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MMD > Archives > March 1997 > 1997.03.25 > 07Prev  Next

Chaining Patterns
By Wayne Stahnke

In yesterday's Digest, Spencer Chase asked for comments concerning the desirability of reproducing webbing patterns (he calls them "chaining patterns") when replicating original rolls. There are six reasons why this aspect of roll manufacture should be preserved throughout the replication process:

(1) There is musical information contained in the webbing. In some Licensee rolls, for example, the master rolls were originally fabricated with the perforation lengths corresponding to the actual note lengths, that is, the lengths played by the pianist at the recording session. At a later time, some notes were extended for various reasons. When this is done, the webbing pattern is interrupted by a slot, clearly indicating the start of the (artificial) extension.

(2) It often happens that there were perforator errors when the final production roll was punched. The most common error is a single over-punch caused by the failure of the return spring to act soon enough. Many, if not most, of these over-punch errors can be spotted by eye by examining the webbing pattern. Other, more complicated errors can also be found, usually by eye.

(3) Modifications to rolls were often made using alternate webbing patterns. The most obvious example of this is early Ampico rolls that were subsequently re-coded for use with the New Ampico. The new webbing style is clearly apparent in the crescendos (1B, 5B, 5T, and 1T), and can also be seen in other places as well.

(4) In some rolls, Licensee rolls among them, there was only one phase of webbing (punch-skip-skip-punch). The phase of this webbing provides a check on the correctness of the scan and perforation process. In this case the loss would be particularly egregious.

(5) In many instances, the webbing pattern used by a manufacturer changed over the course of the years. The particular pattern allows identifi- cation of the period and manufacturing branch responsible for the production. British Duo-Art rolls are different from American Duo-Art rolls, for example.

(6) There is no argument whatsoever in favor of destroying the original webbing. No "new" pattern is superior to the original pattern in any way.

Alas, purchasers of recuts don't demand this authenticity and precision. The techniques exist, but the market isn't there yet, and so the development of economical methods only proceeds slowly.

I hope this note has been helpful.

Wayne Stahnke

(Message sent Tue 25 Mar 1997, 04:13:12 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Chaining, Patterns

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