Voice-O-Graph from 1948

The scan above is the B Side of this novelty record single from 1948. You could go into a tiny recording studio and record your own album (single?) for a tiny cost quarter! Of course, I have no idea what that cost might be...

I'm guessing they probably recorded the dubplate live, cutting into the acetate master during the recording, in order to save costs of recording and playback mastering. You'd step up to the mic, and after a cue from the cutter, you'd have 1 minute to ramble on. They'd amplify the recording straight into the dubplate master, cutting it directly into the soft plastic coating.

You could leave with the results in a few minutes, after a quick cleaning and packaging in the provided envelope. Not bad for instant gratification, as this is an actual vinyl record, not a CD-R!

This particular single was only pressed on one side of the record, and it required 78rpm record speed! Since it's so small, and played back at a high RPM, this recording was only 1'05 when finally mastered. It still sounded pretty lousy (lots of dirt and crap that cannot be removed), but it was recognizable by voice, and very quaint! This is typical of these types of dub-plate recordings. You only get a dozen or so playings out of them before they become un-listenable.

The Voice-O-Graph Machine

Found this over on Vintage Ads, and I had to repost it. This informative ad for the Voice-O-Graph Machine that made this record gives me quite an informative background on the technology at the time. Turns out I was mostly right.

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