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September 15, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-15

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Faked stereo: Sacrificing quality for cash

By R. A. PERRY
hat there is a lot of money in
Art these days we know and often
wonder at, but that those who rule
in the Culture Scene seek nothing
but the aesthetic pleasure of a bulg-
ing bank account is an idea that
seems far too cynical. I like to think,
for instance, that the producers and,
engineers who oversee recordings of
classical music possess a high degree
of taste and sensitivity as well as
business acumen. Recent events in
the recording industry prove me a
foolish romantic; like the mercenary,
these producers may enjoy the fight.
but they are in it for the money.
During this summer, the ax fell on
all monophonic recordings. Regional
distributors junked mono records in
stock (at Angel, for instance, each
record was removed from its jacket,
scratched so it could not be sold, and
then put in the garbage); local rec-
ord stores held sales in which their
remaining mono discs sold at low,
"no return" prices. Why?

The reason stem less from the
feeling that mono is technologically
old hat-as 78's are-than from
market research indicating that four
stereo discs are sold to one mono of
the same title. You can hardly blame
companies for trying to avoid double
pressings, double bookkeeping, and
double storing of newrecords.
What is so insidious about stereo,
howeuer, is that the word, so the
R & D men believe, has become
magic, so magical that a buyer would
turn down 4 mono-only recording of
a great artist for a stereo record by
a lesser artist. Their response to
such beliefs has been to produce
"electronically re-channeled stereo"
pressings of mono discs so as the keep
the old, great records in the catalogue
-and still marketable. This "giving'
the people what they want" proves
Ito be as fallacious in this case as it
is in the case of cretin-aimed tele-
Vision programming.
If you have yet to purchase your

first fake stereo record, let the warn-
ing stand: they sound horrible.
Basically, there are two processes
by which "electronically rechanneled
stereo" records are produced. The
first method simply adds reverbera-
tion to the' mnono source, lending an
ersatz spatial resonance, that feeling
*of- a big auditorium. Records pro-
duced this way lose the definition of
the monophonic pressing and achieve
a warm fuzziness, like a pen drawn
across wet paper.
The second ;method, more widely
used, takes the single signal and taps*
off the middle and high frequencies
for one speaker and the middle and
low frequencies for the other speaker.
In this fashion, the audio signal wal-
lows in over-reverberation, displays
erratic jumping of instruments or
voices from speaker to speaker, and
generaly sounds as if it were recorded
on a damp towel. Ironically, the bet-
ter your sound reproduction system,
the worse the records will sound.
Several newly re-released record-

ings on the Columbia and Odyssey
labels well demonstrate the range of
artistic destruction that these fake
stereo products bring about.
Glenn Gould's recording of Bach's
"Goldberg Variations" was hailed as
one of the great recordings of the
century when first released in the
mid-fifties. Remaining in the catalog
in its mono-only editon until a few
months ago, it has been replaced by
a stereoized version. Miracles of
pianistic touch and clarity now have
been muddied, especially in the left
hand which sounds distant and
under water. The Inono sound was
wonderfully clean and sharp; the
"stereo" sound less telling of Gould's
special genius.
Two other Odyssey re-issues ..in
faked stereo are especially atrocious.
Berlioz's "Te Deum," under a rousing
performance by Sir Thomas Beech-
am, offers a perfect example of the
full destruction that shoddy re-chan-
neling effects. The chorus sounds as
if they were all gobbling cream of

wheat and the orchestra is weak, if
not obliterated at times, and spread
out all over the "stereo spectrum."
Although Columbia has been singled
out here, many other companies are
in the process of ruining great record-
ed performances forever. Only a
few have held back, but like the one
gas station on the block not offering
prize gimmicks, they feel the strain
and temptation.
Unfortunately, the problem is not
simply solved by a resolution never
to purchase faked stereo recordings.
The serious record collector and
music lover is in a real bind, for he
is faced with the alternative of never
hearing many great performers and
performances (the Casals-Serkin
Beethoven cello sonatas have been
recently re-issued in fake stereo) or
with settling for these spurious, dis-
quieting editions. At present it may
pay to splurge on the mono copies
still around; later one will either
have to haunt second hand record
shops, or swallow the bitter pill.

Departments in bind over space,

4

appropriations for,
(continued from Page 1) suffered this year, but
rising and no additional money is of new faculty member
available, says Wallace. the law school strong an
The Law School also suffered ing. I do not have the f
losses this year, but. is in a much we ae hurting in th
better position than many of the place," says Allen.
units of the University. ' The Law School, ho
"Nobody would deny that losing enough of a privatet
four senior people is nothing to so that, coupled wi
be looked at with pleasure, but our alumni contributions, it
faculty is larger now than four tain a high status des
years ago, and is , remarkably legislative appropriat
strong one," says' Dean Francis plains Allen.
Allen. At other units acros
The law school has not lost a versity, often the prob
single man to a teaching position placing leading faculty
at another school in more than with, equally, competer
four years. The men who left went acute, if not impossibl
to 1 become deans at other law chology department ne
schools, according to Allen- staff than it had last
"I won't minimize the losses we cording to McKeachie.

eqi
the inflow
rs had kept
nd flourish-
feeling that
le market-
wever, has
endowment
th annual
can main-
ite meager
ions, ex-
s the Uni-
lem of re-
y members
:nt men is
e. The psy-
eeded more
t year, ac-
"The men

Socialist scholars score
,past ba ses tfor* reform

lipment
we lost are currently being re-
placed by visiting lecturers, but
they will be gone next year," he
explains.
"We don't have enough staff to
teach the courses we usually offer
in physiological psychology, due
to the loss of Prof. Isaacson and
others. In all, we have 170 sections
full and closed in 30 courses,
where a few years ago we never
had to close a class because of
lack of space or staff," he adds,
The continued prestige of the
department will depend on how
well it does in recruiting, but re-
gai'dless, it will suffer, according
to McKeachie. He adds, however,
it is not a "complete disaster.
Though we are hurting in physi-
ological psych, we still offer
among the best undergraduate
and the best general graduate
programs in the country."
Unquestionably the University is
facing troubled times, but nobody
seems to be losing hope for the
future. Van Wyle* points out that
the University and.AnnwArbor are
fine places to dive and work, and
given judicious use of its resources
'and maintenance of the good
working conditions, the Univer-
sity should be able to hold on
to much of its staff.
Plans are also being developed
for a more efficient recruiting
program and better relations with
the Legislature.
There will probably be innova-
tions in literary college program-
ming in t'he future to provide a
more long range approach to the
kinds of problems currently con-
fronting the University, according
to Sussman.
In addition, more attention will
probably be given to develoo-
ments in programs and recruiting
at competing universities across
the country, according to 'Suss-
man. This will allow the Univer-
sity to keep abreast of current re-
cruiting techniques, he adds, and
keep one step ahead of the Uni-
versity's competitors.

MANY PROPOSALS:
SGC reform history
stresses structure,

(Continued from Page 1)
Panhell, Interfraternity-Council
and University Activities Center.
The Daily, which is also entitled
to an ex-officio seat, relinquished
it three years ago.
However, at its next meeting
council is expected to deprive its
ex-officio members of their voting
powers. If SGC takes this action,
it will destroy one of its structural
weaknesses without resorting to
abolishing the existing constitu-
tion.
In addition, the advocates of,
"SGC Incorporated' haven't re-
mained inactive. Members of
council indicated they will pro-
ceed with the incorporation plan
next week despite formal disap-
proval by the Regents earlier this
summer.
Yet, with many proposals for
restructuring SGC, many council
members doubt that the problems
of student apathy and council
relevancy can be solved solely
through structural changes.
Member at-large, Gayle Rubin,
and Executive Vice President Bob
Neff, who proposed the amend-'
miept to dissolve SGC, feel council
hasn't adequately confronted ma-
jor issues in the realm of academic
reform.
Disillusioned council members
question the value of SGC meet-
ings each Thursday night which
consistently disintegrate into
hours of petty debate and insults.
The realization that little is
being accomplished always makes
its mark on the participants as
well as the audience.
Perhaps much of the work and
argument could be eliminated
through the appointment of
standing and ad hoc committees.
These committees would have
enough authority to act on rele-
vant matters without having to
obtain the consent of a majority
of council members.

In fact, an ad hoc committee
of students interested in academic
reform established last week,
seems to be achieving more (and
is certainly more stimulating)
than SGC on the issue of reform-
ing the University's academic sys-
tem.
It is in this light that some
council members question the'
legitimacy of SGC. They do not
intend to remove a student gov-
ernment from campus but to
change the existing debating so-
ciety into an organization which
is relevant, and adaptive to the
important issues on campus.
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By ROBERT JOHNSTON
Editor 1965-66
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CPS)
-Young radicals last week be-
sieged the convention of the
American Political Science Asso-
ciation in Washington, D.C. with
a series of demands aimed, they
said, at making political science
relevant to contemporary political
and social issues. But at the same
time, speakers at the fourth an-
nual Socialist Scholars Confer-
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gence of a revolutionary culture
tied to political and economic ac-
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people, but Americans have never
had to look deeply into them-
selves";
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Belgian weekly La Gauche and
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worker demonstrations of last
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socialist revolution is possible .in

an adbanced, industrial country"
-"the students alone decided
neither the course nor the out-
come of the demonstrations: it
was decided the firstrday of the
general strike by workers w4O
made a united commitment to
running their own lives",
-Eugene Genovese, from Sir
George William University, in a
paper on Harold Cruse's "The
Crisis of the Negro Intellectual
argued that Cruse understates and
underestimates the strength and
depth of Amei'Ican racism toward
blacks and misjudges the poten-
tial relevance toward the prob-
lem of racism Of a black national-
ist response- 'Cruse is silent on
the opportunism and treachery
that have pervaded every na-
tionalist movement in history";
These trends of thought seemed
to stand out at the conference:
the old socialist-Marxist vision is
no longer adequate to map out fu-
ture social changes and alterna-
tives; those revolutionary groups
participating in the development
of a socialist futurd must not
think in American or "statist"
terms, on pain of co-optation by
the imperialist ethic; decentrali-
zation, or people's control over
their own lives, must be a major
tenet of socialist goals; 'blacks
and youth are the most available
potential recruits 4o a socialist re-
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