78 Revs per Minute

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78 Revs per Minute

Postby InnocentWhenYouDream » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:51 am

Hello!!!

I am coming to BM from London, England with 4 other guys and girls and have an idea and request I would like to share:

I was planning to bring with me an old His Master's Voice wind up gramophone player in a suitcase. I can just about sneak it on the plane as hand luggage. I have plenty of ace records, mostly 20s Jazz but a huge amount of Swing Era music too. I'm not sure how many records I will realistically be able to bring, but should be a few.

I was wondering if anyone might think some music of this nature might compliment anything they are doing? We would love to be part of some bigger project or stand or camp. At this stage I really don't have much of a clue how BM works, but if this sounds like it could be of interest to anyone then let me know.

Also, if anyone might be able to bring some records that owuld be ace.


I sort of transferred this from a discussion I inadvertently started elsewhere on this site, so sorry if you have read this twice.

See you all soon.

R
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Postby Toolmaker » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:00 am

Bring Ella

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Postby Sham » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:09 am

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Postby robotland » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:50 am

You'd probably be welcomed at Center Camp...and look into spinning platters on BMIR or one of the other stations.
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Postby Igneouss » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:18 am

I would plan on the record player not surviving the trip. If it does you can be happy.
Basic b/e analysis:
2005 $243K
06 $855K
07 $1.0M
08 $1.1M
09 $0
10 $1.1M
11 $1.2M
12 $1.2M
That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:17 pm

Igneouss wrote:I would plan on the record player not surviving the trip. If it does you can be happy.


Since it seems the OP may be a burningman virgin, it bears mentioning that burningman is extremely dusty. Anything brought to burningman will never be the same (especially optics, electronics, mechanical stuff, and people). Records will get dirty/dusty just by being there. Bring lots of cleaning materials and plan on anything you bring (records and equipment) to need a thorough cleaning when you get home to have any chance of working properly again. If you have plastic sleeves for your records, reverse them so they cover the open end of the album covers when not in use (and consider sealed storage cases). Also consider the possibility of theft (I would not leave any of this stuff unattended). I would think twice before bringing anything that is not replaceable to burningman. It may not survive.

On the other hand, some nice 78's playing vintage jazz would be a welcome relief. Come by Terminal City (3 o'clock plaza) and I am sure we can find you a venue somewhere. There really is no advanced planning at burningman (and any published schedules are pretty much bogus - playa time is at it's own pace and not related to real-world time).

Welcome home!
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Postby Igneouss » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Well said.
I'd add that it is not simply dusty at Burning Man. The dust has a high alklai content and is both corrosive and tends to stick to objects more readily than 'ordinary' dust.

But, as mentioned above, the music would be very cool and very welcome.

Cheers
Basic b/e analysis:
2005 $243K
06 $855K
07 $1.0M
08 $1.1M
09 $0
10 $1.1M
11 $1.2M
12 $1.2M
That’s $6.8M that thousands of volunteers deserve to know about. Capitalism is alive at BM. Tickets are the commodity. Others have estimated higher profits.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:57 pm

I think it's a terrific idea, but I think you're going about it a terrible way!
DON'T bring the original gramophone! It will be ruined. It will be thoroughly assaulted inside and out with extremely corrosive playa dust. You have no idea until you've been in a BM dust storm! It will start corroding at a very accelerated rate after being on the playa.

DO bring your music, but record it onto CDs or an iPod or something.
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If I saw it on the playa I'd be torn between "Wow that's cool" and "Goddammit, that cool machine is being trashed out here!"

I love it but I hope you don't do it.

I do have a whole bunch of old big-band 78s to play on it, but the hell if I'd bring them to Burning Man!

Your records will likely get ruined in the heat too.

iPod. Put it in a ziplock baggie, plug into amp of your choice.
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Postby Sham » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:06 pm

I brought my gramma-phone a few years ago and she nearly got ruined. Boy was she pissed when she got covered in dust! Poor gramma!
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Postby Elliot » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:55 pm

:D
I'll join the chorus: This music will be a wonderful addition to the event, but please do not bring your rare original equipment.

I agree with Dragonfly Jafe about Terminal City. I am not a member, but last year they had a go at light opera! So now I'm looking forward to hearing your vintage music in the Boobie Bar this year.
:D
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Postby robotland » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:24 am

How about constructing a travel-friendly facsimile of the Original Equipment? Fun opportunity to make some art!

...hmmmm...an INFLATABLE gramophone?
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Postby InnocentWhenYouDream » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:08 pm

Thanks everyone for your input. I think the overall message was YES to the music, but NO to the consequences. Well I have a secret, I own not one but 4 grammophones, and the one I plan to bring cost me £25 British Pounds. Its a real beauty, but if it gets damaged or irreprably broken, I will be upset but not overwraught. The records are a different story, the dust im not too worried about, as they can be washed in soapy water, if they melt, all the soapy water in the world won't do anything for them.

I'll have a think, but really glad to know the idea got people interested.

I just can't help but feel that to have the real thing is so much better than an mp3 recording.....

I am, as guessed, a total BM first timer, but I hope my music will help me and my friends find some way of contributing to the fun.

R
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Postby AntiM » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:17 pm

Perhaps for the first trip, the digital recordings would be best, until you have experienced the heat and dust firsthand?
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Postby wedeliver » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:24 pm

It not really about the music, to me it is the whole setup. the antique music machine, wind up, portable, maybe 80 or 100 years old, the music discs are heavy and thick. the needle that picks up the sounds from that disc is HUGE and the whole process is amazing.

To think that sound even makes it out the amplifier is so amazing. A real WOW.

It's the process not the product.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:04 pm

Hey, if the grammaphone is a wash at the end of the week, can I have the horn/trumpet/output thingie?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:44 pm

Ok, now I’ve gotta add my two pence worth.

So you picked up the machine for 25 pounds? Jeez… knowig that, I’d have a hard time leaving it behind myself. Especially if you have four. Now it should be noted that if the grammaphone gets trashed, there will be one less grammaphone in the world and that is a sad thing. But…

The potential for impacting someone’s life by seeing a real bit of old time goodness in a bizarre-party-at-end-of-universe setting outweighs, in my mind, the chance of it getting trashed. I will also add that with some precaution your player will probably be ok. I’ve brought my laptop, which I am typing on at this very moment, with me for several years and its still going just fine. Have some form of protection with you, perhaps a large heavy duty plastic bag, and be ready to cover the unit quickly if a dust storm pounces. use common sense when exposing it to the elements.

After all, I bring various bits of antique farm equipment to the desert that would also be lost forever if ruined. Granted its about two steps away from ruined already, but still. My point is that the effort to bring it and maintain it are worth the possibility of giving someone a memory (even if only a simple or goofy one) to carry with them. I see your grammaphone in the same light.

Bring the player. If I can help in any way, just ask. Lots of advice to be found on the boards.

(On a side note I’ve considered adding a grammaphone type speakers to The Contraption so that people could plug in usic players and listen. Might be hard to hear over the engine, but it’d look cool!)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:49 pm

Also...

A friend gave me good advice on bringing records to the desert.

Get a good travel case and pack them snuggly. Keep them in the shade and out of wide temperature swings as much as possible (I.e don’t take them from underneath your vehicle seat in the morning and set them in the sun). Always store them vertically, as you probably already know.

He’s brought records to the desert for years without issue, apparently.
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Postby InnocentWhenYouDream » Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:45 am

I totally agree with wedeliver: how these machines work is still a real mystery to me. How something as crude as a needle can interpret invisible grooves and transorm them into trumpets, string and even the human voice, is still beyond me, so don't even get me starter on CD or Mp3. The mind boggles.

LeChatNoir: I think you are right that I can try to protect it, maybe it won't work, but just maybe it will. These are crude machines that can be taken apart and rebuilt. There is no circuitry, no chips, no mains outlet; in other words they are pretty hardcore, so I fancy its chances. Plus you are so right that the sight of it on the playa might just bring a smile to someone's face when they remember it, which would make it totally worthwhile.

To the chap who asked for the horn: I am afraid the horn is inbuilt and cannot be detached. I am travelling on to Mexico from BM and if it is still working i will take it with me, if not then you are welcome to try and salvage it.

Thanks to the poster who recommended Center camp and the BM radio. I have emailed both of them to see if i could be of use.

R
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Postby robotland » Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:22 am

InnocentWhenYouDream wrote:To the chap who asked for the horn:

(Fishy's a girl, FYI)

Thanks to the poster who recommended Center camp and the BM radio. I have emailed both of them to see if i could be of use.

Great!

I was thinking about the program I saw sometime back about making silicone casts from LPs and duplicating them...I think it was in MAKE magazine or on their website. Lots of work, though.

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Postby InnocentWhenYouDream » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:47 am

Chap is a very liquid word in my parts.
Sorry fishy.
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Postby Elliot » Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:58 pm

:D
Two way communication is a great thing -- even if by newfangled solid state equipment. LeChatNoir's and Innocent...'s arguments in favor of bringing the ancient phonograph have changed my mind.

In this computerized world, there are too few opportunities for young people to learn about our technical heritage. And Burning Man is a good venue to teach them.

Do take effective steps to protect this equipment-- specially the discs themselves which are irreplacable.

Now that I think about it... if we ever get to a serious shortage of such phonographs, maybe someone like Crosley Radio will make reproductions.
:D
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Postby gyre » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:51 am

Do not assume you can wash the dust off without damage.
I think it is abrasive too.
Treat it as a one way trip for 78s.

Reel to reel or even cassettes are much more robust in dust.
A cheap hifi vcr will do the job very efficiently if protected.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:08 pm

gyre wrote:Reel to reel or even cassettes are much more robust in dust.
A cheap hifi vcr will do the job very efficiently if protected.


Problem is you need a mic to record the output of the grammaphone onto the VCR. Quality mics will run several thousand dollars, and the equipment to hook up the the mics several thousand more. And a studio or anechoic chamber. and....it most likely would not sound the same (an electro-dynamic loudspeaker has foibles that a grammaphone do not). If you have a 78 turntable, you would need a quality needle and pre-amp to replace the mic, etc above (maybe less than $5k, depending on your definition of hi-fidelity).

And it DEFINATELY would not be as cool as a real grammaphone running sans generator.

So protect the records, and do not bring irreplaceable records out!
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Postby gyre » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:46 pm

Most 78 turntables are electrical.
Dual made thousands.
Shure made a specially sized cartridge to fit the grooves with various needles too. (M78S)
http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Stor ... Cartridges
Then all you need to do is record preamp out to recording input.

And though a U87 would be preferable for recording an acoustic rig, you could do an adequate job with a pair of decent condenser mikes.
You can do an excellent job with a piano by flipping the lid open and suspending an omnidirectional over it.
And except for certain special circumstances, I don't think you need an anechoic environment for recording.

I use an extremely live room for listening.
You just need to break up reflections with as varied and hard a surface as is possible.
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Postby InnocentWhenYouDream » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:52 am

Guys I am not going to be recording stuff onto anything. Nor will i be bringing any electrical equipment, generator or speakers. I am coming from the UK, by plane! Haha. I certianly won't be spending 5k.

Its just a bit of fun that I hope I will be able to incorporate into a camp or other project or radio etc.

I we will be bring only records I have duplicates of and those which I do not consider to be too precious to be moved trans atlantic.
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Postby gyre » Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:34 pm

I was thinking that for the cost of a used vcr and some tapes, you could protect your equipment and bring a lot more music with you than you could carry as original records.

There are a few rare vcrs with amps built in, but you could probably find somewhere to plug in to a sound system anyhow.
You don't actually need a million watts out there, contrary to some practice.
I save my 78s on VHS tapes for convenience.
I will be putting all my vinyl on tape too.
There is no serious sound alteration.

There should be a lot of car decks available these days too and they run on 12 volts dc.
I bought a couple of Alpine decks on closeout that even record in stereo.
I got them specifically for audio in the car, as they won't play SVHS video, which is how I record all my video.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:11 pm

InnocentWhenYouDream wrote:Guys I am not going to be recording stuff onto anything. Nor will i be bringing any electrical equipment, generator or speakers. I am coming from the UK, by plane! Haha. I certianly won't be spending 5k.

Its just a bit of fun that I hope I will be able to incorporate into a camp or other project or radio etc.

I we will be bring only records I have duplicates of and those which I do not consider to be too precious to be moved trans atlantic.


Yeah! Do stop by Terminal City (3:00 plaza and A street) and look for the Boobie Bar, or Apokiliptika and they will likely welcome your vintage tunes.

Welcome home!

(I do have all that recording stuff I mentioned, having recorded bands for years. I would never take it to BM, however, or I would love to record your Grammaphone! I could pull down a pretty good digital rendition)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:12 pm

InnocentWhenYouDream wrote:Guys I am not going to be recording stuff onto anything...


Whoo Hoo!! Needle to groove!
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Postby mojo » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:14 pm

Elliot wrote::D
...last year they had a go at light opera! So now I'm looking forward to hearing your vintage music in the Boobie Bar this year.
:D


That was a real high point for me....
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