In my attempted efforts to find something ornery and contemptuous about Audiotex’s Stereo and Monophonic Audiotester, I discovered that this rather expensive audio testing tool ($38.69 today, or the ridiculous price of the new Daft Punk album) is a visual work of late 1950s design/graphic art.
Inception was big in the late 50s, early 60s. Hard at work in his audio laboratory, the technician on the cover is skillfully testing his own copy of Audiotex’s Stereo and Monophonic Audiotester. Do tests need testing? Anyway, I absolutely adore the layout of this album. The white/red/saturated blue cover (that was obviously pieced together like a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle on the cover of Life magazine), and the tuning fork and sound wave influenced Audiotex logo are just a few marvels found within this front sleeve.
The back to this riveting test record is just as visually absorbing. Breaking down the necessary tests for both stereophonic and monaural phonographs with overly simplified, 1959 phonographics (I just made that up), the bullet-pointed basics offered from this record are presented in an easy to understand, and visually engaging layout. From the turntable rumble test (stereo) to the tone arm resonance test (mono), this audiophile worthy test record is essential for even the novice record collector.
As you can see, I’m a sucker for nostalgia that I had absolutely no part of. For me, the red/black/white color palette is always a favorite, and it’s always a treat to discover phonographic-heavy, and time-capsule-like records.
When I began collecting records, I never thought I’d be in possession of an LP containing 38, live mechanical sound effects in stereo. So after purchasing Live Mechanical Sound Effects In Stereo, I am a firm believer that our connection, our joint acquaintance if you will, was inevitable. I mean, let’s be honest for a moment (a very brief moment). Who doesn’t need a record containing the live, and in stereo, sound effect of an Adding Machine? What about a Small Cement-Mixer? An Escalator Ride? AN ESCALATOR RIDE! Do you even know what that sounds like?! I can think of countless social scenarios in which that would come in handy. Specifically while on the phone with a student loan lender… “Sorry, I can’t here you… I’m on an escalator. Can’t you hear? It’s in stereo!” Click (the sound of an old fashioned phone hanging up) and boom (the sound of financial freedom)! Phone call over.
In the desperate attempt to sell this record to the “general listener” instead of the “sound freak,” the back cover exclaims: “Heard in pure form, without dilution by other sounds, every sound, whether it happens to be a nuclear explosion or the squeak of a mouse, can conjure up fascinating images of its own.” Yes! A nuclear explosion CAN conjure up fascinating images on its own! Imagine my complete dismay upon realizing that this record in fact DOES NOT include such sound effect. DAMN YOU, LIVE MECHANICAL SOUND EFFECTS IN STEREO PRODUCED EXCLUSIVELY FOR REALISTIC BY AUDIO FIDELITY RECORDS! I guess I’ll have to settle for the next best thing… the sound of a Packaging Machine, Collator.
The next time you find yourself in the market for the stereo sound of an Electrocardiograph, you need look no further than Live Mechanical Sound Effects In Stereo.
By the way, the stereo sound of a Small Cement-Mixer is highly provocative and insanely disturbing. I strongly suggest it.