Recently, Les Paul turned his attention toward archiving thethousands of recordings he’s had a hand in creating since 1929.“We have recordings in every format you can imagine,” saidthe 89-year-old music legend. “We have analog tapes that are soold we only have one pass left on them before they disintegrate. From1929 to 1947, though, most of the recordings exist only on very oldacetate, mostly 78s. We have all different formats: 1 mil, 7 mil. Weneeded all the best stuff to play these old records for the first timein decades.”
The exacting archival standards being used to transfer the audiofrom each acetate recording are those defined by the Library ofCongress, and each transfer requires painstaking attention to detail.To ensure the recordings maintained their original sound and feel,Stanton provided Paul with a selection of cartridges and styli designedfor the old 78s and other acetate/vinyl formats.
“My relationship with Stanton goes back to the very beginningof the company, over 50 years ago,” continued Paul. “Ithink I was already standing there when the founder of the companyarrived in his office. In any case, we only wanted to use the very bestequipment for this project—the best speakers, best audio capturetools, the best playback stuff—so that’s why we calledStanton Magnetics.”
The archives, which are being captured in several formats includingdigital hard disk, will be used for a variety of purposes. Theseinclude a compilation of recordings to be released commercially and anupcoming special for PBS public television.
“Obviously, we are very proud that Mr. Paul came back toStanton for this exciting and historic project,” said HenriCohen, Stanton’s VP of sales and marketing. “Any companywould be happy to send him anything he needed to accomplish the task ofensuring the long-term viability of these important recordings, sowe’re glad that he chose Stanton as a crucial component of thisprocess.”
“All we’re looking to do is get this music across tolisteners in the way it was intended to be heard. We made the decisionto give it to them raw. We could have gone in and cleaned upeverything, made it perfect, so to speak. But it would be likecolorizing a Laurel & Hardy picture. We prefer to give it topeople exactly as it was,” Paul concluded.
For more information on Stanton Magnetics, visit www.stantonmagnetics.com.