Highlights from the 1971 AES Convention

AES_1971,,,and today, perhaps unsurprisingly: some of the new kit unveiled in 1971 at the NYC AES show, also via DB mag.  Of note: Auto-Tec, Scully, Ampex and 3M intro’d new 16-track machines, Neve made a push for a new console (would this have been the series 80?), AKG introduced the BX-20 reverb, Melcor showed its model 5001 electronic reverb (anyone???), and a new company called Eventide introduced a digital pitch-shift device!  The Neumann U47-fet and Sennheiser MHK-815 mics were introduced, as were the Marantz 500 and Crown M2000 power amplifiers.

Click here to DL a pdf of the proceedings: AES_1971_DBmag

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There is just a shit-tonne more of this stuff, so click the link below to READ ON;;;;;

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Highlights from the 1970 AES Convention, Los Angeles, CA

GRT_deckabove: the GRT 500 audio-tape evaluator c. 1970

Just in case you were too-young/too-hypothetical to have attended, we are pleased to bring you highlights from the 1970 convention of the Audio Engineering Society (via ye olde DB Magazine, r.i.p.).   You can download the whole shebang here…

DOWNLOAD: AES_1970_DB_mag

…and we’ve also reproduced it below for your browsing enjoyment.  Products on offer at that time include: mixing consoles from Electrodyne, Gately, Quad-Eight, Spectra-sonics, Fairchild, Langevin, and Altec.  Opamp labs had kits on offer as well.  Tape machines include 3M, Otari ‘of Japan,’ Teac 7030, GRT 500, Norelco (Phillips) pro-51, Sony Superscope TC-850, and Ampex. Dolby’s model 360 N/R system debuted, as did the Melcor ‘all electronic’ reverb and the Urei LA-3. New microphones on offer included the Electro-voice DS-35 and the Shure SM-53.

AES_1970_1AES_1970_2AES_1970_3AES_1970_4AES_1970_5AES_1970_6AES_1970_7AES_1970_8

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Boozhound Labs Phono Preamp Kit

IMG_0426I know.  The grey box above ain’t much to look at in the abstract.  But, it’s what’s inside the box that we are concerned with today.  Jsn at Boozhound Labs (hf ‘BHL’) sent me one of his new “JFEt Phono Preamp Kits” to check out, and I’m glad I did.  It was a quick+ easy project that has greatly improved my LP listening situation in the living room mini-system.

IMG_0455Above you can see the BHL preamp right beneath a little stereo power amp (with A/B input select and a stereo volume pot).  The power amp is a design that I have built dozens of times for clients: a single 6SN7 is shared to provide one voltage-gain stage per channel, with each channel using a 6L6 (cathode biased) class-A to provide approx. 8 watts of power to each speaker.  Just so you know where I’m coming from, here’s the complete setup:  ADC QLM 30 mk III cartridge mounted on a Technics 1200 table, then into the BHL, then to the SE 8-watt power amp, and finally to JBL 18ti speakers.  Very circa-1980.  The other input of the power amp is connect to an Apple Airport Express so that I can stream music off the iPhone or the macbook.  Certainly not an audiophile setup, but I’ve never found it lacking.

IMG_0425The BHL kit ($89 direct) comprises the board that you see above, all the parts to stuff the board, instructions, and a bunch of good quality wire.  I supplied the Hammond steel chassis and bottom plate and the vintage-style lamp holder and big power switch, plus a $13 24v switching power supply from eBay, some El Cheapo-brand dual RCA jacks, a binding post, and a goofy old Amphenol connector to mate the power supply.

IMG_0427Note that since this thing is running at 24V, I had to try to find a 24v bayonet bulb for the vintage-type jeweled-lamp.  Don’t use a 6.3V bulb from yr parts drawer here!  It will not end well.  Luckily, MCM electronics had 28v bayonet-base bulbs (the closest value that I could find to 24v) for just a few cents.  Anyhow, I went through this trouble since I wanted the BHL preamp to match the appearance of the power amp perfectly, but you could easily build this board into whatever you want.  Here’s a dude on Instagram who went for more of an ultra-modern/brutalist look for his build.  Point is, you can do whatever you like as far as the visual aesthetic yr after.   I probably spent about $50 for the non-included components for my build.

The circuit is super-simple and it’s very very easy to assemble. The BHL site has a transcript of the directions that come with the kit if yr curious.   It took me less than an hour to solder all the parts together.  As Jsn explains on his site, “This is just about the simplest circuit possible that will accomplish what we need – reverse-RIAA equalization with gain. This is 2 JFET gain stages with a passive (no feedback) RIAA equalization network sandwiched between them.”  Simple as it is, the components included are of a very high quality.

Now, I was replacing a very cheap phono preamp with the BHL (I had been using a $50 Rolls VP29), so keep that in mind – but here were my initial impressions, which the past month of 4-hour-per day listening has proven to be (subjectively) correct:

*The sound is very good; the low end is a bit more even and less ‘rolled off’ versus the ROLLS preamp.  Vocal-area midrange is a bit more forward.  The high end seems to sound about the same, but the cartridge/LP is probably the limiting factor as far as treble.

*The biggest improvement is that the self-noise of the BHL is so much lower.  And there is less hum.  So overall there is really a huge difference in terms of background noise, which just brings out so much more detail in the music.  And honestly, I never even thought that my ROLLS preamp was noisy until I installed the BHL.

*Gain is a little lower than the ROLLS that it replaced (maybe 2 or 3 dbs).  Not ideal, but not a huge deal.

Full disclosure, and maybe this is unnecessary: Jsn provided the kit to me at-cost.  That being said, at the street price of $89 I do still think it is a very good value.  If yr thinking of testing the waters of Audio DIY (and you like listening to LPs…), I could not think of a better place to start.  Jsn is a great guy, and it was his old BHL blog that was one of my greatest inspirations in starting PS dot com; so if you dig this website, support the dude and get yrself some upgraded sound in the process.

Boozhound Labs

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Kinda Miss My Camaro

CamaroFuzzTopCC copyAbout 10 years ago I had a dark purple 1986 Camaro Berlinetta with a 305 and the digital ‘knight rider’ instrumentation panel.  I bought it for $775 (only 83k miles!) from an old lady who grumbled, “don’t kill yourself Don Johnson” as she handed me the keys.  Except for one odd incident in which the car would simply not turn off,  it was 100% reliable and I loved driving it.  I sadly had to sell it because I lost the parking space it slept in.  I was poking around the ole MacBook today trying to find some pics of it, and there ain’t even one!  I guess that 2005 was maybe riiiiiiiight before the era of ubiquitous photography of every single fkkn facet our goddamn lives, and maybe I’m better off for it.  Maybe Camaro is just better off living in my midnight-blue tinted memories.

Camro_Fuzz_insideWhile I couldn’t find any Camaro car pics on the laptop, I did stumble on the above-depicted germanium Fuzz Face ‘clone’ that I decorated with a mid-seventies Camaro badge.  I buy these old chrome auto badges in lots at the flea market; if yr patient, you can get em for a buck or two each.  Anyhow, this is one of the only guitar pedals that I ever built and it turned out great, despite the fact that I simply used whatever old NOS RCA germanium PNP transistors I had around, without so much as even looking at the data sheets.  I just tried a few different types until the thing sounded like a Fuzz Face, and voila.  One cool detail: in the image above, check out the massive mil-type chassis-mount oil cap (far left) that I used as the output coupling cap.

fuzzfacepnpschematic copy
Above is the very simple schematic that I apparently pulled from FuzzCentral.  Much like my Camaro (the car), my Camaro (the fuzz) was sold off many years back, and yeah I kinda miss it.  Can’t keep em all…

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Tonight: 3.12.14: Live DJ set at Firehouse 12, Neu Haven CT

photoHow y’all doing out there in internet land////

Tonight I will be taking a dip into the murky waters of real life social interaction with a 4-hour DJ set at FIREHOUSE 12 in New Haven CT.  I’ll be trading off with my good old pal JBW aka SWAY with a night full of weird dark old rock punk and soul.  And maybe some electronic terror if you stay late enough.  You can check out my instagram to see some of the recent-findings to be spun up tonight.

45 Crown Street, New Haven CT. 9P -1A

Come on down and hang out with all the regulars and irregulars.  No cover.

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The Quad-Eight RV10 outboard spring reverb unit of 1972

QuadEight_RV10foto_vanleerJust about a year ago I published an article entitled “Obscure Mechanical Reverbs of the 70s.“  Included in this this survey was the Quad-8 RV-10.  Now, y’all know how much I love spring reverb (also here…), so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call from one J. VanLeer (his photo at left), who claimed to be the inventor of this obscure device.  In VanLeer’s words:

“When with the HAMMOND ORGAN CO. I worked on spring reverb tanks – after HAMMOND closed, these were made first by GIBBS, and OC ELECTRONICS than ACCUTRONICS who sold out to BELTON (Korea) and now a Chinese firm MOD makes spring tanks. The RV-10 still sounds the best ’cause it makes use of 4 different (length, diameter & wire gauge) rather that 2 or 3 with only difference in length.”

Vanleer patented this unique twist on spring-reverb technology and then apparently leased said license to Quad-Eight.  By his reckoning at least 357 of these units were sold. VanLeer sent me via post the original product-sheet for the RV10.  I reproduce those here for your edification and downloading: QuadEight_RV10

QuadEightRV10QuadEightRV10_0001Below are some photos of the interior of the RV10 (from an eBay listing that ended in January 2014 at $446).  The parts and build quality is extremely high – with hefty input/output transformers, and a UTC O-series (inside an O-17 case), which I presume is the recovery-pickup transformer.

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ed. note: Mr. VanLeer had quite a long and interesting career as an innovator of electro-acoustic devices; click here for an article about his career (use Google Translate to translate into your own reading language).

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Federal AM-864 Limiter Clone: Build Notes: update 1

Federal_AM864_clone_w_mic

Note: I performed extensive frequency, level, and actual studio tests on the 864 clone today, and several interesting details were revealed.  Text has been edited to reflect that. 

From 1954 through at least 1963, the Federal Television Corporation built an audio limiter called the AM 864/u for the US Air Force and US Army.  The 864 is a simple, rugged device that accepts 600 ohm balanced or unbalanced line-level signal, offers a single front-panel input-attenuator control, and compresses the output level at a 10-to-1 ratio once the threshold point is reached.  The output is also 600-ohm balanced or unbalanced, and it offers a maximum 36db of gain.  The rear panel of the unit displayed the threshold and ratio controls, although these are confusingly referred to as (respectively) CURRENT and THRESHOLD in the manual and schematic.  Attack and release times are fixed, and the manual indicates them at .05″ and 2″ respectively.

AM864_hookupAs you can see in the diagram above, the 864 was intended to be used as what we call a ‘broadcast limiter’ – the final step in the signal chain before the broadcast transmitter.

Download the original 1963 manual for the AM864 (apologies to whomever did the epic work of scanning this 55pp document; I have long forgotten where I got this file from)

DOWNLOAD: Federal-AM-864-U-Manual copy

Federal_AM864_on_benchAfter having scratch-built an Altec 436 compressor years ago, I wanted to try building an 864.  The circuits are very similar, although the 864 uses the older 1940s-era octal tubes and uses a feedback circuit from the plates of the input tubes (rather than the output tubes, as in the 436) for its compression control signal.  More importantly, though, the 436 remains a bit of an oddball underdog in the vintage-compressor market while the 864 enjoys a very strong reputation.  Anyhow, like the 436, the parts cost to build one of these things is negligible, so I figured what the hell.

This is going to be a very long + detailed +technical article, so I’m going to ask y’all to please click the link below if you dare to READ-ON,,,,

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Sammy Davis Jr had a crazy fkkn life and he wants you to buy an SM-56

Sammy_1977“Samuel George Davis, Jr. was born in the Harlem section of Manhattan in New York City, as an only child, to Sammy Davis, Sr., an African-American entertainer, and Elvera Sanchez,[9] a tap dancer of Afro-Cuban descent. At age 7, Davis appeared in a film in which he sang and danced with Ethel Waters[10] During his lifetime, Davis, Jr. stated that his mother was Puerto Rican and born in San Juan; however, in the 2003 biography In Black and White, author Wil Haygood writes that Davis, Jr.’s mother was born in New York City, to parents of Cuban, Afro-Cuban, and African-American descent, and that Davis, Jr. claimed he was Puerto Rican because he feared anti-Cuban backlash would hurt his record sales.

“Davis nearly died in an automobile accident on November 19, 1954, in San Bernardino, California, as he was making a return trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.[24] The accident occurred at a fork in U.S. Highway 66 at Cajon Boulevard and Kendall Drive (34.2072°N 117.3855°W).[25] Davis lost his left eye as a result. His friend, actor Jeff Chandler, offered one of his own eyes if it would keep Davis from total blindness. The offer was not needed.[26] Davis wore an eye patch for at least six months following the accident.[27][28] He appeared on What’s My Line? wearing the patch.[29] Later, he was fitted for a glass eye, which he wore for the rest of his life.

“While in Community Hospital, in San Bernardino, Davis’ friend, performer Eddie Cantor, told him about the similarities between the Jewish and black cultures. Prompted by this conversation, Davis—who was born to a Catholic mother and Protestant father—began studying the history of Jews. He formally converted to Judaism several years later, in 1961.

“In 1957, Sammy was involved with Kim Novak, a young actress under contract to Columbia Studios. The head of the studio, Harry Cohn, was worried about the negative effect this would have on the studio because of the prevailing taboo against miscegenation. He called his friend, mobster Johnny Roselli, who was asked to tell Davis that he had to stop the affair with Novak. Roselli arranged for Davis to be kidnapped for a few hours to throw a scare into him. His hastily arranged and soon-dissolved marriage to black dancer Loray White in 1958 was an attempt to quiet the controversy.” (SOURCE)

Shure_SM_56The Shure SM-56 (click here to download the specs) was the 2nd generation of the Shure 546, and as far as I can tell they are pretty much the same mic.  We have an 546 at Gold Coast Recorders and it’s my go-to top-of-snare mic.  It sounds pretty similar to an SM-57, but the top end is a little smoother; it seems to mellow things out a bit but without ever sounding dark.   SM-56s and 546s have become outlandishly expensive in the past few years, so if you find a working one of these for under $150, i’d recommend picking it up.  As this 1977 advert shows, the SM56 was sold as late as 1977.

SammyDavis_sm56_1977

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Reeves Sound Studios NYC (1933 – 197X)

Reeves_1948- Frances_Flaherty-Eugene_Ormandy-CRFAbove: Reeves studio A during music scoring for “Louisiana Story,” a 1949 Oscar nominee for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story. The soundtrack score, composed by Virgil Thomson, won a Pulitzer Prize.  L to R: co-director Frances Flaherty, conductor Eugene Ormandy, and C. Robert Fine, mixing engineer. (Source: T. Fine)

Considering that owner Hazard Reeves was the man responsible for introducing the magnetic soundtrack channel to motion-picture film, as well as being one of the developers of Cinerama, which prefigured both the stereo hi-fi music revolution and the IMAX film-format, there is surprisingly little information online regarding his Reeves Sound Studios (hf. RSS).  RSS was in operation from approx. 1933 – 1980, and although it was primarily a sound-for-picture facility, some important albums were cut there, including early efforts by Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane. 

Monk_at_ReevesMonk listens to playback at Reeves c. 1956.  Photo by E. Edwards.

PS dot com contributor T. Fine has provided some background on this important piece of recording history.  If any readers worked at RSS during its long history, please get in touch and tell us about it.

Reeves_1948-Eugene_Ormandy_conducts-Louisiana_StoryAbove: soundtrack recording session for “Louisiana Story” in 1948.  Eugene Ormandy is conducting the orchestra, with pickup via Altec 639 “Birdcage” microphones. (Source: T. Fine)

RSS opened its doors in 1933 (source: NYT). The earliest detailed account we have of its actual operation is a 1949 article by one Leon A. Wortman.

Click here to download a PDF of the article: Wortman-Fairchild_Studio_Design-low

Wortman’s piece(s) was originally published in the trade publication “FM AND TELEVISION” and subsequently re-published for promotional use by the Fairchild Recording Equipment Corporation.  T. Fine: “Reeves (Sound Studios) was full of Fairchild and Langevin gear. Buzz Reeves was good friends with Sherman Fairchild.”

Reeves_SchematicAbove: schematic for RSS circa 1949 (Wortman)

Reeves_ChannelA_cuttingroom_FAirReeves_B_roomReeves’ Room B c. 1949 (both above from Wortman)

FairchildModules_1949Above: the Fairchild amplifiers that RSS likely employed c. 1949: the 623 line amp and 621 preamp.  Both appear to be 6J7 based devices with 6V6s for the line amp output. The Fairchild 6(XX) line was apparently introduced in 1947. (image: Wortman) (attribution)

Reeves_1948-CRF_Eugene_OrmandyAbove: Eugene Ormandy (L) and Bob Fine (R) work the Davens at RSS in 1948 (source: T. Fine)

T. Fine: “During the time my father worked for Hazard “Buzz” Reeves in the late 40s, he engineered jazz and classical records for Mercury and Norman Granz (who later founded Verve Records). Among the significant jazz recordings were “Charlie Parker with Strings,” some sides in Granz’s deluxe “The Jazz Scene” album, and Charlie Parker’s latin-jazz sides with Machito on Mercury.  Among the classical recordings for Mercury was the first U.S. use of the Neumann U-47 mic for orchestral recording: William Schuman’s “Judith” and “Undertow” performed by the Louisville Orchestra with Robert Whitney and William Schuman conducting.

“Here is a cut from the “Charlie Parker with Strings” sessions, followed by Charlie Parker with Machito and his Orchestra.

BobFine_ReevesCuttingRoomAbove: Bob Fine in the Reeves A cutting room, 1949.

Ed: Bob Fine would leave RSS in the early 1950s to build his own sound studio Fine Sound, which was purchased and then closed by Loews/MGM. In 1958, Bob Fine opened Fine Recording Studios on 57th Street.  You can read our account of Fine Recording Studios here and here.

T. Fine: “In the 50s, Reeves was the studio for a bunch of significant Riverside Records jazz recordings.

In a 2007 interview, Riverside founder/producer Orrin Keepnews (who’s still alive and in his 90s) talked about making a deal with Buzz Reeves to get the studio and engineer overnight at a cut rate if he block-booked chunks of days.”

“Not long after (1954), we made a long-term deal for a studio that was of great value to us..  (We) had become aware of Reeves Sound Studios in the East 40s. It was a big room—although easily brought down by screens and baffles to the small-group size we basically needed. The studio was used primarily for radio jingles and other advertising agency work. That meant it was rarely in use after daytime working hours. They agreed to give us almost unlimited time for a very low annual flat fee, provided our recording was basically done at night. It was a real meeting of needs. That low studio rate, and the quite reasonable union scale rates in that far-off deflationary period, made it possible for us to do a lot of recording with very little cash, which was a pretty essential factor in the early growth of Riverside.”  (source)

T. Fine: “It was perfect for jazz because Keepnews would have the guys come by to record after their club dates. He got a more relaxed but still tight feel than some of the Blue Note and Prestige sessions at Van Gelder, where the guys would often show up in daytime hours, off-kilter from their night-owl schedules.

“Reeves figured so prominantly in Riverside’s viability that some first-edition Riverside LP covers included a little graphic on the front boasting of “Riverside Reeves Spectrosonic High-Fidelity Engineering.” In the early stereo era, the “Stereosonic” replaced “Spectrosonic” in the logo.

“According to the Riverside Records discography located here, the sessions at Reeves began in late 1955 and continued until 1961.

TheloniusHimself (SOURCE)

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T. Fine: “In the 60s, Reeves turned more to sound-for-picture work, and they were an early TV-sound production center in NY. They later did a lot of sound mixing for videotaped productions, especially with WNET Public TV.  Reeves bought out Fine Recording in the early 70s, and Bob Fine then managed Reeves Cinetel Studios in the early 70s. One of the projects he worked on then was producing the sync’d sound masters for the simulcasts of Don Kirschner’s “In Concert” late-night weekly rock concert series.”

“RSS produced a 4-track 1/2″ tape that was sync’d to video by a 59.95 Hz signal on one track, stereo audio (fed to the simulcasting FM station) on two tracks and mono audio to feed the TV station audio (or mono radio) on the 4th track.”

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FirefoxScreenSnapz002T. Fine: “In 1972, Guidance Associates (still in business in Mt. Kisco NY) produced a filmstrip centered around RSS sound engineer Bill Brueckner. Bill’s work day described in the filmstrip involved putting the soundtrack together for a Cheetos TV commercial. The filmstrip shows images of a 1970′s sound-for-picture studio in action. Brueckner is shown working in two separate studios at Reeves. The studio where the commercial was made was the more modern studio. The console appears to be custom-made, probably using Langevin faders and internal parts. The second studio shown, where Brueckner is recording a voice-over later in the filmstrip, is older. Visible there are a Fairchild full-track tape machine, an Ampex 300 full-track, plus a very old mono console.”


T. Fine: “The filmstrip (with accompanying LP) was part of a set titled “People Who Work In Science,” probably aimed at middle school aged kids.  I found a mint-condition copy about 10 years ago; I assume a set was sent to my father since the ‘Sound Engineer’ strip was done at Reeves. I immediately transferred the LP, and eventually found someone to scan the filmstrip for me. Bill Wray, head of the AES Historical Committee and a retired Dolby exec, married the sound to the picture. He started out with side A of the LP, which has mid-range pitch manual-advance tones. He assembled the piece in Final Cut Pro and then laid over the side B audio, which had low-frequency auto-advance tones which I had notched out. We just recently finished it, got permission from the original publisher and posted it to the AES’ YouTube page. Thanks to Peter Haas for scanning the filmstrip and Jay McKnight for doing very good Photoshop cleanup on the images (the filmstrips were manufactured on that type of film stock that fades out to red over time).”

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And that’s pretty much all I have been able to uncover regarding Reeves Sound Studios.  Hazard Reeves himself was a very public figure with a great number of technologies and awards to his credit; he started sixty companies in his lifetime, won an Oscar, helped introduce the blender to American kitchens, and owned a major audio-tape manufacturing facility just a stones-throw away from where I grew up in Danbury Connecticut.

7-inch reel late 60s frontAbove: a 7″ reel of consumer-grade Reeves Soundcraft audiotape, manufactured on Great Pasture road in Danbury CT.  

10-inch reel 1957 front10-inch reel 1957 rearAbove and left: a 10″ reel of industrial-grade Reeves audiotape.  T. Fine: “Interesting data on the rear of the box. This was sound-for-picture music work done at Reeves Studio B. The engineer was “J.H.”, most likely Jack Higgins, the engineer who made most of the Riverside jazz records at Reeves. You see notes for “Pic-Sync Fairchild,” meaning the tape was recorded on one of the studio’s Fairchild tape machines using the Pic-Sync system, which used a tone modulated at 14kHz to sync with motion-picture cameras and projectors. I can’t fully interpret the take sheet, but it looks like they were scoring to picture, with timing marks indicating footage from the film projector.”

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HazardReeves_w_CineramaSoundHead_c1948Above: Hazard Reeves with a Cinerama 6-channel sound-head circa 1948

Cinerama_6_channel_console_C1952Above: an unknown audio engineer operates the 6-channel playback console at a Cinerama movie theater circa 1952.

The 3-camera, 3-projector, 6-channel surround-sound film format known as Cinerama has proven to be Hazard Reeves’ principal legacy.  There is a ton of information online regarding this far-ahead-of-its-time quirk of film history, so I won’t repeat any of that here.  But I would like to point out how interesting it is that although Reeves possessed the technology to create 6-track magnetic audio masters as early as 1948 (as evinced by the image above), he did not chose to apply this technology to music recording.  We can only assume that this was because the musical aesthetics of the day simply did not require it.  In 1948, live music was still the paradigm of musical-sound; there was evidently not sufficient demand to build a console and studio workflow that would allow for multitracking and overdubbing until a decade later, ever though the actual recording technology evidently existed.  This begs the question of what technologies we currently posses that could be put to the service of creating entirely new musical aesthetics, but which we are dismissive of, or simply blind to.

Nonetheless, Reeves’ diversified and energetic ventures reveal a man who boldly took advantage of the emerging technologies of his era to develop better and more effective communication products.   Reeve’s assessment of the relation between media form and media message is stated quite eloquently in this passage he wrote in the November 1982 SMPTE Journal:

PullQuote

Show, don’t tell.  That’s the message here. And ultimately this is remains the critical factor in creating meaningful artwork and communication, regardless of the tools and technologies used to produce it.

Posted in Connecticut Audio History, Recording Studio History | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Suzanne Ciani profile in TECHNOLOGY magazine, 1982

Ciani_face_82Suzanne Ciani is a name that should be familiar to many of you.  Considered to be one of the true innovators of electronic music, Ciani found great success as a sound-designer for television and radio commercials in New York in the 70s and 80s.  After a very lucurative career, she returned to California and began a 2nd career as a recording artist; her music is often generalized as ‘new age,’ not surprisingly.

Ciani_HomeStudio_82There is just a ton of information online regarding Ciani and her work; I suggest you start here and here. Also if there is anyone out there who wants to redesign her website HOLY SHIT it’s like 1997 up in there.  Jesus.  Anyhow, I was at an estate sale recently, some real eccentric types; in the LPs were such gems at the United States Of America, Holy Modal Rounders, and The Remains. Not your typical 60s rock albums.   The piles of musty old magazines included graphic-designer fav U&lc, an old issue of Viva, and something called TECHNOLOGY, which was on its 2nd edition, 2nd issue by March of ’82.  Sorta like OMNI minus the fiction, TECHNOLOGY featured this profile with Ciani, which I think may have been lost to time… until now.  I offer it to you here:

DOWNLOAD: ciani_1982

Author is one Stephen Kindel.  The focus is very much on the economics of being an in-demand synthesist, which may have just been some 80s yuppie zeitgeist shit, or maybe some part of the magazine’s editorial mission.  Either way, it’s Karl Marx’s fucking nightmare.  Enjoy!   Oh, and here she is around the same time on Letterman, doing some sorta wacky proto Liz Lemon-meets-Kate Bush schtick.  Love it.

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