Join 3,423 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Nightmares on Wax.
May 23, 2009 7:35 PM   Subscribe

RCA Victor's record manufacturing process in 1942: Part one - Part two.
posted by loquacious (16 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh yeah, this looks great. Thanks for the heads up.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:37 PM on May 23, 2009


This is good.

So here's a question I've had for awhile: can anyone tell me more about the announcer's peculiar tone and diction? Pretty much every period American narrator, actor and news personality seems to have had the same broadcast "accent."
posted by killdevil at 7:51 PM on May 23, 2009


killdevil, it's the onions they hung on their belts, which was the style in those days.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:20 PM on May 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I bet they properly disposed of all those chemical baths when they were used up.
posted by digsrus at 8:25 PM on May 23, 2009


And this is how good records were manufactured.
posted by squalor at 8:48 PM on May 23, 2009


squalor, as regards your link above, previously.

Hey! You shoulda put that in, loquacious, you slacker you...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2009


RCA/Victor's record manufacturing process in 2009
posted by anazgnos at 10:35 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


killdevil: "So here's a question I've had for awhile: can anyone tell me more about the announcer's peculiar tone and diction? Pretty much every period American narrator, actor and news personality seems to have had the same broadcast "accent.""

I've heard it called the Mid-Atlantic accent. Sort of a mix between New York, Boston, and London. This was the subject of a question in the green last year.
posted by The White Hat at 10:54 PM on May 23, 2009


One ingredient is the finest shellac obtainable, which is brought from India.

What they don't mention is that shellac* is obtained by scraping lac bug secretions off of the trees on which they feed. That's right, that masterpiece has been carefully strained to remove insect carcasses.

*Also used to coat Skittles. Gee whiz, science is fun!
posted by hydrophonic at 11:04 PM on May 23, 2009


I've heard that you can crush old 78s and dissolve them in alcohol to reclaim the shellac, if you want an extra-dark finish on your wood. I've wanted to try it, but someone warned me that those old records also contain lead.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:08 PM on May 23, 2009


compare that to a modern process:
part 1
part 2
posted by spish at 12:22 AM on May 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


Here's what's become of the RCA Camden factory 60+ years later.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 6:29 AM on May 24, 2009


Terrific post, thanks! (Minor quibble: the endless performance of The Beautiful Blue Danube should have been cut; what did it have to do with the recording process?)
posted by languagehat at 8:01 AM on May 24, 2009


That was pretty cool -- thanks, loquacious. I was trying to follow which of the pressings were negative and which were positive, but gave up after a bit. I was also surprised at the way they handled the master in the beginning -- I was taught not to let my fingers touch the grooves, and I expected people to be even more strict with the masters.
posted by Killick at 8:18 AM on May 24, 2009


I worked for Capitol Records in the 70's, and it is amazing to see how similar the process still was pounding out Loverboy records. Of course, the technology was far superior, it took way less labour, and no doubt cost a great deal fewer hands, arms, fingers, lungs, and other body parts.

If anything, recorded music technology mirrors that of the general world, from this to IPods.
posted by Aetius Romulous at 11:06 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice post! spish's addendum makes it extra cool.
posted by chairface at 9:43 PM on May 24, 2009


« Older The site Omniglot has grown somewhat since its pre...  |  Over at Comics Should Be Good!... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments