Numero Group: By The Numbers

Postcards From The Edge OR Vacation Numero Style
July 6, 2015, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Methodology | Tags:


Those of us in an Artist and Repertoire role at Numero have a hard time truly disconnecting our mainframes when it comes to utilizing our vacation days. How do you think Belize City Boil Up happened? After decompressing amongst co-workers about all of the Numero-oriented activities I engaged/endured while back home in North Carolina, everyone thought I should write a blog post about it, i.e. what it’s like to try and take a vacation when you you work at 2348 S. Marshall Blvd.

El Guapo Recorders: Winston-Salem, NC

Bits and pieces of this studio will most likely look familiar to blog devotees (here, possibly here). Anytime I’m in town, I take at least one strange piece of local tape to Ryan Pritts, who seems to have relocated from Detroit to Winston-Salem just to make our hometown a better place. Among the decrepit homes he’s rehabbed and businesses he’s helped bring up to code, his studio is an analog wonderland. The preamps are the bomb, the mixing board recorded early Willie Nelson albums, and all of the machines are in top working order. Let’s do some transfers!  IMG_1368

In terms of tape speeds, there is nothing an archivist hates to see quite like “3 3/4 IPS” (second perhaps only to “Ampex 456”). The tape speed of 3 3/4 inches per second is like an AM signal, compared to the more desirable fidelity afforded by 7 (dare I say 15?) IPS. No less, if there’s potentially important material on a tape, you’ve got to drag it across the heads. Slightly more exhilarating was the process of making a new master out of this one-of-a-kind Carolina rock acetate. The temperamental acetate was far too fragile to ship to Peerless Mastering in Boston, so we had to make do with what we had: a brand-new Shure cartridge and a prayer.


The Carolina Classic: Hoots Beer Company 

There is really no better way to get the latest in hometown record gossip than to coordinate a heavy collector’s DJ debut at a cool new brewery at 7pm on a Monday. Such is the case with the Carolina Classic—an irregularly scheduled DJ night, devoted to getting our state’s most unlikely selectors behind some turntables so we can hear all the records they’ve been hoarding.


This was the second appearance by Chris Moore (eBay I.D. thewaxman). Chris (right) actually printed out a setlist in advance. Here’s page 1:


Highlights include lesser known rarities by Carolina institutions, like this catchy number from blind country artist Ronnie Milsap (on trombone!)


Down East

I made a few stops along Tobacco Road en route to my mom’s house on the coast. When a potential client claims “three boxes of tapes,” we must temper our expectations. For every success story a la Boddie or Revival, there is a mess of DAT that has been stored outside in the unforgiving Carolina sun for a few too many summers.


At an undisclosed location, rare and common singles mingle along the rafters of a nearly defunct live room.


Oh, and I did I mention there’s a dozen boxes of 2-inch tape at my dad’s house? He’s been quite patient.


In any event, some of what you see above may one day become a Numero release. Some of the stuff might just go in the Numerican Pickers blooper reel. But if anyone from The Discover Channel-Canada is thinking about producing an episode of “How It’s Made” on Numero Group compilations, here is your story board.

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