Stereo in 1940?

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Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:18 pm

Yepper. Stereo in 1940. The first movie with stereophonic sound was Disney's "Fantasia". True story. It used a complicated system of a separate tape running in tandem with the movie. So when we make fun of young people selling an old radio console and calling it a "stereo" they might not be that far off after all.

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Dr. Radio on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:19 pm

Nah, we'll still make fun of 'em.

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:45 pm

I have a couple of albums with selections from Glenn Miller's two films from 1941 and 42 that were recorded in stereo.
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:54 pm

One other thing about the production of Fantasia was it's importance on a little startup company that built instrumentation for the audio industry.

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfacts/museum/earlyinstruments/0008/index.html
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:15 pm

The question of recording techniques pre-ww2 presents itself. Most record companies were using either wire recorders or direct-to-disc, a practice since the beginning of recordings. It was not until after WW2 that Bing Crosby and Decca records began the practice of recording on magnetic tape, then to disc. I wonder how stereo recording of Glenn Miller was accomplished in the days of wire recorders.

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Actually, Quadriphonics was invented by the Columbia graphophone company in 1901. It was called the Duplex. It was a Cylinder graphophone with three reproducers, and, three horns. The records had three sets of grooves, each for different tracks of the song. The machines were very expensive at 1K new, and, are nearly unheard of.
Alan Koeningsburg had the trunion for holding the horns, and, reproducers to it. He bought it from the then Sha of Iran.
No other known parts were ever found to it that I'm aware of...

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:14 pm

Wildcat445 wrote:The question of recording techniques pre-ww2 presents itself.  Most record companies were using either wire recorders or direct-to-disc, a practice since the beginning of recordings.  It was not until after WW2 that Bing Crosby and Decca records began the practice of recording on magnetic tape, then to disc.  I wonder how stereo recording of Glenn Miller was accomplished in the days of wire recorders.

Regards

WC


The albums I referred to were made from the original sound on film soundtracks of his two films. At that time that was considered the most faithful recording medium. The president even had a RCA sound on film recording unit to make recordings of meetings he wanted to archive. Until the technology that AEG developed for magnetic recording was made available after the war magnetic recording was not quite high fidelity.
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Guest on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:22 pm

Interesting information that I never knew!  scratch 

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:36 pm

This little program has some excellent history blended with simple demonstrations and describes rhe development of magnetic recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOULWR4h4Io
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:41 pm

Bill, the article that I was reading about stereo mentioned something about an early phonograph being stereo, but I did not understand all about it. Your explanation cleared some of that up. And I thank you.

75, was AEG the company that Bing Crosby owned or was associated with? Apparently, magnetic tape had been developed and used in Germany pre-war. The tape carrier was originally paper, later acetate, then mylar due to its greater flexibility. There were some concerns with fidelity with wire recording as well. My understanding is that Bing Crosby's company worked the bugs out of magnetic tape and, along with Ampex, introduced magnetic recording tape to the general populace. It is also my understanding that the movie industry was ahead of the audio recording industry in the introduction of stereo. Reproduction equipment and recording techniques were the holdups with introducing stereo to audio for commercial sale.

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:43 pm

Bing was an investor in Ampex. They had gotten their start manufacturing curling irons. He had also invested heavily in their development of video tape technology. Polyvinylchloride magnetic tape was developed by BASF in Germany at about the same time as the AEG magnetophon was developed. There were companies that made paper based tape but it was mostly used for voice recording.
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:55 pm

Bing Crosby certainly contributed much more to music than just his voice.  I did not realize that he made such a great "behind the scenes" contribution as he did.  Thanks for the information, 75.

Lawrence Welk and Bing Crosby were friends and business associates for years.  LW was an astute businessman.  I have always wondered if he had anything to do with the development of tape and enhanced recording techniques in association with Bing Crosby.  Welk was a stickler for recording quality.  When did MCA buy Decca?  Welk went from Decca to Dot records sometime in 1958.  I always suspected Welk had a part-ownership in Dot, along with Paramount Studios, but I have never been able to verify that.  

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WC




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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:04 am

Some info on Lawrence Welk;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Welk

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:50 am

I have read that. The Welk Group is not impressed that I am the youngest Lawrence Welk fan still breathing. And that I have a large LW collection. They are really tight-lipped about Welk history. I do know that LW had no use for his parents and most of his family. He refused to allocate funds for the restoration of his home place, which he detested. I would be interested in the "inner workings" of Lawrence Welk. Those close to him are mostly all gone. He was a fascinating man. His weekly show was done so sloppily, yet he was such a stickler for perfection in his recordings. It was common to hear carpenters banging on sets while the show was on. Norma Zimmer lip-synched for the last 15 years she was on the show. What happened to her that she did not sing? If you listen, you will notice that the mixing is totally different when she "sings" than the rest of the show. All this trivia, and no answers.

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:00 am

I remember my grandmother watching LW on Saturday nights in the late 50's and early 60's. She would sit in her chair and have me tune it in for her. My grandmother had a "remote control" when most people didn't..........I was the remote!!!!! Shocked 

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:31 am

We had a pair of Vise Grips welded to the antenna pole so we could just open up the window and turn the antenna. I had to start the TV by six pm so that it would be "tuned in" by 7 when Welk came on. God help us all if that TV was not 100% for Lawrence Welk. "Have Gun Will Travel" came on at 8 and "Gunsmoke" at nine. When Grandpa got a new RCA color tv in 1956, it was such a pain to tune, and nothing was in color on Saturday evening anyway, we always watched the old 1950 RCA combo console for Lawrence Welk. Those were the days.  Rolling Eyes 

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:33 am

Have Gun Will Travel and Gunsmoke were two other shows that my grandmother liked to watch.

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:55 am

I can guarantee you that if that old RCA had "acted up" or worse, "gone on the blink" during Lawrence Welk, Cousin Calvin would get a phone call by seven am on Monday morning, requesting his getting his can to Grandma's place and have that thing fixed 100% with a guarantee written in the blood of his firstborn before he went home!  Very Happy 

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:22 am

In addition to the programs you mentioned, my grandparents liked the regional programs Midwestern Hayride and All Star Wrestling.
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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:50 pm

Did your version of All Star Wrestling have Dick the Bruiser and Cowboy Bob Ellis? Richard K. Bruiser (Dick the Bruiser) was, it was alleged, to be a local Cadillac dealer, Ed Tutwiler. Our announcer was Chuck Marlow, a local radio personality. I suspect that both the wrestling personalities and the announcers were local talent and varied from market to market. Midwestern Hayride was out of Springfield, MO and starred Red Foley. I still have some old reel-to-reel tapes of the Midwestern Hayride taken directly from tv back in the day, on Channel 13, WLW-I, now WTHR. Massey-Ferguson was a frequent sponsor.

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WC

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Re: Stereo in 1940?

Post by 75X11 on Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:44 pm

Yeah, I was watching the same stations you were. I remember All Star Wrestling was carried on WTTV channel 4 (Sarkes-Tarzian broadcasting). Bloomington was at the very edge we could get with a 30' rohn tower. We could get the Indianapolis stations, 6, 8 and 13 but could hardly get the UHF Ft. Wayne stations.
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