The Buzz: 20 Years Ago in
Sound & Video Contractor
Jun 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson
The issue's focus was movie sound systems. Ted Uzzle, director of market development for Altec Lansing Sound Products, wrote the lead article, “Motion Picture Theater Sound.” Uzzle later became editor of Sound & Video Contractor and is now on the faculty at Columbia College, Chicago. This piece is probably the first thing he wrote for the magazine. Who knew? In this article, Uzzle explains the differences in technology in motion picture sound systems from most of the other types of sound systems.
The staff at JBL got together and co-authored “An Award-winning Sound System,” which detailed the upgrade of an already well-regarded system at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
The Sound & Video Contractor staff worked long and hard compiling info for the first annual Buyers' Guide, which made its debut as part of the magazine; it still comes as part of the June issue but now it's a standalone piece. The Buyers' Guide spanned 61 pages and included a product directory divided into 27 categories, manufacturers' names, contact information (no websites or email addresses yet), and even classification by brand names.
Robert B. Ingebretsen looked at several personal computer systems to help provide insight into selecting the best system for the client's needs. Ingebretsen, a member of the Sound & Video Contractor consultant staff, gave a brief overview of available products, from the Commodore 64, TRS-80, and Apple II or IBM PC to Apple Macintosh and IBM PC (XT or AT). Quite interesting to see how much the computer industry has progressed in 20 years.
In “A New Dimension in Cinema Sound,” William H. Mead, a sales engineering administrator for Dolby Labs, explained what it really meant when a theater promoted Dolby sound. Mead outlined the developments and improvements to cinema sound in the preceding 10 years and then went on to define what Dolby Stereo was and how it worked. … Stereo? What's that?
In the monthly column “Reinforced Audio,” David Schierman addressed a topic that's still hot today: education. Schierman commented on the relatively slim pickings in educational opportunities for people interested in sound reinforcement. He also recommended a few reference texts — Harry F. Olsen and D. Van Nostrand's Acoustical Engineering, Howard F. Tremaine's Audio Cyclopedia, and Don and Carolyn Davis' Sound System Engineering — and provided some cautionary words regarding seminars and the motivation that some may have for sponsoring them.
In “Business News” JBL announced the formation of four divisions: JBL Professional; Harman America, consumer products; JBL International, exporting group; and Harman Manufacturing, manufacturing division.
In ads from 20 years ago, Paso Sound Products introduced a new series of unidirectional dynamic mics dubbed “The Handlers.” AKG was promoting some of its condenser models: the C-535, the C-567 lavalier, and the C-568 short shotgun. Siemens — remember them? — advertised an infrared listening system made by Sennheiser. Switchcraft advertised its wide selection of connectors, adapters, and audio accessories. Valley People introduced its Model 440 Dynamic Sibilance Processor.
Rauland-Borg Corporation advertised a couple of communications systems, the Telecenter IV and 5000, targeted at schools, and the Responder III and System 3000, for the health-care market. Formed in 1920 as the Rauland Manufacturing Company by E. Norman Rauland, the company built consumer radios and communications equipment. It developed CRTs in the late 1930s and became a provider of radar and communications equipment during World War II. Rauland-Borg was formed in 1949 as it joined with Borg-Warner, with commercial, industrial, and military communications products becoming a major focus of its business. The Telecenter line was first introduced in the late 1960s, and after acquiring the Picker-Briggs Company (manufacturer of the Responder systems) in the late 1970s, incorporated its product into the line as well. Today Rauland continues to manufacture the Telecenter and Responder systems and other communications systems and accessories.
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