Monday, May 08, 2006

More on "The Sounds and Music of the RCA Electronic Music Synthesizer"

Since my posting on the RCA Mark II has drawn so much public interest(I can only guess I got picked up by a more popular blog, and one of the editors of Keyboards magazine germany contacted me from a googling) I've decided to take some pictures of the record and do what little research on it that I can. Here are some images in a Flickr set of details from the jacket of the record. The record jacket is essentially the same thing that the announcer said-almost exactly in most parts. But the graphics are too cool to pass up showing off.
link the Flickr set: here
I did a little bit of digging for information on Harry Olson, the director of the project. Turns out he's also the man behind the ill-fated RCA Picture disc format, which you may have seen put in record bins by confused thrift store workers. He's also the man pictured pointing and directing the guy in the jumpsuit(i love that) to "turn that black knob, no not that one, the other identical black knob in a bank of 30 unlabelled knobs!" Heres some quick info on Harry Olson
Also, turns out that the great sounding narratOR on the record is just John Preston, one of the engineers! Man people used to sound so much cooler.
You'll also notice that all the frequencies are listed in cycles per second(CPS) instead of hertz. Hertz as a unit of measurement had not yet become standard- this record was made 5 years before that fact, if that gives you any idea of how old this record really is. Its also interesting to note in the routing diagram that the synth actually used octavers like an organ, which highlights the interesting and little discussed topic(I have no friends) of just what is an organ and what is a synthesizer? A lot of organs have had pitch bends, effects built in, and "solo sections" which were essentially monosynths of sorts.
I've also went ahead and uploaded the entire record to a new server. Every new solution presents some new hassles, but bear with me and I'll sort it out. I have zipped and uploaded the record to here. It's about 50MB so if you don't have broadband...sorry(for so many reasons).
Got big plans for the blog this week, school let out and I've got a lot of time while I sit around and wait for returned calls from my waste of time completely worthless university, Middle Tennessee State University. Trust me, don't go there. I'll be doing a write up on a couple more stupid records, including some modular synth porn(and I mean that in a VERY literal sense, not in the silly internet misuse of the word). I'm also contemplating releasing a record of my own stuff that is almost complete.

No comments: