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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => HistoryOfConcertSound.org => Topic started by: Ivan Beaver on February 20, 2020, 12:22:57 pm

Title: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 20, 2020, 12:22:57 pm
This is an interesting read.

I didn't know units like that existed back then.

But I could not even imagine that price either----------

https://www.eventideaudio.com/blog/jgoldbach/remembering-watkins-glenn-festival?fbclid=IwAR0KCkkRGfp4iogDUsfBBNXvujB3GGk1VdQQrAtdCfGGf7nhlyalFF8HOVA
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: frank kayser on February 20, 2020, 12:42:47 pm
This is an interesting read.

I didn't know units like that existed back then.

But I could not even imagine that price either----------

https://www.eventideaudio.com/blog/jgoldbach/remembering-watkins-glenn-festival?fbclid=IwAR0KCkkRGfp4iogDUsfBBNXvujB3GGk1VdQQrAtdCfGGf7nhlyalFF8HOVA (https://www.eventideaudio.com/blog/jgoldbach/remembering-watkins-glenn-festival?fbclid=IwAR0KCkkRGfp4iogDUsfBBNXvujB3GGk1VdQQrAtdCfGGf7nhlyalFF8HOVA)


Ah! So that was what the stage looked like!  I was there and never got close enough that the stage was over a fraction of an inch high.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: Keith Broughton on February 20, 2020, 01:09:58 pm

But I could not even imagine that price either----------


I remember the guy that did Woodstock was asked about delay towers and he said it would have been tape delays and the cost was pretty much the budget for the whole show system!!
No delays for you!
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on February 20, 2020, 02:04:23 pm
Yup  early digital delay was crazy expensive... and not very hifi.

JR
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: Art Welter on February 20, 2020, 02:20:45 pm
This is an interesting read.

I didn't know units like that existed back then.

But I could not even imagine that price either----------
"The 1745s weren’t cheap, with a list price of over $5,000 (1973 dollars; approximately $26,000 today). Back then a fifth of a second of audio delay costs as much as a new car!"

I remember drooling over the Eventide Clockworks delays in the mid 1970s, but could not afford them.
Used a Revox A77 tape recorder as a delay, great sound, but got tired of lugging a 50 pound case with only two echo speeds, and rewinding tape every half hour.

Then around 1976, MXR came out with a rack mount digital delay that cost only a fraction of what the Eventide DDLs were going for, the MXR was around $1200 if I remember correctly. However, they also only had a fraction of the frequency response of the Eventide, only 2.5kHz at 100ms unless you loaded extra memory cards, each which cost about half as much as the unit!

I still remember the UFO band house mixer complaining "I can't hear the bloody digitals" when he went to longer delay settings, 10kHz, 5kHz, 2.5Khz...

For 20kHz bandwidth to 160ms (1240ms at 2.5kHz..) required three additional cards, near the Eventide cost, but on the "installment plan" ;^)

Art




Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on February 20, 2020, 02:34:44 pm
I was designing analog delay based studio effects back in the late 70s and early digital was not cheap and not that good, but quickly evolved to eclipse analog delays.

In the bad old days memory was the expensive part but digital word length was not very good, especially by modern standards. The 1 bit digital delta modulation was an exception where the sound quality could be quite good for short delays (high clock/sample) rates. Longer delays involving lower clock rates introduced users to a new (horrible) kind of digital distortion.

Lucky most of us have managed to forget about those old days. 

JR
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: Ivan Beaver on February 20, 2020, 02:54:07 pm
"The 1745s weren’t cheap, with a list price of over $5,000 (1973 dollars; approximately $26,000 today). Back then a fifth of a second of audio delay costs as much as a new car!"

I remember drooling over the Eventide Clockworks delays in the mid 1970s, but could not afford them.
Used a Revox A77 tape recorder as a delay, great sound, but got tired of lugging a 50 pound case with only two echo speeds, and rewinding tape every half hour.

Then around 1976, MXR came out with a rack mount digital delay that cost only a fraction of what the Eventide DDLs were going for, the MXR was around $1200 if I remember correctly. However, they also only had a fraction of the frequency response of the Eventide, only 2.5kHz at 100ms unless you loaded extra memory cards, each which cost about half as much as the unit!

I still remember the UFO band house mixer complaining "I can't hear the bloody digitals" when he went to longer delay settings, 10kHz, 5kHz, 2.5Khz...

For 20kHz bandwidth to 160ms (1240ms at 2.5kHz..) required three additional cards, near the Eventide cost, but on the "installment plan" ;^)

Art
I remember working on one of those MXRs in the mid 90s.  Yeah, they didn't sound good (it was a power supply problem) and I wondered why people even bought them.

I don't remember the brand of my first digital delay.  I used it to delay my mains to my Servodrive dubs.  The adjustments were in 5ms increments and it was quite noisy.  You had to hit it hard to keep the noise to a "kinda minimum".

Oh how the times have changed.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: Art Welter on February 20, 2020, 03:00:46 pm
I remember working on one of those MXRs in the mid 90s.  Yeah, they didn't sound good (it was a power supply problem) and I wondered why people even bought them.
Because David Gilmore, Frank Zappa and Jean Luc Ponty used them, and people were tired of replacing tapes and cleaning heads...
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,00 people)
Post by: Keith Broughton on February 20, 2020, 03:24:21 pm
I remember working on one of those MXRs in the mid 90s.  Yeah, they didn't sound good (it was a power supply problem) and I wondered why people even bought them.

I don't remember the brand of my first digital delay.  I used it to delay my mains to my Servodrive dubs.  The adjustments were in 5ms increments and it was quite noisy.  You had to hit it hard to keep the noise to a "kinda minimum".

Oh how the times have changed.
My first delay was a Dynacord tape machine.(ouch)
The first digital was a DeltaLab DL4
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Steve-White on February 21, 2020, 07:20:54 pm
My first one was a DeltaLab ADM 1024 Effectron.  Never had the money for a Eventide or Lexicon.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: duane massey on March 09, 2020, 09:38:25 pm
early 70's, we had an Echoplex, and then a Roland Space Echo.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: MikeHarris on March 10, 2020, 02:56:32 am
First delay we sold was 1745A...followed by the M with the first pitch shifter. Lexicon had the very pricey DeltaT 101..followed by the 91 1x1...then the 92 1x2
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Brian Jojade on November 12, 2020, 06:41:57 pm
Back when I was a kid, I built delays with 3 reel to reel machines.  I created a loop that ran around 2 of the machines and then had a third machine in the middle.  By adjusting the placement of that machine, I could increase or reduce the delay without having to mess with the length of tape loop.  For the most part, it worked quite well, albeit cumbersome as heck.  I couldn't imagine taking something like that on tour, ever!
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 13, 2020, 08:21:59 am
Back when I was a kid, I built delays with 3 reel to reel machines.  I created a loop that ran around 2 of the machines and then had a third machine in the middle.  By adjusting the placement of that machine, I could increase or reduce the delay without having to mess with the length of tape loop.  For the most part, it worked quite well, albeit cumbersome as heck.  I couldn't imagine taking something like that on tour, ever!
They had delay towers at Woodstock (the original), but didn't use them, according to Bill Hanely.  The promoter could not afford the rental of the tap machines he was going to use as delay units.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Daniel Levi on November 13, 2020, 05:03:02 pm
Of course a lot of early electronic music relied on tape loops and I know people like Jean Michel Jarre used homemade tape echo.
He (JMJ) on his early works did not have a multitrack recorder so used 4 stereo reel to reel's, sync being starting them all at the same time and recording for as long as they would stay in sync. I believe Oxygene was done in this way albeit with a custom modification from Michel Geiss (who also created the Matrisequencer and Rhythmicomputer) that allowed JMJ to start all the machines with one button.
I believe he reckoned he could get up to ~7mins before they would lose sync. 
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Dan Mortensen on November 17, 2020, 07:58:42 pm
They had delay towers at Woodstock (the original), but didn't use them, according to Bill Hanely.  The promoter could not afford the rental of the tap machines he was going to use as delay units.

The first sentence isn't quite correct, but the second one is.

Hanley had planned and advocated for delays on towers, but when the client wouldn't pay for the delays (according to Bill, $8000 each at the time), he eliminated them and they were never set up in any way.

I'm ASSuming that this is why the upper speakers were so high in the air (he's said 80', but looking closely at pictures last weekend we came up with more like 60' or 70' -- it's a little hard to count the scaffold levels) to cover the rear of the crowd. The other reason they were so high is the site sloped up, with flat parts in the middle on each side of center, and he said he wanted to cover the people at the rear of those flat middle parts.

I specifically asked him about this today on the phone, and didn't quite follow what he said was going to be used as delay devices.

Reading this whole thread again, Keith said Bill said they would have been tape-based, and that was what he seemed to be telling me today.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Ivan Beaver on November 18, 2020, 08:11:19 am
The first sentence isn't quite correct, but the second one is.

Hanley had planned and advocated for delays on towers, but when the client wouldn't pay for the delays (according to Bill, $8000 each at the time), he eliminated them and they were never set up in any way.

I'm ASSuming that this is why the upper speakers were so high in the air (he's said 80', but looking closely at pictures last weekend we came up with more like 60' or 70' -- it's a little hard to count the scaffold levels) to cover the rear of the crowd. The other reason they were so high is the site sloped up, with flat parts in the middle on each side of center, and he said he wanted to cover the people at the rear of those flat middle parts.

I specifically asked him about this today on the phone, and didn't quite follow what he said was going to be used as delay devices.

Reading this whole thread again, Keith said Bill said they would have been tape-based, and that was what he seemed to be telling me today.
I am just going off of what he told a crowd of audio guys at a little "gathering" years ago.  I saw a photo that "looked" like delay towers ( dark things in the crowd that were spaced as if they could be delays).

I know it has been a few years. 
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Dan Mortensen on November 18, 2020, 03:20:58 pm
I am just going off of what he told a crowd of audio guys at a little "gathering" years ago.  I saw a photo that "looked" like delay towers ( dark things in the crowd that were spaced as if they could be delays).

I know it has been a few years.

Thanks for the response!

If you can find that photo, I'd like to see it. No photo that I've been able to find has anything other than follow-spot towers and those peaked food vendor structures visible out in the crowd.

It has definitely been a few years, which is why I'm so glad to have met and connected with Bill, so we can get PA things documented with explanations straight from the source.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Tim McCulloch on November 19, 2020, 10:50:04 am
Thanks for the response!

If you can find that photo, I'd like to see it. No photo that I've been able to find has anything other than follow-spot towers and those peaked food vendor structures visible out in the crowd.

It has definitely been a few years, which is why I'm so glad to have met and connected with Bill, so we can get PA things documented with explanations straight from the source.

Shameless promotion:  Dan has been doing "Tea Time Topics" via Zoom on Saturdays (4p-ish, Pacific Time).  As part of the 2020 AES convention, he met up with Bill Hanley and invited Bill to TTT.  He's been coming for 3 weeks so far!  I encourage our LABsters to contact Dan about being part of these.  For a taste of what these are like, see the DansoundSeattle YouTube channel...

And while you're there I suggest you take a look at the Pacific North West AES Chapter presentation by Sylvia Massey on her microphone collection.  The video is Dan's edit of a VERY long session (see the separate audience video).  Ms Massey is a great presenter and she set up several demos.  Well worth the hours of your life... and there aren't many things I can say that about.
Title: Re: Early delays at a large concert (only 600,000 people)
Post by: Dan Mortensen on November 19, 2020, 03:37:56 pm
Shameless promotion:

Thanks for that unsolicited endorsement, Tim! I have a great time at those Saturday things, and other people including Bill and you appear to feel the same. The general lack of interest on PSW is curious but not debilitating to me, especially since we've s often covered so much interesting concert sound history.

One minor correction: The version of Sylvia's talk that was shown at the Convention is my edit of the very long meeting version. The one with Sylvia and everyone else that is on my website is Gary Louie's edit, which basically cut the meeting in half. The second half is on there, too.

The one shown at the AES Convention (slightly over an hour) is not on my website yet. It's not clear about the ownership of the videos shown at the Convention, although I have an opinion about that issue.