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MMD > Archives > April 2005 > 2005.04.14 > 02Prev  Next

6/inch Music Roll Perforating Service
By Bob Billings

We've been making 9/inch rolls for several years, and last year got the
6/inch format going as well.  Recently we built a precision reader and
can now copy either of these formats.  With our computer controlled
perforator we can punch at the original step size, however odd (and
some of them are pretty odd indeed!), making punch-for-punch accurate

In the beginning we were doing only John Farrell's JAM rolls, and an
occasional 88-note or Ampico job, using the services of the Tonnesen's
to read the rolls.  John arranges his rolls on a computer and does an
remarkable job of transcribing music from records, sheet music, etc.,
to rolls that sound hand-played, so no reading was required to make
those rolls.  Late last year John tried his hand at arranging some of
his 88-note rolls for the A-roll format.  After sorting out the process
his first A-roll is outstanding, and the second is in progress.

With the completion of the reader we've done some complete 88-note
jobs, from reading the original to the boxed and labeled final product.
We have now started on 10-tune 6/inch rolls, and have successfully
copied "A" and "4-X" music rolls which play well on real machines.
At this time we are limited to 11-1/4 inch wide rolls, and can't do
Theme holes.  Later this year we hope to have a Duo-Art punch and die
set going, and eventually a set for the T-100 Red Welte.  Since the
T-100 paper is wider we will have to order paper wide enough to trim
to the proper size as it is punched.

The roll files are processed through a computer after they are created
at the reader.  During this process corrections can be made -- very
useful for rolls in poor condition, or ones with obvious errors in the
originals.  Notes are put on the original grid, which is also useful
in re-aligning inaccurate copies of the originals.  Tunes can be shrunk
or stretched to keep the correct playing tempo when they are rearranged
on a roll, such as might happen when assembling a roll from tunes from
several other rolls.  Conversion between formats is also possible, within
certain limits.  Converting a 65-note roll to 88-note format is a piece
of cake, converting between nickelodeon formats is not.  Computers can
be wonderful when they are not driving one up the walls.

Anyone with a project in mind can contact us at tel. 1-775-853-4659 or

Eventually we will read all the rolls in our collection and make copies
available.  This will include the largest collections of Pete Wendling
and Recordo rolls anywhere.

Bob Billings

 [ John and Bob, please tell us about the new A-roll!  -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 14 Apr 2005, 04:16:51 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  6/inch, Music, Perforating, Roll, Service

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