1949: Build your own Disc-Recorder!

DIY_DiscRecorder_imageDownload a four-page article from RADIO-ELECTRONICS, 4/1949, on the subject of ‘build your own disc recorder’:

DOWNLOAD: DIY_DiscRecorder1949

DR_SchemAbove: the schematic.  I can’t say that I have ever hand-built an audio unit that also required dynamic mechanical components, IE., moving parts.  Seems rather ambitious.  In 1949 the tape recorder was already becoming part of American media production, if not daily consumer life.  Disc recorders were soon to become a thing of the past.


Live Remote Record/Mix For The Alternate Routes

AltRtsOhMyMyHow y’all doing… srry that the fresh content has been slow to come lately; I’ve been blessed with a full plate, production-wise, lately, so there has been little time for writing.  Expect some interesting new posts + project-build-notes in early January.  In the meanwhile, I wanted to take a moment to share the results of a really rewarding project that I was part of recently.  The Alternate Routes have been spending some time with me at GCR lately, and while none of that material has been released yet, I did a live multi-track and mix for them at The Quick Center in Fairfield CT on October 19th and they have made a few of those tracks available on YouTube with some great-looking multicam video footage by Mike Falzone.  The band hired me that night to capture a Protools session with every input iso’d, which is easy enough…  the wrinkle was that they wanted to be able to sell a recording of the set at the event itself.   In the lobby.  As the audience was leaving the venue. So using my Mackie ONYX 1640 mixer/firewire interface and a handful of outboard gear I did a live mix and a multitrack, both to Protools, and then quickly ‘mastered’ the stereo mixes during the encore; The Alternate Routes-logo’d USB drives were then quickly made and shuffled out of my little production suite backstage and out to the merch table.  It’s basically the equivalent of doing a live TV mix, but with the additional task of getting the isos.  Ten years ago I think this would have required a Remote Truck, but god bless technology (yup i said it), I was able to do this, properly, with inexpensive gear that fit in one load of my GMC Sierra.  The band was pleased with the results of the live mix, and so what yr hearing here is just how my fingers moved the faders while the band played.  Here’s “Oh My My,” which opened the concert.

Those of you who follow my Tumblr may recall that I posted a snapshot of my lil’ setup during the event:

tumblr_mcan3j9mVj1ru7m9to1_1280Pretty minimal tools; 6 channels of comps and a TC FX unit; this is actually just the outboard rack for my PA-Hire system.   The Mackie was fed via a Whirlwind transformer split (thanks K!) by my usual live-sound-kit mics; basically Shure Betas with a pair of SM81s in the audience and a few special additions.  On a more ‘Preservation Sound’ note, if you pay attention to Eric’s guitar sound: this actually proved to be the most difficult part of the equation to get right, and it required dipping deep into my mic cabinet for a vintage Sennheiser MD409.  Nothing else that I tried on Eric’s Badcat Amp seemed to do the trick.   The 409 is unfortunately extraordinarily expensive these days due its close association with both Pink Floyd and Stevie Ray Vaughan.  If you have the chance to pick one up for a reasonable price, I would highly recommend you try it out.  It really is a pretty special dynamic mic; certainly not for everything, but it does have a unique quality to it.

MoonshiningGetting back to the band: they have also posted a few other songs from the evening, including Moonshining and Stay.   Check ’em out; they really are are a fine group.

Demo! (first in a series)

A Roland CR-8000, a piano, a shit-tonne of echo, and Phil Collins circa 1980.  Sounds incredibly modern.   Click here or watch below.  I had a CR-8000 alongside my TR-606  for some years; I had it midi sync’d via my MSQ-700.  I still have the MSQ and the TR, but the CR-8000 was transmuted into ‘RENT’ sometime around 2001.  Miss it.  I paid $25 for it at ALTEL on Main Street in Bridgeport; they are tough to find for under $500 these days.

1958 Bozak Hi-Fi Speaker Catalog

Courtesy of reader T.F., download the complete 1958 Bozak speaker catalog.  BTW, I am trying the PNG graphics format for the first time, so if this post displays incorrectly please let me know in the comments section.


Products covered include the Bozak B-400, B-300, B-305, B-310, and B-302 hi fi speaker systems, as well as the B-199A, B-209, B-200x, B-207A, and B-200xA drivers.  Bozak N-10102, N-103, and N-104 crossovers are also described.  Bozak apparently also offered all of their 1958 systems as baffle-only, intended for custom installation work…

Bozak was a CT -based operation and we’re proud to have had ’em.  Click this link for our scan of the 1970 Bozak catalog.

1950: Profitable Opportunities Await Capable Sound Technicians!

Since we’re on the subject of antique hi-fi installs… download a three-page article from RADIO-ELECTRONICS, April 1950, on the subject of the burgeoning custom-installation business for hifi equipment (via opportunities-await-you).  Author is one William Rivkin.

DOWNLOAD: CustomHiFi_1950

When I was a child my family moved into a circa 1930s home (renovated circa 1965) that had one of these custom installs.  I can’t recall what brand of drivers were installed, but the amp was a Harmon-Kardon, stereo, with (I think…) 6BQ5s.  The Ttable was likely a Garrard.  I really think that the particular smell that the amp made was one the things that fascinated me the most about it; shortly thereafter I picked out my first guitar amp (thanks Mom+Dad), an excellent-sounding brand-new Fender Champ 12.  I remember the gtr-store salesmen being completely shocked that a child wanted a tube amp, rather than something with Mega-Distortion and Chorus; perhaps I should have told him that I was attracted to the smell.  The Harmon Kardon, I believe, I gave away to a high-school classmate named Matt Tebbe; Matt, if yr still out there, drop us a line and let us know if you stuck with the tube thing.  I definitely have…

Single-tube audio oscillator c. 1946

Download a four-page article from RADIO NEWS, November 1946, containing data and plans for constructing a surprisingly simple tube audio oscillator.  Author is R.W. Ehrlich.

DOWNLOAD: SimpleTubeAudioOsc

One 6SN7 tube plus a handful of caps, resistors, and pots (oh and a power supply).  12 of these would make the basis of a pretty interesting synthesizer.  I was wondering what I was gonna do with the 100000 6SN7s I have accumulated.  Why so many 6SN7s?  It’s like the Whipped Cream And Other Delights of used vacuum tubes.  At least one in every pile.