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 Post subject: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:05 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 92
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
I have recently begun to experiment with home recording. I have an Edison Standard B, a good if shabby workhorse with a very steady motor, and a mica-diaphragm New Recorder (ser. no. 47072, a relatively early example with a side-arm), but I have also found that I can get useful service from a German-made (EWC) floating recorder fitted to a Columbia Q which probably dates from 1901. The Q has proved to be perfectly capable of recording the full length of a standard cylinder without losing pitch, even at speeds as low as 117 r.p.m. (This was an accident, the regulator having been jarred while I moved the machine about; I usually record at 120, which allows fully three minutes for music after a short announcement.)

Two more advantages of the Q: its open construction and unpainted surfaces make it much easier to clean off the swarf after recording, and it has the right kind of reproducer and stylus for playing back brown-wax cylinders.

The recorder needed a new diaphragm, the original glass component having shattered. I initially fitted one which I cut from a piece of scrap plastic (PET) taken from the packaging of a pack of light bulbs, and this crude improvisation gave results indistinguishable from those of the Edison. (I also use a plastic diaphragm on the Columbia reproducer.) Later, however (after the accompanying pictures were taken), I installed a 33mm glass diaphragm, supplied through the good offices of Norman Bruderhofer. This seems to be more sensitive; it picks up vocal sounds such as ch and sh, which the other two configurations do not.

Herewith are pictures of my 'studio' and of the recorder with its chisel-shaped cutter. The speakers, connected to a laptop, supplied the piano or organ accompaniment; when singing, I had to hunch myself over them in order to get my face near enough to the 610mm brass horn. Later on I propped up the Q still higher so that the mouth of the horn was partly above the speakers and I could stand a little more upright, though the posture is still far from ideal.

Unfortunately my attempts to digitise the resulting records have been thwarted by the limitations of my laptop; it has no microphone jack and the built-in microphone is useless for this purpose. I have not yet solved this problem and should be grateful if anyone could recommend a cheap but serviceable audio-recording device. Meanwhile, however, I hope it will be of some interest to know what the little Columbia machine and its simple recorder can do.

Oliver Mundy.

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File comment: Another view, with Plato the cat in his usual supervisory role
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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:47 am 
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Victor II
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 446
Location: North Oregon Coast
I use a small device that has proved to work very well. It costs just under $30 on Amazon.com and takes analog output and provides either analog or USB output. I record all my music via the USB port in my computer. It works great for me and is really easy to use. Search Amazon or elsewhere for Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222. I attached a picture of it.

Attachment:
Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222.jpg
Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222.jpg [ 19.92 KiB | Viewed 129 times ]


I also use THE CANAPHONIC ARCHIVETTE to feed the sound from a cylinder machine horn connection on top of the reproducer. That wouldn't work so well on a floating reproducer machine, but it works on Edison and Columbia machines with reproducers that hold a horn. Anyway, for more information on this device check out http://r.ebay.com/zrEF2y.
-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


Last edited by melvind on Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:59 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 92
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
melvind wrote:
I use a small device that has proved to work very well. It costs just under $30 on Amazon.com and takes analog output and provides either analog or USB output. I record all my music via the USB port in my computer. It works great for me and is really easy to use. Search Amazon or elsewhere for Behringer U-CONTROL UCA222 . . .


Thank you, Dan! This device is available here (England) for about GBP25.00, I find, and it may well be the very thing I need.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:46 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 92
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
With the aid of the Behringer device as mentioned above, I have now been able to digitise some of my own recordings and also a couple of original items from the end of the nineteenth century, and have posted these on a new web page: http://www.oliviastationery.co.uk/cylin ... rding.html. I hope to develop this further, with additional samples and images, but it is a beginning.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:57 pm 
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Victor I
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"Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?" - Graham Chapman
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:45 pm
Posts: 153
Quite interesting, Oliver! I have often thought of recording on a Columbia Q, as it would prove excellent for field recording. I am glad someone is taking a look at recording on a non-Edison machine.

Good job, and good luck!
SOUSA, The March King, says:

"Your 'VICTOR' and 'MONARCH' Records are all right."


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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Victor II
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 446
Location: North Oregon Coast
I am glad to hear the little Behringer device is working for you. An interesting project and it looks like you are having a terrific time playing with your phonograph!
-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


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 Post subject: Re: Recording cylinders with non-Edison equipment
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:04 am 
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Victor IV
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A new blank with authentic formula and spiral core!
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
Posts: 1337
Location: 615 1/2 South Main Street Princeton IL 61356.
The RTV blue silicone gasket and the glass diaphragm I am sure do work well, I have done similar tests on the studio recorder, and home recorders. If you know of people who have interest in obtaining more cupped point center stili, Chuck Richards needs to know to get the ball rolling. I make new blanks by the way. I will have some for sale on Facebook soon, on the North American Phonograph Company.


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