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StoryCorps experience including equipment discussion

Filed under: archive operations,digital,live sound and recording,oral history,recording/mastering — 2008-02-03 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2011-06-30 by Richard L. Hess

My friend Susan Kitchens and her brother took their parents to the StoryCorps recording session in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. She blogged it here. One of the neat things is that between her article and the discussion she and I had in the comments, we have a good handle on most of the equipment that was used in the trailer. It’s a good selection in my opinion and shows how simply good-quality recording systems can be set up. Further discussions from a StoryCorps representative have shown how clever the setup is.

40th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moonwalk and the loss of data

Filed under: archival practices,data storage,history,oral history,video — 2009-07-17 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2009-07-17 by Richard L. Hess

There has been much discussion over the last few years about finding and saving original tapes of the Apollo 11 Moonwalk videos downlinked from the moon. There is also an exciting project going on to restore and digitize the Lunar Orbiter tapes from more than 40 years ago.

The Lunar Orbiter tape digitization folks have just posted a commentary that bears reading by all archivists who are holding tapes. You may link to it here. The main site is

NASA, in their press conference yesterday held at The Newseum, admitted that the original 14-track 1-inch instrumentation (IRIG) tapes that contained the slow-scan video direct from the moon were most likely recycled and reused for later missions. Apparently, over 350,000 reels of instrumentation tape were recycled by NASA over time. No one apparently thought to preserve the 45-odd reels of the original moon walk. (more…)

Who invented the electret? And some microphone basics…

Filed under: live sound and recording,oral history — 2008-02-25 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2008-02-25 by

My friend Susan Kitchens blogged about the history of the electret as in electret condenser microphone. It’s an interesting piece of history. I added a little primer to the post on microphone basic types. Look here.

Headworn microphones and other means of recording voice

Filed under: live sound and recording,oral history — 2008-02-24 by Richard L. Hess — Last Edit 2008-02-24 by

For the last several years, I have been involved with sound reinforcement and recording at my church. I have upgraded the PA system and we’re in the midst of final editing/mastering for an upcoming Christmas CD.

In the process of doing this work, I have learned a few things which might be of assistance. This is the first post in the blog in the live sound and recording category. Many of the posts relating to microphones will also be tagged in the oral history category. (more…)

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