Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Technology

5000 Cylinder Recordings Placed Online 156

Jon Noring writes "The Department of Special Collections at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Davidson Library recently placed online, with free access, over 5000 sound recordings as part of its Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project. These recordings date from the 1890's to the 1920's, all transfered from Edison cylinders using state-of-the-art equipment. The restorations are first-class, using CEDAR tools. Besides MP3 and streaming audio, the raw transfers are also available for diy'ers to try their own hand at audio restoration. For those who like their music 'hot', there's not much there since most of the cylinders predate the start of the Jazz Era (ca. 1917), but there is some early 'mouldy fygge' dance-type jazz, like 1920's 'Peggy' by Lopez and Hamilton's Kings of Harmony Orchestra."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

5000 Cylinder Recordings Placed Online

Comments Filter:
  • DMCA Alert! (Score:5, Funny)

    by iamlucky13 ( 795185 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:36PM (#14068876)
    Oh man, as if having Sony on their asses wasn't enough, these guys are going to bring the wrath of Edison down on themselves!
    • Don't worry I believe the RIAA letter is on the way now. Another $2000 extorted from someone to keep America safe.
    • wrath of Edison down on themselves!

      He can take his music back over my cold, dead body.

      --I mean HIS cold, dead body.
    • by Jon Noring ( 715238 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:54PM (#14068949)
      Fortunately, the U.S. Government, via the National Park Service (I believe) are the owners of the Edison masters, and so the recordings appear to be public domain. Or at least the U.S. Government won't attempt to claim state-level copyright on the recordings (which I suppose they could.) Note that sound recordings made before 1972 are NOT covered by Federal Copyright Law, rather they are covered by a patchwork of state copyright laws (both common and statutory), anti-competitive laws, etc. It's a mess. Pre-1972 recordings (other than those whose ownership is lost) will not come under Federal Copyright protection (and thus, hopefully, public domain status) until 2067! There are some early Columbia cylinder recordings from 1890 (technically owned by Sony-BMG) which will not become public domain until 2067, a whopping 177 years after they were 'waxed'.
    • Nah, he'll just pull the plug.
  • mp3? Would lossless compression have been a better choice for archiving all these ancient songs? Something like FLAC?

    • mp3? Would lossless compression have been a better choice for archiving all these ancient songs?

      From the project site [ucsb.edu]:

      "Surrogate files for online distribution were created with Sound Forge 6.0's batch converter (mp3 files) and Cleaner XL (mov files)."

      The mp3s/webstreams are for the unwashed masses. The assumption is that the original captures have been retained in a more suitable archival format.

    • mp3? Would lossless compression have been a better choice for archiving all these ancient songs? Something like FLAC?

      The quality of the analog media isn't nearly good enough that mp3 compression artifacts are going to make any difference whatsoever. Also, mp3 is very standard; I'm not sure what software I'd need to hunt down in order to play FLAC files, but "Peggy" started playing in my browser as soon as I clicked the link.
    • These recordings date from the 1890's to the 1920's, all transfered from Edison cylinders using state-of-the-art equipment.

      Given how quickly tech advances, and how impossible it becomes to find stuff that works a decade after its obsolete, I wouldn't worry - these cylinders have already outlasted 12"/8"/5.25"/3.5" floppies, 8 track and cassette audio tapes, vcrs, paper tape and punch cards. They'll still be around in another 100 years.

      • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <<aussie_bob> <at> <hotmail.com>> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:36AM (#14069112) Journal
        They'll still be around in another 100 years.

        Yeah, but if you ever do lose or damage the wax cylinder, the EULA means you'll have to delete your MP3s as well...
      • Given how quickly tech advances, and how impossible it becomes to find stuff that works a decade after its obsolete, I wouldn't worry - these cylinders have already outlasted 12"/8"/5.25"/3.5" floppies, 8 track and cassette audio tapes, vcrs, paper tape and punch cards. They'll still be around in another 100 years.

        You know, there's one thing that's different between mp3s and the formats that you mentioned: those are all physical mediums and mp3s are digital. You can copy an mp3 a thousand times and you
        • Digital formats change a lot quicker than physical formats.

          Ask anyone using Word.

          A better example - try playing any of the .voc files from the original soundblaster - and that's only a decade or so ago.

      • That's a bit misleading. Nobody is massproducing cylinder readers today. I suppose in 50 years you could build a "compact disk" reader.

        Though the longevity of the media is another issue. Keep in mind we are not comparing the same thing in that regard. The density of bits per inch [yes, you could say those analogue recordings are storing "information" and hence can be coded in bits] is FAR less than that of a CD or hard disk.

        Let's see a 400GB cylinder made in 1890?

        I'm sure it's possible to make a 1MB CD
        • Densities are nothing, it was the physical elegance of the design itself that lended it to longevity. Hard drives store alot of data, but you can't just pick up a few things lying around the house to pull that data off.

          I'll never forget the first time I saw a vinyl lp as a child. It was incredible for me to think that with a sewing needle taped to the end of a cone-shaped tunnel of paper, I could clearly hear the recording by spinning the lp and holding the needle in the groove.

          It's nostalgi
        • I convert all my MP3s to music boxes, and share them with my friends. It's a distribuated backup, and there are music boxes that last over 100 years old, it's a perfect way to back up my music. Sony might not like it, but what are they going to do? I suppose they could send hired goons over to enforce their DRM and break my music boxes.
    • Note that the original raw transfers (lossless wav) are also downloadable for each song. It would not surprise me (but I have not checked), that the restored version (using CEDAR) in lossless format is also available in the directory of the archive (but there's no public link to it from the discography page.) It's the high-quality transfers that are the most critical to do right, and UCSB did do them right. Save those in lossless format, and they'll always be around for anyone to restore. Algorithms and ap
      • This is correct. We have six files for each cylinder. The original archive file is a 24-bit, 44.1KHz wav file and can be downloaded. We captured at 24 bits not because cylinders need the 144 db of possible dynamic range (if only!) but because noise reduction supposedly works better on files of greater bit depths.

        The second file is also a 24 bit file that was run through CEDAR in real time to reduce the amount of noise. It's very mild denoising compared to what is often done for CD reissues, but we just want
    • by Anonymous Coward
      mp3? Would lossless compression have been a better choice for archiving all these ancient songs? Something like FLAC?


      Don't be stupid! Of course we didn't rip them just to mp3 format. We copied all cylinders to C-cassettes before destroying the originals.

    • I believe the music curator and his staff have transfered their cylinder collection to a lossless format prior to cleaning. I say this not as anyone who knows what the hell I am talking about with regards to the audio processing aspect of this project, but as one of the system admins associated with the Davidson Library at UCSB, where the project is hosted. By the way, the front end is just an old gentoo box, please don't beat it up to bad. I don't want to work on the weekend!
  • by cswiii ( 11061 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:41PM (#14068902)
    Well, I guess a recording of this one [google.com] won't be there...
  • by Stevarino ( 607540 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:43PM (#14068911)
    After watching this video I guess there are 4999 left for them to archive:
    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/techtvblooper.html [ebaumsworld.com]
    Friggin hilarious!
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:46PM (#14068921) Homepage
    Many of the early Edison recordings are of surprisingly good quality. It turns out that the mechanical recording process wasn't too bad. The tinny quality of early cylinder recordings came from the mechanical playback process, which was terrible. When those cylinders are played with modern equipment, they sound much better.

    The Amberoll cylinders were tough, too. They had to be, to survive repeated mechanical playback, with a stylus pressure of about a pound. So they're much tougher than vinyl records.

    There's now optical equipment [chello.se] for reading damaged or fragile cylinders and records. UCSB isn't using it, but it's available for the tough cases.

    Some of these recordings are a century old. The original media are still playable. It's sad that we don't have something to transcribe them to that will be playable a century from now. All we can do is hope that someone will recopy the files periodically.

    • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:03AM (#14068983) Journal

      The velocity of the "needle" across the surface is inherently constant with a cylinder. With a disk the RPMs are constant but it spirals in so you have to compensate for this frequency drift when recording. I wonder how well that worked? I've heard that when cylinders competed with disks they were regarded as having higher fidelity. The reason they failed is eerily similar to the beta vs. VHS debate: cylinders couldn't record as long. Also, if you do the math you find it's much harder to pack the same ammount of surface area into a box of cylinders than it is for disks. So cylinders were more expensive and could hold less music. The difference in quality wasn't enough to overcome that, and disks won.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Since the recording head and the playback head on a disc move at the same rate at the same radius, there is no frequency drift, there's just less music in the middle than on the outside ;)
      • Wow... so this is what the next generation's perception of a turntable is? (mutters: Kids these days...)

        No, the record didn't change speed as the needle moved inward. Constant angular velocity, as others have said.

        Technically, a CAV device *can* hold more info on the larger outer bands than smaller inner ones, but we're talking about physically altering vinyl to create ripples at 25khz, which means a few gazillion li'l vinyl atoms traversed per peak or valley... vinyl was nowhere near saturation of this
    • by deglr6328 ( 150198 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:14AM (#14069033)
      Even though they are considered "surprisingly good quality" by the standards of the time they are still horrible by any other standard today. True, many of these recordings are quite rare and there is only perhaps one copy known. However, I'd imagine that for many of the more popular things it should be somewhat easy to find more than one copy. Couldn't you just digitize more than one cylinder and compare the waveforms to remove anything that doesn't appear in both of the copies thereby removing a great majority of the hiss/pops? It would kind of be the audio counterpart to the optical technique of cosmic ray rejection [adass.org].
      • That's assuming both cylinders were recordings of the same performance. From some of the old photographs that I've seen of the recording sessions, it looks like each performance produced a limited number of cylinders. If you wanted more cylinders, you recorded another performance.
    • "All we can do is hope that someone will recopy the files periodically."

      Yes, this is a big worry. I can't even remember the last time I heard of anyone duplicating and storing audio data.

  • They have it! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 ( 179095 ) <RealityMaster101 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:49PM (#14068934) Homepage Journal
    Some of you might remember from the movie Titanic them humming the song "Come Josephine in my Flying Machine"... Here it is [ucsb.edu] (I'm not sure that link will work; here's the direct MP3 link [ucsb.edu]. That song was incredibly popular in 1911. If you want to see how far pop music, production and singing have come, that's a good one to check out. :D

    Seriously, though, I've always thought that was an interesting song. Remember that the Wright Brothers flew only in 1903, so the whole concept of "flying machines" was incredibly new and exciting. There's a certain innocent romance to the song that's so... impossible to recapture today.

    • I'll disagree that the concept of a flying machine was new in 1911. The Wright Brothers just had the first successfull heavier than air flight - the concept dates at least back to Leonardo da Vinci, and probably long before. Plus, there had been many sucessful lighter than air flying machines (read hot air balloons) for over a century.
      • Sure, people flew in balloons... but that's not controllable flight. What made airplanes exciting was the fact that you could hop in and go wherever you wanted. I think you also overestimate how much the general public expected flight. Remember, this is the turn of the century where news didn't travel all that fast. Probably people heard about people working on it, but the Wright's success popularized the notion that it was really going to happen.

        Sure, it seems obvious now that controlled, powered flight

    • If you want to see how far pop music, production and singing have come,

      You know, I really don't want to think aobut what modern pop stars would do with a title such as "Come Josephine in my Flying Machine". Pop music has degraded quite a bit in the last century as well.
    • That's actually pretty damn good. Consider that this was before you could edit recordings in any way-- what you're hearing is exactly how they sang in the studio, with a real band playing behind them, not mixed in later.
  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:52PM (#14068945) Homepage Journal
    When I was in Niagara On the Lake, or Niagara Falls [I don't remember which], I was in a museum with an Edison player, and a wax cylinder mounted in it. They wouldn't take it off, for fear that it would fall apart, even though they had a few other ones. They started it up for me and my friend, and I kicked myself for not bringing my digital vid. camera with me to record it. The music was over 90 years old, and recorded live! Cool; all those people are dead.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Marion's Attic radio show is a good source:

    http://members.aol.com/marionweb/ [aol.com]
  • by ip_freely_2000 ( 577249 ) on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:56PM (#14068959)


    I remember when I was a young whippersnapper, I listened to the Sony cylinders and it loaded a rootkit on my Babbage Calculating Machine. It took forever to calculate 12 + 15...that is if the infernal machine wouldn't jump up by itself and crash on the floor.
    • Dem kids don't know how good they have it these days. Babbage Calculating Machines and rootkits...Bah! Back i' my days, them Sony-cans made backdoors in the houses that caused drafts many a day! And nearly everybody died of the flu! It's all because of them darn dangled Spainiard pirates! (so Sony says...)
  • ...of using thousand dollar machines to grab every usable sonic bit, and then throw 90% of them away by running it through lame.

    /I know, I know. But still...
  • by Gonarat ( 177568 ) * on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:59PM (#14068970)

    This is a good example why we need to roll back copyright to a reasonable period of time, or at least require periodic registration and renewal for copyright protection to continue. If they had the copyright laws back then that we have now, these recordings would never see the light of day. There is little or no commercial value to these recordings, but they are a valuable part of our history. It would be a shame to lose them to the ravages of time because of insane copyright laws, like what can (and is happening) to film from 1923 on.

    • by Jon Noring ( 715238 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:18AM (#14069052)

      Actually, in this case, had there been Federal Copyright law applied to sound recordings as it was to other types of creative works (like books), the pre-1923 sound recordings would all be public domain.

      But they are not the kind of example you are talking about. It is worse than that! Why? Because pre-1972 American sound recordings are NOT covered by Federal Copyright Law. Yes, you heard me right, Federal copyright law does NOT apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and according to Title 17 of the U.S. code won't apply until 2067. In the meanwhile, then, sound recordings are covered by a patchwork of state copyright laws (both statutory and common law), plus other mechanisms. The Capitol vs. Naxos case was filed in the State of New York under New York copyright law, for example (Google that for more information).

      What does this mean? State copyright laws, by and large, have no limits. So, for example, Columbia cylinders recorded back in 1890 (technically owned today by Sony-BMG) are still copyright protected (at the state level), and won't revert to Federal protection until 2067 (if the copyright terms remain the same as today, all pre-1972 sound recordings will then revert to the Public Domain in 2067). This means that these earliest cylinders will, unless Congress acts, have at least 177 years of copyright protection.

      Most of the UCSB collection is from Edison cylinders. Edison is a unique case in that the ownership of the Edison recordings is the U.S. Federal Government (via the National Park Service), and I believe they are not claiming any state copyright protection of them (but they might be able to). So UCSB felt free to go ahead at least with the Edisons. There are a few other early labels whose ownership is totally unknown and likely abandoned, such as the Grey Gull "group" of labels of the 1920's. These are very interesting to transfer as well. There are some really oddball stuff from before World War I, too, that are probably abandoned.

    • It would be a shame to lose them to the ravages of time because of insane copyright laws, like what can (and is happening) to film from 1923 on.

      Right, and I'd like to take a moment to point out what I think is the single most important aspect of this project. To quote their copyright policy page here [ucsb.edu]:

      The raw transfers created by the University of California are in the public domain.

      In my opinion, one of the greatest things crippling the public domain today is the fact that even when public doma

    • Get this -- if you download one of those files and view its ID3v2 info, the "copyright" field says "© 2004 Regents of the University of California".

      ...

      Now, they can't legally claim a new copyright on public domain material unless they've modified the material in a sufficiently creative way for it to qualify as a new "derivative" work. An MP3 doesn't qualify, because there's no creativity involved. This is a bogus claim.

      However, given the Creative Commons license on the site's text, the copyright f

  • I hope they may go on with this project and make available other collections as well, creating a world wide sound archive of early recordings.
    For instance, the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin, Germany, owns very rare recordings made by musicologist at the same time around the world: They document musical traditions that may have disappeared by now. Some of the recordings were later released on schellack record disks, but even these are very rare now (less the 5 sets or so world-wide).
  • I've listened to several of the songs. It's quite interesting.

    However, their recording and filtering process has left a considerable amount of background static and white noise. I understand that these are old recordings, and I definitely think these guys deserve pats on the back. But couldn't a white noise filter have been used in the digitization process to clean it up better?

    We want these preserved in as close to originally performed quality, not originally recorded. Additional cleanup of the sound
    • Yes, they could have "stomped" down harder on the CEDAR processor they were using. But the problem they faced is having so many recordings to restore, where the optimum noise-reduction settings for each recording will vary. If you set things wrong, you will remove a lot of the hiss (which usually is more like pink noise rather than white noise, thus a little harder to deal with), but then introduce a lot of annoying artifacts in the sound. Most afficionados of the early sound prefer to hear some hiss than t

    • I've been cleaning up some 78s at work. Firstly one pass gets rid of the clicks, then another pass gets rid of crackle. Even after that there is a lot of white noise which you can remove with a denoiser, but only to a certain extent before artifacts appear in the program material. The goal is to remove as much extraneous material as possible without affecting the program material, so by this philosophy it's best to have a "true" sound with a bit of noise that the brain can filter.

      I love how we can hear and
    • by Squiffy ( 242681 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:01AM (#14069201) Homepage
      I used to work in Special Collections at UCSB. It's a nice facility and my boss was really cool. (He introduced me to Mogwai and Do Make Say Think.) He was responsible for getting some (all?) of the cylinders being presented online. He really went out of his way, too. Some of the cylinders he got were turn-of-the-century recordings from some middle eastern country (Afghanistan? I forget which). The labels were all in Arabic. It was really neat to see them up close! I got to play with some nice reel-to-reel players too.

      The sibling post has it right. There would have been different settings for every cylinder. And the less you process the sound, the less of a chance there is of worsening the distortion. It might sound cleaner, but you might have messed up the signal a little while clearing out the noise. It was for this reason that when we made CDs of our old acrylic and aluminum 78s, the only processing done was to amplify it as much as possible without letting it clip.
  • Public Domain (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Phroggy ( 441 ) * <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:15AM (#14069035) Homepage
    Here's a good example of content that should be in the public domain. It's really too bad that just about anything newer than the 1920s is still under copyright - Happy Birthday [snopes.com] is owned by a division of AOL Time Warner and won't fall into the public domain for another 25 years (unless Congress extends it again).
  • Anyway, this old stuff rocks. I think I'll burn some onto CD, and when I cruise through the mall, I crank my stereo up playing 1910 Rag Time. My ex gf's brother used to blast Nursery Rhymes like the Muffin Man in the mall, I guess I want to be cool like him.
  • I am reminded of this [cune.org] incident. With 5000 recordings I hope they didn't break any. (sorry about the WMV)
  • Since submitting this SlashDot item, I discovered in the cylinder collection an even jazzier recording (from 1924) that some may enjoy: "Why Did you Do It?" [ucsb.edu] by the Georgia Melodians.

    By the 1920's, Edison was mastering onto vertical cut disc masters (and issued as "Diamond Discs"), and then producing cylinder masters by dubbing master disc pressings. So the sound quality of the cylinders issued in the 1920's was lower than the comparable discs, such as the above recording. It should be noted that disc reco

  • by woolio ( 927141 ) * on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:48AM (#14069156) Journal
    Imagine if they had the equivalent of DRM and/or EULAs in the 1900s...

    Each cylinder would come with a warning

    This cylinder may only be played using a licensed RCA needle. Using any other needle is a violation of the Pony Millenium Rights Act and is a federal offense. By removing this cylinder from its box, you agree to be bound and gagged by the terms of this End-User License agreement. You may not play this music before a publicly audience without expressed written consent of RCA. Within 30 days of purchase, you must write RCA via pony express to "activate" your cylinder. Failure to do so is a violation of this agreeement and is punishable by hanging. After 5 different people have heard playback (or any portion thereof) this cylinder, you might re-activate it by submitting a written request to RCA. Failure to do so is punishable...


    Boston Tea Party? Nah. What were they thinking???????????
  • Nice (Score:3, Funny)

    by pHatidic ( 163975 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @12:54AM (#14069182)
    I talked with the curator of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology recordings last year, asking why they didn't release their bird sounds under public domain. I guess part of their money comes from licensing bird sounds to TV stations and childrens toys, the kind that make sound when you touch them.

    Even still, it is a shame that these recordings, the largest collection of its type in the world, is being hidden from the public just for what can't possibly be more than a few thousand dollars a year. (You can actually listen to most of the sounds in low resolution streaming on the web, but you can't do analysis at the quality they offer.)

  • I never thought I'd hear "Edison cylinder" and "state of the art" in the same sentence.
  • Edison meet Slasdot
  • Before the hard disk, there were drum drives. Compared to their raw bandwidth, their seek times were amazing.
  • has anyone found a way to download them all at once or in several large chunks?
  • a work of love (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anthion ( 41543 )
    I know the some of the cats that are responsible for this project, and it is entirely a labor of love. They know the subject and have done their damnedest to make sure everything is legal. This is the sort of project that the music industry should laud, and use for favorable pr.
  • by MsGeek ( 162936 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:27AM (#14069281) Homepage Journal
    http://www.archive.org/audio/audiolisting-browsear tists.php?collection=78rpm [archive.org]

    A lot of these are transfers from the flat Diamond Discs, not the cylinders dubbed from Diamond Discs. Some of those transfers are pretty freakin' amazing. Lots of history here. Hear Irving Berlin sing. Hear why people raved about Enrico Caruso...makes Pavarotti and Domingo sound like punters. Hear Fanny Brice do her schtick. A lot of what is referred to as "Jazz" is actually more like Ragtime. But that can be pretty amazing too.

    I came here looking for cartoony music that had passed into the public domain for my upcoming podcast series The Cartoon Geeks. There's lots of it here. Here's the tune that's going to be the theme music. [archive.org] Yowza yowza.
  • by femto ( 459605 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @01:45AM (#14069330) Homepage
    It [ucsb.edu] makes an interesting read/rant.
  • As the go-to person on Wikipedia for music and video uploads, I would have *LOVED* to put these up en masse. Unfortunately, the license is creative commons attribution-noncommericial, which makes it a non-starter for Wikipedia (Specifically, stuff on Wikipedia must be commerically reusable). What a shame.
    • Lucky for you these recordings are in the public domain, which means anyone can distribute them under any license they want. I hereby license them to Wikipedia under the license.
    • On the other hand, there's this notice [ucsb.edu] on the web site:

      The raw transfers created by the University of California are in the public domain. Users of this website are free to use these raw transfers as they see fit, not limited to redistribution to others, including distribution over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks; reissue, mashups, mixes for commercial or non-commercial purposes; or other uses that could be imagined.

      Restored versions of the audio files, including the downloadable MP3 files are

  • Digitization

    Cylinders were transferred using a French-made Archeophone, using custom Shure styli from Expert Stylus in England. The audio was converted from analog to digital using a CEDAR ADA and captured at 44.1KHz with a bit depth of 24 bits in Steinberg Wavelab software running on a PC. Files were edited and normalized and then processed with CEDAR's Series X and Series X+ Declicker, Decrackler, Dehisser, and Debuzzer units. After "cleaning," a third file, dithered down to 16 bits, was created. Surr

  • Elgar made a lot of cylinder recordings. When they went to digitize them, they figured it was going to be a nightmare assembling long pieces out of 4-minute chunks, the ends of cylinders are often in bad shape, so there'd be gaps between the end of one and the beginning of the next. Then they ran thru them and noticed something amazing - that Elgar et. al. picked the break points for the performances based on the cylinder length, and subtracted a little - so that for each cylinder, they made their break p
  • Vinyl Information (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SonicSpike ( 242293 ) on Saturday November 19, 2005 @03:06PM (#14071830) Journal
    Here is some information about Vinyl:

    Westrex 45/45 stereo system - Left channel modulates inner groove. - Right channel modulates outer groove. - A mono signal causes lateral only movement
    - An out of phase mono signal causes vertical movement.

    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/4.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]

    There are 86 square inches of surface on which to cut.
    - More Time = More Space
    - More Level = More Space
    - More Bass = More Space

    Space is measured in lines per inch (lpi). This is called the pitch of the lathe.
    - This is the number of grooves (lines) per inch of radius. - More Time requires higher lpi - More Level requires lower lpi - More Bass requires lower lower lpi

    Pitch = (Run Time x 33.3 rpm)/Radius (3 inches)
    - Max Pitch about 300 lpi - Minimum groove width is 1 mil. - Maximum groove width is 6 mils. - Average groove width is 2.5 mils. Gw = [(1000/lpi) + 1] / 2

    An increase in lpi should be accompanies by a decrease in depth. An increase in depth should be accompanies by a decrease in lpi.

    Pitch and depth (groove width) are controlled by a cutting computer. The pitch must be changed before the loud parts to prevent over cut. A one half revolution delay is required for the preview channel.

    The variable pitch control receives right channel information from the preview system so that the pitch can be increased before loud signals that might cut into the previous groove. Left channel information comes from the program system. A difference signal from the preview system is also sometimes provided.

    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/5.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]

    The variable depth control receives the difference (left minus right) signal from the preview system.

    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/6.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]

    RIAA Curve
    1953 RIAA instituted an EQ curve that narrowed the grooves and improved play time.
    Boost high freq. 17 dB at 15 kHz and cut the low freq. 17 dB at 50 Hz.
    - RIAA pre emphases is automatically added.
    - Post emphases is done at the phono pre amp.

    - Inner groove distortion causes high frequency loss (scanning loss).
    - A compensation system was tried but mostly abandoned.
    - Avoid putting bright (sibilant) cuts in this area.

    - A low frequency crossover is almost always used to prevent lift out.
    - The effect is to move low frequency signals into the center.
    - The frequency below which this happens is variable.

    - Cutting head is a moving coil device powered by Cutting Amps.
    - Cutting stylus is a heated sapphire
    - The cut produces a chip that is vacuumed up for safety.
    - The Master Lacquer is an aluminum disc covered in lacquer cellulose nitrate.

    The cutting console has four channels of everything 2 preview, 2 program. All controls are stepped for resetting purposes. A reference lacquer may be cut to test settings. A Master Lacquer may not be
    played. An Eqed Master tape was made for other Mastering Labs.

    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/7.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]
    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/8.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]
    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/9.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]
    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/010.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]
    http://ultrasonicdesigns.com/audio/vinyl/011.JPG [ultrasonicdesigns.com]
  • - Many if not most of todays record companies started out selling technology not music.

    - Records were produced to sell record players.

    - Control of patent rights were more important than control of copyrights.

    Predevelopment
    1857 - Leon Scott de Martinville designs a device that records sound wave shapes phonoautograph
    1863 - F B Fenby designs a system that uses paper tape to record and play back piano music player piano the 1st binary recording system.
    1877 Edison invents the phonograph and records Mary Had A L
  • Unlike so many MP3 collections released to the public before, the scope of this release is not only grander than anything I've seen before, but the 5000 MP3s have all been properly tagged so that my collection isn't filled with mystery MP3s. Each artist and the cylinder the song came from is painstakingly noted. I am so impressed with the effort put into this project.
  • This is a fantastic storehouse that they've put together. Some of these recordings are divine and of enormous historical value.

    Think about it: some of these cylinder recording made in the 1890's where made by the classical masters of that age. Think people in their 70's. These people started their musical education back in the 1810s-1820's. That's the age of Beethoven (died 1827), Haydn (died 1809), Liszt (died 1886). So what we're hearing with these cylinder is the direct first-hand influence of the C
  • This is really one of the coolest things I've seen this year. If only all classical downloads had such consistency and quality of ID3 tags. Only problem is that the 'genre' field always seems to be 'other'. It would be cool (but a bit too subjective) to just throw these into itunes and then sort out the classical from the jazz.

    Somebody should compile all these MP3s and create a torrent out of it. Having the entire collection in the hands of thousands of people world-wide will effectively make it last for

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

Working...