Oral history of recorded sound

Haddy, Arthur, former engineer and technical director for Decca Records. Oral History of Recorded Sound

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    Haddy, Arthur, 1906- (male)

  • Abstract

    Early years working for Crystalate. First recording with J Widden's Dance Band. Early recordings at Hampstead Town Hall and the equipment used. Alan Blumlein's work for Columbia on microphones and subsequent work on television. Leaving Decca to work in New York, standardising stereo recordings, concentrating on Full Frequency Range Response (FFRR). CBS recording on 16" discs, production of LPs, cutting onacetate discs. 1957 meeting in Zurich to standardise recordings. No future for quadrophonics. Two-track classical recordings made in 1958. The use of Neumann mikes. The lack of musical knowledge of early balance engineers. Relationship between engineers, producers and musicians. Talks about John Culshaw. Recording on tape using 3TRI machine. Mono and stereo equipment. Dolby system. 1954 patent taken out on electrical monitoring modulation. Recording on copper. Meeting Blumlein. Decca buys out Crystalate. Description of Sir Edward Lewis. Maurice Rosengarten builds up classical catalogue and sells catalogue back to Decca. Hearing recording by Voigt using a moving-coil loud speaker. Voigt's 'pick-up'. Description of moving-coil loud speaker. Developing FFRR and becoming known as the 'father' of hi-fi. Victor Olad. Art of balancing a recording. Using tape for recordings, digital recordings. Success of LPs. Recording in Kingsway Hall. First records with Sir Georg Solti.

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I was a junior classical recording engineer in the 1970s. I have a particular memory which involved Christopher which occurred in 1974, Decca Studio 3; and involved the classical department’s secretary. She was my partner and had left Decca to join to join Red Seal RCA about 6 months before this event and was working in their classical department. I asked her to type up my poems using the Decca typewriter, as I liked the typeface. However, I was found out and Christopher visited me in Decca 3, he chastised me in no small way using his characteristic “...don’t you ever, ever, ever do that again ...”. This is replicated in this Archive Recording when he’s talking about Walter Legge and uses the “ ... very, very...” expression (at 11m:58s). Unfortunately, I was totally unaware of Christopher's concerns. Following this event, I tended avoid Christopher until I left Decca in 1975!

Posted by Doug Gleave, Recording Technology Tutor, Morley College on 18/09/2010 23:03:00