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25 March 2011

Extinct Media / rugged, affordable rooftop solar panels powering CD deck / Stockham drags Caruso decades into the future

Yeah, sure, click on images.

There used to be -- maybe still is -- a fascinating e-List called "Extinct Media" which gloried in ancient vanished unsupported sound and image formats -- 8-tracks of course, pre-roll-film glass photographic plates, Edison recording cylinders, piano rolls for the amazing circa-1905 Welte player piano, etc. (Welte playback was robot fingers and feet which could play any piano exactly as the human pianist had.)

On a freighter/ferry voyage up the coast of Labrador and back -- cheap, and maybe still taking tourists -- we stopped at Red Bay (once red with whale blood) and in the tiny ancient general store I saw a gorgeous Edison phonograph on display. When the storekeeper saw me drooling over it, she inserted a cylinder, wound the thing up, and a foxtrot from around 1900 squawked out of the giant sound horn. The contraption reproduced music (and speeches from the great orators of the day) entirely without electricity.

The Stockham Soundstream process (1976, Dr. Thomas G. Stockham Jr.) was the first use of digital computers to transcribe and manipulate -- clean up -- archival analog sound. Stockham discovered that most of the distortion on pre-microphone pre-electronic recordings wasn't due to scratches or dirt/dust imbedded in the grooves, but was caused by the singer(s) and orchestra having to aim their sound into a big horn, which would concentrate the sound waves to mechanically wiggle the needle to cut analog grooves on the rotating master cylinder. 

His first big project was RCA's Caruso recordings. Once digitized, Stockham was able to mathematically filter out most of the collecting horn distortion. RCA released Stockham-processed Caruso LPs, which leapfrogged the listening quality of Caruso's arias from squawky, hissy 1902 mechanical embarrassments to a sound quality very much like 1930s Billie Holiday electronically amplified microphone recordings. For the first time you could really appreciate the opera voice of a lifetime, you could hear what all the ballyhoo was about.

Most of the Caruso tracks were made in Italy before Caruso had ever toured and was unknown. The RCA field recordist paid Caruso $25 a song. When the home office in London learned that their field recordist was incinerating these outrageous sums on this dubious project, they cabled him to cancel the session, but it was too late. The Caruso cylinders "made" the phonograph, launching it, and recorded sound, into a must-have item in every home.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:51 PM
Subject: Re: [GeigerCounterEnthusiasts] Re: 2 items from today's Electronic Goldmine e-mail flyer

up here in the great northeast - home of Uconn womens basketball (the men ain't too bad this year also) - we have upgraded to those new things called cassette decks - much smaller and, with the new "walkman" technology, they are as portable as those transistor radios you here about now!!  ain't that a hoot!   Rick

--- On Thu, 3/24/11, tedtedted***** wrote:

From: tedtedted*****
Subject: [GeigerCounterEnthusiasts] Re: 2 items from today's Electronic Goldmine e-mail flyer
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 8:39 PM
Oh, Rick... That was a low blow!! Actually, it is a six disk changer that I pulled out of my car when I replaced it with the bluetooth deck. Truth be told, I do, in fact have an 8-track tape machine, but it's a reel to reel deck I once used in an old recording studio my brother and I owned years ago. It's sitting in a closet, in perfect condition and fully aligned. And... that's just where it will probably stay until the poor sod who has to liquidate all my junk upon my demise finds it!!

--- In, R******* a**** wrote:
> sounds like all those old/ancient 8-track player found a home (where else but in TEXAS!!!!)
> Â
> Rick
> --- On Thu, 3/24/11, tedtedted0001 wrote:
> From: tedtedted*****
> Subject: [GeigerCounterEnthusiasts] Re: 2 items from today's Electronic Goldmine e-mail flyer
> To:
> Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 8:16 PM

> For whatever it's worth, Harbor Freight has a 45 watt solar panel kit for just over $200. I've got one, had it about a year, no problems of any kind. It's been hit pretty hard a couple of times by hail (Texas style thunderstorms can produce hail the size of softballs). Not so much as a crack. Comes with a 12v battery charger regulator. I charge a car battery which is hooked to an old UPS inverter. It provides 110vac to my little pagoda in the backyard and I took a 12v tap off of the battery to run an old car stereo mounted on a marine housing to provide tunes while relaxing. I strung up a cheap (really cheap) ceiling fan under the pagoda thing that actually works quite well. As I say, for whatever it's worth......
> ted


Vleeptron Dude said...

This comment got lost in the Ozone, re-posting.

patfromch has left a new comment on your post "Extinct Media / rugged, affordable rooftop solar p...":

Of course it is not the same, but these recordings and some others that were illegally (made without his knowledge) made during his Met performances can be found legally here since they are in the public domain: has stored quite a lot of old 78 rpm's, ranging from some of the first Edison recordings to WW1 propaganda records to early Jazz. they also have tons of old time radio and live gigs ranging from Cowboy Junkies to the Minutemen, all legal. Plus movies, cartoons,propaganda classics like Duck And cover etc. Al in the Public Domain and free & legal to download.

Posted by patfromch to Vleeptron_Z at Friday, 25 March, 2011

Florida solar panels said...

Solar panels will help you manage your bills. It's like you are having the electricity for free. It's eco-friendly too.