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 Post subject: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:00 am 
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Victor II
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Posts: 342
Anyone know anything about this record? It is for sale right now for $90, which is too expensive for my taste, but the historical significance of this record is simply incredible.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:39 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 723
Location: Italy
Yes, very well known. There has been a looooong debate over the years about wether it is a studio reenactment or real sounds recorded "on the field". To make such a long story short:

- points of those in favour: the operator died few weeks later due to gas poisoning (well not exactly, however for a lung disease, possibly worsened by toxic gas), period witnesses who affirmed that what you hear in the record are the correct sounds for a shell gas bombardment, the "double-bang" sound at each shot is a resonance of a recording funnel and hence a period-appropriate recording device was used;

- point of those who affirm that it's a reenactment: the reverse-doppler effect of the flying bombs is absolutely nonsense and to some degree even ridicolous, the "double-bang" sound of the shot is unrealistic and unreasonable, the orders given by the commander couldn't be heard by attendants above the noise of a bombardment so it must be a reenactment.

I have tried in many occasions to add this record to my collection as I though it would make a tremendous addition to my centenary commemoration Il Suono Della Grande Guerra, but unfortunately it's a rare record that demands high prices and even though I was ready to pay a reasonable amount for it I have been always outbid by wealthy persons.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:04 am 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
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Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The current issue of the CLPGS magazine "For the Record" contains a long and well researched article about this record and the controversy which surrounds it. It's conclusion is that this was a genuine field recording which may have been "enhanced" in the recording studio before release. Some of the "booms" sound suspiciously like drum beats.

The recording engineer was Will Gaisberg who, already weakened by his exposure to gas, died in the 1918 influenza pandemic.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:28 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 723
Location: Italy
And how was the reverse-doppler sound effect of the projectiles addressed in the article?

Although some (but not all!) period witnesses testified that it was the correct sound they recalled, all of the artillerists that over time were interviewed about this point said that there is no projectile on earth that delivers a reverse-doppler sound when shot, may it be heard from in front of, behind, aside or below its trajectory.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:16 am 
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Victor O
to own an electrola is a blessing
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:50 pm
Posts: 96
Location: northeast nj
travisgreyfox wrote:
Anyone know anything about this record? It is for sale right now for $90, which is too expensive for my taste, but the historical significance of this record is simply incredible.

Well,
I bought it.
I have a keen interest as well in anything World War One and when I saw this and read what you all had to say, this feeling (you all know what it is) came over me that I really wanted this.THE HISTORY of this is what motivates me.
Thank you all for highlighting this..I never would have come across it.
If it is not genuine,well worse things could happen to me in my life.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:30 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 723
Location: Italy
Well done. I would have also bought it, but the very likely chance that it was going to be shattered while traveling overseas, as well as the fact that considered shipping, duties and so on I would have received it well over the 4th of November, made me pass the hand. Enjoy it!

At the last sale in which I participated (26th of August) I was outbid at £103, which due to change is way over the $90 you paid for it, so you can also consider your purchase a very good deal.

At this point in history, wether it is true or fake is secondary. It's like the Holy Shroud: possibly nobody would ever be able to prove wether it's true or fake, but it has become a symbol of the life of Christ and of the devotion of millions of christians over the centuries nonetheless. It gained a cult status (literally) per se.

In any case and all considered, it's still what comes closer to hearing the real sound of the Great War. Quite amazingly, there are no other sound recordings. Which gets even more amazing if you consider that, conversely, film images from all fronts are overabundant.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:25 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:25 pm
Posts: 342
[quote="victor 15-1"][quote="travisgreyfox"]Anyone know anything about this record? It is for sale right now for $90, which is too expensive for my taste, but the historical significance of this record is simply incredible.[/quote]
Well,
I bought it.
I have a keen interest as well in anything World War One and when I saw this and read what you all had to say, this feeling (you all know what it is) came over me that I really wanted this.THE HISTORY of this is what motivates me.
Thank you all for highlighting this..I never would have come across it.
If it is not genuine,well worse things could happen to me in my life.[/quote]



Congrats on the purchase. If I could have afforded it I would have not hesitated to buy it.



Thanks for all the great info everybody.


With all of this WW1 talk I must add that today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. 192,000 American and French casualties, as well as 126,000 German men by the bloody end.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse-Argonne_Offensive


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:24 am 
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Victor O
to own an electrola is a blessing
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:50 pm
Posts: 96
Location: northeast nj
travisgreyfox wrote:
victor 15-1 wrote:
travisgreyfox wrote:
Anyone know anything about this record? It is for sale right now for $90, which is too expensive for my taste, but the historical significance of this record is simply incredible.

Well,
I bought it.
I have a keen interest as well in anything World War One and when I saw this and read what you all had to say, this feeling (you all know what it is) came over me that I really wanted this.THE HISTORY of this is what motivates me.
Thank you all for highlighting this..I never would have come across it.
If it is not genuine,well worse things could happen to me in my life.




Congrats on the purchase. If I could have afforded it I would have not hesitated to buy it.



Thanks for all the great info everybody.


With all of this WW1 talk I must add that today is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. 192,000 American and French casualties, as well as 126,000 German men by the bloody end.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meuse-Argonne_Offensive

Airplanes,Submarines,Machine Guns,Tanks,Wireless,Flame Throwers..all things that make this the first mechanized war. And people at the time took pride in the fact that this was the first war where more died from battle than disease.And the great 1918 flu thrown in to boot..such a horrible time to have a fascination for but I am drawn to take in as much about it as I can!


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:19 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm
Posts: 717
OK, you got me on the reverse doppler effect. How would it have been produced in 1918 for objects traveling through air? Air doesn't have the right physical properties to produce this effect. I know that it has been observed in more recent times but only for such exotic materials as known as metamaterials. These are not naturally occurring materials and were not available in 1918 and not for many years. If this record includes a recording of an object (missile) supposedly moving towards the listener but somehow the pitch is made artificially lower (longer wavelength), then that's not really the reverse doppler effect but an artifact of the recording process.

But I've been wrong before so if anyone would care to enlighten me, I'm all ears.


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 Post subject: Re: Recorded WW1 Sounds
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:36 am 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:42 am
Posts: 3479
Location: Western Canada
Here is a thread where this record is discussed in detail...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=17991&p=104985&hilit=gas+shell#p104985

Also, starting at the bottom of this page in this thread...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1349&hilit=gas+shell&start=50

Forum member Starkton posted on page 7 a write up from Hillandale News that sheds some great info.

Here is the story of the gas shell record, cited from the Hillandale News, Nr. 36, p. 106:

On 8th October 1918 William Gaisberg and a team of three others left Charing Cross en route for France planned to make a recording of the Royal Garrison Artillery heavy gas shell attack on the German lines at Lille as it transpired, just before the town was entered by the British. On the drive from Boulogne, a good deal of it through desolated countryside only just vacated by the retreating Germans, they were issued with tin helmets and given instruction in the use of gas masks. A short distance from Lille they reached a row of shattered cottages in one of which the Heavy Siege Battery of the R.G A had set up its Head Quarters.

On his return to London Mr. Gaisberg wrote;- "In the wrecked kitchen we unpacked our recording machine and made our preparations before getting directly behind a battery of great 4-5 inch guns and 6 inch howitzers, camouflaged until they looked at close quarters like giant insects. Here, the machine could well catch the finer sounds of the ‘singing’ the’ whine’ and the ‘scream’ of the shells and the terrific reports when they left the guns. A satisfactory recording was obtained and at dusk the equipment was packed away and the return journey to London was begun, The team and their equipment arrived safely home only fifty—two hours from the time of their departure from Charing Cross."
[...]
Perhaps the feelings it aroused at that time can best be conveyed by an extract from a letter by Major C J C Street, M C of the Royal Garrison Artillery. It was published in the ‘Voice’ for December 1918.
"One can hear the whole process of bombardment in its minutest detail, for it must be remembered that this record was made upon the actual battlefield, and depicts a short period of the ordinary life of a Battery the order to load comes the clang of the hundred—pound shell as it is rammed home into the breech of the big howitzer then the roar in response to the word ‘Fire’, and, lastly the whine of the shell as it speeds on its way. So fine is the recording that when Number Three fires a round, one can detect the characteristic note that reveals the fact. By what other method could so vivid a picture be conveyed? [...]"

End of quote.

The HMV recording ledgers show that at least two successful recordings were taken on 9th October 1918, referred to as "Gas shells. Big Siege Guns", and processed on 18th October 1918. It seems that only one of these, mx. 3479af, was issued, while mx. 3480af was held as reserve.

William Conrad Gaisberg died on 5th November 1918.

Because of the Gas Shell Bombardment recording in my collection I bought a book about the sounds of guns and bullets in World War I, published in 1925. I haven't analysed it yet. The authors collected witness statements from German and French soldiers.


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