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Author Topic: Recording speed fluctuations?  (Read 535 times)

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Offline frailer24

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Recording speed fluctuations?
« on: September 25, 2012, 09:43:39 PM »
Listening to the Muddy Waters LoC recordings and noticed on "Pearlie Mae Blues" the whole song is marred by a technical modulation from Bb to B natural! Are there other examples on commercial records, and what exactly are the factors behind this unpleasant phenomonon?
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Stuart

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 10:27:07 PM »
Variations in the recording speed when using a disk cutter. Mississippi John Hurt's "Frankie" is a prime example. IIRC, one  of Son House's LoC recordings also exhibits the phenomenon, although it wasn't a commercial recording.

Offline Westside

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2012, 10:41:54 PM »
Could be that the power supply wasn't that great?

Offline frailer24

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 01:02:38 AM »
Westside, I have asked that myself a few times. I have also heard a recording on the LoC site (sadly now unfindable there) which started out great, but eventually sped up into chipmunk territory. There was at least one 78 I owned that started in the key of G, halfway thru was in A, and by the end, nearly in F. I am thinking some possible human error on that one.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2012, 02:08:33 AM »
In some cases, it was a man winding the machine and he varied the speed from time to time. There was a big investigation many years ago by Chris Smith into the Atlanta 1930 recordings of the likes of Barbecue Bob. If my memory serves me well, there was a case for material being cut at 72 rpm rather than 78 rpm. The (valid) argument was put forward that this was why the voices of popular bluesmen seemed to vary on record, yet they were still recognisable as themselves.

Bunker Hill probably has the details.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
Barbecue Bob

Offline frailer24

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2012, 03:40:04 AM »
I also believe that it is possible, based on a friend's record cutter, it could also have been an accidental brush of the speed control.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline lindy

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2012, 10:02:03 AM »
We've had a number of new members join Weenie in the last month -- welcome to you all, we're happy to have more people who are interested in the country blues.

But I do want to encourage y'all to make use of the search box on the left-hand side of each page. We've been around for enough years now that old topics like slide set-ups, finger picks versus no finger-picks, and recording speed are making their second (sometimes third) appearances as "new" threads.

You may be able to save some time reinventing wheels by taking a few minutes to search through past threads. New insights that haven't been mentioned before are always welcomed.

L

Offline Westside

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2012, 10:35:17 AM »
But I do want to encourage y'all to make use of the search box on the left-hand side of each page. We've been around for enough years now that old topics like slide set-ups, finger picks versus no finger-picks, and recording speed are making their second (sometimes third) appearances as "new" threads.
I apologize.  I did do a search for slide set-up before I made my post.  I guess I just wasn't satisfied with what I had found.  Next time should I just add my post to one that came up during a search?

Offline lindy

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 11:53:15 AM »

Case-by-case, Ryan, in some situations a new thread is called for. But often the revival of an old thread lets other folks see what's already been said on a topic before they jump in.

L

Offline Rivers

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 05:56:10 PM »
I'd second lindy's advice there. Fact is, new threads covering old topics usually get merged back into the relevant previous threads eventually since we like to be tidy and efficient. Weenie's been around for ages and is fixing to be around for a lot longer and one of the the keys to that is accumulating hard, easy to parse, info.

Concentrating the contributions adds a lot of value. So while we are also a general discussion forum there is a body of prior knowledge and art already established, and to which everyone is invited to contribute. Old threads never go stale and we encourage you to locate them and add more value to them.

In addition to the search box I'd also recommend you check out the tag index. It's on the top menu bar. It will transport you to a world unknown, here.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 06:04:06 PM by Rivers »

Offline frailer24

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Re: Recording speed fluctuations?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2012, 03:43:03 AM »
If this topic needs to be merged, so be it. I am working from my cellphone and have a limited amount of what is shown.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

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