Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Tom Dowd, March 16, 1999

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Syd Feldman

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Partial Transcript: Alright, Tom, it is, oop--okay, alright, it is, um, March 16th, 1999.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his interview for the book 'The Record Producers' and talks about his colleague, Syd Feldman, who owned a recording studio called Mastertone. He also talks about the Sapphire Club, a group of audio engineers, and finally Dowd goes over his work with Cream, Eric Clapton, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Keywords: Audio Engineering Society (AES); California; Clapton, Eric (Artist); Cream (Artist); Crosby, Stills, and Nash (Artist); Feldman, Syd; Halverson, Bill; Los Angeles (Calif.); Mastertone Studio; Nashville (Tenn.); Record Producers, the (Book); Recording studios; Sapphire Club; Sapphire Group; Tobler, John; Treasurers

Subjects: Audio Engineering Society; California.; Clapton, Eric; Cream (Musical group); Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Los Angeles (Calif.); Mastertone Recording Studios; Music; Nashville (Tenn.); Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Tobler, John

GPS: Los Angeles (Calif.)
Map Coordinates: 34.05, -118.25
00:05:19 - Audio Engineering Society (AES)

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Partial Transcript: The recording engineers were a fractured society.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses issues within the Audio Engineering Society (AES), which he felt were a 'fractured' society due to the divisions created by the different recording companies and by the specialization within the industry. He also talks about the difficulties of being an independent audio engineer without a union.

Keywords: Audio Engineering Society (AES); Audio devices; Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS); Columbia Records, Inc.; Decca Records; RCA Records; Recording; Unions

Subjects: Audio Engineer Society; Columbia Records, Inc.; Decca Records (Firm); Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Music; RCA Records; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:07:26 - Training and specialization in the recording business

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Partial Transcript: Yeah. You know, what do you know about--the guys that were--I mean, what I understood from Don Plunkett is that, that the only kind of, um, sort of training that was specifically toward recording engineers...

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the limited training available for audio engineers during the 1940s and 1950s, which was limited to the Signal Corps in the United States Army, radio broadcasting, and some audio engineering schools run by record companies. They also discuss the specialization of positions within the recording business.

Keywords: Audio engineering; Brunswick Records; Consoles (mixing); Discs; Dowd, Tom; East Village (New York, N.Y.); Edison, Thomas; Fordism; Gaysburg, Fred; Grooves; National Broadcast Company (NBC); New York (N.Y.); Plunkett, Donald; RCA Institutes; RCA Records; Recorders, wax disc; Recording; Recording lathes, Scully; Records, kinds of: acetate; Records, kinds of: wax; Specialization; Stuyvesant High School; Susquehanna; Training; Vocalian Records; Wanamaker

Subjects: Dowd, Tom; East Village (New York, N.Y.); Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.; History of science and technology; Music; National Broadcasting Company; New York (N.Y.); RCA Institutes; RCA Records; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stuyvesant High School (New York, N.Y.); Vocalion (Sound recording label : New York, N.Y.)

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
00:13:35 - The term ‘recording engineer’ and remote recording

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Partial Transcript: Now, you see, uh, you hit on something which is what I------(??) up on all the time, there were, technically, never any recording engineers; they were all radio engineers were were converted or showed an aptitude for something and they got the gig.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the origin of the term 'recording engineer.' Dowd also discusses how remote recording was done in the 1940s and 1950s, which involved specialized equipment and transmitting sound through telephone lines.

Keywords: Announcers; Audio engineering; Big Bands; Broadcasting; Microphones, placement of; Preamplifiers; RCA Records; Radio engineers; Radios; Recorders, remote (models): RCA OP6; Recorders, remote (models): RCA OP7; Recording engineers; Remote recording; Telephone lines; Unions; VU meters; Vocalists (singers)

Subjects: Big band music; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Microphone; Music; RCA Records; Radio; Radio engineers; Record labels.; Singers; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Telephone lines

00:17:20 - Union regulations

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Partial Transcript: These people, uh, technically, are radio engineers and they have a strong union.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses unions involved in radio and audio recording, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and RCA's union, the National Association of Broadcasting Engineers and Technicians (NABET) He also talks about the licensing of broadcasting engineers.

Keywords: Apex Recording; Apprentice engineers; Arrangers; Audio engineers; Columbia Records, Inc.; Discs; Dowd, Tom; Editors; Federal Communications Commission (FCC); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); Licensing; National Association of Broadcasters (NAB); RCA Records; Radio engineers; Radio licenses; Radios; Recorders, tape; Recording discs; Recording studios; Recording tape; Recordists; Transmitter licenses; Unions

Subjects: Columbia Records, Inc.; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Music; RCA Records; Radio; Radio engineers; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:25:39 - Microphones

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Partial Transcript: And if they were going to a string they, they did it here, and if they were going to do a brass they, they did it, and, and that, that was the pecking order.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd talks about the importance of microphone selection and placement.

Keywords: Arrangers; Audio engineering; Dowd, Tom; Microphones (models): RCA 44BX bidirectional; Microphones (models): RCA 77 unidirectional; Microphones (models): RCA ribbon; Microphones (models): Western Electric 639A; Microphones, placement of; Music physics and engineering; Olson, Harry

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Microphone; Music; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Western Electric Company.

00:30:44 - The importance of hearing

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Partial Transcript: Now, here's the thing, this is terrible, I preach this, and I warn you I preach it: nobody has been trained how to use their ears.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the importance of learning to listen and hear, which he claims no one has been taught how to do. He maintains that hearing habits and taste are acquired through education. He also talks about the Tonmeister degree program available in Germany.

Keywords: Audio engineers; Communications; Hearing; Hearing tests; Mass production; Music; Ohio University; Tonmeister degree program

Subjects: Hearing.; Ohio University.; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:32:46 - Recording low notes and preventing locked grooves

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Partial Transcript: Protocol and routine, mass production, the microphone hangs here, the orchestra set up this way, and the engineer just rides this knob.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the difficulties inherent in recording low notes. He talks about how he feels that recording is more than just reading meters and involves measuring frequencies to prevent locked grooves. He then talks about the definition of locked grooves, what causes them, and how to prevent them in record manufacturing.

Keywords: Amplification; Amplifiers; Audio engineering.; Broadcasting; Discs; Dowd, Tom; Excursion; Grooves; Juke boxes; Lateral excursions; Lock grooves; Low notes; Meter; Music; Physics; Radio engineers; Recording, analog; Recording, digital; Records, kinds of: long-playing (LP); Records, kinds of: long-playing (LP) microgroove; Records, kinds of: rpm seven-inch; Records, kinds of: rpm ten-inch; Records, kinds of: vertical-cut vs. lateral-cut; Sound; Stylus; Transfers; Tubes; Volume

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Music; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:38:00 - Innovation in audio engineering

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Partial Transcript: Do you think though that, that some of these guys that were with the big companies--because I've heard praise for people like Fred Plaut and Harold Chapman--

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses innovations in audio engineering and how the record business prevented many audio engineers from developing innovation because they did not want to challenge the status quo. He also talks about how some audio engineers are highly innovative. Dowd also talks about how record companies used other engineers' innovations.

Keywords: Apex Recording; Audio engineers; Chapman, Harold; Columbia Records, Inc.; Hammond, John; Hartman, Johnny (Artist); Jazz; Job security; Mercury Records; Microphone; National Records; New York Times; Plaut, Fred; Polka music; RCA Records; Recorders, tape; Recording tape; Retirement; Strikes; Unions

Subjects: Chapman, Harold; Columbia Records, Inc.; Dowd, Tom; Hammond, John; Hartman, Johnny; History of science and technology; Microphone; Music; New York times.; Polka music; RCA Records; Record labels.; Retirement; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:42:13 - Machine alignment

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Partial Transcript: You were talking about, with your machines, is this--I'd like to understand this a little bit better. Were you aligning them?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd gives a technical description of the procedure for aligning Ampex tape recorders. Dowd also talks about fellow audio engineer Bill Stoddard.

Keywords: Alignment tape; Ampex Electric Corporation; Consoles (recording); Erase heads; Frequencies; Machine alignment; Oscillators; Playback head assemblies; Playback heads; Record heads; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex; Recording; Snyder, Ross; Standard alignments; Stoddard, Bill

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Music; Record labels.; Snyder, Ross; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:46:41 - Recording in New York (N.Y.) / musical background

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Partial Transcript: Plus, plus, you're getting--you, you must have gotten some kind of training from somebody, right?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his training in audio engineering when he began as an audio engineer at Apex Recording. He talks about the locations of recording studios in New York (N.Y.), such as Carl Fischer Recording and Carnegie Hall. Dowd then talks about his musical background, including his experience as a sarrusophone and bassoon player.

Keywords: Bassoons; Carl Fischer Recording Studios; Carl Fisher Recording Hall; Carnegie Hall; Columbia Records, Inc.; Double reeds; Dowd, Tom; Fine, Bob; Forty-Nine Bar; Great Northern Ballroom; Great Northern Hotel; Music reading; Oetgen, Fred; Putnam, Bill; RCA Records; Sarrus, Pierre-Auguste; Sarrusophones; Steinway Hall; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Song)

Subjects: Bassoon; Carl Fischer Inc.; Carnegie Hall (New York, N.Y.); Columbia Records, Inc.; Fine, Bob; Great Northern Hotel (New York, N.Y.); Putnam, Bill; RCA Records; Record labels.; Sarrusophone; Sarrusophone music; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Steinway Hall (New York, N.Y.)

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
00:53:36 - Recording the bass guitar

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Partial Transcript: Uh, remember when we were describing the radio engineer going out and getting the gig to do a broadcast tonight with this band or that band?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the unique challenges of recording the bass guitar, which evolved from not putting a microphone on the bass to putting one that solely recorded that instrument. He also talks about the movement away from recording with a single microphone and towards recording with several microphones, with the audio engineer mixing the sound as it is recorded.

Keywords: Bass guitars; Consoles (mixing); Consoles (recording); Control rooms; Microphones; Radio engineering; Recorders, tape; Recording; Recording studios; Recording, remote

Subjects: Bass guitar; Dowd, Tom; Engineers; History of science and technology; Microphone; Music; Radio; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

00:54:46 - Mixing consoles and other recording technology

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Partial Transcript: Before, I mean, you're talking about right around the time that tape's coming in. Did they use mixers regularly so they could use multiple mics?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses mixing consoles in order to facilitate the use of several microphones to record. He also talks about the models of mixing consoles that he used in the 1950s and 1960s, including consoles made by Western Electric and Altec. He talks about fellow audio engineer Bill Putnam and the creation of his company Universal Audio, which created limiters and compressors which became the industry standard. He also talks about Sherman Fairchild, who financed Bill Putnam's creation of recording lathes and limiters.

Keywords: Audio devices; Audio equipment industry; California; Compressors; Consoles (mixing); Consoles, Altec; Consoles, Western Electric; Dowd, Tom; Fairchild, Sherman; Fine, Bob; Limiters; Limiters, Fairchild; Limiters, UREI; Mixing; Putnam, Bill; Recorders, Fairchild; Recording lathes, Fairchild; Universal Recording; Western Electric

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; Fine, Bob; History of science and technology; Lathes; Music; Putnam, Bill; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Western Electric Company

00:57:53 - Rein Narma

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Partial Transcript: I had, I had thought it was, I thought it was, um, I--maybe I'm getting confused, but I thought it was Rein Narma?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his relationship with fellow audio engineer Rein Narma, who worked with Ampex Electric Corporation and did some consulting with Les Paul and with Bill Putnam. He also talks about the strange coincidence in which he bought Rein Narma's home.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Audio engineering; Dowd, Tom; Houses; Narma, Rein; Westwood (N.J.)

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Music; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Westwood (N.J.)

GPS: Westwood (N.J.)
Map Coordinates: 40.989032, -74.031872
00:59:56 - Emergence of multi-tracking

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Partial Transcript: Um, uh, uh, you know, t--I wanted to talk about this thing with the emergence of multitrack.

Segment Synopsis: Schmidt Horning talks about her paper on the electric guitar. Dowd then discusses fellow audio engineer Les Paul and his admiration for his innovative inventions for the Ampex Electric Corporation. He then talks about the emergence of multi-tracking, starting with the multiple disc recorder and later the tape recorder, and how it changed the recording business.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Crosby, Bing (Artist); Decca Records; Dowd, Tom; Electric guitars; Guitars; Johns Hopkins University; Microphones; Multi-tracking; Paul, Les; Radios; Recorders, disc; Recorders, disc to disc; Recorders, tape; Recorders, tape (models): Ampex suitcase recorder; Recording; Recording lathes; Recording tape; Smithsonian

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Crosby, Bing, 1903-1977.; Decca Records (Firm); Dowd, Tom; Guitar; History of science and technology; Johns Hopkins University; Lathes; Microphone; Music; Paul, Les, 1943-; Paul, Les.; Record labels.; Smithsonian Institution.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

01:03:31 - Echo and reverberation

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Partial Transcript: That was, that was the first step.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the use of echo and reverberation in the recording business, starting with Les Paul's use of reverberation and the use of reverberation in Peggy Lee's song 'It's a Good Day.' Dowd also talks about the early days of using reverberation, from the use of spring reverberation units from Hammond organs to the use of stairwells and bathrooms. He then talks about the technical differences between echo and reverberation.

Keywords: Anechoic chambers; Apex Recording; Bass drums; Brazil (Song); Columbia Records, Inc.; Diaphragms; Echo; Echo (reverberation) chambers; Fine, Bob; Guitars; Hammond organs; Hammond, John; It’s a Good Day (Song); Kettle drums; Laine, Frankie; Lee, Peggy; Lover (Song); Low frequencies; Mercury Records; Microphones; Miller, Mitch; Paul, Les; Pianos; Reverberation; Sing Along with Mitch (Album); Smith, Ethel (Artist); Sound decay; Sound return; Speakers; Spring reverberation units; Symphony Hall (Boston, Mass.); Trumpets; Washington, Dinah (Artist)

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Dowd, Tom; Drum; Guitar; Hammond organ; Hammond, John; History of science and technology; Lee, Peggy; Lee, Peggy, 1920-2002.; Microphone; Miller, Mitch.; Music; Paul, Les, 1943-; Paul, Les.; Piano; Record labels.; Smith, Ethel; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Trumpet; Washington, Dinah, 1924-1963

01:11:27 - Chronology of career

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Partial Transcript: So, when, when did you work with him? Where was--what studio were you in?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the chronology of his career in the recording business, starting at Carl Fischer Studios and Apex Recording, then moving to the Voice of America at the United States Information Agency (USIA). He talks about meeting fellow audio engineers who worked for various record companies who also worked for Voice of America, and the location of the Voice of America in New York (N.Y.).

Keywords: Acosta, Ernie; Apex Recording; Armed Forces Radio; Carl Fischer Recording Studios; Columbia Records, Inc.; Consoles (mixing); Decca Records; Dowd, Tom; Mastering; New York (N.Y.); Olson, Harry; RCA Records; Recording lathes; Recording studios; United States Information Agency (USIA); Voice of America (VOA)

Subjects: Columbia Records, Inc.; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Lathes; Music; New York (N.Y.); RCA Records; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; United States Information Agency.; Voice of America (Organization)

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
01:14:45 - Studio design and technology at Atlantic Records

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Partial Transcript: Yeah, Well, weren't you also working for Atlantic by then?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his work with Atlantic Records, including the locations of the offices and recording studios. Dowd then goes on to talk about fellow audio engineer Emory Cook and his influence on the design of the Atlantic Records recording studios. He also talks about the various artists with whom he worked, such as Ray Charles and Bobby Darin. Dowd then talks about the design of the recording studios and the recording technology available.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Amplifiers; Atlantic Records; Baker, LaVern (Artist); Bill Haley and his Comets (Artist); Bozak, Rudy; Charles, Ray (Artist); Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters (Artist); Coltrane, John (Artist); Columbia University; Consoles (mixing); Control rooms; Cook, Emory; Cross talk; Darin, Bobby (Artist); De Paris, Wilbur (Artist); Drifters, the (Artist); Faders; Faders, linear; Faders, rotary; Four Lads, the (Artist); Giant Steps (Album); Jim Dandy (Song); Jose, Gus; LaVern Baker and the Gliders (Artist); Lathes; Microphones; Mingus, Charles (Artist); Mixing; Modern Jazz Quartet (Artist); Money Honey (Song); Mono; Multi-tracking; My Favorite Things (Album); Patsy’s Restaurant; Paul, Les; Play head; Recorders, Ampex; Recorders, remote (models): RCA OP6; Recorders, remote (models): RCA OP7; Recorders, tape (models): Magnecord; Recording Tape; Recording studio design; Recording studios; Sha-Boom (Song); Shake, Rattle and Roll (Song); Slide wires; Sound leakage; Speakers, Bozak; Splish Splash (Song); Stereo; Tristano, Lennie (Artist); Turner, Joe (Artist); Tweedlee Dee (Song); Waves; What’d I Say (Song); Wright Brothers (Artist)

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Baker, LaVern; Charles, Ray, 1918-2015; Coltrane, John, 1926-1967.; Columbia University; Cook, Emory, 1913-2002; Darin, Bobby; De Paris, Wilbur; Dowd, Tom; Haley, Bill, 1925-1981; History of science and technology; Mingus, Charles, 1922-1979; Modern Jazz Quartet.; Music; Paul, Les, 1943-; Paul, Les.; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stereophonic sound systems.; Tristano, Lennie; Turner, Joe

01:29:09 - Multi-track recording

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Partial Transcript: I have pictures of Les Paul with his eight track, with his rotaries.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses how Les Paul obtained the Ampex 8-track recorder. He also talks about the development of multi-track recording and the various songs that utilized the technology. He also talks about the various artists with whom he worked, such as The Coasters, The Drifters, and John Coltrane.

Keywords: Atlantic Records; Audio Engineering Society; Baker, Lavern (Artist); Charles, Ray (Artist); Charlie Brown (Song); Coastal Recording; Coasters, the (Artist); Coltrane, John (Artist); Columbia Records, Inc.; Consoles (mixing); Consoles (recording); Cook, Emory; Cutter heads; Darin, Bobby; Decca Records; Dolby; Dolby Laboratories; Drifters, the (Artist); Fairchild, Sherman; Fine, Bob; Ford, Mary; Fulton Recording; Great Northern Ballroom; Great Northern Hotel; Harmonies, two-part; Hopkins, Peggy Joyce; Hurst, William Randolph; Jazz; Lavern Baker Sings Bessie Smith (Album); Mastering; Miller, Mitch; Money, Marbles and Chalk (Song); Mono; Multi-tracking; Olson, Harry; Paige, Patti (Artist); Paul, Les; Playback arms; Poison Ivy (Song); RCA Records; Record pressing; Recorders, disc; Recorders, tape; Recorders, tape machines; Recording lathes; Recording tape; Recording tape, 8-track; Recording, sound on sound; Records, kinds of: shellac; Records, kinds of: vinyl; Sequencing; Splish Splash (Song); Stereo; Volume; Yakkity Yak (Song)

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Baker, LaVern; Charles, Ray; Coltrane, John; Columbia Records, Inc.; Cook, Emory, 1913-2002; Darin, Bobby; Decca Records (Firm); Dolby Laboratories Inc.; Dowd, Tom; Fairchild, Sherman M., 1896-1971; Ford, Mary; Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951.; History of science and technology; Miller, Mitch; Music; Paige, Patti; Paul, Les, 1943-; Paul, Les.; RCA Records; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

01:44:49 - Capitol Records

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Partial Transcript: We were limited, and you hit it on the head awhile ago when you talked about the size of the studio, the Atlantic studio, on 56th Street.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his time at Capitol Records, starting with a discussion of the studio size available at Capitol Records and Coastal Recording. He talks about the Capitol Records studios, which was a copy of the studios available in California. He talks about fellow audio engineers Clair Krepps, who worked for MGM Records, Eddie Smith, and George Shapiro. Dowd also talks about the Sapphire Club, an organization that acted as a way for audio engineers to exchange information.

Keywords: Bell Sound Studios; Capitol Records; Capitol Records Tower; Christmas Song, the (Song); Cole, Nat "King" (Artist); Epstein, Billy; Fine, Bob; Francis, Connie (Artist); James, Joni (Artist); Krepps, Clair; MGM Mastering; MGM Records; Mayfair Recording; New York, (N.Y.); Recording studios; Sapphire Club; Sapphire Group; Shapiro, George; Smith, Eddie; Stoddard, Bill; Williams, Hank

Subjects: Bell (Sound recording label); Capitol Records, Inc.,New York (N.Y.); Cole, Nat King, 1919-1965; Dowd, Tom; Fine, Bob; Francis, Connie; History of science and technology; James, Joni.; MGM Records.; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.; Music; Record labels.; Shapiro, George; Smith, Ed.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Williams, Hank, 1923-1953.

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
01:48:29 - The Sapphire Club and the Audio Engineering Society (AES) / Dr. Peter Goldmark

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Partial Transcript: Now the Sapphire Club, as I understand it, that came from, was it RCA, that they--

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses two audio engineering societies of which he was a part, the Sapphire Club and the Audio Engineering Society (AES). He also talks about Dr. Peter Goldmark, who developed the long-playing record.

Keywords: Atlantic Records; Audio Engineering Society (AES); Bachman, William; Capps, Frank L.; Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS); Columbia Records, Inc.; Dowd, Tom; Epstein, Billy; Feldman, Syd; Fine, Bob; Goldmark, Peter; Heated stylus; Krepps, Clair; Mastering; New York (N.Y.); Nichrome wire; RCA Records; Record companies; Record labels; Records, kinds of: long-playing (LP); Records, kinds of: long-playing (LP) microgroove; Sapphire Club; Sapphire Group; Shapiro, George; Stylus; Warnercom

Subjects: Audio Engineering Society; Audio equipment industry; Bachman, William S.; Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.; Columbia Records, Inc.; Dowd, Tom; Fine, Bob; Goldmark, Peter, 1906-1977; History of science and technology; Music; New York (N.Y.); RCA Records; Record labels.; Shapiro, George; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stylus

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
01:59:47 - Difference between west and east coast recording

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Partial Transcript: The other thing is, and I say this, and the one who will bridge this gap better than anybody that I know, would be Al Schmitt.

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses fellow audio engineer Al Schmitt, who started at Apex Recording and worked at Fulton Records. He talks about being a freelance audio engineer in the 1950s and 1960s. He discusses Nola Records, where Al Schmitt worked. He then talks about the cultural difference between recording on the west coast, which utilized technology and techniques from film recording, and the east coast. He also talks about the film 'Fantasia,' which utilized a number of innovative sound recording techniques.

Keywords: Audio Engineering Society (AES); Audio Engineering Society Journal; Audio engineers; Bell Sound Studios; California; Columbia Records, Inc.; Decca Records; Disney Sound Studios; Fantasia (Motion Picture); Freelance audio engineers; Freelancing; Fulton Records; Gary, W. E.; Hawkins, J. N. A.; Independent audio engineers; Multi-tracking; New York (N.Y.); Nola Records; Post, Jimmy (Artist); RCA Records; Radios; Recording, film; Sack, Johnny; Schmitt, Al; Speakers; Walt Disney Company; Walt Disney Hyperion Studios, the

Subjects: Audio Engineering Society; Bell (Sound recording label); California.; Columbia Records, Inc.; Decca Records (Firm); Dowd, Tom; Fantasia (Motion picture); History of science and technology; Music; New York (N.Y.); RCA Records; Record labels.; Schmitt, Al; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Walt Disney Company

GPS: New York (N.Y.)
Map Coordinates: 40.7128, -74.0059
02:04:50 - Ampex Electric Corporation

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Partial Transcript: Okay. I gotta ask you a question now that you're bringing this up, because somebody I spoke to was livid that they virtually ignored Ampex in this commemorative issue. Is that true?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the Ampex Electric Corporation and its development of tape recording technology after World War II. The two also talk about audio engineers Ross Snyder and Semi Begun. They also talk about Ampex engineer Mort Fuiji.

Keywords: Ampex Electric Corporation; Atomic; Audio devices; Begun, Semi J.; Berklee School of Music; Camras, Marvin; Cleveland (Ohio); Fujii, Mort; Hearing; Japan; Japanese Americans; Listening; Manhattan project; Mastering; Mixing; Mullin, Jack; Record labels; Recorders, tape; Schmitt, Al; Seaborg, Glenn T.; Snyder, Ross

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Audio equipment industry; Begun, Semi Joseph, 1905-1995; Berklee School of Music; Cleveland (Ohio); Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Japanese Americans.; Manhattan Project (U.S.); Music; Record labels.; Schmitt, Al; Snyder, Ross; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

GPS: Cleveland (Ohio)
Map Coordinates: 41.482222, -81.669722
02:14:01 - Financing in the recording business / spontaneity in recording

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Partial Transcript: But I mean, who would want to spend the money for it?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses how profit influences the recording business, most specifically regarding what kinds of music is recorded and how it is recorded. He also talks about the ways in which record companies finance recording projects and limit creativity and innovation. He then talks about Les Paul and the advent of multi-tracking, and how that development hurt the spontaneity of live performance.

Keywords: Atlantic Records; Classical music; Corporations; Finance; Money; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus; Multi-tracking; Music; Orchestra; Paul, Les; Recorders, 8-track; Recorders, tape (models) Ampex 8-track; Recording; Recording business; Recording, multi-track; Shaw, Artie

Subjects: Ampex Corporation; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, 1756-1791.; Music; Orchestra; Paul, Les.; Shaw, Artie, 1910-2004; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History

02:21:17 - Current projects

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Partial Transcript: Do you still d, do producing and engineering?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses his current projects, including working with the band The Goods, as well as The Allman Brothers Band. He also talks about his interest in recording Latin music and talks about working with Julio Iglesias, Tito Puente, and Pachito Eche.

Keywords: Afro-Cuban jazz; Allman Brothers Band, the (Artist); Allman, Greg (Artist); Black River Circus (Artist); CBS International; Columbia Records, Inc.; Contracts; Criterion Records; Cubop music; Daughters; DiSilva, Ed; Dion, Celine (Artist); García, Wolfgang Alejandro (Artist); Goldner, George; Goods, the (Artist); Graham, Bill; Iglesias, Enrique (Artist); Iglesias, Julio (Artist); Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences; Latin music; Meyer, Ed; Music producers; National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Pachito E'ché (Album); Puente, Tito (Artist); RCA Records; Refugees; Rhythm; Rodriguez, Tito; Roseland; Stewart, Rod (Artist); Taxes; Tico Records; Warner Brothers Records; Worcester Palladium, the (Worcester, Mass.); World War II

Subjects: Allman, Gregg, 1947-; Columbia Records, Inc.; Contracts.; Dowd, Tom; History of science and technology; Iglesias, Enrique, 1975-; Iglesias, Julio, 1943-; Machete; Machito-Quintero Orchestra; Music; National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (U.S.); Puente, Tito, 1923-2000; RCA Records; Record labels.Allman Brothers Band.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stewart, Rod.; Warner Brother's Company; World war II

02:32:07 - Recording the electric guitar

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Partial Transcript: L--can I ask you something real quickly?

Segment Synopsis: Dowd discusses the unique challenges of recording the electric guitar, such as the utilization of pedals and phase shifting, using examples from his time recording the album 'Disraeli Gears' by the musical group Cream.

Keywords: Amplifiers; Amplifiers (models):Fender Champ; Amplifiers, EchoSonic; Apex Recording; Apex Recording Studio; Baker, Edward "Ginger" (Artist); Bruce, Jack (Artist); Clapton, Eric (Artist); Columbia Records, Inc.; Cream (Artist); Derek and the Dominoes (Artist); Disraeli Gears (Album); Dowd, Tom; Durham, Eddie (Artist); Electric guitars; Fender Musical Instruments Corporation; Foot pedals; Frequencies; Guitars; Hall, René; Hearing; Hearing loss; Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs; Microphones; Moore, Scotty; Paul, Les; Pedals; Phase shifting; RCA Records; Recording; Stigwood, Robert; Stomp Boxes; Tape delay units; Technology; Tempo; Thompson, Art; Volume

Subjects: Audio equipment industry; Baker, Ginger; Bruce, Jack; Clapton, Eric; Columba Records, Inc.; Cream; Derek and the Dominos (Musical group); Dowd, Tom; Durham, Eddie, 1906-1987; Fender Musical Instruments; Guitar; Hall, René; Hearing impaired.; History of science and technology; Moore, Scotty; Music; Paul, Les, 1943-; Paul, Les.; RCA Records; Record labels.; Sound recording industry; Sound recording industry--History; Sound recordings; Sound--Recording and reproducing; Sound--Recording and reproducing--History; Stigwood, Robert, 1934-2016; Thompson, Art; Thompson, Art, 1948-2003