Anything about Elvis
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Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:06 pm

Hey Getlo!

Do you have a full size pic you can post of your avatar?
That is one great pic of our man!

Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:31 pm

I had always thought that the "speed" term was the the engineer comfirming to himself that the recorders were running and had reached and were maintaining desired speed. In those pre-computer non solid state days

It is very unlikely that speed would ever refer to the pace of a song - that's why we have the word TEMPO.

Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:30 am

elvis-fan wrote:Hey Getlo!

Do you have a full size pic you can post of your avatar?
That is one great pic of our man!

I certainly do Brad!

I agree, it's a nice shot of Elvis from 1977.

Here's the larger file of the picture:


Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:38 am

The speed at which a piece of music is performed. Tempo is indicated by a tempo marking, which indicates the general speed (and often the mood) of a piece or section.


tempo <-> speed, time (a tempo: in time)

My case is rested.

That still doesnt answer Spellbinders question just explains what "tempo" means.

the squirrel

Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:19 am

Sorry doesnt

the squirrel

Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:30 am

I certainly do Brad!

I agree, it's a nice shot of Elvis from 1977.

Here's the larger file of the picture:


HI Getlo
what month is that photo was taken in know its from 1977.

curtis simpkins

Fri Jul 04, 2003 3:42 am

Well I do know that tempo equals speed.

That's the point.

No one in the studio would say "call out the speed" or "increase the speed a little".

They would say " call out the TEMPO" and "increae the TEMPO a little"

Just as a film director call "lights, camera, action" as a check device a recording studio engineer might call out SPEED as an affimation.

It has nothing to do with the TEMPO count in to a song.

Fri Jul 04, 2003 4:23 am

Hi Kiwi.

I agree......i think you nailed it.

the squirrel

Fri Jul 04, 2003 4:27 pm

All I'm getting from you is a WAG answer.

Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:21 pm

Curtis, my avatar photo is taken from a still of Rapid City, South Dekota, June 21st 1977. It's during the song "See See Rider".

Fri Jul 04, 2003 11:44 pm

WAG = wild arse guess

Sat Jul 05, 2003 12:13 am

Isn't speed a drug? :)

Cheers Simon

Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:55 pm

From Steve Sholes of "Master and Session":

Hi Tom,

"Speed" is just the tape speed. IPS=inches per second
The speed of a cassette tape would be 1.875 ips.
Consumer reel-to-reels of the 60's and 70's: 3.75 ips or better 7.5 ips.
RCA master tapes were typically 15 ips or 30 ips.


Mon Jul 07, 2003 7:21 pm

This still does not answer the question. Exactly what does "and speed" mean as part of the slate?

Mon Jul 07, 2003 8:07 pm

What slate are you referring to? a film slate? I asked you earlier on if you were talking about filmaking. Please make up your mind as to what the Hell you are asking.


Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:22 pm

Sorry but I still strongly disagree.

In the early 60's I produced hundreds of radio commercials - most of them just one or two voices.

On every take the engineer would either call "wait for speed" or "speed is up". Then call the tape number and then the "go" call.

He was referring to the then NON solid state mechanical tape transports gearing up to the desired speed, There was always an acceleration process with the motors.

It was also a confirmation (in the engineers mind) the the right IPS was selected and indeed that the tapes were running.

I have never heard a musician refer use the word SPEED in reference to a song - "fast" "slow" "Let's speed it up" but never SPEED on it's own - it was always TEMPO as in "how do you feel about the TEMPO".

As most of the Frankie and Johnny sessions were VO on pre-recorded tracks then tape transport speed would be even more critical by virtue of the possibility of two machines being used.

the arts being lost

Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:46 am

49 messages until Kiwi's mostly correct answer?

This reminds me of the continuing, still continuing, misuses of "Binaural".

The standard call of "Speed!" in the film/recording industry started meaning the CAMERAS are up to speed. The term evolved from early sound film production. The term might even have evolved from industrial manufacturing processes in the 1850s or so--although there are no sound recordings of that!

It took many seconds to get the early huge sound cameras, enclosed in a soundproof box of their own and thus not directly visible to the director, from a stopped state to running the monster 50-pound rolls of 35mm film at the correct stable sound film speed of 24fps (or even higher speed for a slow motion shot). The cameraman would call "Speed!" when the camera had, er, reached and stabilized at correct speed. The director would not call "Action!" until hearing "Speed!".

From that the term/call evolved out to recording studios and other places where other apparatus had to be "running at correct speed". General use of the term also evolved as cameras and recorders became quieter, smaller, faster to start, and more stable. The specific meaning of the term and what equipment it referred to could be somewhat different in different studios, whether film or sound studios.

Used that way, "Speed!" is an engineer's term, never a musician's term.

(I've edited this for gramattickallery clarityius)
Last edited by ohnono on Tue Jul 08, 2003 1:35 am, edited 6 times in total.