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Music in the Famous Studios cartoons

Discussion in 'Fleischer / Famous Studios' started by Dave Koch, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

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    [​IMG] A question I've long wondered about: After the Fleischer Studios in Miami were closed, Paramount took direct control of the cartoon operation and moved it back to New York City as Famous Studios. Sammy Timberg, the musical arranger (a genius, in my opinion, especially in his work with the Superman series), went with the crew. In the period around 1943-44, just before Timberg's associate Winston Sharples took over, the sound quality of Timberg's musical accompaniments was so poor that some of the scores sounded like they had been recorded inside a metal trash can. I doubt very much this was Timberg's fault. Does anyone know the story? And why, when Sharples came on the scene, did the situation improve? The difference is very noticeable.
  2. Zavkram

    Zavkram Moderator Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

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    An interesting question... I have heard that the new Miami studio had state-of-the-art recording equipment from Western Electric; but that the reason for the chintzy-sounding soundtracks on some of the Popeye cartoons was that lesser-caliber musicians had been employed and often the miking had to be adjusted to favor the more competent players.

    With regard to the soundtracks from the period immediately following the move back to New York; I hadn't noticed anything unusual. Can you cite specific cartoons (scored by Timberg and not Sharples) where this is most noticeable?

    At some point, I know that Famous had switched from Western Electric to RCA for their recording system. I'm not sure if that initially had anything to do with the lessened sound-quality.

    Sharples' music tracks have a great clarity and presence. I'd be interested to know where and when the recording sessions took place; as well as to find out who played for him. He had some great string and wind players; I can't help but wonder if any of them may have been second-desk players with the NY Philharmonic?

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