Category Archives: Pro Audio Archive

Gotham Pro Audio : Complete 1981/1982 Catalog

Download the complete 1981/1982 Gotham Audio catalog:

DL:  Gotham_Audio_1981

Products covered, with text, photos, and limited specs, include: Neumann U89, KMR 82, USM 69 microphones; VMS 80 Disk Mastering System; SP 79C Disk Cutting Program Control Consolel MT 80 Preview/Playback Tape Machine; SAL 74B Cutter Drive Logic; and SX 74 Dynamic Feedback Stereo Cutterhead;  EMT 251, 240, 245 reverb units and 162TS solid-state reverb amp for the 140; EMT 422 ad 424 flutter analyzer, Neumann RUMS 77 Rumble Meter; BASF PW 384 splicing cassette.

Above: the Lyrec TIM 4B tape timer for Scully and Ampex multitrack tape recorders.  A couple of years ago we purchased a beautiful Scully 284 8-track 1″ machine for Gold Coast Recorders; the sound was superb but ultimately we decided to install more modern (IE., 1980’s-era) tape machines for a variety of reasons – a principle concern was that the Scully has no timing facility whatsoever.  The thought of spending time searching blindly cueing the tape for punch-in points and overdubs was a bit disorienting to me, and I imagine it would be frustrating to performers as well.  I can’t imagine that there are too many of these Lyrec units out there in the wild but if you do own a Scully or Ampex, this would be a good get…

earlier GOTHAM AUDIO coverage on PS dot com:

Download the complete 1972 Gotham Audio catalog

Download the complete 1979 Gotham Audio catalog

The McCurdy SS8900 Mixing Console circa 1980

There seems to be zero information on the web concerning this particular mixing console, so i guess that’s where i come in.  Download a 4-page sales flier/spec sheet for the McCurdy SS8900 mixing console:

DL: McCurdy_SS8900

McCurdy was a Canadian – based manufacturer of broadcast audio equipment.  They seem to have had US operations in Massachusetts and Illinois at various points as well. It’s easy to find their modular mic pre amps and various metering units on eBay, but I’ve never encountered one of their consoles.  Anyone?

Click here to DL specs on their earlier 7700-series consoles via AmericanRadioHistory

Eventide Pro Audio Gear circa 1980

Download 17 pages of Eventide promotional material / data sheets and price lists circa 1979 – 1981:

DOWNLOAD: Eventide_1980

Products covered, with text, photos, and some specs, include: Harmonizer HM80, H949 and H910; LU618 de-glitch board (ooops); HK940 keyboard, FL 201 instant flanger and BPC 101 phaser card; 2830 omnipressor; BD955 Broadcast delay line 1745M delay line;  JJ193 delay line; TIMESQUEEZE system with PTC 945 precision tape controller; RD770 Monstermat mon/stereo matrioxing unit; and the Eventide Real Time Analyzer systems THS 224 and VTU02.

I am a big Eventide fan.  We have their classic H3000 Harmonizer at our studio Goldcoast Recorders (one of only two digital processors we’ve kept in the main mix room).  At home (where I don’t have room for a big outboard rack)I heavily depend on my Eventide Space reverb pedal, which is pretty likely the greatest effect pedal ever made.  I use it on literally every electric guitar and electric piano I record at home, and most synths as well.

I’ve had my eye on these early ‘compact’ HM80 harmonizers for a while; seems tough to find but would def tie the vintage synth ‘rig’ together.

One of my favorite patches in the SPACE (#19 ‘NEBULA’) models the above OMNIPRESSOR – it reverses the attack envelope of any sound.  Simple in principle, but the crazy part is it actually works.  I’d love a ‘real’ Omnipressor for the mix room at GoldCoast but these seem pretty much impossible to find for a reasonable sum.

Commodore PET anyone?  Of little interest to most, the download package contains a ton of info on Eventide’s PET-based RTA system.

Using vintage Eventide in your system?  Drop a line a weigh in.

“Microphones And Their Placement” from ‘The Aerovox Research Worker’ 1958

download a 6pp article on “Microphones And Their Placement” as published by the Aerovox Capacitor Corporation, 1958:
DOWNLOAD: Microphones and their placement
Written by Arthur Davis, Phillip Erhorn, and their team at Aerovox, the article offers an interesting historical perspective on microphone technique in the 1950s.

(image source)

If you’ve spent much time creeping around inside old electronic equipment, you have undoubtedly seen numerous examples of the capacitor shown above.  I really don’t have a super-strong sense of ‘how good’ Aerovox caps were as compared to their contemporaries, IE., how often they tend to need replacement, ETC,, but IIRC they tend to be more reliable than most 50’s foil caps.

“The Aerovox Research Worker” was a sort of ‘branded content’ marketing item that the company published from at least 1949 through 1958.  I recently picked up a large pile of these publications, and most focus on RF and TV applications.  This was the only one I could find that was audio-focused.  Enjoy. CR

Content! We got fresh content! 1940 RCA Sound System Proposal: Complete Documentation

Man how long has it been since i’ve posted some actual historical archival material? Months? Years? The problem is not a lack of new documents; quite the opposite.  I’ve amassed, and continue to horde, so much of this stuff that its totally fkkn overwhelming.  I need like an intern or seven to even have a chance of getting thru all this stuff before leave this earth.  So yeah instead i’ve been on Instagram instead.  It’s so much faster and easier and WTF even is a blog anyway?

DOWNLOAD A COMPLETE 13pp 1940 RCA SOUND SYSTEM PROPOSAL:  1940_RCA_PA_Proposal

Somethings, tho, are just too weird and interesting to ignore.  I found this jacketed proposal package for a 1940 church PA system.  Just the sort of audio historical flotsam that probably no one else ever bothered to preserve.  I can’t stand to see this stuff lost.  So here ya go.  If you ever wondered what those gigantic RCA amps and weird 77 variants cost new, who bought em, and how much those UrSoundBros got paid to install it… ANSWERS WITHIN.  enjoy. CR

Studio Outboard Gear Odds & Ends ’71- ’73

Urei_1176_1970Today: just a few things that caught my eye from ’71 -’73:  the ‘new’ black-cosmetic version of the Urei 1176, plus some odd bits from Soundcraftsmen and Sansui (I had no idea that they had made pro audio products), and another forgotten Quad-Eight rack device (see here for our earlier coverage of their very obscure reverb unit).  Also something called the ‘OP Reverberation’ …. anyone?  ,,,and a few unusual items from Martin.  Wrapping it up is the annoucement ad for the original API 525C, which has become one of my favorite compressors for vocals since we got one at Gold Coast Recorders.  If any of y’all are using the Martin or Quad-Eight kit, let us know!

Soundcraftsmen_RP10-12_1972Above: The Soundcraftsmen RP10-12 equalizer

Sansui_QSE_1_1971Above: The Sansui QSE-1 Quadraphonic Encoder

Quad-Eight_Filter_1972 Quad_Eight_1972Above: The Quad-Eight Variable Filter, Auto-Mix 23B compressor, EQ 312 channel EQ, and RV10 Reverb unitParasound_reverb_1971 Martin_Console_1972 MArtin_1972_2Above: the Martin SLM-1020B mixer, PEQ500 rackmount program EQ, and varispeed 3B tape machine speed controller.  API_525_1972

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

AES_1971_1AES_1971_2AES_1971_3AES_1971_4

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

Continue reading Highlights from the 1971 AES Convention

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

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).