By Craig Brougher
|I've been bothered about some Ampico recuts I bought a year ago, and something you said about Tonneson's reading technique triggered this letter.
The 88-noters are okay, but the accents on the Ampico rolls are not all "clean." To an untrained ear they would sound all right I guess, but I can tell very clearly that in certain sections they are muddy-sounding recuts. Have you possibly heard this effect, and have you any idea why the accents aren't quite the way they should be?
Ampico used 3-to-1 masters for a reason -- and I'm sure that's the reason. When you have made your first punched copy from a master, you have a _third generation_ performance. By the time you read a copy (4), make another master from the copy and play it into the readout device (5), and from that, punch another copy, you have a 6th generation performance.
Ampico rolls are more critical, timing-wise, than are Duo-Art rolls, because of the (almost) instantaneous reaction of the regulator valve to the expression holes in the roll. The time lag is practically zero (as far as the music is concerned).
With a Duo-Art, the timing requirements are much more lenient due to the way in which the coding must be "anticipated" and timed to allow for accordion positions to be fully set up.
Welte anticipated accents too. Their device was centered around a mezzo-forte hook, but even at that, they had to position two large bellows before the note could accent, and they were catching them on the fly, back and forth on either side of the hook. The forzanzo pneumatic was, by design, a timed positioning device, which also made the roll tempo sensitive to forzando. So I believe that the percentage lead-time for the Welte also increased a Welte roll's tolerance to be recut.
The ear is easily fooled by "coding tricks" in the Welte and Duo-Art -- primarily lead-time. Ampico is different. They were nailing expression nuances as those intensities were being played. This makes the Ampico the criteria roll for recuts. When a perforator can knock out a great Ampico roll, hole for hole, it can easily do the rest.
What is your take on this?
(Message sent Sat 8 Feb 1997, 15:31:10 GMT, from time zone GMT.)