NBC Radio City, San Francisco
Sound Effects Storage Room
NBC kept a large stock of sound effects in this room at Radio City. In addition to the many disk recordings that were stored in the racks at the upper left, there was a wide variety of props used to create different sounds. The cart at right with the sprinkler was used for a number of water and rain sounds.
The engineer is cueing a recording on a turntable dolly which could be wheeled into any studio. It had three turntables and four tone arms. The extra tone arm allowed the sound effects engineer to create a sound longer than the recording itself. If a continuous sound such as an automobile engine was needed, he would place needles at two different points in the same recording, and fade between them periodically. By continuously resetting one needle and then the other back to the beginning of a recording after they played, he could continue the sound indefinitely.
All articles copyright © 1997-2006 by John F. Schneider. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with the generous permission of the author.