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PBS documentary: "American Epic"

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  • PBS documentary: "American Epic"

    Jack White (The White Stripes, et al) produced this documentary surrounding a direct to shellac disc record recording machine built around 1920 by AT&T/Western Electric. It was one of 12 units produced, that has been restored to working order by an enthusiast over a 10 year period. The rest of the machines no longer exist, so this is the last and a relic of historic proportions in the recording industry. The tube amplifier used to increase the signal to cut the record is provided via a Western Electric amplifier. The first microphone in American history is used in the production of these (guessing) monaural recordings. It is also a genuine Western Electric unit. The machine is driven by a tensioned weight on a belt. When the weight hits the floor, the 4 minutes is up, and the recording process ends.

    I found it very interesting, and it held my attention. I highly recommend it!

    Later,
    Wolf
    "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
    "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
    "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
    "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

    *InDIYana event website*

    Photobucket pages:
    http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

    My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

  • #4
    I DVR'd this, looking forward to watching it.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

    http://www.diy-ny.com/

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    • #5
      I'll be watching this, it's at PBS.org.

      One day on a visit years ago I found an old laquer disc at my grandmother's farmhouse. I managed to use an old 78 rpm player I still had on-hand and mounted a Sure V15 Type IV stylus to it that helped to prevent skipping due to the many cracks in it. Maybe not the best idea, it actually cut in to the disc a little each play due to the stylus geometry (elliptical I believe), but my intent was to transfer to tape. Afterward I transferred tape to PC and used software to try to clean it up and enhance it a bit, with some success.

      This was recorded before I was born, probably in the early 50s. My family used to gather by the dinning room table to play and sing back then. One day a family friend brought a direct-to-disc recording system and recorded several takes of a few songs, complete with laughing when someone screwed up the vocals.

      My grandfather died when I was 18 months old, but I now know his voice from that recording. He also played a saw with a violin bow, which my father eventually learned, which I have no talent to play!

      dlr
      WinPCD - Windows .NET Passive Crossover Designer

      Dave's Speaker Pages

      Comment


      • #6
        This machine was demonstrated by Jack White on a late-night show, maybe Letterman? when it was completed. It souded like crap, but they sure had fun with it.
        Maybe search youtube?

        Comment


        • #7
          Originally posted by dlr View Post
          I'll be watching this, it's at PBS.org.

          One day on a visit years ago I found an old laquer disc at my grandmother's farmhouse. I managed to use an old 78 rpm player I still had on-hand and mounted a Sure V15 Type IV stylus to it that helped to prevent skipping due to the many cracks in it. Maybe not the best idea, it actually cut in to the disc a little each play due to the stylus geometry (elliptical I believe), but my intent was to transfer to tape. Afterward I transferred tape to PC and used software to try to clean it up and enhance it a bit, with some success.

          This was recorded before I was born, probably in the early 50s. My family used to gather by the dinning room table to play and sing back then. One day a family friend brought a direct-to-disc recording system and recorded several takes of a few songs, complete with laughing when someone screwed up the vocals.

          My grandfather died when I was 18 months old, but I now know his voice from that recording. He also played a saw with a violin bow, which my father eventually learned, which I have no talent to play!

          dlr
          Wow! That is so awesome dlr! I love hearing about cool things people and families did in the past. I have all my grandfather's trophies from when he was the national champion ice motorcycle racer in Sweden. I wish I had more pictures and such, but they were somewhat rare back then for the poor folks. I also wish I could have met him but he died a couple years before I was born.
          Craig

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          • #8
            I haven't seen ice motorcycle racing on TV in literally decades. I always thought those guys were crazy with spikes on tires!

            dlr
            WinPCD - Windows .NET Passive Crossover Designer

            Dave's Speaker Pages

            Comment


            • #9
              Originally posted by dlr View Post
              I haven't seen ice motorcycle racing on TV in literally decades. I always thought those guys were crazy with spikes on tires!
              Fun to watch, and likewise I haven't seen it in years.

              Google found this picture:
              Click image for larger version

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              "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
              of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
              - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
              A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
              (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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              • #10
                Jack White really knows his way around an industrial sewing machine
                Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                • #11
                  I have to say that impressed me as well, but I don't know that it surprised me at all. Jack is someone whom I feel would likely have his hand in a lot of pots. I was thinking he might ask them to do it for him, and was kinda stunned when he just sat down and did it himself. He seems like the type that maybe made his own clothing at least once.

                  Sewing is a good skill to have, man or woman. I learned a bit back in school, and from my mother and grandmother, but I don't think I could do more than sew a button back on. I definitely could not darn my socks. Alterations? Forget it! My mom has made wedding dresses, including her own, and done MANY alterations for fit and finish. I don't think my sister could do any better at it than me. My wife can do some things with the machine, but has a 'love to hate' relationship with the Janome she calls hers. I have a lot of respect for seamstresses, and the like, because it is a skill to think it or dream it and be able to sew it into reality.

                  Later,
                  Wolf
                  "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                  "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                  "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                  "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                  *InDIYana event website*

                  Photobucket pages:
                  http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                  My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by dlr View Post
                    I haven't seen ice motorcycle racing on TV in literally decades. I always thought those guys were crazy with spikes on tires!

                    dlr

                    Bike shops out here carry the spikes and do the conversion. Long bouts of winter have a habit of making for restless choices.

                    And for something less intense but crazy enough:
                    http://velocitymotorsportsnews.com/t...t-sandy-beach/

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                      Sewing is a good skill to have, man or woman. I learned a bit back in school, and from my mother and grandmother, but I don't think I could do more than sew a button back on. I definitely could not darn my socks. Alterations? Forget it! My mom has made wedding dresses, including her own, and done MANY alterations for fit and finish. I don't think my sister could do any better at it than me. My wife can do some things with the machine, but has a 'love to hate' relationship with the Janome she calls hers. I have a lot of respect for seamstresses, and the like, because it is a skill to think it or dream it and be able to sew it into reality.

                      Later,
                      Wolf
                      You should see my momís quilt making machine, itís as sophisticated as many CNC routers you see here and made of the same stuff, 80/20 aluminum extrusions. Rotary encoders detect your movements and stitch accordingly with a servo motor, Windows CE controller. She made me install the upgrade from a stepper motor drive to the servo drive for more precise stitching. Nuts.
                      Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Click image for larger version

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                        My thoughts were always what can happen in the event of a mishap involving more than one rider.

                        dlr
                        WinPCD - Windows .NET Passive Crossover Designer

                        Dave's Speaker Pages

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          My father gave me a late 1940s recording record player/radio his Uncle Harry had. I recall it provided music in a barn dance my parents put on when I was all of perhaps 3. The hayride before the dance was behind a team, and the hay loose, not bailed that is. As a small child we used the record player mic and speaker for a "talking pumpkin" one Halloween. There was a recording of my mother singing, probably from before I was born. I wish I had that recording. I plan to have the cartridge and cutting head(?) rebuilt someday, restore the radio and turntable, and see what my grandsons make of it.

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