Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

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bart1927
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Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by bart1927 »

Here's another one of my favorites: Vincent Lopez and His Casa Lopez Orchestra with "Scatter Your Smiles", recorded September 24, 1926, with a vocal chorus by Irving Kaufman. It does not say so on the label, but I guess this is another one of those infamous Light Ray Electric Recordings.

Enjoy!

richardh

Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by richardh »

Great disk Bart. I like this tune...so typical of the mid 20's. If this is a light ray electric rcording, then it doesn't sound too bad. I've often wondered what exactly is meant by a light ray recording. Is anyone able to give a simple explanation?

RJ 8-)

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WDC
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by WDC »

Great tune, Bart - love the announcement!

By now I only knew the German Tri-Ergon film recording procedure which they used from about 1927 until the early 30's, as far as I remember. They would make an optical film recordings at 3 meters (ca. 10 ft.) per second and would then make the wax master from it. They sound quality was rather poor and muffled, as I think but still better than other early electrics.

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Viva-Tonal
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by Viva-Tonal »

The original Brunswick 'light-ray' process had to do with a crude microphone that operated by sound waves that were concentrated onto a tiny mirror. A beam of light aimed at this mirror was made to move back and forth by way of the sound waves, and this movement of the beam was focussed onto a photocell. What was picked up on the photocell was amplified and used to drive an electromagnetic cutting head recording on a wax blank. It sounds crude, and it was. This was called the pallophotophone. Most of these recordings sound notably poorer than their acoustic records did. They soon got hold of a proper condenser microphone which greatly improved the records' quality before 1926 was over.

At this point, you're likely wondering, why didn't Brunswick just get a Western Electric recording system like Victor and Columbia did? Western Electric refused to license or sell equipment to any other record manufacturers but Victor and Columbia. (And they had to pay license royalties to WE on every copy sold of every record made with the WE technology. This is part of why Columbia marked the electric masters with a W, and Victor, VE.)

So manufacturers like General Electric and RCA (pre-Victor acquisition) stepped in to develop and market their own electric cutting apparatus. Thus why you see 'Licensed RCA Photophone Recording' on some Supertone records (those of Gennett origin), etc. It is my understanding GE equipment is what Edison fitted to their DD lathes, and later used on their lateral records.

Lenoirstreetguy
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by Lenoirstreetguy »

By Light Ray standards this one is not bad at all, which makes me wonder if Charles Hoxie's system wasn't so much crude as just fussy. Some of the recordings play quite acceptable but others made at the same time will be utterly abominable! I wonder if it was the adjustment of the Pallophotophone or the amp setting ? At any rate here's the blurb from the 1927 catalogue. I think the singer in the " before and after" pics might be Florence Easton, but it's hard to tell. You can see the Pallophotophone with it's funny little horn which focused the sound on the crystal mirror.
You can also see Brunswick's claim in terms of frequency response which if true would put a current cd to shame. I think their claims might have been a tad over-enthusiastic. :D
Jim
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Viva-Tonal
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by Viva-Tonal »

I have a Ray Miller Brunswick that's great on one side, a distorted mess on the flip:

3046 - A 'Dreaming of a castle in the air' (mxx E.17514/⅚/7, recorded 18 January 1926) This side sounds quite good.

3046 - B 'Sweet nothings' (mxx. E.17549/17550/17551/17552, recorded 19 January 1926) Recorded the next day, and it's awful!

The acoustic range 128-2000 Hz was originally stated by Fred Gaisberg, and I think more representative of the early Berliner recordings. Better acoustics in the last few years of them got occasionally down to somewhere between 60 to 80 Hz on the low end (Edison DDs, that Victor Stokowski/Philadelphia record I uploaded) and somewhere between 4000 and 5000 Hz (some Pathé Actuelle, some late Columbia gold band and flag label items, and perhaps some of the best Brunswicks) at the upper end.

The earliest WE Victor and Columbia discs captured about 50-6000 Hz; by 1928 this was more like 25-8000 Hz. The good electric Brunswicks of late 1926 onward sound like they captured 45-7500 Hz well, to me.

The best condenser microphone of the day, the Western Electric 394-W 'condenser transmitter' (what in a modern condenser mike is called the 'capsule') fitted to the WE model 47-A amplifier, had a frequency response of 40-10000 Hz, with a little below and above.

8000 Hz was about all the early cutter heads could manage, although modifications began to extend the upper end somewhat in the 1930s. Groove dimensions on regular 78s pretty much insured 10000 Hz was about it, though.

60-6000 Hz was about all the early electric pickups and speakers could reproduce.

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WDC
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by WDC »

Thank you for this detailed information, very interesting!

Just to make your opinion, this is a such a Tri-Ergon optically mastered recording from Jan. 1931. I had posted it before. It lacks of certain details and goes only to about 4 KHz with upper distortion:

Håkon von Eichwald - Sing you Sinners

Lenoirstreetguy
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Re: Scatter Your Smiles ~Vincent Lopez

Post by Lenoirstreetguy »

Then too there was the issue of the processing. Bell Labs did an extensive series of experiments in 1931-33 attempting to increase the frequency response of the recording system. They also were working on stereophonic recording as well. The results that I have heard are spectacular. The Heifetz sides sound as if they were recorded in the late 1950's. The frequency response had to have been extended to around 15 khz, but the the story I have heard is that they found that they couldn't reproduce the extended range on the commercial pressings at the time.
There were some interesting sessions which came out of this work. I have never heard the John McCormack sides done with the high fidelity system ( and I REALLY want to) but again they are said to sound like something done on lp. I have heard some of the Louis Armstrong sessions: they're so good they sound faked! They aren't of course, but it's startling to hear 1933 dance music sounding as if it were recorded yesterday.
Jim

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