Thursday, December 01, 2011

Four walls . . . and a 78

Stand back, people. I got my geek on.

And I'm gonna show you something. More precisely, I'm going to let you hear something.

First, however, the setup. In three . . . two . . . one. . . .

IT'S IRONIC that, after introducing the 45 almost a decade earlier, RCA Victor had pretty much perfected the 78 rpm record by 1957. As I told you in an earlier post that sadly lacked an audio-visual component apart from a snapshot of an old Elvis record, RCA's "'New Orthophonic' High Fidelity" was all that.

Let's once again say that like my Elvis 78s, this old Jim Reeves record -- after 54 years and God knows how many plays -- sounds better than most new vinyl today, what there is of new vinyl today, and better than a lot of CDs being cranked out today. Imagine when it was brand new. . . .

Anyway, I've been telling people how it has been all but lost to history how good 78s could sound, and now I've decided to show you. Enjoy.

AND NOW the technical notes. . . .


The video was shot with a Nikon CoolPix L20 digital camera. Ambient audio was recorded with a Studio Projects C1 condenser microphone, while the audio from the 78 was off the Webcor record changer's phono output. Both the phono out and the mic output were fed into a Soundcraft stereo mixer, then into a professional sound card.

The audio was recorded to a WAV file with Adobe Audition software, then synced to the Nikon video. The audio track was not cleaned up in any way, just normalized to 98 percent modulation.


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