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Victor Recordings In The Electrical Recording Era

The early 1920s marked the beginning of radio as a medium for home entertainment. This development gave Victor and the rest of the record-making industry a new set of challenges. First, music started to become available over the air at no cost. Next, music had a clearer and more “natural” sound compared to a contemporary record which was brought by the use of a high-quality microphone and a high-quality receiver.

Orthophonic Music

The year 1925 saw a switch by Victor from using the mechanical or acoustical method of recording to the newly developed microphone-based method that was made by Western Electric. This new recording process which paved the way for creating sound with enhanced fidelity was known as “Orthophonic.” Likewise, a new brand of record players known as “Orthophonic Victrolas” was also launched in the market. This new line was scientifically designed to allow playback of the newly enhanced records.

Victor Electrical Recordings

In spring 1925, Victor first issued its lineup of electrical recordings. However, the company had to take certain steps prior to announcing the development to the public. These include creating sufficient catalogs in order to meet an anticipated demand and to give dealers enough time to liquidate their stocks that were comprised of acoustical recordings.

In order to achieve all of these, Victor and Columbia, its rival company, both agreed to hide from the public the truth about the new recordings that they were making which should bring a huge improvement to the currently available recordings in the market. Near the end of 1925, Victor released a large advertising campaign and publicly announced the new technology. On November, 2, 1925, the company also introduced the above-mentioned “Orthophonic Victrolas” which led to the recognition of the date as “Victor Day.”

First Commercial Electrical Recording

On February 26, 1925, Victor made its first commercial electrical recording at the company’s studios in Camden, New Jersey. The recording, “A Miniature Concert,” was participated by eight of Victor’s popular artists. These include Rudy Wiedoeft, Monroe Silver, John Meyer, Frank Croxton, Albert Campbell, Henry Burr, Frank Banta, and Billy Murray. Initially, there were several takes made for the recording which used the old acoustical method. Additional takes were then made using the electrical recording process for the purpose of testing the new system. Luckily, the new electrical recordings turned out to be a successful venture. When summer came, Victor launched its 12-inch 78 rpm record Victor 35753 with two sides as a way to celebrate the successful results.


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