Soundbreaking: New TV series abt Recording History

FirefoxScreenSnapz001Interested in music production? Well, there’s a new 8-hour TV miniseries that you will want to know about. It’s called Soundbreaking and it’s an amazing documentary about the history and craft of music recording. Nathan Halpern and I wrote and recorded the original music and title theme for the series. We previously worked with show creator Jeff Dupre on his award-winning Kehinde Wiley doc and we could not be more thrilled to have been a part of this incredible new program. Aside from an enormous depth of rare archival materials, the show features over 160 new interviews. The first EP will debut at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.  I will post broadcast times/channels when available. 


2015 Preservation Sound TAG SALE this Sat+Sun Nov 14/15

AFAopenstudios2015The 2015 Open Studios at the American Fabrics Arts Building will happen November 14 + 15.  The address is 1069 Connecticut Avenue, Bridgeport CT.  Ample on-site parking is free.  I will be there with a big pile of used+vintage hi fi and pro audio gear from 2PM – 5PM on Saturday and 10AM – 1PM on Sunday.  Stop by, say hi, and relieve me of my chattels.  We will also have lots of clothing and some records and books for sale.

Since my shop is no longer in that space, I won’t have component-level stuff for sale (tubes, transformers, raw speakers, meters, ETC) unless asked to bring it??? So if there is something of that sort that you need, and you will def attend, pls just LMK in the comments section and I can bring some (if I have what you want,,,).

Two Roads beer samples and the big WPKN record sale will be parked right outside our door, #310. You don’t want to miss it!  It is a super fun event – there are a lot of great artists in the building who will have their studios open – including a couple of sound-installation pieces – and this is just one of three major studio-buildings in BPT that are participating.  Good clean free fun.  Admission is free to all events.

New Mic Preamp “The Sienna”

IMG_3138Shown above is a pair of Preservation Sound “Sienna” model preamps.  These are the first designs to wear the ‘Preservation Sound’ name.  This is an all-tube design based on the circa 1950 RCA BA2C but with all-mod-cons and 20db more available gain.  It has a true class-A output stage like early broadcast gear.  Three-band fixed 100/1k/10k EQ, fully reciprocal, with defeat switch and flat center response.  Build features include mil-spec tubes, Jensen and Lundahl audio transformers, Solen caps, completely point-to-point wired on linen turret boards with silver wire in the audio path.  Completely enclosed design with internal subchassis for shortest possible wiring paths.  This is a completely unique design that offers a huge range of sonic possibilities.  Defeatable output pad allows user to achieve the ‘overdriven console’ sound of early rock and RnB recordings.  $2500 each.  Basic specs below:


Argentine Hi-Fi DIY Circa 1958

Argentine_Williamnson_1958Many years ago I published this article abt digging for ancient audio ephemera in Buenos Aires.   Reader N. Dinapoli Farina uncovered some related materials and has shared them with us here. I believe that the magazine may have been called “Radio Chassis Television” and the scans below are all from the late 1950s.  Click on the images for hi-res.   Enjoy!

Williamson_Schem_1958Williamson_PS_1958Above: Williamson style amp and power supply.

AltaFidelidad_15wattAmp_1957Fifteen-watt “Alta Fidelidad” amplifier.

Preamp_1958Full-featured mono preamp

MicMixerSuper basic hi-z mic mixer


Home with Recording Studio For Sale (1964)

LP_sale_1“Only 25 minutes from New York City!”  Download a HQ scan of the original 2-page real-estate flier (‘JD Levin & Associates’) advertising the ~1964 sale of the home of Les Paul and Mary Ford:


LesPaulStudio_2I pick up so many lots of ephemera from ancient studios and old-time producers and engineers that I have no idea where this came from, but it somehow ended up in the pile.  My assumption is that someone picked it up at an AES show back in the mid sixties.  It’s professionally printed on cardstock and AFAIK this item has never been interneted?  Is that even a word?  Anyhow, check it out, it’s pretty awesome.  I am guessing 1964 as the sale date because the flier mentions 1962 as a renovation date and LP+MF were kaput by the end of ’64.  HOME STUDIO.  PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT.  Wow.


“Think of a sound. Now make it. Any sound is now possible.”

FirefoxScreenSnapz001Contributor T. Fine recommends these excellent pieces on early electronic music.  First, a really fun circa 2006 Australian documentary film:

…And a reminder that the MOMA is still running its “Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye” series:

Moma_Aria_radioIn describing some of the musical objects in their collection, the curators write, “…MoMA was the first museum in the world to collect such objects, beginning in 1932, (and) also pioneered the live presentation of some new music technologies. For instance, Russian émigré Vladimir Ussachevsky performed the first tape-music concert in the United States at MoMA in October 1952. And though the Museum’s collection does not include a synthesizer, it presented the famed Moog synthesizer as a live performance instrument for the very first time on August 28, 1969, changing the course of music history and influencing decades of future instrument design.

moog_in_the_Garden Herb_at_moogLearn more about this historic event at the MOMA’s blog.

LINK TO LISTEN: Live Radio Show: A LIFE IN MUSIC with Peter Katis: WPKN 89.5FM and WPKN.ORG

PKmix02Updated: this program has already aired, but you can listen to the full show at this link

We are very excited to announce that this coming Saturday April 18th WPKN FM will air the first live episode of: PRESERVATION SOUND: A LIFE IN MUSIC, a series of conversations and listening parties with notable individuals who have enjoyed long careers in the recording industry. Our April 18th episode features producer Peter Katis. Best known for his work with rock groups like Interpol and The National, Katis will discuss the changing landscape of pop and rock music over the past 30 years, reflecting on changes in technology, aesthetics, and the industry. But most importantly, we’ll be listening to a ton of great music from Katis’s career of over 100 albums.

The circa 1983 Yamaha MT44 4-track and CS01 synth: examining advertising claims

MT_and_csYamaha used to run these great ads in the 80s featuring their MT44 4-track and cheap lil CS01 synthesizer.

Yama_prod_seriesThey called it the “Producer Series.”  Since I had a CS01 and an MT44, I decided to see what was possible to do with just these two machines.  The MT44 is a regular-speed-deck, so fidelity is not great, but here’s what I whipped up in an hour.   I did not use the dolby cos,,,, i hate dolby!   There are 6 tracks (snare, bass, and bell line were bounced) and the only other piece of kit is a $25 behringer “Analog delay” pedal that’s fkkn awful.  Enjoy!



information and ideas about audio history