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Nicholas West

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About Nicholas West

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  • Location
    Upstate New York
  • Interested in Sound for Picture
    Not Applicable
  • About
    Songwriter
  1. 1/4 Track Playback Head On A Nagra IV-S

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY MACHINE. Thank you so much for this Dela.
  2. 1/4 Track Playback Head On A Nagra IV-S ?

    Commercial reel to reel tapes were either 7.5 ips or 3.75 ips. Vintage amateur reel to reel machines were usually built with both of those speeds available.
  3. 1/4 Track Playback Head On A Nagra IV-S ?

    I have a Nagra IV-S machine which I used to transfer quite a few 2 track tapes to digital. However, the utility of the machine as a transfer and home audio deck would be magnified a thousandfold if I were able to play 1/4 track tapes on it, of which I have A LOT, as well as 2 track. As a safe transport for old delicate tapes it has no equal. I was thinking that maybe a 1/4 track playback head could be installed where the pilotone head is, and could be switched in and out of the playback amp. Has anyone ever heard of such a conversion? Has anyone here ever converted a Nagra into a 1/4 track machine? Or know anyone who could do such a thing? Has anyone here ever SEEN a 1/4 track conversion on a Nagra? Any thoughts on the subject would be so welcome!
  4. I have a Nagra IV-S machine which I used to transfer quite a few 2 track tapes to digital. However, the utility of the machine as a transfer and home audio deck would be magnified a thousand fold if I was able to play 1/4 track tapes on it, of which I have A LOT, as well as 2 track. As a safe transport for old delicate tapes it has no equal. I was thinking that maybe a 1/4 playback head could be installed where the pilotone head is, and could be switched in and out of the playback amp. Has anyone ever heard of such a conversion? Has anyone here ever converted a Nagra into a 1/4 track machine? Or know anyone who could do such a thing? Has anyone here ever SEEN a 1/4 track conversion on a Nagra? Any thoughts on the subject would be so welcome!
  5. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    Easily simulated ! There are tons of clips from those tapes on YouTube.....a simple transfer to a roll of old tape, throw it on the Nagra and you've got a pretty good idea what it originally sounded like.
  6. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    Correct ! I should have been more clear.....they recorded basic tracks at Twickenham and Apple, but not literally on the Nagra. The Nagra was used by the film crew for the movie soundtrack (the movie as yet still unreleased in a remastered commercially available DVD package. Millions of bootlegs available however.) Multitrack recording was going on concurrently with the film.
  7. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    JonG - Basic tracks for the "Let It Be" album were at first recorded at Twickenham Film Studios as illustrated above. Then they moved to the Apple Records basement studio at 3 Savile Row (because they hated working in the film studio) where they did more writing and recording of basics. Then they shelved the whole album because John Lennon thought it was crap. Then Lennon decided to give the album to Phil Spector to re-arrange and produce. He took the tapes to Abbey Road and added all sorts of stuff like strings and vocal choirs. However, now Paul McCartney hated what Spector did to it and tried to block the album's release, but it went out anyway as what we know today as the original "Let It Be" album. But McCartney's intense dislike of how Spector produced that album, along with many other factors, contributed to the breakup of The Beatles. Geoff Emerick actually had very little to do with the "Let It Be" album, if anything; most of it was recorded by Glyn Johns.
  8. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    Here again are The Beatles at Twickenham Studios recording the "Let It Be" album. At the upper right one can see the mixing station (red arrow) with a Nagra with an open reel cover. Next to it may be seen what looks like the classic Nagra accessory mike mixer.
  9. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    JonG - Your comment got me to thinking about whether I could actually find a picture of The Beatles during the "Let It Be" sessions in which a Nagra machine was visible, and I did. First of all, not only were the bootlegs of the "Let It Be" album recorded on a Nagra at Abbey Road, most of the original music was recorded live on a Nagra in the first place. Here is a picture of a production meeting at Twickenham Film Studios, at which the first half of the movie/album was shot. In the center background (red arrow) may be seen the mixer sitting in front of a Nagra, the open transparent plastic reel cover being clearly visible. Sitting in the foreground, left to right, is Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Apple Records CEO Neil Aspinall and roadie Mal Evans. The man in the tan jacket in the background is probably a visiting Dick Lester, director of the Beatles' first two smash hit movies, which were also shot at Twickenham.
  10. I own an old 1989 Radioshack tone dialer. A smart phone from then would probably look a good deal like this. Minus any smart phone capabilities.
  11. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    I see that Jeff Wexler posted a picture on this board way back in 2011 of the Nagra III being used in "Help"! So sorry to repeat your post Jeff Wexler!
  12. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    One of the most prominent appearances of a Nagra in a feature film is the star role given to a Nagra IV-S in the 1981 film "Diva", in which an opera-obsessed fan sneaks one into an opera house to record a bootleg tape of his favorite soprano.
  13. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    "I think Nicholas West meant the first movie showing a Nagra III in the movie."......yes, that's exactly what I meant ! Not the first movie to USE a Nagra, but the first feature film to SHOW a Nagra on the screen, any kind of Nagra. JBond, the sound in the movie "Help!" was recorded by H.L. Bird, a noted British sound engineer and the man you see in the first picture I posted. He died in 1968 at the very early age of 58. A pleasure to be part of this group! I extracted the pictures from this clip: http://www.jukebox.fr/the-beatles/clip,the-night-before,uv8p0.html
  14. Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

    Hello all, I am new to this extremely interesting board, and proud owner of a Nagra IV-S. There is a lot of discussion earlier in this thread about what might have been the first feature film to be recorded by a Nagra. But I would lay odds that the first feature film in which a Nagra ITSELF appears is the 1965 British movie "Help!" starring The Beatles. Soundman H.L. Bird is shown recording The Beatles on a Nagra III during the performance of the song "The Night Before". Actually, what was almost certainly happening here is that the Nagra was being used to play a prerecorded tape of the song into a PA system out in that field, so that The Beatles could lip sync to it at the completely correct speed. And then the album version of the song could be dubbed into the film later in post, with no sync problems. Cheers.
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