Welcome to DaviSound "NEWS UPDATES" !
Copyright ©1999-2022 by Hayne Davis, DaviSound
NEWS UPDATE ... from Hayne Davis ...
October 31, 2022... ... November 26, 2022
eMail- DaviSound at DaviSound dot com ... Text- 803 - 944 - 7972
January 19, 2022 - '' DaviSliding into '22 ...DaviStarting a New DaviSlate '' l Febuary 21, 2022 - '' DaviSeventy-Four '' l March 26, 2022 - '' DaviSpring 2022 '' l April 30, 2022 - '' DaviSegmented'' l May 31, 2022 - '' DaviSliding DaviSnakes'' l June 28, 2022 - '' DaviSummer '22=DaviStrung and DaviStung'' l July 31, 2022 - '' DaviSameOld '' l August 29, 2022 - '' THE DaviSound? '' l September 30, 2022 - ''DaviSeptember'' l October 31, 2022 - ''DaviSpooky '22'' l November 26, 2022 - ''DaviSearched'' l
TO DAVISOUND MAIN INDEX
'' DaviSearched '' ...
First, let me say Happy Holidays to all ... hope yours are enjoyable so far ! It's in the midst of another Thanksgiving weekend as I write this and lots to be thankful for most definitely ... and I am!
This will be another brief one and another inspired by a recent reader email ... and nice to see after last month's email drought! I will save the work progress details one more time until the year end wrap-up coming next month as this one will be a bit off topic once again (although not another very long ''ramble'' I promise but a worthy and interesting read I believe).
The email I refer to was from an inquiror (not a current or former ''client'' per se but an interested reader) who had stumbled across a post I had made on a music history website blog. The inquiror had been searching for me by name, ran across this particular post in the search engine offering and, with curiosity aroused, sent me an email asking all about it.
Here is a screenshot of the post I had made on this particular website (link provided later) some years back ...
You see, my studio, Mother Cleo Productions, later MCP DaviSound, was NOT the first recording studio located in our small town of Newberry South Carolina! There was a predecessor who was actually quite well known and successful in it's day. Jim Price, a local photo shop operator, also operated Jim Dandy Records from his small operation which was housed inside a rennovated old dwelling on Adelaide Street in Newberry very near the old Newberry County Fairgrounds.
I used to visit the photo shop as a sub teenager to utilize their film developing service as I had a passion for photography long before I ever knew there was a ''recording studio'' hiding inside somewhere. It was not until several years later when I stumbled upon a Jim Dandy Records release in the possession of one of my neighbors. The record was ''Caravan'' by Bill Trader and The Castaways ( who I later learned hailed from neighboring Union County). When I heard this (I was a teenager just starting my own band at the time) I was ''knocked out'' by both the precision performance of the band as well as the excellent quality of the recording! Naturally, I had to go and try to find out more about this remarkable discovery.
As hard as some may find it to believe, I was always a fairly shy kid (''DaviShy''?), particularly in my early years, so it was not easy for me to approach someone the same age as my dad who came across just a bit intimidating on occasion. But, after my cousin and I happened to catch Jim Price in one of his more engaging moods one afternoon, he told us quite a lot about his studio and was finally about to take us back to show us around when a business associate dropped in and interupted. He invited us to come back at a later time but, although I did visit him again many years later, I never managed to actually see the little studio itself located somewhere behind his front sales office in the back rooms adjacent to his photo labs.. But, I had been very intrigued and inspired by some of the recording stories he told and the photos he showed us of some of his recording sessions. One was a photo of Ernest Tubb doing a demo session with his band after a brief fairgrounds appearance in the late 1950s. I was particularly fascinated by his detailed descriptions of some of his recording techniques, including finally substituting a 2 x 4 strapped to the drummer's foot after he couldn't get a good bass drum sound otherwise! It was also amazing to me how many Grand Ole Opry ''stars'' had found their way into that little out of the way place to do demos, or even record releases, on some occasion while touring the area.
Jim also recorded and released the original version of ''Double Shot Of My Baby's Love'' by the Ideals Combo of Columbia. S.C. which was later copied and turned into a monster nationwide hit by The Swinging Medallions of neighboring Greenwood, S.C.
The website shown above (and linked below) later updated quite a few details and history surrounding Jim Dandy Records years after my post which I discovered upon re-reading after my inquiror's email. He did have a few facts a bit off including the date of closing of Jim's operation. Jim was still active in some fashion operating out of that building as late as 1970 when I last stopped in for a brief visit.
The old deserted Jim Dandy building as it is today.
In the days of operation it was painted white,
well maintained, and had the Jim Dandy
logo painted across the roof.
So, once again I have used this forum to ''DaviStumble'' my way down memory lane. But, after being reinspired by the reader email I felt the need to document some of this here to ''DaviShare'' with all of you. Thank you for indulging me! If you would like to read the article I referred to with more bio on Jim Price and another area with some of his discography, here are the links-
Hillbilly Country Jim Dandy Story
I hope all of you will continue to enjoy the holiday season and that you will join me again here next month when I attempt my annual "DaviSummary" of where things stand with ongoing projects (''DaviStandings''?) and my optimistic predictions for the coming year.
As always, I thank you very much for ''tuning in''!
October 31, 2022
'' DaviSpooky '22 " ...
HAPPY HALLOWEEN !No tricks this month or, for that matter. no treats either!
Just another ''DaviShort'' brief update to let everyone know that I'm still here, doing relatively well, and still plodding along with the huge ''DaviSortment'' of projects and requirements that continue to pile up in every direction.
I just had my ''end of the year'' checkup with my cardioligist this past week and just ''celebrated'' the anniversary of my heart surgery on the 28th. The doctor visit and latest EKG went well with the exception of being scolded for my modifying my medication regimen on my own. It HAS been quite a year as reflected over again in some of the prior months' posts (below), but I am starting to feel more and more like my ''old DaviSelf '' (''DaviStubborn'' and ''grumpy old man'' as it may be!).
I am making some progress on all the work projects but nothing worthy of a snapshot this month but which I hope will change by next month's update. Maybe by then I will have a few photos uploaded to show some of the continuing efforts going on down this way. Nothing really to show here now but ''boring'' circuit work (when time, opportunity and circumstances permit) at this point so we'll just save the ''evidence'' snapshots until later.
Untypically, there were almost NO new emails this past month and NO new texts from anyone so no new ''DaviStimuli'' there either. It seems like things are kind of ''DaviSluggish'' all over lately but I imagine that will change as we head into the holiday season and the new year ahead.
I do hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful fall season and that things are going well in your direction. Meanwhile, please ''tune in'' here again next month for, hopefully, something finally ''DaviSubstantial'' in the way of pro audio news to ''DaviShare'' with you!
September 30, 2022
It seems it was only last month when I was writing about ''DaviSeptember'' 2021. A LOT has happened since then, however, and much of it unpleasant (health related for both my wife and me). But, in spite of all of that, much of which was well documented (again) in the second part of last month's post below, I have been ''DaviSnailing'' my way back into ''regular activities'' in recent months.
I was planning to do a piece on ''DaviStandards'' where I rant about the LACK of audio standards in all types of media these days (broadcast and, particularly the myriad of streaming platforms). However, since I am just now coming out of a near month-long, intermittent ''Migraine Marathon'', I felt it best to not spend a whole lot of time on the old computer quite yet ... didn't want to push it and ''DaviSlide'' back into that routine again! So, many of you will be thankful to know, this will be a very ''DaviShort'' update for ''DaviSeptember''! The ''DaviStandards'' rant will have to wait for another time.
I was also inspired by another email (as I often am) to, once again, address another inqury about the status of ''DaviSecrets'', the forthcoming replacement ''eBook'' to the old ''Tech Reports''. Well, believe it or not, I made more progress in that direction this summer than I anticipated (which, no doubt, contributed to those troublesome migraine auras and migraine vestibular vertigo episodes). The thing that is the biggest hold-up is the re-working of all the graphics from crude, hand drawn schematics and layouts to the more ''civilized'' CAD graphics. So, assuming I can remain somewhat free of the migraine trigger plague, I do expect to be able to announce the LONG awaited availability of the new ''DaviSecrets'' efforts sometime in early 2023.
Meanwhile, all the other projects documented here this year have received some continuing attention, as circumstances permit, even at the inevitable ''DaviSnailpace''. Once again, this is not quite the year of full backlog completions as anticipated, but this time for very understandable reasons. However, I am glad to say that, in spite of all the neccessary recouperative delays and setbacks, I am much CLOSER on each of the work projects, in some cases closer than expected a few months ago.
So thank you all for your continued interest, encouragement and above all to you clients in waiting, for your enduring patience! Please ''stay tuned'' for further developments and I will try to have more ''DaviSubstance'' for you here next month!
PS- SInce I received a couple of texts this month that did not initially include name and address, I need to remind everyone that while I welcome texts, if I do not already have the sender documented in my contact file, I have to go through the routine of asking for this info before replying. So, all texters please note and remember that I cannot correspond with anonymous inquiries other than to request your full name and address (same goes for eMail of couorse). So, please include this information, along with your reason for reaching out, anytime you send a text. Thanl you!
August 29, 2022
'' THE DaviSound ? " ...
Was planning a sort of an extension to last month's ''DaviSameOld'' as the ''dog days'' drag on in many ways around here this month....
That was, until, I happened to check email prior to writing this update and had TWO new emails that I thought I might should address here publicly (well, actually, one was an email and the other a text message).
The first email was from an inquiror asking me if I was aware that there were other businesses now on the Internet turning up in search results with the name DaviSound. The inquiror wanted to know how that was possible if DaviSound was a legal trade name belonging to THE DaviSound.
While I have not run a search for ''DaviSound'' in quite some time, I do know that the last time I did so, I also saw numerous other small businesses scattered around who are now copying our original name on public sites. Were these various other Davis audio oriented outfits aware of us, THE ''DaviSound'' and truly copying our name or did they just ''happen'' to ''creatively'' come up with the same acronym that I did many years ago? Possibly a little bit of both although, all modesty aside, I find it hard to imagine that ANY half aware, truly professional, company in the audio business today has not, at some time, at least heard of, and therefore had prior knowledge of, THE ''DaviSound''.
DaviSound has been a copyrighted, and registered trade name since I first added it to our old ''MCP'' (MCP / DaviSound) back in the mid seventies. So, obviously, I could send a formal cease and desist legal notice to any of these companies operating with our long standing name at any time forcing them to stop using/publishing our trade name! Why have I not done so? Well, mainly, because they were not typically operating in the nationwide and/or global marketplace and are, essentially just small, local studios or retailers (at my last check anyway). There is one major installer in Australia, that I know of, called DaviSound but I have not felt any "threat" from their direction either.
The only aggravation of it all to me is the fact that they DO turn up in the search engines, (sometimes ahead of us!) when folks are truly searching for THIS ... THE DaviSound! Just a few years ago, this was NOT the case...we were the ONLY ''DaviSound'' that showed up in an internet search. Now, there are also several Davis Sound companies out there who use just the two names and NOT the acronym which, of course, is perfectly legal but still adds to the Internet search confusion (I did a post about this search result discrimination by Google some time ago!).
The bottom line here is this ... suffice it to say that we were the first and original ''DaviSound'' and also the first to copyright the name in documented fashion over five decades ago! THIS DaviSound has been written about, and advertised in, dozens of trade magazines over the years prior to the Internet and was also the FIRST ''DaviSound'' to ever show up ANYWHERE on the Internet back in the '90s! So, if anyone ever ask you, you can assure them that Hayne Davis' ''DaviSound'' truly is THE ORIGINAL!
The other message I received today was a text from a Canadian client who I have not heard from in almost a decade. He had read about my two heart attacks (actually THREE over the course of a week if you count the middle, unstable angina episode!) and my subsequent triple by-pass surgery in late October last year. He was asking me how I was progressing and stated that he had a double by-pass a couple of years back and was STILL not quite back to full recovery. Naturally, as most of you readers can imagine, I started typing out one of my typically LONG replies to his text before simply retracting and giving him a shorter reply while asking him to refer to this, today's News Update, for my detailed answer.
Well ... I am definitely progressing to be sure. BUT ... although I have always been a ''mind-over-matter'' type and able to put most of my lifelong ailments somewhat in the background, I have to admit that this ordeal was, and in many ways still is, the hardest health ordeal that I have ever had to work through. It truly is the old up one, back two (or sometimes three) routine over and over again. I have many pretty good days only to have a terrible day hit out of nowhere still (like this past Thursday when I became so weak and lightheaded that I could hardly function). I have been pushing myself with heavier and heavier cardio exercise which I think helps overall. However, most of these weak, ''crash'' days seem to occur the day after I have just been pushing too hard for the days prior. To me the most frustrating thing about all of this is trying to ''DaviSchedule'' anything! That's because you never know exactly what cards you will be dealt on any given day. Not knowing how you will feel from day to day is very frustrating for someone like me who likes to know, and predict, daily routines and commitments with a firm schedule well in advance!
Another issue that I have to deal with is the occasional AFIB (Atrial Fibrillation) episode (just had one earlier today when I launched the computer to try and begin writing this post!). I had my first AFIB episode two days after surgery and, believe me, it was VERY noticeable! While they say that AFIB episodes themselves are not life threatening (the big danger is the possible stroke after effect they cause), I can tell you that mine are definitely incapacitating while they last which, so far thankfully, have been only brief and lasting less than an hour. But, they do require some special techniques and a rest period afterward to overcome. Ironically, green tea is supposed to be a preventive and wouldn't you know I was sipping a cup of green tea just awhile ago when my latest episode errupted! Fortunately, to date, these episodes have been fairly few and far between but, again, it is one more thing to keep you ''up in the air'' about trying to schedule any specific acivity for any specific date/time!
Another disconcerting aspect of all of this is the fact that my chest area, around the sternum where the incision was made, continues to exhibit both numbness on the skin surface as well as minor to moderate pain underneath in the bone. This hasn't changed much since the surgery itself. Then, there are the occasional sharp pains in the area (which I am told is nerves ''firing'' trying to reconnect) just above the heart which can be a bit alarming even though you become somewhat used to it. Finally, to top it off, my migraines with visual disturbance aura are more frequent lately (one coming on now as I have been on the computer too long!)! So, all one can do is just wake up and take ''inventory'' from day to day and try to schedule each day depending on one's capabilities for that day. Then, of course, even that is not a sure thing since things can swing the wrong way in a ''heart beat'' (pun optional)! I tell my wife many days, when she asks how I am, that I am still ''on the fence'' waiting to see which way things will lean as the day progresses.
But, I assure you, in spite of all of this, I am NOT falling apart! Considering how far I have come over the past nine months, I am getting stronger overall, over time. I still have the blood pressure spiking issues (even on beta blocker) and the occasional ''fatigued out'' day so I guess I just have to learn to pace myself and operate within the given limitations. As I mentioned at the outset, not a whole lot of progress was made since my last abbreiviated post in July. The medical testing carried over into this month as well with the last procedure being an ultra sound of my carotid arteries since it was suspected that I would have at least a 50% blockage there (and possibly 70% or more requiring surgery) based on my heart condition and the fact that my primary physician heard some unusual sounds in the stethoscope while examining my arteries. But, I managed to pull out a pleasant surprise result there with only very mild narrowing of both arteries ...far better than most my age! So, a little something to celebrate for a change!
I have managed to complete several MasterPiece modules and fabricate a few of the wiring harnesses still needed for the existing projects that I have on the tables here this month. Please join me here again next month to see what progress I am able to make for ''DaviSeptember''!
Until then, thanks for ''tuning in''!
PS- We had another ''ordeal'' to deal with here this month also. We lost our beloved, 14 year old Blue Healer, Mattie. As most of you fellow dog lovers know, loosing one is not much different from loosing a family member so it has not been easy for my wife and me. Fortunately, our twelve year old, Maltese, Pretty Penni, is still fine and behaving like the ''puppy'' she has always been so that is some consolation. Still, I could not let this News Update go by without remembering Mattie herein!
July 31, 2022
'' DaviSameOld " ...
The usual mid-summer "DaviStall" here so nothing much to update since last month (scroll below)!
Aside from the mid-year vacation break first of the month and a "DaviStream" of routine doctor visits/lab tests for both my wife and me the past two weeks, not a whole lot has changed since the last update (I did manage to squeeze in a few work days here and there!). Therefore... this will be, perhaps, the shortest update ever (just something to let you all know I am still kicking ... ''DaviSurviving'' albeit ''DaviSweltering''... down south!).
Thanks for checking in and I hope to "see you" here again next month!
June 28, 2022
'' DaviSummer '22 = DaviStrung and DaviStung " ...
It's officially summer once again and, while it is supposed to represent '' vacation time ''... it always seems to represent more "hectivity" around here instead ... this year seemingly moreso than ever!
I am aware of the fact that another work year is half gone and I am, as often the case, NOT halfway through with where I need to be with the schedule. But, I assure you, work IS, and has been, proceeding in all directions... as "DaviStrung" out as all these directions are. Hopefully I can increase the progress, little by little, as the last half of the year unfolds so as to be where I want/need to be with ongoing projects completion.
I have been mentioning that the remaining projects for this year required a major re-shuffling ("DaviShuffle" ? - sorry I couldn't resist!) of my limited home work space. This, naturally, turned out to be the proverbial "can of worms opening" with one thing leading to another and then that thing leading to yet another and so on and so on. But, while I have made space for the new larger work table layouts required for the two mixer projects and a new arrangement for testing and audio proofing, I still have overflow of things I haven't been able to find new space for back in the work room. But, I am now back into the "daily grind" of fabricating wire harnesses for the remaining projects and installing power supplies into one of the mixer cabinets and the remaining Tool Box on hand. Meanwhile, I have invaded yet another living space by setting up a soldering table in the corner of the den at our lake house which has now become our permanent residence. This extra space is temporary and only until the long anticipated mobile workshop can be completed (yes, work has begun on that too...another "DaviStrung-out" on-going project!). But, this second little work space is important since it allows me to do circuit work and soldering at odd hours and without having to make a commute back to the main work room in town.
Some "DaviSnapshots" ...
So, to paraphrase Sonny and Cher ...''The Work Goes On'' ... as strung out as it may be. Hopefully by the end of the year I can, once again, be in position to take another of those Tool Box orders for those of you who have expressed interest. Please understand my reasons for not accepting new orders as long as the back log here continues. The schedule was, naturally, further disrupted severely by my major heart surgery last fall but I am now back on track to getting caught up once again. It WILL happen and I look forward to starting those new projects just as soon as I can get these current ones completed!
Thanks to a VERY understanding wife ... yet another "work invasion" to our living space!
The makeshift soldering table set up in a corner of our den, as mentioned above.
Meanwhile, 17 miles away ...
Hallway outside main work room is now the final assembly area
for the retro styled,''Mixer O'Tube'' now undergoing completion.
And ...Thanks to VERY understanding old friends ...
LONG backed up projects for them now on the "FRONT burner" for a change!
And, the final awaiting, current Tool Box project
the new prototype, TB1950...
which has undergone so many retro-fits...
Now awaiting the installation of the new, special ordered power transfomer.
Oh ... and about that "DaviStung" ...
Even before summer officially started, I have already managed to get myself cluster stung by wasps and yellow jackets four different times! They have invaded our porch, outdoor furniture and out buildings worse than ever this year and they seem more agressive for some unknown reason. Whatsmore, their venom seems to have evolved into something more potent as well! I am normally not susceptible to reactions from insect bites/stings and have never been as affected before as I was this time. I don't know if it may be related to some of the heart medication I have been on, or just a more toxic venom found in today's wasps, but these were ROUGH. I had pretty severe stinging/swelling/itching on my hands, arms and leg, each time I was stung, that lasted for three to four days! My right hand had the curvature of a tennis ball for nearly three days! Moral here- BE CAREFUL when outside this summer! The bugs appear to be really after us this season!
I hope all of you have an enjoyable 4th of July holiday! I will be attempting to take most of that week off from the regular work schedule but, typically, that attempt yields to "DaviSqueezing" in some work bench activity here and there anyway. Thanks for "tuning in" again here this month and please join me again next month for another "DaviSomething" News Update!
May 31, 2022
'' DaviSliding DaviSnakes " ... (yet again!)
Yep...the "DaviSnakes" are "DaviSliding" ("DaviSlithering?") into the workload once again! You may recall that, last year, I "DaviSqueezed" a pair of DaviSnake microphones into the midst of the current work schedule. Truthfully, this is NOT really "squeezing in", or disrupting, the chronological work schedule since I have ALWAYS handled the occasional DaviSnake microphone order in this manner. The same is true for all of the "MasterPiece" modules. This is because neither product requires a special dedicated work space setup nor do they take up much work space on the assembly table. Then, too, the hours dedicated to them are always allocated when the larger consecutive time block required for the main projects is not available. So, we are not truly "DaviSneaking" these projects in or disrupting the ongoing chronological order process for the bigger projects.
This latest order for a new pair of DaviSnake microphones, from a nice new client in Brazil, has prompted me to, also, FINALLY update the Microphone web page where they are presented DaviSnake / DaviSwinger Microphone. This update reflects the changes made in the microphone housing last year and is long overdue!
I also had to update another area of the website which was also long overdue. This was, unfortunately, a required adjustment to our PRICE LIST / ORDER INFO section. Although constantly watching materials and shipping costs rise over the years (along with the price of everything else, as we all know), I have refrained from any across the board price increase since 2009! However, regrettably, this was just not possible any longer so many of the prices of our offerings have had to undergo a SLIGHT adjustment upwards as of this month.
Meanwhile, the "DaviSluggish" workroom reconstruction continues, along with the work therein, and I hope to finally show a few of these projects soon, perhaps even in an EARLY News Update for June, for a change. Wish me luck!
Finally, while I did have a mild, brief recurrence of AFIB this past month, all in all my recouperation from the heart attacks/surgery seems to be progressing nicely ... to the point now where, some days, I don't even think about it any more (for awhile anyway!). A BIG THANK YOU to those of you who continue to inquire!
Thank you all for "TUNING IN" again this month and I hope you will join me here for a little more "news" next month!
April 30, 2022
'' DaviSegmented ''
They have a new name for it these days ...
It's known as "Multi-Tasking". But, many of us have been living and working this way for our entire lives. Like many of you, my "Multi-tasking" ("DaviSegmentation") has seemingly grown out of proportion in recent times along with the responsibilities and demands that tug in so many directions.
But, although that certainly applies to me nowadays moreso than ever it seems, what I am actually referring to here this month is the segmenting of my work space areas in the small work room of our home (along with some "DaviSpillage" into the adjoining hallway!).
I have now pretty much completed rearranging the small work space into what, I hope, will prove to be a much more efficient and productive work area for the projects that remain for this year. All of you "in waiting" (with those waits being unexpectedly extended by at least six months due to my heart attacks/surgery this past October) will be glad to know that I am, once again, back at it and putting in longer hours and more days than I have in quite some time. I had intended to snap/upload a few photos to display some of these "multi-projects" in their respective positions but, again, that will have to wait until later since the end of this short month caught up with me before I ever got the opportunity.
This update will be one of those "DaviShort/Sweet" ones (as many will be glad to know after reading the previous "novels" posted in prior months [scroll below or linked above] ). I do, however, have at least one little holdover from all the little treks down nostalgia lane here this year. The photo below is one of those. This was snapped awhile back as part of my "DaviSegmenting" ("Multi-Tasking") includes wading through the old tape library and memorabilia collection collating material for the forthcoming Mother Cleo Productions website now being "DaviSlowly" crafted along with everything else going on here.
One of the original tape boxes/labels
from the very beginning-1970!
So, in keeping with the promise of "DaviShort/Sweet", I will wind this up until next month when I hope to present "DaviSegmented Part 2" with more specific details on the "DaviSegments" now undergoing rotational work at DaviSound!
As always ... THANK YOU ALL for "tuning in"!
March 26, 2022 '' DaviSpring 2022 ''
Another spring has sprung upon us and I am trying to spring myself into it! Actually, each passing month brings a little more stamina and a little more energy as I continue my recouperation from heart surgery last fall. So, while I am not exactly ''springing-forth" with youthful vigor, I am actually becoming able to see some progress and get a little more accomplished each week as I strengthen over time.
I had a comment or two that my stamina must be pretty good in order to have written that "novel" which was last month's "news update". One reader said I must have had more energy than she did since she became tired just reading it! Since it WAS quite a lengthy ''epistle'', I decided to make this month's follow-up extraordinarily short (for that reason and the fact that not a whole lot of "news" has developed around here since last month!).
The final assembly stage of the "lifelong project" (as we call it only half in jest) , ''Mixer O'Tube'', has now been launched upon a new, roomy craft table located in my hallway, and the adjoining work room has two new work tables set up to accomodate the last holdover Tool Box makeover and the other projects that have been ongoing. Things surrounding these newly organized areas in my work space are still somewhat disheveled but I am working on that also as time/circumstances permit. Maybe I can soon finally display some progress photos in the coming editions.
BLASTS FROM THE PAST ...
My "DaviSentimental Journey" of last month's post here spilled over somewhat into reality as my daughter and my wife provided me with a nice, nostalgic road trip on Sunday, March 6th. They rode with me, enduring a rather long, nearly all-day drive (a bit rough especially for my wife who has multiple health issues of her own that make riding uncomfortable), as I rambled back to Monroe and adjoining Charlotte N.C. to visit some of my old stomping grounds that I mentioned here in last month's post. I was surprised to see that many of the "old haunts" were still exactly as they were when I was there 54 years ago!
This is the tower site of the radio station, WIXE, that I helped construct in early 1968 which I mentioned in last month's News Update. The studios were originally located downtown on South Main Street, Monroe (the tower site is located, appropriately ironic, just off South Hayne Street extension!). However, this photo shows the station as it is today with the studios added onto our old transmitter building at the tower site. It seems like just yesterday that I was on a tractor plowing in the 120 ground radials located every three degrees and spreading some 180 feet outwards from the tower base. I found it amazing that aside from the new building addition, the site, including the tree line on the hill, hasn't changed much at all in 54 years!
This WIXE tower was constructed by "tower jack" extraordinare, Ross Martin, using the old, time honored, ''gin pole'' method. Ross was something of a showman and, although he had a full leg cast from a prior fall at the time, he performed his traditional "zip line" ride down the lower guy wire with his climbing belt clipped to it after finishing a full inspection climb on completion!
By contrast, this was the construction of our MIX-106 (WNMX-FM) tower in Newberry, S.C. in 1989 utilizing a more modern crane lift technique. The little transmitter shack located beside it was built by my dad and me (he was in the early stages of a lengthy lung cancer battle at the time but could still cat-walk along the king rafter!)
And...in closing...one more little piece of the past ...
An astute reader called my attention to an old dB Magazine (June, 1980 edition) posted on-line in pdf file form. Located within was one of our little ads which we ran in numerous trade magazines of the day including, aside from dB The Sound Engineering Magazine, also Modern Recording, Recording Engineer Producer, Billboard Magazine and Broadcasting Magazine. This was our ONLY form of advertising from the mid seventies through the mid eighties.
I have to say that last month's post did generate more email and text comments than ANY piece I have ever written for DaviSound News Updates. I thank everyone who took the time to comment and I thank all who continue to visit and read these posts each month and for your continued support of DaviSound. And, thank you for indulging my nostalgia! Sometimes it is nice to look back to where we have been in order to better see where we may be going!
Until next month...
February 21, 2022
'' DaviSeventy-Four ''
As I write this, today, February 21st, is my daughter, Lee's, birthday. Yesterday, February 20th, was my 74th! So, I guess this is a good time for some reflection. You may want to settle back with a favorite beverage if you read this for I feel it is going to be a lengthy one!
All of you who follow these updates each month (all two of you ) may recall me mentioning, last year, an email received from a very young inquiror, in his early twenties, who was just launching a new studio endeavor and who was very interested in making as much of his operation ANALOG as possible. This, of course, inspired me to comment on the ''wonder'' of both analog interests surviving the times as well as the fact that I was now beginning to supply equipment to THREE generations in some cases.
When I really stop to think of what all of the "old pros" around my age have experienced and seen evolve in the world of audio electronics and the art of recording over the years, things we usually just take for granted, it can also inspire a sense of "wonder" to some degree. I was fortunate to be a sub teenager just about the time that great changes were about to occur in all areas of the science and arts of recording as well as with the music that would evolve with them. So, I thought it might be interesting to some of you to reflect back along with me on my personal history in the world of audio on this anniversary of my 74th year upon the planet.
I was around five years old, give or take a few months, when I first discovered radio. I was not a "poor" kid but we were certainly not what you would call "well-to-do" in those days. My dad was a self employed brick mason and my mother worked in a downtown department store. I was an only child (which I am grateful for only because it inspired my creativity and imagination). We had just one radio in the house in those days (NO TV) and it was a fairly nice little table radio that I was taught to respect and be very careful around (and not "fiddle" with the knobs!). While I certainly enjoyed the music that emanated from it, especially when my mom would sing along with some of the popular songs of the day while she prepared my favorite meals in the kitchen, the REAL MAGIC of it, to me then, was the radio drama episodes of Sky King, The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, The Shadow and any others I might get a chance to stumble on. The local station carried the Mutual Network in those days and each afternoon they would have the kids' hour starting around 5:00. Many my age would gather around their home radios and thrill to the sounds of the "theatre of the mind" (and I still sometimes enjoy digging out, and listening to, old radio shows from my extensive collection)- a true "lost art" if there ever was one!
I am not sure, exactly, when the "music bug" bit but I know I was fully infected by 1956, at age 8! When that old radio began spewing out the latest hits by Elvis, Fats Domino and Little Richard etc. etc., I knew instinctively that some how, some way, ALL of this music/sound "magic" was going to be my destiny and lifelong quest! I did NOT have a record player for several of these early years although it was all I thought about and hoped for. I could hear the birth of "rockabilly" and "rock & roll" on that old radio when I would be allowed to listen for a little while at night to the "Dance Party" show from the local station. I also spent many enjoyable afternoons beside my grandmother on her front porch swing where we could sometimes hear the distant sounds projecting from an outside horn speaker of the gas station/burger joint's jukebox well up the road at the intersection of old SC Hwy 19 and US 76. One of those afternoons was the first time I ever heard "Blueberry Hill"!
All of this was nice but I wanted to bring the magic of recordings into my own room just as I had begun to encounter at the homes of friends on occasional visits. Finally, when I was around the age of 9, my next door neighbor's daughter got married and moved away and they bequeathed me her old 78 RPM record player along with her collection of old "doo-wop" 78s. I was in heaven! Of course, my dad was not too happy about this turn of events in our small house but I did manage to squeeze in a lot of listening at permissable times. As much as my joy of the music itself consumed me, I was also most fascinated with this magical device that was bringing it to my ears- the record player, the records, and the recording medium itself. So, I now had TWO mysterious technical attractions that I was being irreversibly drawn to- Radio AND Recording! Maybe the "engineering bug" was also just beginning to nibble at me a bit too at that early age since I spent many hours pondering whether I could somwhow get inside that old 78 RPM player and convert it to play 45 RPM records as well - I never did though.
Somewhere along the way, I simultaneously got my first tiny transistor radio, a real novelty of the day as transistors were the new thing. It came with the little crystal ear piece that I could insert in my ear and listen privately at night while scanning the tuning dial for all the "glorious" sounds of the multitude of A M radio stations' signals skipping in from across the country. In those days we would listen, late night, to Ernie's Record Mart show from WLAC Nashville, along with 1190 WOWO in Fort Wayne, WLS Chicago, WABC New York and many more. Of course the fidelity of the crystal earphone was near nil, but somehow the "magic" came through anyway.
While I could not go down to the local record shops and buy the latest 45 RPM release (the fairly new medium of the day), fortunately RCA still released all of their pop hits, especially Elvis', on 78 RPM. And, there was a wonderful company out of Cincinnatti/Philadelphia called Gateway Records that would release 78 RPM cover versions of all the biggest hits almost as soon as the originals hit the airwaves! And, to their credit, these "sound-alikes" were incredibly well done and, often, the quality of their recording was much better than the original! I can still remember listening to my "cheap", 78 RPM cover versions of Peggy Sue, The Witch Doctor, The Purple People Eater, Raunchy, Poor Little Fool, etc. etc. on the green labeled 78 RPM Gateway Records that featured two songs per side! I actually sometimes preferred some of my 78 cover versions to the original versions my friends would have. Once a week I could use my allowance to go down to the local McRory's "dime store" and get one or two of the latest Gateway releases (Although I didn't know it at the time I began my own record company many, many years later, Gateway had been owned by Rite Records of Cincinnatti which was one of the original pressing plants I used for my own labels. So, I guess I had come full circle ! - The other pressing plant I used in the early days was Consolidated Records in Nashville).
My grandmother bought me an original RCA 78 RPM release of Elvis' "All Shook Up" as soon as it hit the shelves in 1957 and my mother placed it on my bed to surprise me. Not knowing what was in the thin brown bag on my bed, I accidentally plopped down and sat on it breaking my new gem into hundreds of small, brittle pieces before I ever got a chance to play it- I never got over that one! Just one of the advantages of the new 45 RPM medium over the heavy old 78s...the new 45s were pressed on "unbreakable", thin, flexible vinyl! Fortunately, "Santa" brought me a new, small multi-speed 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM record player in 1958 so my compatibility troubles were over!
I could ramble on about those earliest days and similar incidents but, for the sake of time, I guess I will "ramble forward" about four years to around 1962. By this time I had been playing drums and was contacted by a local guitar player to see if I would like form a band. I agreed but soon after we began practicing together and he said we needed to find a rhythm guitar player, I told him that I had been interested in learning guitar also (I knew about three or four chords at that point). I said that I would like to try to fill that role while bringing in a talented neighbor who I had been teaching to play drums to take over as drummer. That was the very beginning of my long, ongoing sideline as a performing band member in various versions of my own band and others. These experiences, of course, exposed me to most all of the musical electronic sound reproduction of the day which was typically, in our case, RCA PA Systems and Fender and Gibson guitar amplifiers.
The first time I had heard anything close to recorded "high fidelity" was in my aunt's living room on her RCA console cabinet stereo and the supplied RCA Camden demo records that came with it demonstrating the new medium of STEREO, full-fidelity recordings. This was also in the early 1960s. But, it was still around 1966 before my ears ever became initiated to TRUE high fidelity. An acquaintance brought a newly purchased Sony reel to reel tape recorder by my house and handed me a pair of elaborate Sony headphones that he had plugged into it and said, "listen to this". It was a Mantovani orchestral recording and, when I heard this detail that I never imagined existed in recordings for the first time, I was truly "reborn" and elevated to another level in my lifelong pursuit of ultimate sound reproduction. I will always remember that moment (although I cannot recall the name of that first recording that I heard which "blew me away")! I had heard pretty good sound on the big 12 inch control room, mono monitor of the local radio station where I had started working that summer of 1966, but I had never before heard ANYTHING like what came out of those Sony stereo phones that day from my friend's tape recorder! That was it! I HAD to learn how all of this was done, on every level, and there would be no turning back!
Over the next several years I began to visit any area recording studio that I could find in a day's driving distance and that included everything from one guy's home studio in a converted chicken house to major studios in Atlanta and Charlotte.Keep in mind, that I was also working in radio all this time listening to quality audio daily through air monitors and console headphones and by the time I got to the new station we built in the Charlotte suburb of Monroe, N.C. in 1968, I was developing a fairly "educated ear". Naturally, too, after that initial mind-blowing "ear awakening" experience with the Sony tape deck, I had managed to, over the following years, obtain my own quality, component sound system for my apartment, tape deck included. The new radio station had state-of-the art audio chains which included Gates consoles and Ampex 440 tape machines. It was there I began experimenting, after hours, with over-dub recording, editing, special effects and all the other analog tape skills that would serve me during the rest of my career.
During the tenure at WIXE, Monroe, I also did voiceover work for Charlotte ad agencies and two of the local TV stations, WCCB and WCTU. I helped mix the Arthur Smith TV show audio on occasion and I "hung out" at Arthur Smith Studios on Old Monroe Road as well as with Van Coble and Nelson Lemmond, former members of The Tempests rock band who had their own small recording studio in downtown Charlotte called, appropriately, The Studio (Later, our first Mother Cleo Record release, "Move To The Country" was recorded at Arthur Smith Studios in 1971). Through all of this I was absorbing all I could learn from the assorted equipment at every location. Like most devoted recording engineers, I developed a long lasting "love" for the finest quality audio equipment which lasts till this day.
When I started Mother Cleo Productions in the early summer of 1970 (actually started before that with the rental of old PO Box 521 at the Newberry post office in 1969- I thought about that the other day while collecting the mail from the old box that I have visitied steadily for the past 53 years!), I journied to Amorrillo, Texas ( a memorable road trip with old friend Jimmie Coggins) to purchase my Ampex recorders. I had very limited funds in those days so I was pinching every penny (much the same these days ! ) . I purchased the gear from the dad of a young, successful studio owner who had subsequently volunteered for recall duty and lost his life in Vietnam. The gear was all stored in a garage and when I got there to load the old Ampex workhorses into the UHaul trailer, he kept asking me if I didn't want all the other classic gear stored there. I kept declining since I thought he was trying to SELL me the extra gear, for which I didn't have the extra funds, only to realize later that he was trying to just toss it in ... GIVE it to me! What a sad and deflating latter realization this was since there were classic mics, stands, cables, processors, etc. all stored in that garage!
As I began constructing and outfitting my own studio, a very small two-room buillding initially, I had to utilize what existing gear on the market I could afford to "throw together" since I was only beginning to learn the basics of electronics and what it would take to build my own pro quality equipment. I continued to visit and, in some cases, actually work in some of those major studios like Master Sound in Atlanta as well as the old Lowery "School House" studio complex, Southern Tracks in Doraville, Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, and many others on occasion including a couple of the smaller studios in Nashville eventually finding my way to the RCA Studio A building on Music Row ( I was later fortunate to have remodeled one of the old consoles that had originally come from Studio A, via Chet Atkins' home studio). All of this time I began to realize that the ONLY way I could ever afford to OWN gear of the quality I had become used to, was to learn to build it for myself...thus the inspiration for what would later come to provide me with, not only my own gear, but the hundreds of DaviSound classic pieces that are now in use all over the world!
Of course, years later, I lived through, and worked through, the advent of digital and I certainly have had my share of experience with creating digital gear as well, particularly in the very early days of digital audio (anybody remember 8 bit conversion?) . I built many radio consoles with digital switching and even had constructed a crude early automation system for one of my consoles using an old "Sinclair Timex" computer with all of 15K of memory on board! I was one of those early recording/design engineers who survived the complete evolution of digital audio all the way from concepts on paper through the multitude of debates over sampling rates, error correction schemes, etc. etc, ... the whole "bit" (pun intended), to the finished product (including those very early "gritty" sounding CDs).
As mentioned, I have always advocated the "miracle" of digital storage (in other words, digital recording) having lived through all those frustrating days of quality loss on analog tape machines and never being able to quite capture on playback what I heard going down to tape, through the monitors, as I was recording. This is true, to some extent, no matter HOW excellent the analog equipment- don't let any analog tape machine aficionado convince you otherwise! However, for me personally, with perhaps the exception of some simple digital effects such as reverb, echo etc., I want no part of digital in my original audio amplification/processing/mixing systems! As one of my long ago clients famously said..."this digital stuff just ain't real...it's clocked-out artifical waveforms and it just ain't real!".
The point of all this reminiscing is to simply convey that, like many "pro audio vets" around my age, I have been exposed, on an active basis, to virtually every type of professional audio gear utilized since the earliest days of "high fidelity" . When I started my own studio at the turn of the decade in 1970, the "state-of-the-art" standard for most studio monitor reproduction included either Altec or JBL monitors (Sometimes a custom Electro-Voice) and either Crown solid state or McIntosh vacuum tube monitor amplifiers. Of course, many of the old microphones are considered to be classics and are still in use to this day (in the questionable digital processing age!).
Some few "equipment junkies" still pursue the old, antiquated vacuum tube processing gear and, of course, many enjoy the combination of the old lost arts and the modern state-of-the-art analog chains found in our DaviSound "Inner Tube" gear! But, as the latest generations take over, I do find it a sad thing that most of them will never experience the true magic of the old recording gear and techniques of the '50s and '60s. If you have never visited the historic RCA Studio B in Nashville, you should make it a definite point to do so! There you can "sort of" relive the experience with the historical media presentation they present...of course, this is still NOTHING like the real thing but as you stand in that very place where so many legends were created, and watch/listen to the presentation, you will definitely FEEL some of that magic contained in those old walls!
As for me personally, I believe the best recordings EVER MADE came from that studio! The magic created there by Chet Atkins, Bob Ferguson and Bill Porter has never been exceeded in my opinion, not even close! Well, actually, there was a "close" and it too was in Nashville, right down the street in fact. The old Owen Bradley Quonset Hut (Old Columbia Studios) had a similar "sound" and style and, of course, used those same legendary musicians with the perfect "recording touch", the famed "A Team". For example, the great "bass sound" of the famed "Nashville Sound" was entirely due to the upright bass technique of Bob Moore who was undoubtedly the most recorded musician in hit record history!
To actually stand in a playback room and listen to a McInstosh tube amp powering a pair of "Voice Of The Theater" monitors fed from a simple, RCA vacuum tube mixing console of an original recording made by any of those geniuses was almost a reverant experience! This is something that the latter generations will never begin to understand and it is a sad thing when you think about it. Once we hit the "digital manipulation" era, where anyone with a computer and high end software can fabricate most any artificial technique he/she so desires, then what has happened to the true ART that was once necessary to produce recorded music?
Now, once more, I am NOT "anti-digital" altogether, but I STILL think it belongs only as a storage medium! I know many of you will emphatically disagree. But, whenever I hear someone bragging about this new digital "toy" they just bought for a few hundred bucks that will give them every affect ever thought of, while, I suppose, also lighting their cigars and emptying the ashtrays, I am never impressed. The same thing goes double for video and motion pictures. Why bother going to a movie that is almost entirely computer generated? Just stay home and play a video game if that's your thing!
I always say that if I EVER got back into recording (which I'm reasonably sure will never happen at this point), I would ONLY do it the way they did it at the old RCA Studio B in the '60s. But, of course, I would have to have quality musicians behind the mics as they contributed as much, or more, to the sounds than ANY of the rooms and the gear! (Of course I would use custom made DaviSound vacuum tube gear as well so maybe that wouldn't be quite "authentic" either! )
As I wrap up this little trip down "memory lane", I do advise all of you latter generation "geniuses" to get yourself copies (yes digital archived copies will be fine!) of all of the old recordings you can find made in the aforementioned studios in the late '50s/early '60s, preferably in their originally mastered forms though if possible, and really LISTEN to some true ARTISTS at work in all aspects of the medium. If you, then, can't FEEL what I am talking about, at least to some extent, then, just maybe, you are in the wrong field!
As for what is happening NOWADAYS with DaviSound ...
I am still on my restricted work schedule as I continue recouperating from my heart surgery late last year... some days I feel like I am 25 again (for a LITTLE while anyway) then, the next few days, I will feel like what I imagine 95 might feel like! (I now realize why all those post-surgery advisers told me it may take at least a year to get back to full capacity even though I vowed to shorten that considerably in my case!) So it's still up a ways and then back a ways. But, I am getting there and I AM getting a few things done ... making a bit more progress, slow as it is, every week that goes by.
I hope that you may have gotten a little something out of this month's effort here and I hope you will join me here again next month when I will try to present some more CURRENT info on what progress I am able to make with the ongoing DaviSound pro audio projects this quarter. As always, I SINCERELY thank you for "tuning in" to the DaviSound News Updates!
PS- As always, while I do proofread these posts multiple times, I usually always miss some typos so please excuse these when they do appear since I type these posts the old fashioned way using the old Windows Notepad text editor with NO SPELLCHECK! Thanks!
January 19, 2022
'' DaviSliding into '22 ...DaviStarting a New DaviSlate ''
Always nice to begin a new year ... especially when the prior one could have been better in many directions. As most of you now know, who keep up with such things via this News Updates area of the DaviSound site, the last quarter of 2021 turned into QUITE the disruption, and QUITE an ordeal, for yours truly.
The "DaviStory" of my "DaviSurgery" (triple by-pass heart surgery after two preceeding heart attacks) was documented in the last part of the 2021 News Updates which has now been moved to the News Archives section of the website. For any newcomers, the way these monthly updates work is ... every month I post a new update here somewhere around the middle or end of the month. Each succeeding month is added chronologically before the one prior. As the entries grow, I add a page index to the top of the page which allows the reader to seclect any individual month with a click or, you may simply scroll down from one month to the one that preceeded it. At the end of the year, the entire page is moved to our News Archives area, just linked above.
To give you an update, I am now feeling much better and stronger with each passing week (albeit dealing with transient "nerve reconnecting" pain which will likely continue for some time) and actually now "DaviSlipping" (easing) back into a limited work routine as of this past Monday. One of the most difficult adjustments I'm now facing is the fact that the surgery (cutting the sternum into and stretching it open) aggravated my old broken back/ribs injuries from 23 years ago so now I have that revived pain to deal with also - perhaps the worst part of the whole situation!
My unusual "worksuit" for my first day back to work, Monday 1-17-22. It was 40 degrees upon arrival in the workroom as it had been closed and unheated for the entire time I had been away, since October. All you northern climate folks will get a chuckle out of the fact that it took two shirts, underneath the two coats shown above, to get me in there at 40 degrees! By the time I had finished at 7:00 PM, it had finally warmed to my typically preferred 68' and the coats had been removed but the two shirts STILL felt good!
For awhile, I will likely be working just two or three 6 or 7 hour days per week until I can get my full stamina back. I am also walking about two miles every other day as part of the prescribed therapy for strengthening my heart so that takes up a little time/energy also. However, my first 6 hour work day seemed to agree with me quite nicely. I managed to finish a MasterPiece module that had been left partially completed on the work table before my first heart attack on the 20th of October. The immediate plan for the rest of the month will be to attempt to finish the reorganization of the work room with a new setup for finishing the two large mixers that await me during 2022. I also have to add a few finishing touches to the newly arranged test area which will allow more space for testing/troubleshooting/repair.
It will definitely be a "DaviSlow" process getting back into the full "DaviSwing" of it all but, at least, I am on my way back! I look forward to presenting documentation of the progress I am able to make on our numerous pro audio projects as the year unfolds.
I, again, thank those of you who have reached out and offered your support and well wishes during this difficult time and I thank all of you for joining me here for another new year of News Updates from DaviSound! Please "tune in" again here next month as I share more "news" on the ongoing efforts at DaviSound!
Happy New Year!
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