At The Tone is the first comprehensive audio survey of NIST Radio Stations WWV and WWVH: two legendary shortwave radio broadcasters whose primary purpose is the dissemination of scientifically precise time and frequency. Offered here publicly for the first time, the set represents a huge cross-section of the stations’ “life and times,” including recordings of obsolete formats, original voices and identifications, special announcements, format changes, “leap seconds,” and other aural oddities from 1955 to 2005. Produced, compiled, and edited by Myke over a 20-year period (1992-2012), At The Tone is alternately strange and mundane, monotonous and compelling, erudite and obscure. Recommended for fans of The Conet Project, The Ghost Orchid, and other radio-related ephemera.

Read the credits.

The recordings which form the heart of this collection are the work of lifelong radio hobbyist Lloyd Matthiesen. Lloyd presented them to me in 1992 as a self-contained set of reel-to-reel and wire recordings which he had made of his own volition starting in 1962. At the Tone could never have existed without his decades-long devotion. This project is dedicated to him.

Some of the language in this text has been borrowed directly from copyright-free sources published by the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) or its successor, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Of particular use was NIST SP 555: C. Bragaw and W. Snyder, Achievement in Radio (Washington, DC: October 1986). I have tried to limit such use to passages which demanded an expert’s lucidity.

Produced, curated, and edited by Myke Dodge Weiskopf. Principal recordings from the collection of Lloyd Matthiesen. Additional recordings contributed by Matthew Deutch, Joseph Flaska, Gary Maker, Michael Mideke, Jay Novello, Dean Okayama, and Myke Dodge Weiskopf.

WWV 1955 recording excerpted from “High Latitude Sounds Recorded at Various Speeds: Dawn-Chorus, Swishes, Whistlers, Tweeks” by Various Artists from ‘IONOSPHERE,’ Cook Records COOK05013, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (c) 1955. Used by permission.

Cover art by Todd M. LeMieux.

Contributions of text, graphics, or information provided by Matthew Deutch, David Howe, Joseph Flaska, Peter Q. George, Wayne Hanson, John Lowe, Lloyd Matthiesen, Fred McGehan, Dean Okayama, and Donald Sullivan.

Audio processing performed on Sonic NoNOISE broadband noise reduction software at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood, CA. Thanks to Mark Holden.

Special thanks to John C. Chapman, David Goren, Mark Schiefelbein and other members of the Fundraising Circle for their generous financial contributions in the final stages of this project.

© 2009 Myke Dodge Weiskopf / Obscure-Disk.

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