[78-L] Vertical and Lateral

Douglas M. Elliot dme3 at cornell.edu.invalid
Tue Oct 22 09:07:51 PDT 2019

True for just about all lateral electrical recording systems, not just 
Victor's, which was of course Western Electric...if you record with 
constant velocity, the groove amplitude gets greater with decreasing 
frequency and the result is bass that can't be tracked effectively as 
well as shorter playing time.  Despite the lack of established 
standards, most companies made the same decision to record with constant 
amplitude below 200 or 250Hz, resulting in a roll-off of about 6dB per 
octave below the turnover point.  It was the birth of the "curve", which 
over time included treble pre-emphasis & various turnover points & 
shelves, etc.

Having said that, there was "sweetening" added to that basic curve 
almost from the start.  The Western Electric equipment contained a 
rather complex bass filter with multiple settings that could be adjusted 
for each recording.  Though I don't have any documentary evidence,  my 
ears tell me that Victor (and possibly others) developed a unique "house 
sound" that probably involved electronics as well as miking and studio 
acoustics.  Anyone have any info on this? After listening to thousands 
of Victors, particularly, it's something I've always wondered about.

On 10/22/2019 11:06 AM, Ron Roscoe wrote:
> When Victor introduced the "Scroll" Orthophonic electrical recordings, they also had to introduce bass rolloff to the recording head to preserve the playing time of the 10" record.  It was one thing to have tightly spaced lateral grooves when recording by the acoustical method because the process couldn't record much of anything below 250 Hz, which is roughly middle C.  But now you have to deal with the wide lateral stylus swings that electrical recording produces when you can record frequencies as low as 50 Hz!!  Groove spacing gets very wide without pre-equalization!
> Ron Roscoe

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