Plea for Test Rolls
By Wayne Stahnke
|With the success of the Ampico test roll effort, several people have suggested expanding the project to include rolls for other reproducing piano systems. At this point, there is no problem in scanning test rolls and recreating the master rolls that created them for any conceivable system. The problem is in locating the rolls, which are widely scattered.|
This note is a plea for help. If you know of the whereabouts of original test rolls for any of the reproducing piano systems, please get in touch with me. The particular rolls that are needed most right now are the early Ampico test rolls (issued prior to December of 1922) and the early Duo-Art test rolls (issued prior to 1927). Please help in this worthy effort if you can.
The results are available to everyone.
[ Editor's Note:
[ For a long time now, Wayne has been using software which took
[ advantage of what was known about the perforators which originally
[ punched the rolls being read. Using this knowledge, and a carefully
[ calibrated pneumatic reader, it was often possible to "regenerate" the
[ perforations which were on the master roll. The implication of this
[ is that two or more readings of the roll would produce identical
[ results, and rolls which are perforated from the files so generated
[ should have identical starting and ending points for each hole.
[ Wayne is now scanning rolls with an optical scanner which is so
[ accurate it can see the scalloping along the edge of long holes.
[ Not only is it possible to regenerate the "master roll", but the
[ process is so accurate that it is possible to infer the perforating
[ "cadence" during long holes, and in some cases identify errors in
[ test rolls.
[ I hope that folks take Wayne up on his request. This effort will
[ improve our knowledge of the instruments and their evolution (some
[ of this historical data has been lost). It will also allow those of
[ us who are interested to learn more about the recording process and
[ the machines which did the perforating.
(Message sent Sat 28 Sep 1996, 02:55:47 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)