other decks, as well?

I seem to remember that as being the case. :ugeek:


Dear Bob
Most modern gear as we all know runs at +4dB, = +4dB equals 1.23 Volts RMS.
Which is what our 500 Series will run at.
The Vintage Helios Type-69 Desks and our Standard size Re-issue runs at 0VU = 775 mV RMS.

Most of the early Japanese Gear Runs at -10dB = 300mV RMS. Which is well down.
Some cassette decks, including the Nakimichi's ran at around 550 mV RMS
Most Sony Decks including their reel to reel gear ran at 0VU = 775 mV RMS.

I have to add that a good line up engineer who was very famililier with Resistor Padding, could get SOME (Not All) decks to
run at the level required by the client.
My Tandberg 440's all run at +4dB

Best Regards,

Tony.
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Re: History of Recording

Postby dbbubba » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:02 pm

Some of the most historically informative stuff I have read regarding Ampex history Tony!

I guess that I could just copy the posts I wrote on the other thread about AME and jay McKnight's Proposed Analog Equalization here.

Like I said.... because all I have been doing is archival work with my tape machines and because next to none of it leaves my studio I have considered experimenting with other calibration schemes and set-ups.
Jay's 1973 "proposed" curve sounds interesting and I could do it with the cal tapes I have.

I would probably set it up on on of my MCI Jh-110s.
Danny Brown
(I was going call myself Mr. B because I like people to say "MISTER" when they say my name, but then I pitied the fools.)
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