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MMD > Archives > November 1998 > 1998.11.01 > 11Prev  Next

B.A.B. to Wurlitzer 165 Roll Conversion
By Matthew Caulfield

Art Reblitz explained very clearly the mechanical and pneumatic
differences between the B.A.B. and the Wurlitzer snare drum actions.
Robbie offered a solution to the problem, but it wouldn't work because,
in making the B.A.B. 66-key transcriptions to the Wurlitzer 165 scale,
Play-Rite changed the snare drum "coding" in the roll.  The two
parallel columns of single-tap holes found in the B.A.B. roll (holes 2
and 3) have been combined and punched into the 165-conversions as a
single column (hole 11).  So there would be nothing in the converted
roll to operate a B.A.B.-type snare drum action.

In looking at some original B.A.B. roll sections which I have, it
bewilders me as to how Play-Rite managed to handle the various spacings
punched into the B.A.B. roll to make them come out in the conversions
in a decent pattern.  Using the two separate single-tap columns, B.A.B.
could create fast or slow rolls -- even to the point of discrete single
taps.  I wonder how Play-Rite prevented those slower rolls from
fragmenting into disorganized random beats and also prevented the
faster taps from merging into one long roll?

I hadn't thought about this before, but it reinforces my feeling that
conversions are a bad idea in principle.

While on the subject of B.A.B. technology, does anyone know for sure
what register perforation was used by B.A.B. to kick its multiplexing
system from playing the bass drum/snare drum combination into playing
the triangle/castanet combination?  There is no dedicated hole for this
in the B.A.B. tracker scales, so it must have been accomplished in
combination with the turning on and off of one of the pipe registers.
Play-Rite simply ignored this feature in its conversions, so bass drum
and snare drum are all that play; the triangle and castanets remain
silent in all conversion rolls.

Matthew Caulfield

(Message sent Sun 1 Nov 1998, 19:59:34 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  165, B.A.B, Conversion, Roll, Wurlitzer

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