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MMD > Archives > February 2000 > 2000.02.09 > 10Prev  Next

Welte-Mignon T-100 Recording System Technology
By Richard Simonton, Jr.

Craig Brougher's article in MMD on 2/7/00 should influence (if not
silence) those who claim the recording of expression was faked or that
the Welte reproducing piano system was incapable of recording with
enough accuracy to satisfy some highly-critical ears.  Thanks, Craig,
for taking the trouble to quote from the endorsements.

To the credit of the skeptics, I will admit it is hard to estimate
the amount of pure invention that went into development of the Welte
process.  (Today, it might be called Rocket Science.)

As an "Imagineer" for Disney theme park attractions, I have been
exposed to various ways of recording and replaying digital and analog
control signals, from the early cam machines to the latest computer
technology.  And I can also recognize a range of pneumatic, hydraulic,
and electric actuators that are easily ordered from a catalog and flown
in by the next day.

But a century ago, it must have been daunting just to conceive of the
technical details, let alone actually assemble and perfect a prototype
reproducing piano system that could be accepted as accurate.  But while
it might have been tremendously challenging, it would not have been
impossible.  So, rather than doubt their achievements because of a lack
of information or understanding, I would venerate the technical genius
of Welte's engineers for musical results that can be appreciated on an
emotional level.

Richard Simonton, Jr.

(Message sent Wed 9 Feb 2000, 20:36:29 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Recording, System, T-100, Technology, Welte-Mignon

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