Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2021, 10:12:01 AM »
I think I was the first (and then sadly the only person) who was interested in chatting with Len Page who had started REDD back in 1955.  No-one had thought to ask him questions and, shortly after getting insights from him, he sadly passed away.

So much missed opportunities there... Off topic but I remember in my high school times our old teacher (war time radio guy) being laughed at, noone cared about his stories on fixing mil tube radios on the plane over the front lines etc. I also remember at my first job I had to operate a monster steam engine oil transfer pump built in 1945 - it has never been turned off since the 50s because noone knew how to fix it (this was in the 90s, I'm sure its been retired by now). Anyhow, thanks for sharing these details!


Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2021, 11:00:11 AM »
Um, yeah, autoformers to feed pans.  Yeah, why not?

Haha  :D 
In its defense, it is at least one less winding than a transformer! 


Honestly, I've never given it much thought as to why the need to step up voltage there.  Maybe the clue is in the ratio?  200 - 400 gives a 1.414V bump which is 3dB, the loss at pan centre but?

Life is probably way too short to worry about it now :)


Later dude   

 

         
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2021, 11:14:13 AM »
So much missed opportunities there... Off topic but I remember in my high school times our old teacher (war time radio guy) being laughed at, noone cared about his stories on fixing mil tube radios on the plane over the front lines etc. I also remember at my first job I had to operate a monster steam engine oil transfer pump built in 1945 - it has never been turned off since the 50s because noone knew how to fix it (this was in the 90s, I'm sure its been retired by now). Anyhow, thanks for sharing these details!

Indeed.  Your stories are probably typical of the attitudes of many.  Someone who was fixing tube radios on the plane over front lines sounds like someone I'd want to talk to though. 

In my situation, I only had so many questions I could ask of Len Page as the 'meeting' was actually by proxy, 5000 miles away, with a work colleague of his who was still working at Abbey Road asking on my behalf.

I'd planned, and it'd been OK'ed for me to fly back to the UK at some point and meet up with him for a few hours to get into more details but again, he passed away before that part happened.

I do wish someone else had thought to talk with him and document this stuff earlier, EMI themselves perhaps? 
 
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

EmRR

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2021, 11:29:58 AM »
Haha  :D 
In its defense, it is at least one less winding than a transformer! 


Honestly, I've never given it much thought as to why the need to step up voltage there.  Maybe the clue is in the ratio?  200 - 400 gives a 1.414V bump which is 3dB, the loss at pan centre but?
       

In America I’m only aware of Langevin and Daven ladder pan pots, I’ve seen a handful of Langevin but never a Daven.  These were not uses in any production console.  Only the Altec 250 SU and T3 even had LCR positions, all others at best are dual mono LR.  The pan pots would be connected to C with expected additional losses.  If, like consoles with some EQ channels but not all, there would be fixed pads to match the pan or EQ channel losses.  I have not seen a case with any step-up, passive or active.  There is little/no documentation of any of the major studios custom consoles, and I cannot identify the first custom passive mix console to have a significant number of pan channels available.   It sounds just as common here that pans were made with parallel ladder or T attenuators connected with a gear system.
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2021, 01:36:44 PM »
on the subject of pan-pots, apologies for the sidetrack:
installed a few of the Altec slider type pan-pots in custom consoles in the early 70's.
reviewed Langevin AM4 console literature, could find no mention of panning,
yet had one when restoring an AM4 some time back.
no clear evidence of pan-pots in the block diagram of the Porterfield console at Columbia 30th.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #45 on: March 16, 2021, 02:44:30 PM »
I think there was definitely a difference in how US studios and European Studios of the time period (mid to late '50's) derived or thought about deriving stereo.

I've also not seen many (any?) US desks from then with pans, although I believe I've seen photos of motion-picture remixing consoles with the ability. *

Some of this might be to do with the early adoption in the US of 3 track Ampex machines, at a time when the UK only had twin track - either used as stereo, or as duo-mono.

From what I understand of US facilities, the more extensive desks of the time period were 3 buss, along with there being 3 monitor speakers.

So, Nelson Riddle and the orchestra are on the left and right bus (and speakers), with Ol' Blue Eyes Frank on the centre bus and speaker.
During mix down from 3 track to 2, this was simply a passive mixing/splitting of the centre track into both left and right buses.
True?

As for the UK REDD pans, I can say that the theory involved was very much derived from the work of Alan Blumlein's work back in the '30's.  This is shown in the documentation for the Sum & Difference as well as the panning laws.
There's a direct line of descent from Blumlein to REDD for sure as Len Page (head of REDD), as a young man, had worked with Blumlein at EMI until Blumlein's death during the war.

* Andy Johns once told me a funny story, at least it was funny how he told it.  Which was that when he first went into a US studio to mix some Zeppelin material, he saw there where no pan-pots on the desk.  He asked about it and so, with great fanfare, they proceeded to have the tech wheel in the pan-pot on a trolley.  His words not mine.  But you get the gist.   

« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 03:02:38 PM by Winston O'Boogie »
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2021, 02:52:02 PM »

no clear evidence of pan-pots in the block diagram of the Porterfield console at Columbia 30th.

Thanks for the Altec brochure :)

Columbia 30th St. is another place that I have a lot of fascination for.   


If you haven't watched it, there's a great little talk with Columbia 30th Engineer, the late Frank Laico here.
Recorded in 2008 when he was 90
What a great guy   :)

https://youtu.be/KJbhGHmY_UA
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 03:00:48 PM by Winston O'Boogie »
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

EmRR

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2021, 03:02:15 PM »
I've also not seen many (any?) US desks from then with pans, although I believe I've seen photos of motion-picture remixing consoles with the ability. *

During mix down from 3 track to 2, this was simply a passive mixing/splitting of the centre track with both left and right buses.
True?


Yes, more likely in film consoles, all of which are little documented and long since destroyed. 

The only thing I've seen is the Altec 250 SU/T3 method which adds a set of intermediate L C R bus isolation amps, with C feeding back to both L and R iso amps through series resistance.   Center going through an additional amp compared to L and R. 
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #48 on: March 16, 2021, 03:04:33 PM »
Yes, more likely in film consoles, all of which are little documented and long since destroyed. 

The only thing I've seen is the Altec 250 SU/T3 method which adds a set of intermediate L C R bus isolation amps, with C feeding back to both L and R iso amps through series resistance.   Center going through an additional amp compared to L and R.

Thanks Doug.  I'll take a look at the docs for the Altec 250. 
Then answer your email  ;)
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #49 on: March 16, 2021, 04:55:17 PM »
Bach Auricon made some portable tube consoles for tracking diretly to film.
The Auricon Mixers had some features to maximize tracking to tape. Really interesting Tube equipment, although I have only ever read about them.

Maybe someone might find this schematic of the Auricon Sound-On-Film NR40-S4 interesting.
If you are curious, you'll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.
Erno Rubik


hodad

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #50 on: March 16, 2021, 05:01:56 PM »


I've also not seen many (any?) US desks from then with pans, although I believe I've seen photos of motion-picture remixing consoles with the ability. *


And yet, apparently, the first major film to be released in stereo was Streisand's A Star is Born in 1975 (this according to a documentary on film sound called Making Waves).  What were the motion picture folks doing with those pan knobs?

EmRR

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #51 on: March 16, 2021, 05:14:33 PM »
And yet, apparently, the first major film to be released in stereo was Streisand's A Star is Born in 1975 (this according to a documentary on film sound called Making Waves).  What were the motion picture folks doing with those pan knobs?

Wrong AF.  Maybe by some particular standardization. 

Fantasia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasound
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2021, 05:39:23 PM »
Wrong AF.  Maybe by some particular standardization. 

Fantasia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasound

It was likely based on the millions invested into A Star is Born' audio. I think this is a key factor to why it is considered a "first".
If you are curious, you'll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.
Erno Rubik

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2021, 06:34:34 PM »
Wrong AF.  Maybe by some particular standardization. 

Fantasia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasound

Yep, Fantasia was way ahead of the times.

I know Radio Recorders in L.A. were recording onto 2 & 3 track for film music by, at least, 1957.  Some of it released in stereo.   But maybe it was for some of the soundtrack album releases that were in stereo rather than the film release being stereo.  Dunno?

There are some great out-takes of Elvis and his band getting Jailhouse Rock together in the studio.
The main audio of what's been released (unofficially or?) sounds like a duo mono recording with the band on one side, and Elvis and drummer D.J. Fontana on the other.  This is where the official RCA release of the track comes from - it's an edit of two takes which is combined to mono and limited/compressed.

Except, there are lower quality dubs out there of the same track with film sound effects etc. added where it's all in stereo, including the main track of Elvis and the band.

 
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 06:48:57 PM by Winston O'Boogie »
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2021, 06:37:14 PM »
Thanks for the Auricon schematic Wall  :)

Interesting little mixer.  I see that, even though it's dated (updated) in the mid 1960's, they're still using nice old octal tubes. 

 8)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 06:42:04 PM by Winston O'Boogie »
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2021, 07:00:22 PM »
If you like this sort of thing like I do, it's worth a listen.

Here's the audio:
https://youtu.be/txt1sDQ3qKM

Pictures of the session:
http://www.scottymoore.net/studio_radiorecorders.html

Musicians and mics used (I don't know what was on Scotty Moore's guitar amp, anyone know?) :

Vocals:   Elvis Presley   RCA 77DX
Guitar:   Scotty Moore   ?
Upright Bass:   Bill Black   Altec 639A Bird Cage
Drums:   D.J. Fontana   E.V. 666(a)
Piano:   Dudley Brooks   RCA 77DX

Edit:  listening quickly again, at about 28 minutes in is the MGM master.  It sounds like the band audio has just had a bit of panning to centre of Evis' vocals and maybe the stereo effect of the rest of the band is fake stereo/tape delay?.   The intro to it with the male chanting is stereo though.  So maybe Radio Recorders didn't have pan etc., but MGM did.  Still dunno? 
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 07:22:00 PM by Winston O'Boogie »
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

EmRR

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2021, 07:17:19 PM »
They were already doing multitrack with editing on mag film in the ‘30’s.
Best,

Doug Williams
Electromagnetic Radiation Recorders

"I think this can be better. Some kind of control that's intuitive, not complicated like a single knob" - Crusty

"Back when everything sounde

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #57 on: March 16, 2021, 07:27:47 PM »
They were already doing multitrack with editing on mag film in the ‘30’s.

For sure. 
I think it's the film studios of that time and later, because they had the money and capability etc., had the better audio remix facilities.  There was the capability to record and play back in the cinema more than a centre mono signal.   

For non film music, until 1955 and the stereo L.P., there was no real means for consumers to play back in stereo anyway.  Unless they had a 1/4" tape deck. 
D. J. H.

The standard way to reduce much of the noise and distortion in audio gear in 1955 was to have a couple of beers.
 Anything else was too fiddlesome and too expensive.

hodad

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #58 on: March 16, 2021, 07:52:40 PM »
Wrong AF.  Maybe by some particular standardization. 

Fantasia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasound

It's possible they meant it was the first film released exclusively in stereo, or they were indeed just wrong.

EDIT:  It was one of the first films released in Dolby stereo--my mistake.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2021, 10:55:20 PM by hodad »

Re: Audio Historians - REDD/RCA
« Reply #59 on: March 16, 2021, 11:46:25 PM »
This is where we are stuck in our storyline.

The RCA BE-1A Passive Equalizer (which we pruchased from my wife!) was apparently the inspiration for the REDD Eq of some denomination. Is there any fact to this?

Secondly, we are certain we have a picture of Dick Sweetenham holding a Tube Compressor he built while at REDD, but can find no information about it. I have just touched base with Helios about this.

Any insight into these areas?
If you are curious, you'll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.
Erno Rubik


 

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