Jazz Technology

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  • Jazz Technology
    • The Beginning (1920s)
      • Originated in New Orleans
        • Musicians moved to big cities such as NY and Chicago
      • Wider audiences were reached through the use of gramophones and later radios
      • Development fuelled by competition between record companies
      • Originally recorded using a recording horn
        • Most important soloist would sit nearest the horn
        • Louder instruments would sit further away
    • Limitations of acoustic recording
      • Had to be made in one take, otherwise mistakes would be left in or  recording would be scrapped
      • Output reduced during WWII as shellac used for ammunition
      • Recording horn meant that people had to be cramped in a small space so horn could pick up all instruments
    • Recording Contracts
      • Prices dropped in 1934 due to stiff competition between labels
        • Available to a wider audience
      • Aug. 1942 recording ban imposed by American Fed. of Musicians
        • Banned recording of music that didn't contribute to war effort
        • Real reason was dispute over royalties
        • Caused musicians to stockpile recordings, no ban on releasing pre-recorded material
      • Could only perform music live on radio/concerts
      • Amusement Tax increased cost of venues by 20%, fewer people attended as ticket prices had to increase
    • Microphones, Multi-Tracking and Tape Editing
      • RCA ribbon invented 1925
        • Better quality than recording horn
        • Hierarchical system remained
      • Quantity of output limited, shellac still used
      • Multi-tracking used more after invention of magnetic tape
        • Recording several parts at the same time or separately then combining later on
        • Began with 2-4 parts, by late 1940s 30+ could be recorded
        • Each part could have volumes and sounds adjusted, better than hierarchical method
      • Tape recording developed, could be done in multiple takes and pieced together
        • Made recording onto discs obsolete, new method more reliable and provided flexibility
      • Stereo recording popular in late 1950s, created surround sound effect
    • Sound Engineers
      • Career created by invention of tape editing
      • Responsible for multiple microphones, recording onto tapes and editing the final product


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