Man! That's Dynagroovy!
The Wikipedia entry on Dynagroove reads as follows:
"Dynagroove is a recording process introduced in 1963 exclusive to RCA Victor that, for the first time, utilized computers ("electronic brains") to modify the audio signal fed to the recording stylus (chisel-shaped) of a phonograph record to make the groove shape conform to the tracking requirements of the playback stylus (ball-point shaped). RCA claimed that Dynagroove had the effect of adding brilliance and clarity, realistic presence, full-bodied tone and virtually eliminated surface noise and inner groove distortion. In addition, Dynagroove recordings were mastered on RCA Magnetic Tape. Hans H. Fantel (who wrote liner notes on the first Dynagroove releases) summed it up with, "[Dynagroove] adds up to what is, in my opinion, a remarkable degree of musical realism. The technique is ingenious and sophisticated, but its validation is simple: the ear confirms it!"
"The process was not received well by some industry commentators, such as the founder of Stereophile magazine, J. Gordon Holt, who in December 1964 wrote a highly unfavourable article entitled "Down with Dynagroove!". Dynagroove was also sharply criticized by Goddard Lieberson of the competing label Columbia Records, who called it "a step away from the faithful reproduction of the artist's performance;" and by Harry Pearson, founder of The Absolute Sound, who termed it "Dynagrove, for that wooden sound." Holt, a noted audio engineer and writer of the 1960s and 1970s, slammed Dynagroove as introducing "pre-distortion" into the mastering process, making the records sound worse if they were played on high-quality phono systems.
RCA discontinued Dynagroove without fanfare in the late 1970s."
Whether it was a step forward or a step backward can (and, I'm sure, will) be argued by the experts 'til they're all blue in the face. The fact is that RCA created an entire slate of releases produced specifically in order to show the extreme dynamic capabilities of the Dynagroove process and those records are treasured to this very day for the music more than the recording technology involved.
One such recording (my personal favorite of the lot) is "SOUNDPOWER! Music to the Limits of Audiobility" by Marty Gold and His Orchestra. This is one killer record. Marty uses it as a opportunity to stretched his highs and lows as far apart as possible using the entire orchestra in dramatically inventive and creative ways.
If you've never heard "I Concentrate on You" performed on a Tuba, now's your chance!
Marty Gold & His Orchestra: SOUNDPOWER! Music to the Limits of Audibility
- I'll Remember April
- Stella By Starlight
- The Moon Was Yellow
- The Terry Theme from "Limelight"
- Without a Song
- Harlem Nocturne
- A String of Pearls
- I Left My Heart in San Francisco
- I Concentrate on You
- Till There Was You