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Jul 26 08 12:20 PM

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Hi all

Can a Gulbransen recordo tracker bar play just standard 88 note rolls as well?

Daniel.

*1907: Orchestrelle Model V .
*1911 Steinway 65/88 Model I
*1912: Weber Pianola Grand. (currenty been
restored)
*1920: Weber Duo Art upright.

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#1 [url]

Jul 27 08 4:17 AM

Gulbransen Recordo questions

Hi Dan, no problem, the Recordo expession holes are beyond the playing notes. Some Recordos have a switch to bring the playing level up one level for non Recordo rolls.
Hal Klassen

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#2 [url]

Jul 27 08 4:46 AM

Thanks Hal , ive been shown a Gulbransen Recordo Baby grand.It needs a full rebuild, and i wasnt even going to consider it, if it played recordo only.If it does play 88 as well , well that sweetens the deal a bit.

Daniel

*1907: Orchestrelle Model V .
*1911 Steinway 65/88 Model I
*1912: Weber Pianola Grand. (currenty been
restored)
*1920: Weber Duo Art upright.

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#3 [url]

Jul 27 08 5:09 AM

Gulbransen Recordo questions

That sounds great, Dan. You are in luck because John Phillips in Tasmania is a knowlegable Recordo collector and is also a member of this group {I think} Some of the later Recordo grands had a vacuum box that was so quiet, you'd swear it wasn't running. I have worked on a few Gulbransons and they were well made, but "ahem" were a bugger to work on. They might have bought Standard stacks for the grands.
Good luck, Hal

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#4 [url]

Aug 2 08 12:56 PM

I'm quite interested in Recordo pianos as well - not for any particular reason!

Bob Billings is the King of Recordo - I have his complete book of rollographys, including a huge 300 page volume on Recordo rolls and
systems.

In a nutshell, Recordo first appeared in about 1915, and in the early 1920s was offered as a 'generic' reproducing system, that any company could fit to their pianos and any roll company could produce rolls for. there were 3 types of system - the 'A' which was an early one, the 'B' which was most common and had 5 expression levels, and the 'C' which appeared late in the game and had 16 expression levels - apparently these 'C's could rival an Ampico or Duo-Art, with a decently-coded roll.

From what I read, the main 'problem' with Recordo is that there was very little standardisation from manufacturer to manufacturer, and this applies to roll makers as well as the piano makers. The Recordo system was implemented completely differently by each manufacturer, and the expression coding was carried out differently by each roll company.

I asked Bob a few months back whether there were any CDs available of a good quality Recordo piano. Bob replied that he didn't know of any, but kindly processed some of my Recordo rolls that I've scanned through some software that emulates the Recordo performance characteristics.

If you're interested, here's some of the MIDI scans - this will give you an idea of what the Recordo was capable of:

http://www.pianola.co.nz/rollscans/midi/DinnerRollNo1LoveThemesFromIrvingBerlinsSongSuccesses_Vocalstyle-60043_CliffordCLang.mid

This one's a Vocalstyle 'Dinner Medley' roll from 1926, coded for the 'B' system. Bob commented that the expression coding was 'competent', but not particularly inspired.

http://www.pianola.co.nz/sounds/MyAngel(192_Mastertouch-E2131_JLawrenceCook.mid

A QRS master released by Mastertouch with Recordo coding. Bob commented this one seemed to be a compromise between 'B' and 'C' system coding, sounding a little too exaggerated on the 'B' and a little too subdued on the 'C'!



http://www.pianola.co.nz/sounds/TryingToForget(1923)_Recordo-67840_ClarenceMJones.mid

This one was an Imperial roll, again with 'B' coding. The coding is quite well done, according to Bob.


http://www.pianola.co.nz/sounds/ThatOldGangOfMine(1923)_USAutoArt-61580_HoraceOPrell.mid

Another 'B' roll. Bob's namesake Robert Billings (1899-1985) did all the Recordo coding for the US company, and Bob and I both agree the expression coding is the best of the lot.



Of course, by now you'll probably be hearing the other main problem with Recordo rolls - you could put in far more expression coding yourself by using the pedals! However, I suppose they filled a niche as a poor man's reproducing piano, or a way those who didn't care to pedal could listen to 88 note rolls with a bit of expression on their electric player.


(Sorry for you having to copy/paste the links - BBcode doesn't seem to like URLs with brackets in the filename)

http://www.pianola.co.nz
'Preserving The Music Of Yesterday'
Free MIDI Files Scanned From Piano Rolls
___________________________________

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#5 [url]

Aug 2 08 3:25 PM

Hi Robert , and thankyou for such a well written response of great information and links.

I still have yet to decide whether or not to proceed in getting the player grand as the main reason is , I'm just not skilled enough with the rebuilding side of things and make more problems then i solve.

On the other hand , I'm interested in getting the said player as i would rather buy it and store for the time being and save it as a complete recordo , as its quite likely that someone will buy the Grand and just rip the player system out to be lost forever.

As its only a baby grand , it will be easily stored in my spare garage and not touched.It saddens me to see a vast amount of gutted players on ebay (Ampico and Duo-Arts) with all the wonderful workings been pulled out and sold only as pianos.If i could save this one from the scrap heap , its well worth the trouble to store for now.

I have also just read with interest the different set ups of recordo (E.O.A.M.I)and how the system was not standard ,and in fact gets to the stage where you will have to check the internals of the workings to actually work out what system you may have.

I will keep any interested parties informed on here if i decide to purchase , and will post pics/information in due course if i do buy the instrument.


Daniel ............

*1907: Orchestrelle Model V .
*1911 Steinway 65/88 Model I
*1912: Weber Pianola Grand. (currenty been
restored)
*1920: Weber Duo Art upright.

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#7 [url]

Aug 3 08 4:59 AM

Gulbransen Recordo questions

Hello Robert, I was able to open the Berlin medley, and it was fantastic. I have owned a Recordo upright for nearly 40 years and have restored a grand with the later system, so can second all your information. The system in my piano [1922] has one major fault-- it uses a small reservoir, which controls the stack vacuum. If a loud note or chord is played followed by a soft note or chord, there is too much vacuum left in the res. and the first note plays too loud. The later system used a constant leak which allowed the extra levels by the ability to combine degrees of leaking. eg. lowest playing level----highest leak rate, first level, less leak, next level less, first and second together, less than level two, but not as much as level 3 etc.
Hal Klassen

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#8 [url]

Aug 3 08 6:03 AM

Im have to agree with Hal ,and say that the Berlin Medley is just fantastic!.....thanks for sharing Robert

*1907: Orchestrelle Model V .
*1911 Steinway 65/88 Model I
*1912: Weber Pianola Grand. (currenty been
restored)
*1920: Weber Duo Art upright.

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